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I have to give credit to Illinois Congressman Bobby Schilling and his campaign team. They've put in a great effort to transform his image from an ultra-conservative Tea Party Congressman to a sensible moderate. I've noticed the change of tone in his public statements and facebook page, where he often posts about bipartisanship.

Of course, even the most bitterly partisan Republican members of Congress are touting bipartisanship this election season, as if they hadn't spent the last two years making the defeat of Barack Obama their #1 priority over helping the economy recover. Schilling is running in a newly drawn Democratic-leaning district against Cheri Bustos.

Reading news about the campaign reminded me of a forum I attended last year with the old, unreformed Schilling. Back then, he still opposed high speed rail, and even the extension of Amtrak service to the Quad Cities.

When I spoke with Schilling afterward he denied the scientific consensus behind climate change. Then he suggested that he has a lower carbon footprint than me because he uses E-85 ethanol. I'm glad he's thinking about that, but, well, I don't think he knows how much I've done to lower my carbon footprint. When I brought up deadly pollution from coal plants he brought up cow farts. Seriously. You can read more at my blog post about the forum.

It's hard for me to understand what motivates grown adults like Schilling to deny the overwhelming scientific consensus that humans are contributing to climate change and that we must take immediate action. Is it ideological zealotry? A willingness to serve the coal and oil industry against the public interest? Or, do they know better but are afraid to anger the talk-radio Republican base? Whatever the reason, one of the top election issues this year is whether we'll have an anti-science Congress, or one that chooses to live in the reality-based community.

Originally posted to Willinois on Thu Sep 20, 2012 at 11:33 AM PDT.

Also republished by Land of Lincoln Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tipped and Recommended (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Willinois, sngmama, Illinibeatle

    Schilling STILL is a teabagger...he walked out on Sensata workers in Freeport, who are losing their jobs thanks to Bain Capital's takeover of Sensata and their outsourcing of Sensata's jobs to China, when they asked him whether or not he would support legislation that would make it harder for companies to outsource jobs overseas.

    Running scared, Bobby?

    Joe Lieberman, Mike Madigan, Andrew Cuomo, and Tim Cullen...why are they Democrats?

    by DownstateDemocrat on Thu Sep 20, 2012 at 12:27:11 PM PDT

  •  Schock, Schilling, Shimkus, . . . (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Willinois, DownstateDemocrat

    it must be all the Atrazine run-off in the water that makes downstate Republicans deny climate change.  Actually, climate change is the single greatest challenge to their ideology of laissez-faire, self-correcting market mechanisms are the solution to every problem.  Of course a lot of our neighbors in central Illinois make Bobby seem moderate! ;)

    Joking aside, it is ironic that the biggest problem facing humanity is not a campaign issue.  Oh those neoliberal democrats!

    P.S. just happened to meet one of the political chairs of the HOI Sierra club in Peoria at the gym this morning.  Good guy.

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