Liberal elitism was on display Wednesday night on CNN, the alleged centrist channel. On Piers Morgan Tonight, the host denounced Rick Perry's global warming-denying "nonsense" and expressed horror to New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman: "Could you actually imagine a scenario where either he or one of the other Tea Party candidates" is nominated to face Obama? Friedman agreed "it's scary to me" because as the Italians say, "Arithmetic is not an opinion."
"Rick Perry's state is on fire," proclaimed Friedman. "It's now experiencing the worst wildfires in its history, which fits in exactly with the predictions of climate change...it's actually happening under his nose, climate change, and he's out denying it."
Morgan came in from a commercial break playing a clip of Perry from the debate saying the global-warming issue has been "politicized" and scientists earn grants from promoting the theory:
MORGAN: Texas governor and Republican presidential hopeful Rick Perry with something of a conspiracy theory on global warming. And back with me now is Tom Friedman. Tom, what do you hear the guy who is streets ahead at the moment in the Republican nomination race just dismissing global warming as politicized nonsense. What do you think of that?
FRIEDMAN: You know what's so funny about this, Piers, I mean, when you think of all these oil companies giving millions and millions of dollars in donations to buy basically every politician to deny climate change, and then you have the politicians complaining about some poor tenured scientist who probably is struggling filling out 100 forms to maybe get a $25,000 grant over 10 years from the National Science Foundation.
Do you know how much money an MIT scientist could make from oil companies if he came out tomorrow and said, climate change doesn't exist? And by the way, if there were this conspiracy, do you think by now somebody would have come clean? Somebody would have reported that all the world's scientists are in a conspiracy?
And what's really doubly absurd about it, Rick Perry's state is on fire. OK? It's now experiencing the worst -- tragically the worst wildfires in its history. Which fits in exactly with the predictions of climate change that the hots will get hotter, the droughts will get longer, the wets will get wetter, you get these extremes in temperature. It's actually happening under his nose, climate change. And he's out denying it.
You know I wrote a book before this, Piers, called "Hot, Flat and Crowded," about this climate issue. And when I wrote it, I always -- you know, when I speak to crowds that don't believe in it, they say, you don't believe in hot, you don't believe in climate change? I take -- anyone got an eraser? Take off that. You don't believe in climate change, fine. That's between you and your beach house.
But you better believe in flat and crowded. That is, you better believe that we've got 7 billion people on the planet, and we're going to 9.5 billion by 2050. And more of them, flat, can see how we live, aspire to how we live, and live like we live in American-size homes, American-size cars, and eat an American-sized Big Macs.
Now what do you think is going to happen to energy production when we go from seven billion people to nine billion people, and more of them can live like us. Whether climate change exists or doesn't exist -- and of course it does -- you're still going to have a huge demand for clean energy. So like, what is this nonsense?
MORGAN: Yes, when you see, as I say, Rick Perry how espouse that nonsense as you put it, and he's way ahead in these polls to be Republican nominee, could you actually imagine a scenario where either he or one of the other Tea Party candidates is chosen as the person to take on Barack Obama in the next election?
FRIEDMAN: I'm sure it's possible. But you know it's scary to me because, you know, as an Italian proverb we quote in our book, "Arithmetic is not an opinion."
Morgan insisted Obama should introduce a huge stimulus because it could unite the country like the space program in the 1960s: "You know the space mission, for all its faults, was an incredibly exciting thing. And I was a young lad myself when the first rockets went up. And the world stopped to watch these things. And as they soared up to the moon, all you thought was, isn't America a fantastic country? I don't see that sense anymore. And it's crying out for something of magnitude, like you say."
Then Morgan went on another rant about the "fatuous" Tea Party:
MORGAN: You see, I think what everybody is crying out for is proper leadership. And this is where I take issue with President Obama. The way he's played this summer in particular. Because first over this whole fatuous debt ceiling supposed crisis which should never have been the crisis that it became.
It was driven by the Republican Party, driven by Speaker Boehner and others, and the Tea Party. Then you lead into this ridiculous farce over when he could have a speech, when he could make the speech. And he was sort of bullied into changing the day. And I feel quite strongly -- and I'm not even American, but I feel strongly that I want the president to stand up and be the boss.
And I would have called the bluff of the Republicans. If they were going to be that intransigent -- you mentioned there about raising revenue. Now, you know, many Republicans are completely implacably opposed to any increased taxation whatsoever. Exactly the point you made about George Bush in your column today, which is that in times of crisis you have to consider the unpalatable reality.
And I just think most Americans are decent, civilized people and they get it. And they would not mind paying a little bit more if they saw a reward for the extra taxation that was put upon them. What do you think?
FRIEDMAN: I agree with every word you just said, Piers, including "and" and "the." That's what I think. OK?
Friedman even boasted that "I think the American people understood that that grand bargain, $3 in spending cuts for every $1 in revenue tax increases, was a perfectly fair and sensible deal. And I guarantee you, Piers, had we passed that, as part of this debt dealing, this economy would be taking off right now."
Later in that show, Morgan talked to former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, and blasted the Republicans again:
MORGAN: Here's the problem, really. However good this speech is, and however dramatic his plans are, given the incredibly hostile partisan nature of what's been going on in Washington the past few months, there's not a cat in hell's chance of any Republicans standing up to praise or laud him. You're all going to queue up to say the whole thing is a complete farce, total failure, and he should be gone by next Christmas.
GIULIANI: It depends on what he says.
MORGAN: It doesn't, though.