Republican Legislators Aren’t Scientists. Except on Ebola.

Lee Papa, the Rude Pundit, points out something very interesting. We’re used to hear Republican politicians refuse to do anything about climate change because “I’m not a scientist.” But when it comes to Ebola, suddenly they’re all epidemiologists. Except they keep getting everything wrong on the subject.

Problem: Republicans are glad to tell you that either the evidence is inconclusive or that they are too dumb to understand the science when it comes to climate change, so they think it’s wrong to act like it’s a crisis and refuse to do anything to slow or halt it. However, they will go bugnuts crazy and try to cause panic when it comes to the science around the spread of Ebola, even when they have it wrong.

Hypothesis: Playing to the craven cowardice and blunt ignorance of the general public, Republicans are happy to act like scientists and are using Ebola as a wedge issue for this year’s elections with no regard to the facts (also known as “acting like Republicans”).

Evidence: Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell on why we shouldn’t do anything about climate change: “I’m not a scientist. I’m interested in protecting Kentucky’s economy.”

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell on why we should take strict measures to prevent the spread of Ebola: “”I’m not an expert on this, but it strikes me that it would be a good idea to discontinue flights into the United States from that part of the world.” (A day before he had said, “I think we ought to listen to what the CDC thinks they need either in terms of financing or certainly they’ll decide the procedures for travel and all the rest. I think we need to follow the advice of the experts who know how to fight scourges like this.”)…

Conclusion: More people in the United States are scared about Ebola than climate change when climate change affects everyone and Ebola affects, at most, a handful of Americans. Republicans pretend not to know science, but they are unafraid of spreading lies and pretending to know it when it suits their purposes, even if it ultimately causes more harm than good.

And the majority of Americans buy into it and lose their shit when Ebola will never cause them to do so.

Yep.

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  • blf

    Republicans pretend not to know science…

    No. There’s no pretending.

  • abb3w

    The GOP approaches to Ebola remind me of the Mencken quote: “There is always a well-known solution to every human problem — neat, plausible, and wrong“.

  • Larry

    What what is totally amazing is that these same Ebola experts are also climatology science experts as well, able to see the truth when 98% of the so-called experts cannot.

  • raven

    Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell on why we should take strict measures to prevent the spread of Ebola: “”I’m not an expert on this, but it strikes me that it would be a good idea to discontinue flights into the United States from that part of the world.”

    Oh FFS.

    1. There are no direct flights from the African Ebola infected countries anyway.

    Thomas Duncan came in from Brussels, Belgium through Washington DC.

    2. There are already de facto travel restrictions between the USA and west Africa. I don’t see too many tourists deciding to visit Liberia right now.

    3. We have to end the epidemics in west Africa ASAP. If we don’t and they spread worldwide, we may never completely get rid of Ebola. We can’t be safe in the USA if they aren’t safe in Africa. This is basic common sense medicine.

    To do so, we have to have travel in and out of those countries for personnel and supplies.

    4. I would however limit travel to Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea to mostly essential travel only for the duration. Who in their right mind would want to go there anyway to play tourist. I can see why people might want out but this is a problem that has to be closely monitored. One guy fled to Nigeria and infected 20 people killing 8.

  • Mobius

    There was an interesting clip on last night’s Rachel Maddow.

    Back in the 80’s I had respect for George Will, even though I didn’t agree with him on a lot of things. Not so much any more. The clip on Maddow showed Will stating that some doctors had told him that Ebola could be airborne and was much more infectious than was thought. When pressed to tell which doctors had said this, he stated a particular university (I don’t recall which. Minnesota?).

    Well, the university came out and said…”We said no such thing.”

    One more case of conservative fear mongering by people that know next to nothing about the subject.

  • blf

    What what is totally amazing is that these same Ebola experts are also climatology science experts as well…

    Ebola is not a GHG, therefore, since AGW needs no action, Ebola needs panic!!!!1!

    (The above is probably too complicated for all politicians and most other rocks. Simple version: BENGHAZI!)

  • blf

    Mobius, That Ebola-is-airborne nonsense has been around for awhile. I’ve been seeing it in (uninformed) comments for months now, but to-date am not aware of any journalist even mentioning it. I have absolutely no idea as to its origins.

    (Whether or not George Will is, or ever was, a journalist is besides the point.)

  • gwangung

    Mobius: Will has been known to flat out lie about science. Concerning climate change, he quoted one research group as concluding one thing; the group said they concluded the exact opposite.

    Will has yet to retract or acknowledge the lie.

  • busterggi

    The majority of Americans are ignorant of science & proud of it with no intention to change.

    Also history, math, civics etc.

  • blf

    As usual, Snopes has a rundown on the current “Ebola-is-airborne” nonsense, which is apparently more widespread than I had noticed(@7). And Aetiology on the science.

  • http://www.facebook.com/den.wilson d.c.wilson

    Yes, but doing something about climate change will cost republicans millions of dollars in support from the fossil fuel industry. Running around like Chicken Little over Ebola costs them nothing but does give them another opportunity to bash the black guy occupying their White House for not doing something or for not doing something soon enough or for doing so something, but not the the thing they want him to do.

  • Al Dente

    There was a Tom Clancy technothriller which had airborne ebola as a plot element. That’s the only case I know of airborne ebola.

  • Trebuchet

    @12: And as every wingnut knows, Tom Clancy was murdered by Obama! Therefore ebola is proven to be airborne.