The argument about whether conservatives are condescending to liberals or vice versa is now officially over. Thanks to the emerging litmus test of the right wing on climate science, conservatives are now questioning their own intellectual capabilities — they are self-condescending!
The Boston Globe buried this nugget last week:
GOP gubernatorial candidate Charles Baker has a reputation as a smart guy, but he said last week he wasn’t smart enough to form an opinion on the hottest environmental topic of the day. Climate change: Does he believe in it, or doesn’t he?
“I’m not saying I believe in it. I’m not saying I don’t,” he told the Globe on Friday, a day after dodging the question at a public forum on Thursday. “You’re asking me to take a position on something I don’t know enough know enough about.”
He added, “I absolutely am not smart enough to believe I know the answer to that question.”
That should be his bumpersticker: “I absolutely am not smart enough.”
Baker’s bio says he graduated Harvard College, later “served as Corporate Communications Director for the Massachusetts High Technology Council,” and then “decided to return to school in 1984 and earned an MBA from Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University in 1986.”
Sure climate change is complicated issue — about as complicated as, say, governing a state! Baker is a profile in non-courage:
Asked during a speech at Suffolk Law School on Thursday whether he agrees with the “scientific majority” that climate change is caused by human activities, Baker ducked.
“I don’t think whether I believe that or not matters in this conversation,” Baker said.
Blue Mass Group has more detail on the Suffolk incident:
Speaking at the Rappaport Center for Law and Public Service at Suffolk University Law School on Thursday February 5th, Charlie was snowing the crowd under with his intellectual firepower.
An admiring Globe scribe remarked on Baker’s “somewhat apologetic tutorial on energy pricing” and told how he “talked at length about regulatory overhaul, duplicative bureaucracy, and the esprit de corps he experienced at a once-foundering health plan.” He practically sounded professorial! But then Charlie faced a question about global warming: “I don’t think whether I believe that or not matters in this conversation,” Baker said. He added, “I can get eight professors from MIT on both sides of this issue and no one in this room will walk away understanding what they said about climate change.”
That global warming stuff is way too complicated for anyone to understand, especially Charlie Baker. It’s a good thing he’s willing to settle for something easy like being Governor of Massachusetts.
Actually, there is precisely one MIT professor trying to obfuscate the issue and he has been utterly debunked again and again (see Lindzen debunked again: New scientific study finds his paper downplaying dangers of human-caused warming is “seriously in error”).
The other seven MIT professors would share with you their analysis — and it ain’t pretty:
I’ll end with Blue Mass Group’s questions:
… what else is he not smart enough to know or to do properly?So, we are left to wonder:
Is Baker actually as ignorant as he claims to be?
Is he really not “smart enough?”
Or, has he simply decided that it’s good politics to pretend to be stupid? (If Baker took truth serum before he answered the Globe does anyone honestly believe that he would maintain this pretense that he does not believe in global warming? Yes-it’s sad but true that some, though not all Republicans (witness the exceptions like Lindsey Graham) have decided it’s good fun to reject science, but Baker headed an organization vitally dependent on the scientific progress.
So which is it: not smart enough or intellectually dishonest? Could someone explain why either quality would make him well-suited to be governor?
Could someone explain that?