Sen. Mark Kirk of Illinois, said he is “not terribly concerned” about taking heat from green groups for his criticism of EPA action on carbon emissions.
“The consensus behind the climate change bill collapsed and then further deteriorated with the personal and political collapse of Vice President [Al] Gore,” Kirk said in a brief interview last week.
I confirmed with the Greenwire reporter that the head-exploding quote was accurate.
Let’s just state for the record that if you are inane enough to base your decisions on Al Gore’s personal life in any respect whatsoever — let alone so inane that you actually tell a reporter this — then you have lost your credibility forever.
The “consensus” behind the climate bill didn’t “collapse.” It passed the US House of Representatives — with the help of Kirk’s vote! 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.” Duh!
Then the anti-science, pro-pollution crowd went after him (see Honey, I shrunk the GOP, Part 1: Conservatives vow to purge all members who support clean energy or science-based policy).
And so, running for Senate, he said that “I voted for [cap-and-trade] because it was in the narrow interests of my congressional district,” and that, as Senator, he would vote against it. By then, the Tea Party extremists had taken over the GOP, making any climate deal impossible. Heck, RNC Chair Steele withdrew support for Rep. Kirk over his climate vote, having previously called him a rising star and saying, “I’m so excited about Mark Kirk and his race.”
Now, by making the most absurd statement of the year, Kirk jumps the shark and nukes the fridge and generally gives away all his marbles — see Diagnosing a victim of anti-science syndrome (ASS).
For the record, there has never been a political collapse of VP Al Gore — a man who did in fact win the popular vote in 2000 and would almost certainly have been elected president had he been credited with the votes of all the people who went to the polls and tried to cast vote for him. He deservedly won the Nobel Prize for his efforts to inform the citizenry of the threat of unrestricted greenhouse gas emissions, and history will judge that the nation made a tragic mistake in ignoring his call for immediate action.
I am also happy to report that a very well-placed source recently told me that the ur-climate hawk has not in any way, shape or form “collapsed” personally. Rather, you can expect to see a resurgent Al Gore working as tirelessly as ever this year to avert the climate crisis.
One final note. As Paul Krugman wrote in 2007:
Which brings us to the biggest reason the right hates Mr. Gore: in his case the smear campaign has failed. He’s taken everything they could throw at him, and emerged more respected, and more credible, than ever. And it drives them crazy.
Or, perhaps, “crazier.”
Note: I would have warned readers to put on the multiple head vises prior to reading Kirk’s statement, but as the gray mess in my basement attests, the quote was vise-proof.