Jonathan Chait of New York Magazine has a very solid piece which we linked to in our picks section earlier today decrying the runaway political correctness on college campuses. It contains a robust restatement and endorsement of the fundamental liberal case for democracy and free expression. Good for him.
Except that Chait doesn’t seem to live by his own principles. Because last week he wrote a column in which he argued that climate skepticism ought to disqualify someone from holding public office:
The Republican Party confidently and forthrightly rejects the firm conclusions of science on a major public-policy question. Isn’t that a completely disqualifying position? If a candidate for a managerial job at your office insists that two plus three equals seven, it wouldn’t matter how well-qualified this candidate may be at any other aspect of the job. Even if you agreed with everything else the Republicans stood for, how could a party so obviously unhinged be entrusted with power?
Never mind Chait’s completely tendentious rendering of the climate debate in those three sentences: I guess there are limits to Chait’s embrace of free expression. Or perhaps this is best marked off as another example of the axiom of Charles Peguy: “It will never be known what acts of cowardice have been committed for fear of not looking sufficiently progressive.”
JOHN adds: In my opinion, Chait is a person of extremely limited intelligence. Put aside for the moment the fact that he knows nothing about climate science, or science in general. He thinks Republicans are “unhinged,” and should be disqualified from public office. But how about Democrats? Are they lining up behind proposals to de-carbonize our economy, and impoverish the American people? Of course not. When they controlled both the House and the Senate, they couldn’t even pass cap and trade, which John McCain favored. So are Democrats “unhinged”? Or just cowardly? Chait is, I think, a foolish person to whom no attention should be paid.