Category Archives: George W. Bush

I need to watch the Daily Show this week.

I’ve been giving careful consideration to Bush’s nomination of Harriet Miers to the Supreme Court, and it is my considered legal opinion that this is hilarious. Mere weeks after he gets in trouble for putting a laughably unqualified crony in charge of FEMA, and his nominee is someone distinguished for being the Texas Lottery Commissioner and for saying that Bush is the most brilliant man she had ever met? (That last part should be enough to disqualify her from any public office, ever.) And if this weren’t boneheaded enough, he’s got the social conservatives frothing with rage because they were expecting the Spanish Inquisition. I think the best advice for Democrats is to grab some popcorn and watch the fireworks.
Wait, there’s more! Here’s an AP photo of Miers briefing President Bush… on August 6, 2001! Anyone remember the title of that briefing? You may recall something like “Bin Laden Determined to Strike in U.S.” Clearly her job performance merits a promotion to the Supreme Court of the United States.
We all knew that Bush was going to fuck up the Court, but he is to be commended for attempting to fuck it up in the funniest way possible. Ladies and gentlemen, the Bush Administration has descended into self-parody.

Blogging by proxy

I had this collection of things I was going to post today, and then I realized that Making Light already had them all. So just go there and read down the page. In particular, the map of disaster-prone areas in the US, and George W. Bush’s impossibly tasteless jokes about Trent Lott’s house. (Will people finally realize that he’s neither a “good Christian” or a “guy you’d like to have a beer with”, but a fucking aristocrat in the grand Louis XVI style?)

Bush, ID, and Republican scientists

There’s a lot of wailing and gnashing of teeth over the Bush’s statement that Intelligent Design should be taught in schools. Now, naturally I agree with the many commenters who have remarked that ID is not a scientific theory, and teaching it will only degrade the state of US science education.
On the other hand, my reaction is less outrage than a sigh of resignation. What, Bush rejected science in favor of an ideological and religious position? The same Bush who opposes stem-cell research, promotes abstinence-only sex education, ignores climate change, and suppresses inconvenient scientific findings by government agencies? We knew we were getting this back in November when Bush won the election. Certainly anyone who voted for Bush should have been prepared to accept this kind of dumbassery as a consequence. And didn’t Bush say that “the jury is still out” on evolution back in, like, 2000?
Of course, we should vigorously oppose attempts to insert ID into actual curricula, but the mere fact that Bush supports it doesn’t exactly seem new.
Matt Yglesias points out that Bush’s view is very widespread among the American public. Some of you may recall a poll result that I blogged last November showing 45% support for young Earth creationism.
Meanwhile, Brad DeLong remarks,

I believe I can now safely say without fear of contradiction that any scientist or academic (outside of fundamentalist seminaries, of course) who is a Republican is in serious need of help: professional help.

I think this is overstating things. I know a number of Republican scientists (in Berkeley, even!) and they are sane and intelligent people—they just vote based on factors other than science and education policy. Specifically, many of them are quite vocally anti-tax, anti-union, etc. and seem to vote predominantly on economic issues. I certainly don’t agree with their economic views, but I can’t blame them for prioritizing those issues over scientific ones.
I’m appalled by Republican science policy, but if the Republicans were a lot better on other issues and the Democrats a lot worse, I could concievably be convinced to vote Republican anyway. But science policy isn’t the only problem—in fact it’s a nice synecdoche for the way the GOP sticks to ideology in the face of overwhelming contradictory evidence on nearly every issue. This frightening disconnection from reality is a deal-breaker for me. The Republican scientists that I know, whatever they may think about science policy, disagree about whether there’s a larger pattern of ignoring evidence. I think they’re wrong, but I don’t think they need professional help.