Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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December 21, 2009

DIVINE PRECIPITATION.... Remember, as far as most of the Republican establishment is concerned, disgraced former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) is the ultimate "ideas man," if not a bona fide "visionary." National Journal recently asked Republican insiders to name "the most creative thinker" in the GOP. Gingrich was easily the biggest vote getter.

If ol' Newt is the intellectual Republican powerhouse, the GOP has cause for concern.

Newt Gingrich became the latest to play the ridiculous "it's snowing so global warming must be a hoax" card. Gingrich took to Twitter -- where he's been schooled before -- on Saturday morning to share a few thoughts about the storm:

newtgingrich As callista and i watched what dc weather says will be 12 to 22 inches of snow i wondered if God was sending a message about copenhagen

Got that? A snowstorm along the East coast in December was, according to the former Speaker, a divine signal about international efforts to combat climate change. Seriously.

Other far-right voices, meanwhile, were convinced that the storm was evidence of divine opposition to health care reform.

Just so we're clear, in the 21st century, prominent conservative voices are exploring the hidden messages from God in winter storms.


Steve Benen 9:20 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (29)

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Working on that theory, I just saw eight ibises eating bugs in my backyard. That must mean that God wants me to pay my lawn care bill.

Posted by: Mustang Bobby on December 21, 2009 at 9:27 AM | PERMALINK

If gawd were sending a message, it would be "See, dumbass, climate change is happening big time."

Posted by: Skepticat on December 21, 2009 at 9:27 AM | PERMALINK

And we wonder why America is so incapable of evolution and progression.

I saw a bit on the news just a month or so ago where a teabagger was interviewed and stated he (they) wanted America to return to it's state of 100 years ago.

This is what we face. AN all out affront on reason and science. And we're losing, at least the perception war.

Posted by: citizen_pain on December 21, 2009 at 9:27 AM | PERMALINK

If I remember correctly we had a major storm here in NY last 12/19 or so. Morons. Nor'easters are far more common now then when I was younger, guessing as a result of global warming.

Posted by: JM on December 21, 2009 at 9:28 AM | PERMALINK

Newt is from the south, he knows the value of tele-evangelicalism...

Posted by: H.Finn on December 21, 2009 at 9:32 AM | PERMALINK

We can laugh but everytime we do, some cable-TV yakker will point out how godless lefties are sneering at real Americans. Republicans are "in the zone" now. All their talking points serve to buttress an alternative reality where heartland authenticity matters more than facts, science, and complexity.

Posted by: walt on December 21, 2009 at 9:33 AM | PERMALINK

If Newt thinks that the snow storm disproves climate change, will he think climate change has been re-proven if there's a hot spell some where next summer?

Posted by: Emily on December 21, 2009 at 9:34 AM | PERMALINK

Happy winter solstice everyone...

Posted by: koreyel on December 21, 2009 at 9:36 AM | PERMALINK

Funny how Newt doesn't understand that science isn't a belief.

He has to prove god exists to make his point.

But then again, I'm not sure he even understands that weather and climate are not one and the same.

Posted by: Tom Nicholson on December 21, 2009 at 9:50 AM | PERMALINK

As I recall, global warming science predicts wild oscillations in local weather. It also predicts the melt down of polar ice. 2-fer-2, folks.

Count me among those who had a difficult time trying to understand how scientists could measure increases in global climate over decades in terms of degrees or how they measured the rise of ocean levels in centimeters. Not that I didn't believe them. I just couldn't get my head around the concept of measuring the ocean level at all, let alone a tiny difference over time. I went to see Al Gore's movie and had that AHHHH! moment. It was the chart that showed the correlation between CO2 levels and warming. The curves followed nicely and made sense. But it was the current measurement of CO2 (off the chart) that REALLY got my attention. I remember nothing else about the movie but that chart. That and how every single prediction of ice melt has been accelerated. I'm thinking we are already hosed. I'm such an optimist :-)

Posted by: Chopin on December 21, 2009 at 9:50 AM | PERMALINK

Redstate also used the snowstorm to suggest God's disapproval of the health care bill, again indicating that it's a shame stupidity doesn't cause physical pain.

Posted by: jb on December 21, 2009 at 9:54 AM | PERMALINK

To believe that hizzoner uncle newtie conflates climate and weather in the inner sanctums of newtieness , is to believe that Barnum didn't know that the Egress was an exit bird .

Posted by: FRP on December 21, 2009 at 9:57 AM | PERMALINK

Conservative Logic 101

1. God made the earth and all living things
2. Some people feel that their actions have, and will, cause harm to the earth and all living things on the planet
3. Like minded people get together to try to reverse/halt the damage to the earth
4. In the eyes of the average conservative they are evil for trying to protect what their god made!

And they wonder why we think they are NUTS!

Posted by: mat1492 on December 21, 2009 at 10:01 AM | PERMALINK

He's writing and speaking for people who automatically discount whatever you or I may say, Steve. Since that's the case, is can only be correct, and his every utterance is viewed with enthusiasm and the respect due to a Very Serious Person.

