Honey, I shrunk the GOP, Part 1: Conservatives vow to purge all members who support clean energy or science-based policy

Honey, I shrunk the GOP

Mary Bono Mack Should Be Burned in Effigy and Voted Out of Office

That’s the screaming headline at screaming right-wing blog Red State.  The article asserts, “she should now be targeted”:

… we beat her and her husband at the polls.

Yes, you heard me. We can get at Mary Bono Mack in two ways “” her district and that of her husband. He should feel the heat just as much as her.

“Feel the heat” for voting to support efforts to stop global warming — yes, irony can be so ironic. Greenwire via the NYT explains the source of the latest ideological purity test of the ever shrinking GOP, “Conservative Ire Rains on 8 Republicans Who Voted for House Climate Bill.”  For CP readers, these folks are heroes:

The eight Republicans are Mark Kirk of Illinois; Mike Castle of Delaware; Mary Bono Mack of California; Dave Reichert of Washington; John McHugh of New York; and Frank LoBiondo, Leonard Lance and Chris Smith of New Jersey.

But not to the defacto leader of the GOP, Rush Limbaugh:

“This is an outrage. This is something that everybody who voted for this thing needs to be sent packing….”

I always thought “small is beautiful,” was a motto of the environmental movement but apparently it’s the new motto of the Republican Party, along with Gingrich’s “I am not a citizen of the world!” and, of course, “Drill baby, drill.”

And then we have top conservative blogger Michele Maglalang aka Michele Malkin, once called by a newspaper “an Asian Ann Coulter,” to which she responded “I’m not Asian, I’m American, for goodness’ sake. I would take the comparison to Ann Coulter as somewhat of a compliment.”  She put this poster on her website:

And then we have this new website —  Yglesias writes:

I’m told that the folks behind are the same geniuses who were behind the tea parties movement earlier this year. The targets are the eight House Republicans who voted for the American Clean Energy and Security Act, and the threat is that “They have 5 Days from the time of their vote to change them, or we will work to vote them out of office.”

To paraphrase the anarchist Dick the Butcher in Shakespeare’s Henry VI, Part II, the new GOP cry is, “The first thing we do, let’s kill all the moderates.”

The ideological purity test of the ever-shrinking GOP is so extreme, that even Michael Gerson wrote in the Post he can’t stomach it.  In a piece titled, “Cap and Traitors:  8 Republicans Stand Tall on Climate Change,” he writes of the the eight Republicans were termed “traitorous”:

A serious concern about global climate disruption remains the broad (not unanimous but predominant) view of the scientific community, including the National Academy of Sciences. Global warming since the 19th century is undeniable — a trend not disproved by year-to-year variations. These changes are closely correlated with increases in the atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide since the Industrial Revolution. Climate disruption has become so rapid in some places that it is overwhelming the natural process of adjustment, reducing crop yields and leading to the extinction of species. Meanwhile, global carbon emissions are increasing faster than expected. Some scientists warn of possible “tipping points” — the rapid disintegration of the ice sheets, the sudden release of methane from warming northern soils — that could turn a challenge into a catastrophe of lethal heat waves and rising sea levels….

But conservatives seem strangely intent on ignoring the power of markets to encourage such innovation. Right now, the emission of carbon is essentially cost-free. Putting a price on carbon would make the development of cleaner energy technologies more profitable. New technologies could be employed, not only by America, but also by China, India and the rest of the developing, polluting world. And it is an added (but not minor) benefit that American resources would no longer be transferred to Saudi princes, Russian autocrats and Venezuelan dictators.

It is perfectly legitimate to argue that the House cap-and-trade system is flawed beyond redemption — so complex and confusing that it only benefits regulators and the lobbyists who outwit them — and that Congress should start over with a carbon tax.

It is also legitimate to contend that, while the cap-and-trade system is flawed, it is better than inaction and necessary to spur innovation. And for eight House Republicans who took this stand at great political risk, it is not only legitimate — it is admirable.

Yeah, well the former speechwriter for President George W. Bush talks a good game now that he’s out of the White House.  Why didn’t he speak up when his boss was leading the anti-science, anti-climate, anti-clean-energy fight for the GOP (see “Bush will go down in history as possibly a person who has doomed the planet”).  Now Gerson has refashioned himself as a center-right columnist — someone who certainly couldn’t get elected as a GOP Representative these days, where thoughtful people need not apply (see “Rep. Broun receives applause on the House floor for calling global warming a ‘hoax’ “).

