Michael Gerson is outraged by President Obama's claim that the Democratic Party believes in "facts, and science, and argument:"
Obama clearly believes that his brand of politics represents "facts and science and argument." His opponents, in disturbing contrast, are using the more fearful, primitive portion of their brains. Obama views himself as the neocortical leader -- the defender, not just of the stimulus package and health-care reform but also of cognitive reasoning. His critics rely on their lizard brains -- the location of reptilian ritual and aggression. Some, presumably Democrats, rise above their evolutionary hard-wiring in times of social stress; others, sadly, do not.
Though there is plenty of competition, these are some of the most arrogant words ever uttered by an American president.
Daniel Larison gives Gerson a full bar for this nonsense, but he doesn't deserve it; it doesn't take much to show that the Republican Party is nothing but contemptuous of empirical reality. To use a prominent example, the Republican Party is alone among Western political parties that denies the scientific consensus around global warming. As The New York Times recently noted, none of the Republicans running for Senate this cycle "accept the scientific consensus that humans are largely responsible for global warming." And of course, this to say nothing of the GOP's evidence-free belief in voter fraud, and it's theological devotion to tax cuts.
President Obama and the Democratic Party might not be right about everything, but they at least operate in an empirically verified reality. That's far more than you can say for the Republican Party, and I think Gerson knows it.
-- Jamelle Bouie