Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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June 6, 2009

TODD AKIN, COMEDIAN.... Maybe it's just my sense of humor, but I don't think there's anything funnier in American politics than listening to House Republicans explain their thoughts on global warming.

Take Rep. Todd Akin (R-Mo.), for example, who offered some thoughts on environmental policy this week on the floor of the House.

"This whole thing strikes me if it weren't so serious as being a comedy, you know. I mean, we just went from winter to spring. In Missouri when we go from winter to spring, that's a good climate change. I don't want to stop that climate change, you know. Who in the world want to put politicians in charge of the weather anyways? What a dumb idea. [...]

"Some of the models said that we're going to have surf at the front steps of the Capitol pretty soon. I was really looking forward to that. [...]

"We've been joined by another doctor, a medical doctor but also a guy who graduated from high school science as well, from Georgia, my good friend, Congressman Gingrey.... So to have actually a guy who's passed high school science is tremendously helpful. And Dr. Fleming from Louisiana."

The House Republican caucus put Akin on the House Science Committee and the Subcommittee on Energy and Environment.

But he presumably passed "high school science," so I guess we're supposed to overlook the fact that Akin doesn't know the difference between weather and climate.

When Republican lawmakers complain that their substantive ideas aren't taken seriously, they ought to remember this amusing little example.

Steve Benen 10:40 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (29)

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Comments

Egads! A RepuG who actually served in the military.

However, what happened to this fellow? Was he abducted by aliens and had his brain dewired? Four years as an engineer with IBM, combat engineering officer in the US Army and he sounds as though he is the typical Mizzou grad having to choose between running for the House or greeting down at Wal*Mart. Worchester Poly Tech, where did you go wrong in trying to pound any education into this fellow?

Posted by: berttheclock on June 6, 2009 at 10:47 AM | PERMALINK

And who better to understand world climate than Gingrey an OB/GYN!

Posted by: ComradeAnon on June 6, 2009 at 10:54 AM | PERMALINK

I for one am glad that the prestige of Missouri has been so ably defended . Savants like these are a light to us all .
If only we could find such precision and clarity in childrens programming , the possibilities boggle the actual boggling point . It may be the next big craze , Boggle Blogging , They could call it , "Mellow Yellow"
Quite Rightly

Posted by: FRP on June 6, 2009 at 10:56 AM | PERMALINK

To quote a famous expression
"It's like these guys take pride in being ignorant."
Barak Obama , August 2008

Posted by: john r on June 6, 2009 at 11:07 AM | PERMALINK

As usual, the Truth is probably somewhere in between...

Posted by: Cokie R. on June 6, 2009 at 11:08 AM | PERMALINK

Egad, I am so relieved to reside over here on the left side of the state in Truman Country. I manage to keep my Akin exposure to a minimum. The rest of the state's delegation makes me ever so thankful to be represented by Emanuel Cleaver.

Posted by: Blue Girl on June 6, 2009 at 11:19 AM | PERMALINK

Sorry Steve, but given the scope of the disaster climate change has the potential to cause the behaviour of political actors like Todd Akin for me falls outside the sphere of humor and into the surreal.

And a little quibble: the way I read Akin's comment, he seems to be saying that he himself didn't pass 'high school science'. Unfortunately, the clip at ThinkProgress doesn't really clarify that.

For which there isn't any doubt though is that Todd Akin as a member of the House Science Committee is a travesty. Where do they find these clowns?

Posted by: SRW1 on June 6, 2009 at 11:22 AM | PERMALINK

Now do you understand why the Republican friendly media keeps inviting Liz Cheney and Newt Gingrich? It's either that or this, though I do think Akin would inprove ratings. Not credibility, but ratings, nonetheless.

Posted by: Danp on June 6, 2009 at 11:24 AM | PERMALINK

Teachers in elementary schools keep track of all the adorable misconceptions and malapropisms of children and routinely publish them. I think Steve should do the same for Republican politicians and global climate change and the internet. These two seems to generate the craziest comments. Coming from a six year old, the comments would be so cute.

Posted by: jen f on June 6, 2009 at 11:26 AM | PERMALINK

well, you might feel superior over there on the west side of missouri, but i'm stuck over here with that yokel, and all the white-flight suburban yokels who love him.

he's a dyed-in-the-wool holy jeebus flat-earth christianist who ain't gonna be bothered with all that science malarkey, 'cause it ain't in the bible, see?

think george bush, very drunk, with no impulse control, and verbal diarrhea. he'd be funny, except he's making deals and passing legislation. and reproducing.

Posted by: dopey-o on June 6, 2009 at 12:03 PM | PERMALINK

but i'm stuck over here with that yokel

Actually he grew up in NYC and got a degree in management engineering at Worchester (MA) Polytechnic. I think that qualifies him as more phoney than yokel.

Posted by: Danp on June 6, 2009 at 12:07 PM | PERMALINK

> doesn't know the difference between weather and climate.

Nor between the seasons and weather.

Posted by: Phil Gaskill on June 6, 2009 at 12:18 PM | PERMALINK

Not superior, Dopey-O, just fortunate. We actually deliberated which urban center to settle in after the Air Force, and KC eventually won out. From there, things just sort-of lined up. I am either unbelievably lucky or karma loves me. Either way, I appreciate the good fortune.

Posted by: Blue Girl on June 6, 2009 at 12:22 PM | PERMALINK

SRW1 beat me to it. Akin's statment about Gingrey's passing high school science implies Akin himself did not.