Conservatives have tied their future to policies that would inevitably lead to catastrophic climate change and impoverishment of this country — and that would  cede leadership in the clean energy technologies that will be the biggest job-creating engine this century.  As the painful reality human-caused global warming becomes increasingly obvious, that is a political strategy that will keep shrinking the party.  Let’s just hope that they disappear from sight in time for progressives to enact the policies needed to preserve a livable climate.

We aren’t living in a Disney science fiction movie.  Even if the GOP is mired in science fictions, a happy ending is not guaranteed.

Photoshop credit to CAP’s Lauren Ferguson.

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19 Responses to Honey, I shrunk the GOP, Part 1: Conservatives vow to purge all members who support clean energy or science-based policy

  1. ken levenson says:

    Kinda reminds me more of……. Reservoir Dogs.

    Hopefully they can complete their murder-suicide pact with enough speed that we might get on with saving the planet…..

  2. James Newberry says:

    If this is the ideology of the “conservative” party then may the GOP, as currently entrenched as the Global Oil Party, become part of the sixth great extinction event we are living in. Then real conservatives might form a new party based on conservation of the planet and all that it provides for life to exist.

  3. BBHY says:

    Don’t insult Asians by identifying Malkin as one of them!

  4. Sometimes I try to imagine how I would think if I had too much money, vast power and plenty of property – What would I do and think? Now I see such people desperately clinging to the past way of doing business. Pre-Madoff, pre-crash, and plenty cheap oil.

    It seems beyond stupid to ignore science, delusional to fight the laws of thermodynamics and dangerous crazy to actively ignore danger signs. And worst of all is to call for others to act the same way. It is the equivalent of stepping off a cliff, thinking we could fly – and urging others to follow. I am now disturbed by how someone could think that way, and how serious that is.

  5. Dean says:

    So went the Federalists, now go the Republicans?

  6. john says:

    Shrink on, party! Shrink, on.

  7. hapa says:

    you know what there are over two hundred
    republicans participating
    right now
    they are
    giving cops and bureaucrats
    they are helping their friends
    for mendacious and corrupt reasons
    and they laugh at your trust
    and blame it on the other guy

    so i think if you’re making lists
    you shouldn’t
    anyone with an R by the name
    who wants to be in government
    is a fatcat-loving hypocritical fraud
    who doesn’t even rate the vote
    of their mother

  8. Rick Covert says:

    Enjoy the slide into irrelevance of the modern Whig party.

  9. Pat Richards says:

    I can’t believe it… I finally have something in common with the Republicans. Except what I want is that the Democrats who voted against Waxman-Markey to be targeted for defeat in their next election. But it’s the same process… politics as reactionary punishment for not toeing the party line. We now live in a totally polarized society thanks to the You’re-With-Us-Or-You’re-Against-Us mantra of the Bush decade. I did not use to be so reactionary, but I found myself living in a world that was and so I, well, I reacted… and now I are one too.

    But even knowing it’s a bad thing with my left brain, my right brain still believes that the so-called Democrats who voted against Waxman-Markey (even if they did so because they wanted it made stronger) were traitors and should be treated that way. It’s a sign of the critical times we live in and the critical issues we are now dealing with on what seems like a daily basis anymore. A damn shame we’ve allowed our society to come to this.

  10. Chris Winter says:

    I’ve just read through the WUWT thread on the Waxman-Markey vote. It’s filled with that same “purge them all” sentiment; there’s plenty of outrage and some outright paranoia.

    But we should not underestimate this crowd. They have zeal, and they have resources. one comment was “I am completely beside myself. I am past being outraged! I have control and influence of more that 84,000 websites and domains in this country. I am now going to use them! These idiots better start packing their bags!”

    You can bet they’re going to be contacting members of Congress. We should do the same.

  11. Jim Beacon says:

    Aw, Joe, don’t post links to sites like Malkins. We’re used to actually clicking on the links in your articles. So I did, and now my day is ruined. Possibly my whole month. Not only are the articles on that site dripping with rabid lunacy and barefaced lies, but I made the mistake of reading some of the comments. Oh, dear Lord, there are simply far too many raving idiots walking around loose in this country!

