If Scott Brown Wins (or even if he doesn’t)

YOUR Curmudgeon has been one of the few Republican voices on the science side of The Controversy between evolution and creationism. And we’ve been consistent in our opposition to the Noah’s Ark, Missionary Position wing of the GOP. See our Open Letter to the Republican Party.

Therefore, as Scott Brown (that’s a link to his campaign website) appears to be winning the vacant Senate seat in Massachusetts, we’ve been frantically searching for any hint that he may be in that Republican faction we consider an embarrassment.

If he’s on the creationist side, it will signal to party leaders that the anti-science and theocratic beliefs we find so deplorable are the key to victory. But if he’s one of the rational Republicans, it will be an outstanding victory for sanity in national politics.

So we’ve been Googling like crazy to see what we could find. And we’ve found nothing. Nothing reliable, that is. We did find this, by Jonah Goldberg, at the website of National Review Online: The Corner: 16 January 2010. It says:

Unless Bob Kerrey’s working from some information I’m unaware of, this is a pretty slimy thing for him to do. From the New York Times:

[Quoting Kerry in the Times:] The risks to the White House are both immediate and long-term. A victory by Mr. Brown would mean losing the 60th vote Democrats need to stave off a filibuster in the Senate.

“If he’s running against 60 votes and wins, that is not good,” said Bob Kerrey, a former Democratic senator from Nebraska. “It says that in Massachusetts, they are willing to elect a guy who doesn’t believe in evolution just to keep the Democrats from having 60 votes.”

Really, Scott Brown doesn’t believe in evolution? I checked Nexis-Lexis and did some quick Googling. Anyone know what he’s talking about? Maybe the Times could have clarified the charge?

Then we found this, also at National Review Online. It’s dated the next day, 17 January, and it refutes Kerry’s wild charge:

Brown spokesman Eric Fehrnstrom comments to NRO: “Scott Brown believes in evolution but in the case of Bob Kerrey he’s willing to make an exception.”

So what does this mean? First, since that’s all we’ve been able to turn up, it means that Brown isn’t a creationist. More importantly, we think it means that the future of the Republican party lies with candidates who can run on the party’s traditional values, without making fools of themselves over Noah’s Ark and all the carnal issues that seem to obsess so many, but which repel the moderates whose votes usually hold the key to electoral victory.

Copyright © 2010. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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31 responses to “If Scott Brown Wins (or even if he doesn’t)

  1. The Curmudgeon proclaims

    More importantly, we think it means that the future of the Republican party lies with candidates who can run on the party’s traditional values, without making fools of themselves over Noah’s Ark and all the carnal issues that seem to obsess so many, but which repel the moderates whose votes usually hold the key to electoral victory.

    Bravo! Heartfelt cheers from me on this! Hear, hear!

  2. Great Claw says: “Heartfelt cheers from me on this!”

    Thanks, but being a Curmudgeon means never being cheerful. Just less grumpy.

  3. You do do grump well.

  4. I’m unaware of any Republican candidates that fit that description. If Brown isn’t a Creationist, he’;s doing his best to conceal that fact from the foaming horde….

  5. Huntsman-Brown in ’16.

  6. I dislike Martha Coakley so much that I would probably vote for Brown even if he was a creationist (and I lived in Massachusetts).

  7. I’m all for the Repubs booting out the religious right. Heck, I’m going to vote for Kay Bailey Huchison in the Texas Republican primary just to get Perry off the ticket. After that, I’ll vote for a candidate I can get behind. I’m a swing voter, but I lean left. (Sorry, Curmie!)

  8. LRA says: “I’m a swing voter, but I lean left. (Sorry, Curmie!)”

    You know I make exceptions for the ladies.

  9. 😛 Thanks! LOL!

  10. Gabriel Hanna

    As far as the Enlightenment values go, I think the prosecutor who sent innocent people to prison based on fairy tales of satanism and evil clowns, and who as of 2002 was still trying to keep one of them in prison, fully deserved to lose.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gerald_Amirault

    Massachusetts is still a liberal state, and they’ve elected a liberal Republican; there are more of them than people think.

