Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Deming's opinion

David Deming -- a professor of geophysics at the University of Oregon -- is a politically active academic who is, if he were on the other side (like James Hansen), be criticized by skeptics.

But Deming is OK because he's on their side.v But his views are extreme and, more important, wrong.

Just look at this op-ed piece he published in The Edmund Sun on Sept 24, 2008, in which he wrote:
Obama is a vapid demagogue, a hollow man that despises American culture. He is ill-suited to be president of the United States. As the weeks pass, more Americans will come to this realization and elect McCain/Palin in a landslide.
He could hardly have been more wrong.

Why doesn't this matter?


Steve Bloom said...

Arguably it doen't matter because of how Oklahoma turned out in the election.

Anyway, notice that Deming couldn't even construct an opening paragraph without resorting to large-scale historical revisionism:

"When Benjamin Franklin was dispatched to France as ambassador of the United States in 1776, he won the hearts of the French through his authenticity. Rather than take on an affected and phony continental style, Franklin eschewed the powdered wig of the European gentleman and donned the fur cap of an American frontiersman. Original genius and polymath, Franklin understood that the French would see through any false pretension but respect an authenticity that sprang from an unpretentious and naive love of country."

This is from a review of a current biography:

"One of the most famous men in the world when he landed in France in December 1776, his arrival caused a sensation -- he was celebrated as a man of genius, a successor to Newton and Galileo, and treated as a great dignitary(.)"

So it would seem that his reputation preceded him, and of course for such a person to affect rusticity was itself a form of pretension (and perhaps aimed as much at the local population of available females as anywhere else).

Also, "naive"? What a bizarre thing to say.

And the piece went downhill from there.

Note that comments were allowed but that there weren't any, so arguably it didn't matter to much of anyone.

Dano said...


this is not a piece to relay correct facts. It is a piece designed to get a certain audience's head nodding yes, then when they are in an accepting mood, the message is delivered.

It is a standard-template op-ed. The only thing different from the 46 other similar op-eds that come out every week from the right-wing think-tank noise machine is the details and the message.

Like Steve said: yawn.




Blogger apparently has changed it's word verification routine to produce pseudo-words. Sometimes they are amusingly similar to the tone of blog posts. Check it out!