Will Obama Continue the Assault on Science During the State of the Union?
Barack Obama is not at a great moment in his presidency. His numbers are terrible. Obamacare, his signature legislation, is a fiasco. His attempts to make peace in the Middle East -- let's be charitable here -- have not borne fruit. The labor participation rate is at a thirty year low. Things are pretty bad for the president (and for the country, I am sad to say).
At moments like this people do strange things. Word is that President Obama is going to ignore the freezing weather and say something about "global warming" or "climate change" or "stormy weather," or whatever the euphemism of the moment may be, during the State of the Union address Tuesday night.
It's a sign of desperation -- fewer people believe in this now than ever -- an attempt to change the discussion and a sop to his left wing. Also, it's a power grab, in concert with his desire to circumvent a supposedly do-nothing Congress.
But it's worse than that. If he goes this way, he will be attacking and discrediting, and therefore undermining, something far more important than he , or any other president in history, could ever be -- science.
I don't know how much Barack Obama knows about science. I'm skeptical he knows much. His college and graduate school grades have been a state secret beyond anything even Eric Snowden could ferret out. But we can assume they're not terrific in the science area. They may not be as bad as Al Gore's D in geology, although Obama was attending Occidental, not Harvard, when he was required to study science. No one knows what happened when he was at Columbia. In any case, he doesn't evince a public interest in science. He hobnobs with Beyonce and Jay Z, not Nobel Prize winners in chemistry.