Bret Stephens on Political Boy Wonder Robby Mook’s faith, and Climate Science ‘hysteria’. A comment by American Pragmatist

The completely disingenuous character of Mr. Bret Stephens comparison of Robby Mook’s imagined assertion that  ‘The data run counter to your anecdotes’ as central to the fact that Mrs. Clinton would win, as a matter of a belief based on science. Stephens compares this to Climate Scientists predictions of global warming, as somehow being equal, in terms of the exercise of Science.
This makes utterly plain where Mr. Stephens stands as Corporatist . Deliberate confusion of these two issues, is the point, to one the lamest exercises of political propaganda, since the latest Thomas Friedman or David Brooks columns . Stephens fits right in as the latest addition to the New York Times roster of pundits.

Matt Taibbi, at Rolling Stone offers a more balanced view of the revelation of the Clinton arrogance/incompetence, not to speak of Bill’s purging the Party Apparatus of those not sufficiently loyal , or better yet, not sufficiently deferential to the Hillary loyalists. These and other revelations offered by the Jonathan Allen and Amie Parnes’ book.

Taibbi didn’t use those revelations as part of a dull-witted plan to attack Science, and Scientists who study and advocate for climate change legislation. Using the arrogance of Political Boy Wonder Robby Mook*, and his misplaced faith in the science of polling, as cudgel to attack those ‘hysterical’ reformers. All this proving that Stephens is just another denier ,with an inflated notion of the power of his rhetorical interventions.

Mr. Stephens is inept at the production of a propaganda that apes verisimilitude!
Political polling is based on statistical models, given that the questions asked of the subjects are the same, in each case the data gathered can vary widely, and that data collected and collated has proven in the past to be unreliable, again and again. If the polling was done in-house why wouldn’t those technocrats tell Mook what he wanted to hear? Or perhaps this was an act of bad faith exercised by Mook. Besides a stunning lack of imagination, Mr. Stephens hasn’t, in his career in journalism, ever engaged in the age old ‘cover your ass’ maneuver ?

The computer modeling about global warming is not based on the vagaries of the person, or her/his ambition, or just plain incompetence, but on objectified data, run through models that can play out various scenarios, over time. These models can be changed in the light of newer data: it is an evolutionary process of refinement, that attempts to describe the possible/probable in natural phenomenon, using data gathered over time. If your work fails to meet the critiques of your fellow scientists, in a wold-wide community of inquirers, you need to revise your models in light of their research: All this eludes Mr. Stephens attention for ideological reasons.

He is a defender of ‘Free Markets’ and as such his construction of  Climate Science’s ‘hysteria’ is not about anything but the crudest form of  apologetics for the Fossil Fuel Industry. Mr. Stephens doesn’t model himself on his mentor AEI’s Prof. Kass, but on Norman Podhoretz’s notorious ‘Making It’. That presents cynicism, opportunism, bathed in self-congratulation in all its iterations, as the key to the life of one of Neo-Conservatism most notorious self-advertisers.

*Mr. Stephens became the editor of the Jerusalem Post at age 28, so he shares the status as yesterday’s Political Boy Wonder with Mr. Mook.

American Pragmatist


About stephenkmacksd

Rootless cosmopolitan,down at heels intellectual;would be writer. 'Polemic is a discourse of conflict, whose effect depends on a delicate balance between the requirements of truth and the enticements of anger, the duty to argue and the zest to inflame. Its rhetoric allows, even enforces, a certain figurative licence. Like epitaphs in Johnson’s adage, it is not under oath.'
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