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, Part 1: Conservatives vow to purge all members who support clean energy or science-based policy"
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:
I’m told that the folks behind www.capandtr8tors.com 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.
- Has anyone in U.S. history made more Americans less safe than Dick Cheney?
- House GOP leader Boehner on ABC: “The idea that carbon dioxide is a carcinogen that is harmful to our environment is almost comical.”
- Hill conservatives reject all 3 climate strategies and embrace Rush Limbaugh “” what does that radicalism mean for Obama, progressives, and humanity?