For all of you splitting at the sides at my policy of not allowing tit-for-tat partisan political comments, this post is for you. Here's your chance to make good your boasts that the Democrats are just as stupid as the Republicans. Think my posts are biased against the GOP because its stupidity gets highlighted more than that from the Democrats? Now's put-up-or-shut-up time. To maintain focus and avoid the tactics of obfuscation (which is one of the main bases for my policy), here are the ground rules:
1) Give an exact quote by a Democrat with either a primary source, or a respected non-Rupert-Murdock-owned secondary source. No paraphrasing, no "watch this link", no "Ann Coulter said so", no "Some people say".
2) Describe what changes would need to be made to the statement to make it correct, and if it is a scientific subject, source your answer to some widely respected authority on the matter (ie a scientific organization or representative of its view). We can't measure how wide of the mark an idiotic statement is if we don't know what a true statement would be, and differing with GOP orthodoxy does not idiocy make.
3) Tell me what statement by a GOPer is comparable. Be sure to keep in mind #2, as well as how respected the speaker is on his side of the aisle, and how large an audience he has. It's hardly reasonable to compare something said by a Gaia tree-hugger whose group meets in a phone booth with something Sarah Palin said.
Failing to conform to this criteria will result in noninclusion. This is not an opportunity to toss as much shit against the wall as you can in an effort to see what sticks.
My contention, as made evident by my many blog postings on this subject, is that the "breathtaking inanity" (Bush-appointed Judge Jones' description of the Intelligent Design crowd) expressed by GOP politicians and supporters dwarfs that of Democrats by orders of magnitude, both in wideness of the reality mark, and the audience and respect such views get. It's never been my contention that there are NO stupid crazy democrats. But democrats who say things every bit as crazy as what creationists say are mostly laughed at by other Democrats, or hidden in the attic. They don't nominate them for Vice President. They don't make their views part of the party platform. The GOP does.
On every issue where there is a clear scientific consensus, and the two parties differ, it is the GOP on the ignorant side of the aisle. Whether it is evolution, global warming, stem cell research, abstinence-only birth control, and a host of other issues, it's the democrats that side closest to the best science we have. The Republicans pay lip service to science, and try desperately to give the impression that their ideology is supported by it, but in the end when science clashes with their ideology, ideology wins. That goes for overtly religious subjects like evolution, to more secular religious views like supply-side economics and pure capitalism. The Laffer curve is every bit as religious, and evidence-free, as a 6,000 year-old-earth is, as is the notion that government ruins everything. Ever hear of WWII, the moon landing, or the interstate highway system? Government programs all.
Again, that's not to say the Democrats are above criticism. On too many subjects, they deviate from clear science and mathematics (the drug war, gun control, social security, etc.) It's just small potatoes compared to what Republicans do, and is usually a lesser level of error. I'd compare the Republicans and Democrats to two doctors presented with our sick society. The Democrats want to bleed it with leeches. The Republicans want to pray for its recovery. While both solutions are clearly flawed, the Democrats are epistemologically eons ahead. At least their proposal understands that there are physical forces at work here, that they are part of the body politic, and curing what ails it means changing that physicality somehow. The Republican method doesn't even seem comfortable with objective reality, and is essentially relying on magic. The Democrats flaws can be changed with data. The GOP is stuck where it is forever, because to them, what seems true in their gut, or their mind, makes scientific evidence-gathering irrelevant. Republicans are, in every way that matters, still living in the 18th century. They never went through the scientific renaissance. They are still Aristotelian.
Think I'm wrong? Here's your chance to prove it.