The New Yorker Ranks the Republicans vs. Science

And get’s it wrong

What’s amazing is they rank Newt first at the same time acknowledging he destroyed the Office of Technology Assessment.

Jon Huntsman may have the most rational scientific and technological policies of anyone in the field, but Gingrich, sometimes called Newt Skywalker, has far more passion. As Kelefa Sanneh argues in the current issue, the philosophy of Gingrichism is nothing but a combination of the idiosyncratic views of the man himself–which include his beliefs in the virtues of space exploration and his opposition to regulating the Internet, even when it comes to porn. He was an early adopter of Twitter, and he once made the cover of Wired. He is ranked atop Scientific American’s recent “Geek Guide” to the 2012 candidates. As Sanneh notes, one of Gingrich’s manifestos about information policy includes a preface by the science-fiction writer Jerry Pournelle, declaring, “It’s raining soup, and Newt Gingrich has the blueprints for soup bowls.”

His record is scarcely perfect. As Speaker, Gingrich abolished the Office of Technology Assessment–a move reminiscent of Nixon abolishing the White House’s Office of Science and Technology Policy. But, for the most part, Gingrich has moved policy in the right directions. And he gets extra credit for sitting on the couch with Nancy Pelosi to talk about global warming.

So, he destroyed the office in congress that used science to evaluate legislation, as well as the efficacy of that legislation once enacted. He removed scientific guidance from the legislative branch, but because he’s passionate about the internets that doesn’t make him the worst thing to happen to science in the last 30 years?

I realize we’re looking for the shiny turd in a cowpie here, but Gingrich? No way. Huntsman should be ranked first because he at least acknowledges global warming is real, a brave stand to take amongst a bunch of deniers. Whereas Gingrich dumped that chapter from his book after Rush Limbaugh suggested he might actually be on the side of reality. What’s going to matter more in the next 4 years? A president that took a brave stance on regulating internet porn? Or one that took a stance on global warming?

None of these guys has any scientific chops but that seems too much to ask in politicians on either side these days. But this analysis by the New Yorker is embarrassingly superficial.


2 responses to “The New Yorker Ranks the Republicans vs. Science”

  1. The OTA was used by the Organized Crime Tobacco Mafia to further it own 50 year RICO conspiracy to dent the science of killer-tobacco. The archives of trial documents have been online for more than 10 years by court order as part of the case settlement against the Tobacco Racketeers.

    Michael Gough particularly stands out, writing public letters denouncing cigarette smoking while taking money from the Tobacco Criminals to deny existing science on tobacco deaths. Michael Gough co-authored “Silencing Science” with “white coat” junkman Steve Milloy, while collecting laundered tobacco money as Koch-operated Cato Institute paychecks. Gough was partnered with the TASSC criminal organization, moving on to denying climate science after the tobacco paychecks lessened.

    Apparently, getting rid of the politically-influenced OTA does count as pro-science, and some people understand that. Just because some group claims to be science, or has the word science in it, does not mean it is not a criminal fraud organization.
    874 results from tobacco documents legacy library for Michael Gough.
    119 documents found: “Michael Gough” OTA
    16 documents found: “Michael Gough” TASSC
    194 documents found: “Michael Gough” Cato Institute
    18 documents found. “Michael Gough” “Steve Milloy”

    I would like you to bear in mind that there are literally 40 millions of tobacco documents filling more than one warehouse which have not yet all been scanned into computer-searchable form. These documents should be considered only partial records, not complete.

    The OTA was corrupted and anti-science at it’s demise. Newt however should not get credit for destroying it, as there are always many political factions disrupting the efforts of their opponents teams for arcane power struggle reasons that do not have the public good involved at all.

  2. ColinATL

    Mark, just FYI, Huntsman is waffling a bit on Global Warming. See:

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