Should Dems Be Less Critical of Gosar?


A bit of a brouhaha erupted in the comment section of AZ BlueMeanie’s recent post, Paul Gosar embarrasses Arizona (again) with an insult to the Pope. On account of his climate denialism, Gosar will be boycotting the Pope when he visits Washington. Our conservative commenters, Dang and Steve, both rose to Gosar’s defense. And Thucky, using the pseudonym John Huppenthal, even came out of retirement to help the cause.

I’m not arguing that Gosar isn’t a first-class douche. Of course he is. But, when it comes to climate change, doesn’t he serve as a foil for some of the Dems my colleagues have supported on these pages?

After all, haven’t the Democrats been grossly negligent on this front, especially those who are Ready for Ms. “I’m keeping my position on Keystone a secret”?

Check out Bill Curry in This is a climate-change nightmare: Droughts rage and fires burn, while evil ALEC and hapless Democrats dither. 

In this passage, Curry identifies part of the problem:

Just as same-sex marriage and the minimum wage were left to state referenda or courts to decide, climate policy is left to executive orders and treaties that don’t need ratifying. That Congress acts only to obstruct is mainly the fault of Republicans and the fossil-fuel industry, but also of Democrats who won’t talk about tough issues till their pollsters blow the all’s-clear whistle. When a progressive political party won’t inform and arouse the public, people question its reason for being.


Democrats ridicule Republicans as science deniers, which of course they are. But when it comes to science many Democrats have selective hearing. If experts from MIT, the IPCC and the IEA say a global holocaust is coming and we aren’t doing enough to stop it, we must listen. Science isn’t infallible. But given the odds and the stakes, we must act faster and more forcefully than any leading Democrat now proposes.

Money, of course, is the other part of the Democrats’ problem. Here’s what we may get if the Democratic frontrunner is elected:

In 2010 Hillary Clinton, nominal front-runner for the Democratic presidential nomination, said she was “inclined” to approve the Keystone XL pipeline. In July she told a man at a New Hampshire town hall meeting he’d get her final answer when she became president. As Bill McKibben noted in an open letter to her, she spent her years as secretary of state flying around the world telling developing nations to get into the fracking business.

Where money is concerned Clinton’s sense of entitlement clouds her ethical sense. The Huffington Post reports that two Canadian banks backing the pipeline ponied up most of the $1.6 million she collected for eight speeches given from 2014 to 2015. One of the banks laid out another $1.6 million to hear Bill talk. The Clintons see nothing wrong in it, but the banks knew what they were buying. No reform will be safe until the entire “pay to play politics” machine, not just the Clintons’, is smashed.

Are Hillary and the Democrats better than the Republicans? Of course. But will that matter if we can’t do better than the Democrats we’re supporting?

This is what Earth may look like after a 3° rise in temperatures: sea levels rise by 35 to 75 feet, wiping out every major coastal city and forcing mass evacuations on every continent; whole nations in tropical or desert climes become uninhabitable; what’s left of Europe suffers temperatures well above those that took 25,000 French and German lives in the great summer heat wave of 2003; America’s breadbasket becomes a dust bowl; people the world over go to war over water.

When you think about it, Democrats are peddling their own brand of denialism. They’re happy to use the issue of climate change for political advantage, but they’re unwilling to commit themselves to saving the planet. Especially if doing so might cause them to suffer politically for an election cycle or two.

So, bashing Gosar may make folks feel good, but if the effect is to make weak-kneed Democrats more comfortable with their own position, how productive is it?


  1. One minor correction, Bob: I didn’t jump to the defense of Gosar. I think he is wrong to deny climate change. As I have stated many times before, I think climate change is occurring, but I don’t think man is the primary cause and I object to the idea of punishing the developed world for it’s success.

    I do agree with you that climate change is heavily politicized. Because of that I think it is almost impossible to have rational discussions about it. Also think that there is way too much money involved for anyone to remain unbiased for long.

  2. The answer to your first question is No, Dems definitely should be critical of Paul Gosar. The reason is that while Democratic polticians have not made piblic their views on Keystone XL, which is only one in a number of projects that will affect climate, they are NOT denying science. They have accepted and acknowledged the science behind global warming. Their refusal to express an opinion is an attempt to avoid being beaten up for making hard decisions, not to avoid the acceptance of reality as Paul Gosar is doing. Eventually those hard decisions will be made, and their are a number of ways to get to a carbon neutral world many of which will be more effective than blocking one project. But Gosar in refusing to accept reality will Definitely make the wrong decisions because he is working from the wrong initial principle.

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