Mike the Mad Biologist traces a ‘quote’ from George Carlin that the Heartland Institute has been publicizing. It’s comparable to the worst that creationists do — it takes a Carlinesque rant against “big wealthy business interests that control things” and turns it into a Libertarian complaint about big government by changing a few words and deleting almost all of the text. Knowing Carlin’s angry liberal predilections, it was easy to spot that there was something wrong with Heartland’s quote, but dang if doing the empirical thing and actually laying out the full quote from Carlin wasn’t convincing to a high degree.
That’s another point of the post, too. He cites an article by Ezra Klein making the point that it’s not that liberals are free of bad ideas, but that we have this added value of fact-checking — we have our biases, and we have our loons (anti-vaxxers and anti-GMOs, for instance), but the thing is, we can feel shame if we find out something we’re promoting is empirically incorrect. There is a check on any liberal tendency to drift off into la-la land that is totally absent in Tea Baggers and other far right political nuts. They have no shame, they already know how the world must work, and if you point evidence at them, well, the evidence must be wrong.
It’s also the difference between science and religion. Religion already has their answer, nonsensical as it is, and the evidence must be made to conform. Science has provisional answers, we keep gathering evidence to verify and improve, and we’ll change our theories if the evidence contradicts them.
Stepping in to confirm everything that Mike and Klein said, the very first comment is from someone calling themselves Gubbler who lists four things he considers fact-free liberal fantasies.
Racial equality, because black people were selected to be sexy animals, according to Steve Sailer, racist fraud.
might have merit, but any effort to change is
Gay marriage, because
Two guys do fecal penetration and that is the premise for marriage?
The liberal belief that
OBAMA IS messiah!!!!
Thereby confirming that right-wingers are delusional.