Limbaugh’s Delusions

You really have to have a look at this column, from David Limbaugh, posted at Town Hall. It is simply not to be believed.

The title: Leftist Thought Control. I’d respond to Limbuagh’s arguments but for the fact that he doesn’t provide any. Instead he simply makes assertion after assertion about how the left does not brook dissent about evolution, homosexual rights or global warming. The assertions are tripped out with anecdotes so vague they are impossible to respond to. Familiar stuff.

What makes the column remarkable, however, are its internal contradictions and complete disregard for basic facts. For example:

Consider the leftist refrain that red-state conservatives do not merely possess a different worldview, but are not part of the “reality-based community.” Consider the near monolithic liberalism and secularism of our university faculties.

The leftist refrain? It’s leftists who describe red state conservatives as not being part of the reality-based community?? Surely you jest.

Do I need to remind anyone where the phrase “Reality-Based Community” came from? It was this 2004 article in The New York Times Magazine, by Ron Suskind. He was recounting what a senior Bush advisor had told him:

The aide said that guys like me were ‘“in what we call the reality-based community,” which he defined as people who “believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality.’” I nodded and murmured something about enlightenment principles and empiricism. He cut me off. ‘“That’s not the way the world really works anymore,” he continued. ‘“We’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you’re studying that reality — judiciously, as you will — we’ll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that’s how things will sort out. We’re history’s actors . . . and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.’”

So it was the Bush administration, and by extension its supporters, who proudly identify themselves as not being part of the reality-based community. Leftist refrain indeed.

But Limbaugh is just getting warmed up. Concerning the alleged consensus among scientists about global warming, Limbaugh writes:

Plus, many of those counted as experts by the alarmists are scientists with no appreciable expertise in the field.

Well, that’s clear enough. Wouldn’t want to base our sceintific views on non-expert opinions. So who does Limbaugh regard as a scientific expert:

Tom Bethell, in his “Politically Incorrect Guide to Science,” quotes author Michael Crichton as saying that consensus science “is an extremely pernicious development that ought to be stopped cold in its tracks. Historically, the claim of consensus has been the first refuge of scoundrels; it is a way to avoid debate by claiming that the matter is already settled. Whenever you hear the consensus of scientists agrees on something or other, reach for your wallet, because you’re being had.”

Interesting. Unnamed global warming alarmists relying on unnamed nonexperts is a terrible thing. But a journalist’s account of a statement from a science fiction writer is dispositive. Gosh, academics must really be a bunch of dogmatic leftists not to accept such clear-headed arguments.

And Crighton’s sentiment is pretty foolish just on the merits. Consensus science is unavoidable. At some point the evidence really does point unambigously in a certain direction. When that happens you can’t expect scientists to ignore that fact for the sole purpose of avoiding the dreaded consensus. We’ll see if Crighton still objects to scientific consensus when it’s his doctors agreeing on what is wrong with him.

Limbaugh closes with the following suitably dramatic remark:

If this trend continues, it’s hard to imagine what we’ll see in next decade. How the left can consider itself fair and open-minded in view of such developments is beyond comprehension.

Right. Because in modern American politics when you think of powerful people willfully ignoring evidence and contrary opinion in the dogmatic pursuit of failed and dangerous policies, you think of fanatical leftists.

David Limbuagh is not someone who should be passing judgment about who is and is not part of the reality-based community.

Comments

  1. #1 Tyler DiPietro
    May 9, 2007

    Of course, to be fair, I know of many reality-based conservatives whose writings I’ve genuinely enjoyed reading (SciBlog’s own Razib and Gerard Harbison come to mind), but they certainly seem to vastly outnumbered by books like Limbaugh at this point.

  2. #2 Tyler DiPietro
    May 9, 2007

    My post has once again gotten trapped in the moderation queue. I think it has something to do with the number of embedded links I use.

  3. #3 Jason Rosenhouse
    May 9, 2007

    Sorry about the hold up with the comment. It probably was the links.

    I’m not a big fan of any of the strains of American consevratism, but the Bush administration and their flaks over at Town Hall have certainly done their part to make “conservative intellectual” seem like an oxymoron.

  4. #4 Science Avenger
    May 9, 2007

    Classic projection. The neo-con theocratic right forms its opinions based on authority, faith, and cutting off dissent. So naturally, when they lose in the marketplace of ideas, they assume those that defeated them must employ the same tactics. They can’t comprehend that millions of rational people could examine the evidence and conclude, sans conspiracy, that evolution is true, or that man-made global warming is a reality. They have a basic problem admitting error, as their leader demonstrates daily.

  5. #5 Kevin
    May 9, 2007

    Dang these people are dense. E.j. Dionne just wrote an oped titled: “Moderate Left Reeling Across The World”

    The man thinks that Germany’s PM Merkel is not a moderate left of center politician.

    I think that non-stupid pro-active policies will propel the moderate left into power for the next 20 years.

    moderate left = higher taxes on rich, strong environmental laws, no restrictions on abortion, action on global warming, fairer trade, more jobs programs etc….

  6. #6 Zeno
    May 9, 2007

    I think it is terribly unfair to judge David Limbaugh according to any of the usual standards. Remember, he is an utter nonentity whose fame is based solely on his having the same last name as his brother. As we can plainly see, David has trouble stringing coherent sentences together (let alone coherent ideas or argument). When we see a sad spectacle like David Limbaugh trying to be a man of letters, the only proper response is to cluck our tongues and look away.

    Oh, geez. Now I feel like a big meanie for mocking him! I’m sure the money he makes from basking in reflected glory will comfort him. We really should ignore him, though.

  7. #7 Pieter B
    May 11, 2007

    He merely suffers from delusions of adequacy; not uncommon amongst political hacks, though more common on the right, IMO.