MANAGEMENT engineering? Does that have something to do with science? Or, like "building engineers" who are really janitors, does it mean something like "cleaning out the CEO's toilet"?

Posted by: Sarah Barracuda on June 6, 2009 at 12:26 PM | PERMALINK

He's not really considered to a very bright guy by (most of) the citizens of Missouri.

Posted by: Brian on June 6, 2009 at 12:51 PM | PERMALINK

Can we assume from this that Akin *did not* pass high school science?

Posted by: CDW on June 6, 2009 at 1:10 PM | PERMALINK

"Can we assume from this that Akin *did not* pass high school science?"

Surely he was joking some there? I'd guess that somewhere earlier in his ramblings he said something about common sense, that having a high school science education is preferable to a high-falootin college science degree. If so, the thinkprogress quotes are maybe misleading.

I can't imagine he was actually trying to say, seriously, "hey, we've got some real scientific scholars up here now, all have passed high school science."

He does appear to be a royal class doofus. Stupid is as stupid elects.

Posted by: flubber on June 6, 2009 at 1:50 PM | PERMALINK

"a guy who graduated from high school science"

Maybe these geniuses attended some Christianist home school where they learn themselves some "science" and "letters" and "numbers," but in my high school there was Physics, Chemistry, and Biology, not just "science." Are there any Republicans who are not retarded? Did he attend the same school as Norm "Ethernet" Coleman?

Posted by: bluestatedon on June 6, 2009 at 2:10 PM | PERMALINK

For the record: that's "Worcester Polytechnic Institute", pronounced "Wooster" as in "Jeeves and..." -- although I didn't trawl the links enough to confirm his connection with them.

Posted by: DonBoy on June 6, 2009 at 2:38 PM | PERMALINK

Just wondering...

"Wear your ignorance like a badge of honor."

Which forefather said that?

Posted by: koreyel on June 6, 2009 at 3:38 PM | PERMALINK

The truly sad part is that this guy will probably be re-elected.

Posted by: jeff on June 6, 2009 at 3:43 PM | PERMALINK

Pawlenty: GOP is like Eminem

Opening his remarks with a reference to NBC's "Inside the Obama White House" special, Pawlenty told the gathering of about 200 students, "I haven't seen something that staged since that half-naked Austrian fell onto the face of Eminem at the MTV music awards."
"Eminem was mad," he continued, to laughter and applause. "And so, just like Eminem getting dumped on, we've got to kind of regroup. We've got to continue to fight. And we've got some things worth fighting for."

Posted by: ADAY on June 6, 2009 at 4:32 PM | PERMALINK

"I mean, we just went from winter to spring. In Missouri when we go from winter to spring, that's a good climate change. I don't want to stop that climate change, you know. Who in the world want to put politicians in charge of the weather anyways? What a dumb idea."

Whadda expect ?

This is the same crowd that imprisoned Galileo for having the temerity to contradict their belief that the sun revolved around the earth.

Posted by: Joe Friday on June 6, 2009 at 5:44 PM | PERMALINK

"The truly sad part is that this guy will probably be re-elected."
He'll get re-elected into perpituity in Jesusland.
I get a little nauseous every time he opens his mouth, I'm just so glad he is my representative.
Democracy doesn't work when the legislators are willing to piss their credibility away for their party and political agenda. It's not possible to be this stupid and get elected.
Mendacity thy name is Akin.

Posted by: FitterDon on June 6, 2009 at 8:22 PM | PERMALINK

Actually, I went to high school with Todd, and he was in my car pool. A private school, very well regarded academically then and now. I can guarantee that biology, chemistry and physics were all taught and that Todd passed since he is listed in the alumni directory. HIs problem is that his mother was a John Bircher food faddist and did not let her boys, of which she had a few, eat any sugar at all.....and this was in the early sixties. So I think he suffers from childhood sugar depravation. My mother tried to rectify this and brought cookies and other evils for the treat on the long ride home (we lived about 18 miles from school and that was considered a long commute in those days) on the days she drove. An unexpected bonus from this altruistic sugar gesture was that on her driving days the Aikin boys were silent, as they ate their fill of cookies.

Posted by: meffie on June 6, 2009 at 8:24 PM | PERMALINK

.
Gitmo 'em all. Let Gawd sort 'em out. We can turn it into a re-education camp.

You know what they say: A liberal is just a conservative who's been waterboarded.
.

Posted by: cosanostradamus on June 6, 2009 at 9:32 PM | PERMALINK

Since I moved to the 2nd MO congressional district, I have been totally embarased by this idiot. Besides being from Jesusland, the open primary rules in MO allow the republicans to vote for the weakest/flakiest Democrat in the primary and thus insuring that this miserable dweeb gets re-elected. His fellow Republicans realize his lack of intellect and won't give him any position of any importance or power in the house. He is a complete idiot. This is comfirmed by his absurd floor speeches, which is only one of many that you cite here. I read them and fight my urge to vomit.

Posted by: J.W. Kennard on June 6, 2009 at 10:17 PM | PERMALINK

> depravation

Does that mean sugar deprivation causes depravity, or avoids it?

Posted by: Hank Roberts on June 7, 2009 at 11:18 AM | PERMALINK

Equally amusing is Dem denial on immigration and population as a primary factor in global warming.

Posted by: luther on June 8, 2009 at 1:46 AM | PERMALINK




 

 

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