Their stupid is contagious.
And if they win, humanity loses.
A couple of weeks ago, the Wonk Room had a story: Every GOP NH Senate candidate is a global warming denier. At a candidates' forum in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, "all said man-made global warming hasn't been proven."
The epidemic next appeared in New Mexico, where all three Republican candidates for Congress, and the GOP candidate for governor, all denied the existence of man-made climate change. The candidates for Congress gave waffling, but cool answers on a questionnaire, but subsequent digging revealed that all flatly deny the science.
Intrigued, I began to poke around other states. Virtually all Republicans criticize what they call "cap and tax" as too expensive, but how many actually deny the reality of climate change science? How many have been infected by Teh Stoopid?
A lot. A real lot.
Be afraid. Be very afraid.
I started with two states whose candidates for Senator have made headlines for their statements on climate.
In Alaska, Joe Miller, running for Senate, attributes warming to "cyclical warming patterns." So does Don Young, incumbent Representative, which he derides as the "biggest scam since the Teapot Dome." Governor Sean Parnell, running for reelection, hasn't said anything, although he dislikes polar bear protection.
In Wisconsin, Rep. Paul Ryan (WI-01) confuses climate and snowstorms; candidate Chad Lee (WI-02) dismisses "junk science"; candidate Dan Sebring (WI-04) speaks of "the fraud of cap and trade"; and Rep. Jim Sensebrenner (WI-05) praises "Climategate" for raising "legitimate questions." Only Rep. Tom Petri (WI-06) may be reasonable. (I don't have information regarding climate-related positions of a number of Republicans running in WI-03, WI-07, and WI-08, and for WI-Gov, all facing a primary Sept. 14.)
Ron Johnson, Wisconsin's GOP challenger to Senator Russ Feingold famously blames sunspots for climate change: "I absolutely do not believe in the science of man-caused climate change," Johnson said. "It's not proven by any stretch of the imagination."
What of other states? eKos leader extraordinaire Patrickz checked out Oklahoma. John Sullivan (OK-01) complains about fraudulent data; James Lankford (OK-05) complains about the global warming myth; by contrast, Charles Thompson (OK-02), Frank Lucas (OK-03), and Tom Cole (OK-04) merely complain about the cost of cap and trade. Mary Fallin (OK-Gov) thinks global warming is caused by nuclear attacks. Tom Coburn (Ok-Sen) considers human-caused climate change to be malarkey. By contrast, James Inhofe (OK-Sen) is a paradigm of reason. One of these statements is false.
Does the virus only spread from Senate candidates? I turned my attention, randomly, to Arizona. Sadly, the Grand Canyon State is completely overrun with Climate Zombies.
Trent Franks (AZ-02) has yet to see clear and convincing evidence that global warming exists; Ben Quayle (AZ-03) states that the planet has warmed and cooled since the beginning of time; Janet Contreras (AZ-04) believes that the science has been called into serious question; Jeff Flake (AZ-06) identifies himself as a skeptic; and Ruth McClung (AZ-07) is tied with Wisconsin's Johnson in the Stoopid Contest for her comment, above, regarding earth spin. I don't have quotes from Paul Gosar (AZ-01) or David Schweikert (AZ-05) yet, but the Koch brothers' Americans for Prosperity will be pouring money into their races. Jesse Kelly (AZ-08) founded the Arizona Tea Party, so is presumed zombiefied. Scorecard: five out of eight GOP candidates have gone on record as doubting the science, and the other three probably will.
Gov. Jan Brewer has been silent on the subject of climate, apparently because zombies can only be killed by becoming headless.
Is Senator John McCain transmogrifying into a Climate Zombie? Long a self-proclaimed maverick who sponsored climate bills, he now tells the Arizona Republic that "there are dramatic environmental changes happening in the arctic region -- whether one believes they are man-made or natural." Uh, Senator? Suddenly the cause of change is in doubt?
In conclusion: We sampled four states with a total of 22 Representatives, 3 gubernatorial candidates (excluding WI), and 3 Senators up for reelection. Four Representatives (OK-02, OK-03, OK-04,and WI-06) seem to accept the reality of climate science, if not the solution; two (AZ-01, AZ-05) have been silent to date; three (WI-03, WI-07, and WI-08) haven't been selected yet; and thirteen express skepticism/hostility. Of the three candidates for governor, one is openly hostile and two are silent. Of the three candidates for Senate, two are openly hostile and the third is John McCain.
Climate zombies are now the Republican party norm.
This past summer, climate peacocks like Lisa Murkowski succeeded in killing the Kerry-Lieberman bill by preening their sincerely held, beautifully articulated concerns about the horrors of climate while simultaneously refusing to find solutions. Those peacocks are going the way of the polar bear. Instead, climate zombies like Joe Miller mindlessly replicate. If you listen carefully, you can hear them moan: "caaaash!" Or maybe they cry "kooooch!"
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