The Country’s In the Very Best of Hands

From It’s Okay to be Smart, as long as you’re not up for reelection.

It’s not just the science committee either. At the NYT Opinionator blog, Tim Egan has a rundown of some of the worst offenders in congress. People like Representative Joe L. Barton of Texas, on the climate change committee:

Barton cited the Almighty in questioning energy from wind turbines. Careful, he warned, “wind is God’s way of balancing heat.” Clean energy, he said, “would slow the winds down” and thus could make it hotter. You never know.

“You can’t regulate God!” Barton barked at the House speaker, Nancy Pelosi, in the midst of discussion on measures to curb global warming.

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  • JohnMWhite

    It’s not even funny anymore. These people are making all of our lives worse and robbing us of our future.

    • UrsaMinor

      Agreed, but it’s democracy in action. You get the representation that you vote for, and if you vote for mouth-breathing idiots…

      • Kacy

        The thing is, I don’t think anyone reading this blog voted for these clowns. I sure didn’t, and 2 of them are from my state.

        • UrsaMinor

          I was not trying to imply that anyone here had. In English, “you” may be used as an indefinite third-person pronoun in informal discourse. But of course, I could have written “One gets the representation that one votes for, and if one votes for mouth-breathing idiots…”, had I desired to project a more formal tone.

  • Mahousniper

    I don’t think any of these are quite as bad as Tennessee Senator Stacey Campfield’s quote, where he said:
    “most people realize that AIDS came from the homosexual community – it was one guy screwing a monkey, if I recall correctly, and then having sex with men. It was an airline pilot, if I recall…. My understanding is that it is virtually – not completely, but virtually – impossible to contract AIDS through heterosexual sex…very rarely [transmitted].”

  • Kacy

    This is so depressing. I notice that 3 on this list are from Texas, and you mention Barton, also from Texas. I can’t help but wonder what a concerned, rational, Texan is supposed to do. In my district, the Tea Party candidate won the congressional nomination for the Republican party, and Texas just seems to always Republican, meaning he will win the election. Listening to election adds on the radio, the candidates try to tout themselves as the most conservative and the most against President Obama. This is how people get elected in Texas. I feel like I don’t have a voice, and the elected representatives from our state in no way represent my views (on the economy, on women’s issues, on climate change, etc.). Like I said, it’s depressing.

    • Kacy

      Make that 2 on the list are from Texas. It’s 3 if you include Barton.

  • Artor

    This list would have been even more frightening if the committees these morons serve on had been listed. Akin serves on the Science & Technology Committee I believe, and some of the worst AGW denialists actually are on the Senate Climate Committee, or whatever it’s called.

  • Schaden Freud

    I’m scared.

  • vasaroti

    I know I’m a scratched record on this topic, but I really believe we need basic educational competency testing for all candidates for any office higher than animal control. And by the time we get to a federal science committee, that should include graduate level work in science.

  • Brian K

    Education is not a panacea, though. One can be educated and still believe in loony things. There are educated people who believe firmly that they ARE John Galt and that the world economy revolves around vulture capitalists extracting huge fees to demolish companies is the best approach to an economy.

    • UrsaMinor

      True, education is no panacea. But it is an excellent first line of defense.

  • smrnda

    Education isn’t a fix-all but if you couldn’t sit on a science and technology committee without some real credentials, it would at least screen out people who are definitely unfit for the job. The problem is I don’t think many people with meaningful scientific credentials are running for office.

    I don’t really know what type of a fix there could be. If a science committee required non-elected appointees with real credentials, someone would appoint someone who has a “degree” from some clown college teaching creationism and a bunch of “publications” in various types of vanity press journals.

    The other problem is you can’t count on popular outrage concerning scientific illiterates being given the ability to pass laws and regulations that ought to require a knowledge of science as the population is a bit dense in that regard as well.