    You said this site is a “top conservative blog”? Seriously? This is the best they can do?

    As for the one comment where some outraged loon claims to have “control and influence over 84,000 websites” and says he is going to use it to destroy the supporters of Waxman-Markey. Well, OK, we all know the deniers are weak on math, but let’s just do a quick calc:

    If he spends no more than 60 seconds on each of those 84,000 websites doing *something* that will “make them start packing their bags” that works out to 1,400 hours of work — or 116 days at 12 hours a day.

    I’m trembling in terror.

    And his typing fingers are going to get awfully sore.

    [JR: Wikipedia says that her website is routinely among the five most heavily trafficked conservative websites, so it is well worth visiting once. Imagine how many times I had to visit it to write this piece! Anyway, it’s worth knowing what the other side thinks since they represent 40% … 30% … a solid 20% of Americans these days, but control 96% of House Republicans!]

  12. Leland Palmer says:

    These are classical Fascist intimidation tactics.

    They often work, historically, sad to say.

    In this case, though, thoughtful people realize that there is not much the GOP or anyone else can do to them that is worse than destroying the biosphere.

    We need to grow some courage, and take the fight to these fascist vermin.

    Bring it on, you fascist punks.

    On to the Senate.

    And what’s up with our sorry excuse for news media, with the “all Michael Jackson, all the time” news coverage, and the near blackout of coverage of this huge Democratic victory on ACES?

  13. Erik Schimek says:

    Climate realities aside …. since when is spending 10% of national GDP overseas to buy oil better than selling carbon permits and using the proceeds to fund local renewable energy projects?

    Are they getting a kickback from OPEC?

  14. john says:


    It’s one thing to recognize the weakness in Waxman-Markey — and it is, from a scientific point of view — pathetic, but quite another to “target” the Democrats who voted for it. It took poltical courage for many Dems to vote for this Bill.

    At the end of the day, we are better off with Waxman-Markey than we are without it. What we need to do is to change the terms of the debate so that the press no longer has the gall to run crap like BTI, Republican Talking points concoted by Luntz, and industry propaganda as if it were of the same value as credible scientific data.

    If you are looking for a villain, it’s the press and Media.

    And the role of money in politics, of course.

  15. Yuebing says:

    The GOP has painted itself into the corner on energy and environment issues. They will do everything in their power to delay and deny, for if they lose their ideological stronghold as embodied by Rush, they will fall apart. For a week or a month.

    Then they will just dust off one of their icons and put them out in the public, and rewrite recent history again. Rush will be retired, Glenn sent to his very own camp.

    Which icon? Newt? Sarah? Jed?

  16. Dan says:

    Talk is cheap. If these eight Republicans are truly heroes to CP readers (and they truly are), then, Joe, you should at least link to their fundraising sites. The nutters want to throw them out; we should honor their political courage (and maybe help to grow some backbones in the Senate by showing that reasonable defiance of the planetary suicide party isn’t all downside).

  17. Bud Man says:


    Well done. I think that without Climate Progress steadily beating the drum, both for the size of the problem and for the necessity for THIS bill (not a more perfect one), NOW (not when it was too late), ACES would have failed. Good one, as they say in Britain.


    Bud Man

  18. Mike D says:

    I don’t care if they stay or not. If the Republicans oust them for far more conservative right-wing nutjobs in the their primaries, the same thing will happen in 2010 as happened in 2006 and 2008 — the seat will switch to Democrats in the general election. If these 8 want to stay in office, maybe they should take a look at which party really encompasses their viewpoints and pull Arlen Spectors.

    Hopefully the Republicans purge themselves into irrelevence.

  19. Pangolin says:

    The Republicans have lost touch with reality so badly nobody would be surprised if Sara Palin showed up on Fox News in pigtails and red sequin shoes and announced that she was off to see the wizard, or Newt Gingrich; whatever. There ain’t no yellow brick road and the door back to the oil-for-debt economy is closed forever.

    If you want real crazy look at the GOP policies that relate to biology.

    Why not expel anybody with any reference to real science? They’ve already given up on any touchstone connecting them to physical reality. The futility of magical thinking is why most of the human raced embraced technology and never looked back. Now it’s time for us to embrace real science. We get climate science right or we go back to digging for sweet potatoes with a fire hardened stick.