The “Republicans hate science, vaccine edition” news cycle has run its course, which is good because it was based on a lie. Time for a new “Republicans hate science” news cycle, this one based on an old media favorite. Here’s the very end of a discussion Walker had in London today on trade policy, which is pretend-scandalizing lefty Twitter as I write this. You believe in evolution, his British interviewer asked? Quote:
“I’m going to punt on that one as well,” Walker said after being asked if he was comfortable with the idea of evolution, and if he believes in it. “That’s a question a politician shouldn’t be involved in one way or the other.”
Not the most elegant way of avoiding a question with an obvious agenda, but it’s one way. Another would have been to reply by asking the interviewer when he thinks human life begins, or what his opinion is of genetically modified foods, or fracking. Anti-science gotchas run both ways, although you wouldn’t know it from how Democrats are routinely spared questions about their own pet skepticisms. Another alternative suggested by Sean Davis of the Federalist is for candidates to bone up on the finer points of recent research into evolutionary theory and be ready to counter when this question is inevitably raised. The point of a question like this, after all, is to imply that the candidate’s an ignoramus; respond by asking the interviewer what he thinks about, say, punctuated equilibrium and watch those ignoramus tables turn. Or, assuming that Walker’s skeptical of evolution, he could have chucked all that and gotten cute by answering, “Like a majority of black Protestants in the United States, I question the science.” That might not satisfy a British interviewer but it would shut an American reporter up real fast.
Two things. One: Conservative reporters should be tossing gotchas like this at Hillary and other top Democrats at every opportunity. It’ll be a lesson to the wider media that two can and will play at this game if they insist on playing it. The questions don’t even have to be science-related. A few suggestions from Red State’s Dan McLaughlin:
Just some of the things liberals have argued for that Democratic politicians should get asked pic.twitter.com/VgfYRMnBvE
— Dan McLaughlin (@baseballcrank) February 11, 2015
Two: If any Republican candidate feels trapped by a question like this, I encourage him to lie his balls off about his true position to protect himself and then reveal it later once he’s safely elected. That’s the Obama way, after all.
Speaking of which, below the Walker clip you’ll find video of another guy who once decided he’d rather punt on a knotty question about science.