Anyone who passed high school science had to learn how to write an if-then statement: a way of writing down your hypothesis that makes it testable. It goes something like: “If [my hypothesis], then [expected experimental result]. For example, “If Mitt Romney wanted to run the country like he ran Bain capital, using layoffs to turn a profit for the shareholders, then he would choose a running mate who has already tried to do so.” See? We’ve proven our hypothesis.
So lets try this on some common hypotheses being thrown around the blogs of late:
“If Barack Obama really is a corporate shill, he should have no trouble keeping up with Mitt Romney’s fundraising, just like every presidential incumbent in history.”
hmm….this one seems to fall short . Obama is making history by not managing to raise more money than a presidential challenger, and spending by outside groups seems to be following suit. Obama is not the populist hero he wants to be, but he is also not the corporate candidate – if he were, he would have Wall Street and the markets behind him, as the incumbent generally does. He’s between extremes, in a place called the ‘center’. We used to value that place, though it has since gone out of style.
“If Jon Tester is an environmental Quisling (a term deriving from a traitorous Norwegian executed after WWII, but not in anyway condoning violence. Somehow.), then he will be able to at least compete with Denny Rehberg in contributions from resources extraction groups”
In fact, four* out of Denny’s top five contributors are resource extraction interests. None of Jon’s are, though they do include the apparently Vichy (see definition of Quisling) League of Conservation voters and a law firm that represented asbestos victims.
Last one: “If the purveyors of the above hypotheses are both as politically astute and as genuinely concerned with progressive causes as they claim, they will stop defending and disseminating such ridiculous hypotheses.”
It’s not too late for this one to go either way. We get to watch (political) science in action!
*The fifth is the Las Vegas Sands Casino, though I can only imagine that is actually just the payoff on a huge odds bet Denny made that it was in fact possible “where I’m from’ to recklessly put a man in a coma and still not do any jail time.