  11. Gabriel Hanna says: “Massachusetts is still a liberal state, and they’ve elected a liberal Republican …”

    He’s definitely not a “social conservative.” If he were he couldn’t have won in that state.

  12. Gabriel Hanna

    He’s definitely not a “social conservative.” If he were he couldn’t have won in that state.

    Definitely the lesser of two evils. If I’d lived in Massachusetts I’d have supported him, and if I’d lived in Utah, I wouldn’t have.

    Nationally I think the GOP needs the social conservatives; what they don’t need is social conservatives having everything their own way.

  13. Gabriel Hanna

    So now the question is, will the Senate drag their feet on seating him, or will the State drag their feet on certifiying the election, or will they keep finding absentee ballots stashed in corners of warehouses like they do here in Washington state?

    So many possibilities.

  14. Gabriel Hanna says: “Nationally I think the GOP needs the social conservatives …”

    They need their votes, not their issues. Besides, where else will the social conservatives go?

  15. Gabriel Hanna

    They need their votes, not their issues. Besides, where else will the social conservatives go?

    To third party nuttery, siphoning votes from Republican candidates; see also Nader, Ralph and Kucinich, Dennis.

    Social conservatism is not all about creationism and teh gheys.

  16. Gabriel Hanna says: “To third party nuttery …”

    Fine with me. Without them, the GOP might very well attract an even larger number of uncommitted voters, the kind who will never vote for extremists.

  17. Gabriel Hanna

    Look, you can have Europe or Israel where there’s fifteen parties and unstable coalition governments. Or you can have our system, where both parties have broad bases. That means both parties need both their wings or it doesn’t work.

    Nobody has to agree on everything, you know. For every 2 or 3 social conservatives who had to hold his nose to vote for the pro-life Brown, I have to hold my nose and vote for a creationist. I think that’s how a mature constitutional ought to work, with people realizing they can’t get everything they want.

  18. Gabriel Hanna

    Without them, the GOP might very well attract an even larger number of uncommitted voters, the kind who will never vote for extremists.

    We had that, from the 1930s to the 1980s, did we not? And those decades are known for vast increases in the size and scope of government, graceful Republican concession speeches, and roughly fifty years of one-party rule in Congress.

  19. Gabriel Hanna

    Anyway, I detest the far left, and I’m not too fond of the far right, but without the extremes to generate activism and ideas you don’t get anything but stagnation, I think.

  20. Gabriel Hanna says: “We had that, from the 1930s to the 1980s, did we not?”

    Yeah, I know. But by Zeus, the socons will be the death of the party.

  21. Gabriel Hanna

    But by Zeus, the socons will be the death of the party.

    So you keep saying, so everyone does, but why does no one seem to say that the far left will be the death of the Democratic party?

    But if you’d prefer ideological purity to governing majorities, you might have more in common with them than you think…

  22. Gabriel Hanna says: “So you keep saying, so everyone does, but why does no one seem to say that the far left will be the death of the Democratic party?”

    The far left has become the dem party, and it will be the death of the dems. But it’s taking a long time. I don’t want an extreme ideology to do the same to the GOP.

  23. Gabriel Hanna

    Well, tonight you heard Scott Brown praising Ted Kennedy and not mentioning the word “Republican”–I don’t think you have to worry about that too much.

  24. Gabriel Hanna observes:

    Look, you can have Europe or Israel where there’s fifteen parties and unstable coalition governments. Or you can have our system, where both parties have broad bases. That means both parties need both their wings or it doesn’t work.

    I see your basic point, which has some merit, but it needs some qualification. Coalition governments arise in Europe & Israel, not because of the composition of the parties, but because of proportional representation in the legislative bodies and the absence of a separate election (as you have in the US) 0for the executive branch; e.g. in the UK, the party which has the most seats in the House of Commons forms the government of the day. There isn’t a general election for the Prime Minister, he or she is simply the normally elected member of Parliament chosen by the other MP’s of his or her party to be their leader.

