Science and the GOP

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No abortion, no SSM. The only sign of the culture wars at last night’s debate at the Reagan Library came when Politico’s John Harris asked Jon Huntsman about his claim that the Republican Party was becoming “anti-science.” Huntsman replied:

Listen, when you make comments that fly in the face of what 98 out of
100 climate scientists have said, when you call into question the
science of evolution, all I’m saying is that, in order for the
Republican Party to win, we can’t run from science. We can’t run from
mainstream conservative philosophy. We’ve got to win voters.

We’ve got to do what I did as governor, when I was re-elected. We
reached out and we brought in independents. I got independents. I got
conservative Democrats. If we’re going to win in 2012, we’ve got to make
sure that we have somebody who can win based upon numbers of the math
that will get us there. And by making comments that basically don’t
reflect the reality of the situation, we turn people off.

Be it noted that Huntsman’s argument for science did not have to do with the government’s need to base policy on “the reality of the situation,” but on the GOP’s need to attract votes from people who are reality-based. Still, that’s preferable to Rick Perry’s “the science is not settled on this,” and therefore we shouldn’t put our economy in jeopardy by trying to address climate change.

I did, however, appreciate Perry’s little historical analogy: “I said, just because you have a group of scientists that have stood up
and said here is the fact, Galileo got outvoted for a spell.” We now know that the governor of Texas believes that the earth moves around the sun.