This blog is so old people used to find it through AltaVista.
From February 1, 2015, “Why the Republican Party cannot, as Michael Gerson suggests, ‘raise questions’ about climate change”
That example of Sen. Inhofe, I think, illustrates what Gerson is missing in his observation of this “appalling” tendency toward this kind of extreme, Manichaean rhetoric. Rather than the absurd claim that climate science is “the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people,” Gerson would prefer that his fellow Republicans simply “raise questions about global warming.”
OK, great. Please proceed. Raise whatever questions you’d like to raise. Ask away.
But the problem here is that asking questions entails the possibility that those questions might have answers.
In the case of the questions that Michael Gerson or James Inhofe might want to raise about climate change, those questions do have answers. Solid, clear, formidable answers. The kind of answers that make it impossible to continue asking those questions in good faith.
And that’s why “raising questions about global warming” is not an option for a guy like Sen. Inhofe. His problem is not that he has unanswered questions. His problem is that he knows his questions have been answered and he doesn’t like the answers. He’s trying to avoid those answers — and that makes asking those questions the last thing he wants to do.
Gerson admirably would prefer that our political discourse be shaped by a calm, reasonable assessment of established facts and a prudent, logical consideration of possible actions. That’s a lovely thought, but it’s of no use to Sen. Inhofe if he hopes to continue denying the existence of climate change. Facts, reason, logic and prudence aren’t luxuries he can afford if he wants to maintain his current position.