Friday, September 05, 2008

Meet the new boss

Key Alaska allies of John McCain are trying to derail a politically charged investigation into Gov. Sarah Palin's firing of her public safety commissioner in order to prevent a so-called "October surprise" that would produce embarrassing information about the vice presidential candidate on the eve of the election.

In a move endorsed by the McCain campaign Friday, John Coghill, the GOP chairman of the state House Rules Committee, wrote a letter seeking a meeting of Alaska's bipartisan Legislative Council in order to remove the Democratic state senator in charge of the so-called "troopergate" investigation.

Coghill charged that the senator, Hollis French, had "politicized" the probe by making a number of public comments in recent days, including telling ABC News that Palin had a "credibility problem" and that the investigation into the firing of public safety commissioner Walter Monegan was "likely to be damaging to the administration" and could be an "October surprise." Wrote Coghill: "The investigation appears to be lacking in fairness, neutrality and due process."

Because the Republicans would NEVER pursue politically motivated investigations...

Call me lazy, but I am just going to point to what I wrote almost 4 years ago:

One of the basic questions about how we make our way through the world is, “What do you do when belief and data collide?” A core tenet of post-Enlightenment Western society is that a rational person will drop a hypothesis that is contradicted by good empirical evidence. It is the scientific method enshrined by Descartes and Bacon, and, for good or ill, it has given us every scrap of technology and science. But we see evidence in every corner that this is not how people live their lives.

Bizarre hybrids like “Creation Science” notwithstanding, fundamentalist religion rejects reason. Reason embraces the possibility of error; absolutist religion must deny it. By definition, Fundamentalists maintain belief by rejecting the data.

For the hard core, no amount of corruption or immoral behavior will change votes -- they will reject all engative data about their new sweetheart/savior. (Think about the type of mental gymnastics required for adults to ecstatically embrace a leader they had not heard of a week before.) But every drip of bad news slices off a few wavering souls who have not completely abandoned reason. So of course McCain will seek to shut off the bad news at the source.

I hope Obama wins anyway. But I do not envy him the messes he will inherit, or the hornet's nest of ignorance that will stand in the way of every effort to repair the damage they have done.


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