    It can and does happen that no one party secures an overall majority of parliamentary seats, in which case a coalition is put together (with lots of political horse-trading) to form a majority voting block. Such governments tend to be much shorter lived than ones in which one party has secured an overall majority, though I’m not sure one should characterise such governments as “unstable”; they are simply replaced by fresh coalitions which attempt a better compromise (and the political art of compromise is one of the foremost checks against rule by minority extremism).

    There are pros and cons of any system, of course. What is widely perceived (whether rightly or wrongly is a matter of opinion) in Europe of a limitation of the American system is a tendency toward governmental grid-lock when one party holds the Executive for fixed term of time while another party holds the legislature, and the political process then appears (to outsiders, at least) to consist of nothing more than political rhetoric hurled back and forth while actual governance is paralysed.

    Having lived under both systems, I have personally come to prefer the European model, but your mileage may indeed vary, and that’s fine.

  25. As a knock-kneed whinging Euro-lefty, I’d have to say congratulations to Sen Brown, who seems not to be certifiably insane. The Dems picked a godawful candidate, expected a coronation instead of an election, and got a steel-toed boot in the fundament, and well deserved too.

    FWIW, I’d say that the only way “the far left” (Do you actually have one of them in the USA?) will “destroy” the Dems will be by the Nader route. Their party generally seems as superficial, disconnected from reality and beholden to Big Money as the the other one.

    (Unlike over here, where politicians are all ascetic saints.)

    It’s cold, wet and miserable in Dublin today. Hope you’re doing better there.

  26. Curmudgeon: “So what does this mean? First, since that’s all we’ve been able to turn up, it means that Brown isn’t a creationist.”

    Apologies if this has been covered above, but the thing of concern is not whether a candidate “is a creationist” (whatever that means – and it means many different things) but whether they advocate teaching any strategy promoted by anti-evolution activist organizations. As you know many people (McCain is one I think) accept evolution but have been misled into the “fairness” nonsense. I was too years ago.

    Every student, in public school or not, is already free to learn as much anti-evolution propaganda as he wants on his own time, and on his parents’ dime. Science class is for learning science the right way, whether in public school or not. Unfortunately I do not expect to live to the day when most politicians will make that clear.

  27. Frank J notes:

    …the thing of concern is not whether a candidate “is a creationist” …but whether they advocate teaching any strategy promoted by anti-evolution activist organizations.

    Excellent point, which I am certain is well understood by Curmudgeon readers but is worth pointing out from time to time all the same. The issue is most assuredly not — as the Discoveroids would have it — one of ‘freedom of speech’ or conscience. It’s about good science in the science classroom. The notion of ‘equal time’ for solid data on the one hand and oogity-boogity on the other is just nonsense.

  28. CAVEAT TO PREVIOUS NOTE: On reflection, I have to confess to a personal failing here. While I vigorously uphold the principle of Freedom of Belief, and could theoretically stomach a political leader who was a Creationist by personal conviction but was pledged to not molest sound science teaching, in practise I find it tough to trust Creationists. That is, I find anyone who is capable of the enormous level of reality-denial to hold Creationist beliefs to be someone of very questionable rationality, and I can only feel dubious about his or her ability to make rational decisions in other spheres. I’ll grant this is something of a prejudice on my part, but there it is.

  29. Frank J says:

    … the thing of concern is not whether a candidate “is a creationist” (whatever that means – and it means many different things) but whether they advocate teaching any strategy promoted by anti-evolution activist organizations.

    I know. You may recall that I was willing to tolerate Sarah Palin’s creationism, as long as it remained her private affair.

    Rather than merely expressing relief that Brown isn’t a creationist, I should have said “creationist activist” or something like that. I’ve always maintained that our private beliefs are nobody’s business. It’s political actions that concern me.

  30. Great Claw says:

    … I find anyone who is capable of the enormous level of reality-denial to hold Creationist beliefs to be someone of very questionable rationality, and I can only feel dubious about his or her ability to make rational decisions in other spheres.

    Yes, that’s always a serious concern.

  31. Gabriel Hanna

    Yes, that’s always a serious concern.

    For me, it’s not, because I am surrounded every day by highly intelligent people who believe in a lot of nuttery; they, no doubt, think I’m the nut, and it may well be true.

    Nonetheless, the lot of us function just fine in our sphere of expertise.