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Boyd, Rascovar, and The Pretense of Knowledge

Barry Rascovar and Laslo Boyd are pyromaniacs in a field of straw men.  As columnists and pundits they offer nothing more than recycled liberalism wrapped in morally bullying prose, in which they—our enlightened, non-ideological, pragmatic betters—scold the rest of us benighted ideologues, who dare hold differing opinions. 
Theirs is a typical progressive tactic, an intellectual stolen base in the war of ideas.  National Review’s Jonah Goldberg describes it in his book, The Tyranny of Clichés: How Liberals Cheat in the War of Ideas:

You would be hard pressed to find a prominent liberal intellectual, politician, or journalist who hasn’t baldly stated at one point or another that liberals care only about “what works.”  They contrast this with their political opponents, always on the right, who are ideologues—“extremists,” “dogmatists,” and the like. 

Rascovar’s moral plumage was on full display in last opinion piece at Maryland Reporter.  Rascovar didn’t make an argument so much as he cut a swath of carnage through a sea of gimpy straw man, which can be boiled down to this: Why are Republicans so racist?
Rascocar, the guy with 40 plus years of covering the state house just now, got around to reluctantly recognizing the sleight of hand gimmicks Governor O’Malley used over the last eight years to hoodwink the public and lapdog media into thinking he’s balanced the budget.
Republicans should thank Rascovar though, because he’s crystalized the modern definition of a racist: a conservative who’s winning an argument.
And then there’s Laslo Boyd, who penned a self-parodying column at Center Maryland, the house organ for Maryland’s crony capitalists, called “The War on Reason.” 
Wrapping himself in a cloak of sanctimony, Boyd castigates “deniers,” who “don’t care at all about future generations or about the quality of life on this planet,” and that those “accept science” should cease trying to convince the know nothing ideologues. 
However, Boyd is as much an ideologue and dogmatist as those he ridicules.
Like most worshipers in the church of global warming, Boyd takes as canon law that the “science is settled,” and deniers—skeptics really—are “ignoring” and “ridiculing” reality.   
Laslo Boyd meet Dr. John Christy of the University of Alabama at Huntsville, who has demonstrated the gap between climate models that predict doom, and observed temperatures, which debunk the apocalyptic prognostications of the Al Gore’s of the world.  In fact, in a paper published this month in the peer-reviewed journal Environmetrics, showed that climate models significantly over-predicted observed warming in the tropical troposphere and “represent it in a fundamentally different way than is observed.”
The irony of Boyd’s screed is that the he is blissfully ignorant that the results of his preferred climate policies will result in temperature reductions “so small as to be undetectable.” 
What Boyd won’t tell you is that there is much more at stake than just moderate changes in climate humans have adapted to in the past.  There is also a great deal of money to be made in climate rent seeking—stoking fear of climate catastrophe to get from government what they cannot in a free market.  The operators of Center Maryland, where his piece is published, are in just such a business.  Pay no never mind to state taxpayers and utility ratepayers subsidizing crony capitalists, Boyd’s right because like Ron Burgundy says, “it’s science.”
Rascovar and Boyd are engaging in nothing more than a bullying tactic.  Their schtick of concealing their boringly conventional liberalism in the garb of disinterested pragmatism is nothing more than a cudgel. Rather than engage in the market place of ideas, they don the garb of disinterested pragmatist to paint their adversaries as outside the realm of legitimacy. 
Rascovar and Boyd don’t merely use this childish bullying tactic, they do indeed believe in the supremacy of a self-anointed political class of enlightened mandarins. They suffer from the fallacy Hayek called the “pretense of knowledge,” that is that even the most knowledgeable of central planners don’t possess all the knowledge needed to centrally plan. 
As Charles Cooke noted, it’s politics pretending to be science and it damages both. “If politics should be determined by pragmatism, and the pragmatists are all on the left . . . well, you do the math.”






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