Repubs begin owning up: GOP has a Problem with Charlatans

March 15, 2012

Barry Bickmore is a Republican, a Mormon, and a geochemist. His blog is

Anti Climate Change Extremism in Utah

Conservative commentator and provocateur, Ann Coulter, recently gave a talk at the Lincoln Day dinner for the the Indian River County, FL Republican Party.  (See the video below.)  When an audience member asked about the prospect of a brokered convention, she first took a dig at Sarah Palin.

Yes, and one of the ones promoting that is Sarah Palin, who has suggested herself as the choice.  I think as long as it’s between us girls — I’ve been observing something about her. I don’t think it’s likely to happen. I don’t know what these people are cheering for. I mean, as I wrote in a column a few weeks back, who is this dream candidate we’re hoping to get from the convention, because Rick Perry used to be the dream candidate. Could we see them in a debate first?

Then Coulter went on to say what she thought the larger problem in the GOP is.

And just a more corporate problem is I think our party and particularly our movement, the conservative movement, does have more of a problem with con men and charlatans than the Democratic Party….  The incentives seem to be set up to allow people…as long as you have a band of a few million fanatical followers, you can make money….  The Democrats have managed to figure out how not to do that.  I mean, Dennis Kucinich is a nut, he has millions of fanatical followers–he doesn’t get a show on MSNBC….   No, no, no, no, no.  You embarrass us, and drag this thing out–you are finished in the Democratic Party.

This is nowhere more evident than in the climate policy debate.  The Republican Party is beset by “con men and charlatans” whose specialty is to convince people that there is no climate change problem.  And why do we believe them?  Because for people who think we should try to solve problems with as little government regulation as possible, it’s always easier to deny there is a problem at all.  Figuring out non-invasive strategies for tackling society’s problems is difficult, after all, and it’s even more difficult to sell them to a public that wants the government to “do something” when a problem pops up.  And so we desperately want to believe that big problems are overblown or nonexistent.  Whenever a group of people “desperately wants to believe” something, there will always be someone willing to tell them what they want to hear, whether the opportunists are charlatans or simply nutjobs.

When conservatives fall for this, however, we are breaking one of our own cardinal rules–the Law of Unintended Consequences.   That is, one of the standard conservative arguments against the growth of government regulation is that purposeful actions always have unintended consequences.  For instance, if we intend to set up a universal health care system, there may well be unintended consequences for the national debt and the economic health of small business.  But couldn’t we anticipate the same thing if we elect conspiracy theorist nutjobs?

Below, see Bickmore’s lecture, “How to Avoid the Truth on Climate Change”…

5 Responses to “Repubs begin owning up: GOP has a Problem with Charlatans”

  1. It’s a staggering and terrifying moment to hear Ann Coulter talk sense. What’s going on? That’s her, right there…talking sense… The only explanation is I have died and I’m now experiencing my final hypoxic hallucination.

    • MorinMoss Says:

      I hear you – it’s incredibly surreal to hear that hatemongering anorexic actually make sense.
      This must be a very early April Fool’s joke.

  2. What makes sense is that Ms. Coulter doesn’t want to compete with GOP campaign losers for Fox News airtime.

  3. otter17 Says:

    Huh, she is talking a bit of sense, except that she seems more concerned about Republican party image than anything else. In any case, when she begins citing facts from reputable sources, versus spouting unsubstantiated opinion, then we are on to something.

  4. […] Repubs begin owning up: GOP has a Problem with Charlatans ( […]

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