Monday, August 03, 2009

Chris Matthews on Hardball

What follows is a portion of a transcript from Chris Matthews' "Hardball" program in which Matthews interviews representative Jim Moran (D-VA) and representative Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA). I'll add my own comments as pull quotes. This conversation is very instructive and illustrates something about the left's tactics and their preparedness. These people do no have truth on their side and they reveal this when they refuse to respond to Rohrabacher's reasons for being skeptical of global warming and instead resort to character assassination.

I've edited out some brief exchanges which aren't relevant and/or don't contribute anything meaningful.

REP. MORAN: Because I'm reading what the experts are telling us, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, all of the most credible scientists other than those that are being paid by the industry to support the industry. And now the industries are siding with the scientists. They understand this debate has taken place for decades, and they've lost it.

Moran protects himself by, right out front, characterizing anyone who disagrees with his position as having been corrupted by the industry.

The fact is, it is real. The globe is warming. There are hundreds of millions of people that live within a few feet of the oceans' borders, and their lives are in danger. In fact, the world economy --

REP. ROHRABACHER: And this is caused by mankind? This is caused by humans?


REP. ROHRABACHER: Okay. Well, if it's caused by mankind, why do we have those same temperature fluctuations going on on Mars and Jupiter? Isn't it more likely that the sun is causing this rather than the automobiles?

REP. MORAN: Dana, you know, it doesn't get us anywhere --

Let the evasion begin. Moran can't answer the question.

REP. ROHRABACHER: Come on. Answer the argument.

REP. MORAN: -- to argue this point. I'm going to rely upon the experts.

And Rohrabacher's not relying on experts when he says that Mars and Jupiter exhibit similar warming patterns?

REP. ROHRABACHER: Answer the argument, the scientific argument, that we have fluctuations going on on Mars and Jupiter that parallel what's going on here.

REP. MORAN: Dana --

REP. ROHRABACHER: And if that's the case --

REP. MORAN: -- read the scientists --

Moran remains unable to answer the evidence Rohrabacher offers. He's clueless. The data from Mars and Jupiter come from scientists.

REP. ROHRABACHER: That's science. No, that is science.

REP. ROHRABACHER: By the way, let me just point out that Dr. Richard Lindzen, the top scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, along with hundreds of other scientists throughout the world, totally disagree with what you're trying to say, Chris. And I would suggest to the audience to take a look at global warming skeptics and Google that and see these top-level scientists --

MR. MATTHEWS: Oh, I know they exist. They're in the papers all the time.

REP. ROHRABACHER: -- from around the world --

MR. MATTHEWS: The ads run in every paper.

REP. MORAN: Dana, these are the last gasps of a dying party. You know, to continue to fight this in the same way you fought the link between cancer and smoking --

Still no substantive rebuttal from Moran. Now he's attacking Rohrabacher's party.

REP. ROHRABACHER: Oh, well, there you go again.

REP. MORAN: -- this is where we are today.

REP. ROHRABACHER: Don't answer the argument.

REP. MORAN: You've got to look to the --

REP. ROHRABACHER: Don't answer the scientific argument that it was warming through all these fluctuations.

MR. MATTHEWS: Let me ask you about --

REP. ROHRABACHER: What we have here is a normal fluctuation of weather patterns over the world's history, and with a power grab trying to tax this money from the American people with that as an excuse.

REP. MORAN: We're trying to save the planet.

REP. ROHRABACHER: There's your climate change disaster.

REP. MORAN: And we're creating millions of green jobs in the process --

MR. MATTHEWS: Mr. Rohrabacher --

REP. MORAN: -- of saving the planet.

MR. MATTHEWS: I wonder if Mr. Moran has a point. I want to know if you'd respond to it this way.


MR. MATTHEWS: Is there a cultural divide between the two parties that goes beyond this issue, where one party is more traditional in its values? It relies more on faith than on science. For example, we've had people on this program -- I'm sure they're all over the country -- who don't believe in evolution. They don't believe in biology the way it's taught. They don't accept the way that we --

Here it comes.


MR. MATTHEWS: Well, are you one of those?

REP. ROHRABACHER: Chris, that's a good way to shut down the argument -- case closed.

MR. MATTHEWS: No, I'm asking the question. If it's not true, the answer is no.

REP. ROHRABACHER: No, you're not. What you're doing is trying to throw other things in there to poison the well of an argument.

MR. MATTHEWS: How is this another thing?

REP. ROHRABACHER: How about tackling the argument, Chris, that solar activity has caused these fluctuations in the past? How about saying -- how about answering the argument that those people who --

MR. MATTHEWS: Okay, the reason I do that is to get back to scientific method.

What does Matthews care about the scientific method? Rohrabacher's presenting scientific data and Matthews and Moran are unable to refute it. They have no answer. Now they're going to try to paint Rohrabacher as a person who disregards science when actually it's Matthews and Moran who are disregarding science.

REP. ROHRABACHER: Let me finish my one point.

MR. MATTHEWS: Do you accept the method?

REP. ROHRABACHER: Let me finish my one point. They started the global warming -- their baseline started at a 500-year low in temperature. Is that the way you decide what's warming? How about the fact that we've had warming trends and cooling trends --


REP. ROHRABACHER: -- that lasted -- like, for example, during the '40s, '50s and '60s, there was a cooling trend even though CO2 was on the rise. How about answering all those solid scientific questions --

MR. MATTHEWS: Well, I just want to know whether --

Again, still no answer to yet MORE scientific data. Rohrabacher's got 'em runnin' scared.

REP. ROHRABACHER: -- rather than trying to poison the well with that type of nonsense?

MR. MATTHEWS: I'm not. I'm asking, do we accept science? Do you accept science? Do you accept evolution, for example?

So if you don't accept evolution, then you don't accept science. Because, as everyone knows, evolution is an absolute fact and you had better not question it.

REP. ROHRABACHER: I just gave you scientific --

MR. MATTHEWS: You won't answer the question, will you?

No, Matthews is the one who's evading a question here. See how he's trying to turn this around on Rohrabacher and put him on the defensive? Diabolical.

REP. ROHRABACHER: No, no, no. I just gave you scientific challenges on this issue, and you throw that kind of garbage back at me.

MR. MATTHEWS: It's not garbage if you --


MR. MATTHEWS: Well, is evolution garbage?

REP. ROHRABACHER: No, wait. How come you are trying to argue creationism when you're supposed to be talking about global warming? The bottom line --

MR. MATTHEWS: Because it gets to method.

REP. ROHRABACHER: No, no, because you're trying to poison the well.

MR. MATTHEWS: How do you logically achieve truth? Do you go through a scientific method or do you go through something called this general skepticism toward science --

Matthews is ignorant. If science can only pursue naturalistic explanations for all questions, then science isn't about discovering truth because IF it's true that there is a "supernatural" cause behind the universe, and science by definition cannot consider such explanations, then science must replace that truth with a lie.

Secondly, science is all about skepticism. Skepticism is healthy in science. It's how you discover truth if truth is what you're concerned with discovering. But Matthews isn't concerned with truth at all.