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Honey, I shrunk the GOP, Part 3: RNC Chair Steele withdraws support for Rep. Kirk over his vote on climate and clean energy bill

By Joe Romm on September 26, 2009 at 8:54 am

"Honey, I shrunk the GOP, Part 3: RNC Chair Steele withdraws support for Rep. Kirk over his vote on climate and clean energy bill"

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shrunkthegopPart 1 looked at how, conservatives vowed to purge all members who support clean energy or science-based policy following the House vote on the climate bill.

That anti-climate litmus test threatens the health and well-being of our children and grandchildren — and will ultimately prove self-destructive for conservatives, too, as noted in Part 2: Opposing clean energy hurts GOP “” Mellman.  More recent polling further underscores the danger of opposing the clean air, clean water, clean energy jobs bill (see Swing state poll finds 60% “would be more likely to vote for their senator if he or she supported the bill” and Independents support the bill 2-to-1).

Now Think Progress reports on another striking GOP effort to purge a member who failed the litmus test:

This past June, Rep. Mark Kirk (R-IL) “” who is now running for Senate “” was one of the eight Republicans to cast a vote in favor of Waxman-Markey clean energy legislation. But ever since Kirk began taking heat from the likes of Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck, he has been trying desperately to backtrack from his vote.

Kirk has since offered contradictory explanations for his shifting stance. “I voted for [cap-and-trade] because it was in the narrow interests of my congressional district,” he explained recently. But at the time of his vote, Kirk cited “national security” considerations, “arguing that a modest carbon tax would spur development of domestic energy sources and reduce dependence on oil controlled by Saudi sheiks and Venezuelan dictators.”

steele

Now, RNC Chairman Michael Steele is feeling the heat from the right-wing base as well, and is pulling a flip-flop of his own. The Chicago Daily Observer reports that Steele is withdrawing his support from Kirk:

“Republican National Chairman Michael Steele has withdrawn his sole endorsement for Mark Kirk for the U. S. Senate, recognizing that the candidacy of Patrick Hughes has drawn major support from Illinois Republicans: thus Steele’s RNC is neutral “¦ a distinct victory for Hughes.”

Steele has previously referred to Kirk as a rising star and someone he would support. “I’m so excited about Mark Kirk and his race,” Steele said in a radio interview. “We were all kind of sitting around with bated breath as he was making his decision, a very personal decision, a family decision, to run for the Senate.”

“You have absolutely no reason, none, to trust our word or our actions at this point,” Steele told Glenn Beck in February. This of course remains an ongoing challenge for conservatives.

Anti-science 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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15 Responses to Honey, I shrunk the GOP, Part 3: RNC Chair Steele withdraws support for Rep. Kirk over his vote on climate and clean energy bill

  1. The oddest part of this ongoing saga is that they continue to think of themselves as conservative. In the end, what could possibly be more radical than doubling the carbon content of the atmosphere and just seeing what happened. Abbie Hoffman on his best day couldn’t have dreamed up a more radical and subversive plan.

  2. BBHY says:

    I wish I had a dollar for every time a conservative Republican claimed their party was a “big tent”.

    It’s looking more and more like the pup tent party.

  3. This is the necessary chaos that will allow necessary change.

  4. Boudica says:

    This is just one more example of your ongoing left wing conspiracy, subversively putting ridiculous, unsupportable talking points into materials distributed to our base, who simply repeat those talking points. Stop making us look moronic.

  5. lgcarey says:

    What Bill McKibben said – these idiots aren’t interested in “conserving” anything except the status quo. If he was alive today, I can just see Theodore Roosevelt being pilloried by Limbaugh and Beck as a crypto-Communist for proposing national parks.

  6. prizebig.ru says:

    What’s another word for “thesaurus”?

  7. paulm says:

    Recession barely dents ‘eco-debt’
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/8273791.stm

    The recession has had little impact on humanity’s over-consumption of resources, says a report.

    The New Economics Foundation (Nef) calculates the day each year when the world goes into “ecological debt.”

    This is the date by which humanity has used the quantity of natural resources that ought to last an entire year if used at a sustainable rate.

    This year, “ecological debt day” falls on 25 September – just one day later than in 2008.

  8. dhogaza says:

    If he was alive today, I can just see Theodore Roosevelt being pilloried by Limbaugh and Beck as a crypto-Communist for proposing national parks.

    Well, he did leave the Republican Party to start his own populist “Bull Moose” party …

  9. Actually, Beck trashed TR for being a phony conservative.

  10. BBHY says:

    I find the eco-debt news strangely reassuring. If I had been asked to guess, I would have said it would land sometime in June. We are much closer to sustainability than I thought.

  11. caerbannog says:


    I wish I had a dollar for every time a conservative Republican claimed their party was a “big tent”.

    It’s looking more and more like the pup tent party.

    I recently heard the GOP described as:

    “Small tent. Big closet.”

  12. Robert says:

    TEARS START TO WELL-UP as i consider the depth of their dilemma. My only hope is that they will maintain their trajectory. Oh how how will we manage with a Congress of one party divided only over issues in place of their ideology of theatrical nonsense and blatant corruption!

  13. Abbreviation is such a long word because they dont allow abreviations in scrabble ;)

  14. Where can I find the money sound effects for Money by Pink Floyd?

  15. Warez Data says:

    How much money do book editors make on average?