I expect he'll be on all the Sunday talking head shows this coming week.

Posted by: Balakirev on December 21, 2009 at 10:04 AM | PERMALINK

Thank goodness Twitter allows only 140 characters, because the full-on whoring to the base comment would be something along the lines of "The snowstorm proves global warming is wrong because God is trying to make our Muslim president go back to Kenya and the only solution to this snowpocalypse is more tax cuts, deregulation, and killing healthcare reform for good."

There. Fixed it for you Newt.

Posted by: petorado on December 21, 2009 at 10:08 AM | PERMALINK

I understand that thunder is god voicing his anger as well

Posted by: dk on December 21, 2009 at 10:13 AM | PERMALINK

In addition to the flawed logic ("if it's snowing global warming must be a hoax!") Newtie's so self-centered and chauvinistic, too - for him it has to be WASHINGTON that's the benchmark to notice - as if the assembled international leaders a continent away in Scandinavia would give a shit what the weather is in a swampy mid-Atlantic American town.

Posted by: g on December 21, 2009 at 10:15 AM | PERMALINK

If God is so involved in our daily lives that he sends political messages in the form of weather events, why the heck doesn't he do something about the billion people on Earth who are malnourished?

Posted by: Virginia on December 21, 2009 at 10:20 AM | PERMALINK

A couple thoughts:

1. Why the hell were the Copenhagen talks even scheduled in the winter? It's not just republicans, but the American public in general that equates "today's weather" with global climate trends. Granted, Copenhagen is about international talks, but the biggest players in CO2 emissions all come from the northern hemisphere.

2. The religious belief system (and conservatism belief by default) is centered around divining "signs" from the environment or trying to make sense out of the incomprehensible. That's why, for example, God was avenging gays in New Orleans during 2005. When the devastating effects of climate change really start hitting home, these same people will start assigning conclusions for the "why" just like they do now. Floods, heat waves, and crop failures will be God's punishment for our wayward ways. Not because we drive SUVs and burn coal, but because we allowed gays to marry and because we didn't stop abortions.

Posted by: oh my on December 21, 2009 at 10:33 AM | PERMALINK

You would think people who attribute everything to God would be more willing and interested in saving God's creation.

But then again, if they had any logical consistency they wouldn't be Republicans, so ...

Posted by: Mark D on December 21, 2009 at 10:46 AM | PERMALINK

Republicans can pray to God all they want that he/she will answer GOP prayers that Obama will fail, that health reform and climate change legislation will be blocked, that al Qaeda prisoners will remain in Guantanamo, etc.

What conservatives fail to accept is that sometimes God's answer is, "No."

Posted by: pj in jesusland on December 21, 2009 at 10:56 AM | PERMALINK

why the heck doesn't he do something about the billion people on Earth who are malnourished?

It's too busy deciding the fate of every football team.

Posted by: qwerty on December 21, 2009 at 10:57 AM | PERMALINK

Senator Byrds continued existence is proof that God is a liberal and loves us. Senator Coburn must now be regarded by any professing to be God fearing as a satanist.

Posted by: the seal on December 21, 2009 at 10:58 AM | PERMALINK

One hopes Newt the newt was attempting drollery.

Posted by: buddy66 on December 21, 2009 at 11:02 AM | PERMALINK

I'm just waiting for Newt or some other head-up-their-ass conservative gasbag to go on "Meet the Press" or write an op-ed (which the Washington Post or the New York Times will gleefully publish) stating that the Earth is flat and the entire universe revolves around it. Obviously, to rational people this sounds insane, but I'm fully expecting it to happen in the next two years or so.

Posted by: electrolite on December 21, 2009 at 11:36 AM | PERMALINK

So in Newt's reality it doesn't snow in the winter time in the northeast? Except when God wants to punish libruls? Maybe God is just giving the republicans an extra kick in the ass for trying to derail healthcare reform. It is kind of amusing every time there is some natural disaster you get republicans out there saying God did it to punish libruls, gays, sinners or whatever boogeyman they want to make other republicans scared of, or to prove a point and register God's dissatisfaction with whatever group repblicans oppose. republicans are very sick people.

Posted by: Patrick on December 21, 2009 at 1:58 PM | PERMALINK

Wait. Wait! I figured it out. God made it snow because he wants Olympia Snowe to vote for cloture and make the healthcare reform bipartisan.

Posted by: Patrick on December 21, 2009 at 2:00 PM | PERMALINK

If God interfered to make the snow, then it isn't a counter-example against AGW anyway (even if it otherwise would have been ...)

Posted by: tyrannogenius on December 21, 2009 at 8:21 PM | PERMALINK

The DC blizzard is obviously a sign that, while God isn't thrilled with the health care legislation, it isn't a deal-breaker. If it were, He'd have sent a plague of frogs or something.

Posted by: FreakyBeaky on December 22, 2009 at 1:38 AM | PERMALINK



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