Rush Limbaugh really is a big, fat idiot.

Alright, you probably knew that already. Anyway, a friend of mine, Scott Fitzpatrick, is an archeologist here at NC State (I do like to refer to him as NC State's own Indiana Jones).  He recently hit the media big time– though, not the CBS Early Show :-)– with a recent paper that suggests El Nino influenced Magellan's historic circumnavigation.  From Science Daily (and picked up by all sorts of national publications):

A new paper by North Carolina State University archaeologist Dr. Scott
Fitzpatrick shows that Ferdinand Magellan's historic circumnavigation
of the globe was likely influenced in large part by unusual weather
conditions — including what we now know as El Niño — which eased his
passage across the Pacific Ocean, but ultimately led him over a
thousand miles from his intended destination.

Apparently this came across Rush Limbaugh's desk and provided further evidence for Rush's global warming denialism.  The man's ignorance truly is breathtaking.  Listen here.

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How is this person writing for the Post?

So, last week I wrote a post criticizing a Marie Cocco column in the Post that made a reasonable argument that Hillary's campaign reveals that sexism and misogyny are more widespread and acceptable than racism, but made the argument with embarrassingly thin evidence.  This week she's back with a column that embarrasses last week's.  The lede:

A woman? Yes. But not that woman.

It is the platitude of the moment, an automatic rejoinder to any
suggestion that Hillary Clinton has struggled so desperately — and so
far unsuccessfully — to grasp the Democratic presidential nomination
in some measure because she is female.

It isn't the woman part, the rationale goes. It's the Clinton
part: that “polarizing” persona and “unlikable” demeanor. The
unappetizing thought of President “Billary.” The more inspirational
quest by Barack Obama to become the country's first black president.

Yet the question remains: If not now, when? If not Hillary, who?

This argument is so facially ridiculous it is hardly worth debunking.  Somehow, me and my fellow Obama supporters (heck, a bunch of academics, some of the most feminist people I know), are actually just closet sexists.  Cocco's onto me– I may teach a Gender & Politics class, but no way could I want a woman president.  Furthermore, the idea that if not Hillary we can forget about a woman president for the next 20-30 years is self-evidently ridiculous.  Who would have predicted 10 years ago that Hillary Clinton would have come oh-so-close to achieving the presidency.  The growing consensus in all the campaign post-mortems I've read this week is that if she had run a campaign as smart as Obama's, she almost certainly would have been the Democratic nominee (in a great year to be the Democratic nominee).  There's more inanity in the column, but I'm not going to waste my time writing about it further.  For now, I'll just lament that the Washington Post's very valuable op-ed space is being wasted on such poor opinion pieces.

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