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Stop the madness: Mark Kirk, a U.S. Senator, blames his climate flip-flop on … Al Gore’s personal life

By Joe Romm  

"Stop the madness: Mark Kirk, a U.S. Senator, blames his climate flip-flop on … Al Gore’s personal life"

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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.”

H/t TPM

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.

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19 Responses to Stop the madness: Mark Kirk, a U.S. Senator, blames his climate flip-flop on … Al Gore’s personal life

  1. Mike says:

    Apparently my letters to him have not been effective. :(

  2. Prokaryotes says:

    How retarded can it possible get? I guess there is no bottom in this dark hole called childish politics.

    The only one who can blame here anyone are the children their parents.

  3. Michael Tucker says:

    “It passed the US House of Representatives — with the help of Kirk’s vote! Sen. Mark Kirk of Illinois…” – I’m missing something. The quote was so completely nonsensical I did lose some gray matter but Senator Kirk voted for the House bill? Did the rules change?

    Anyway…

    I am no longer surprised by ANYTHING a Republican member of congress says. Obviously he really does want the US to remain dependent on Saudi oil.

    The RNC, chasing after extremist Republican approval, removes support for Kirk. Kirk, chasing after extremist Republican approval, will now say any stupid thing he can think of to gain their trust. Just another example of a Republican using the McCain Model for staying in office.

  4. Scrooge says:

    Good grief is this an education problem, integrity problem, greed problem, or simply an intelligence problem. Maybe some children should be left behind.

  5. Michael Tucker says:

    Former Congressman now junior Senator from Illinois Mark Kirk – Doh!

  6. Robert H says:

    Then this must mean that Kirk repudiates the beliefs of Gingrich and Limbaugh, both of whom are Class I cads. I’m sure Kirk will be speaking against them in the immediate future since he (along with Brutus and Cassius) is an honorable man.

  7. Ben Lieberman says:

    This is an extraordinarily immature statement.

  8. Mike says:

    Here is Mark Kirk in 2009:

    I was a skeptic and spent hundreds of hours on the subject of 1990s climate science. In the Congress, our job is to learn as much as possible from the latest peer-reviewed non-partisan scientists and then plot the best course for our nation.

    There is now a growing scientific consensus that the level of atmospheric carbon dioxide affects average temperatures. According to the National Academy of Scientists, carbon dioxide levels rose to a high of 290 parts per million 130,000 years ago, causing a 20 degree increase in temperature. As carbon dioxide levels fell, so did average temperatures. Both Presidents Bush and their advisors recognized this long relationship and put forward their own plans to reduce the recent rapid growth of atmospheric carbon dioxide, both here and abroad.

    According to NASA, the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere rose from a pre-industrial level of 280 parts per million in 1850 to 385 parts per million today. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the rate of increase is accelerating, from 376 parts per million in 2004 to 385 today. The National Academy of Sciences reports that the earth’s average temperature already increased by 1.4°F, from 56.8°F in 1920 to 58.2°F in 2007. NOAA also reports that due to a 30% drop in winter ice covering the Great Lakes since 1972, evaporation may be the cause of Lake Michigan’s declining water level.

    http://lakecountyteaparty.com/2009/07/01/congressman-mark-kirks-response-on-cap-and-trade-vote/

    (Note this link is from a Tea Party group trying to discredit Kirk. The remarks used to be on his House page.

  9. David B. Benson says:

    I suppose this man has a law degree?

  10. Mike says:

    Senator Mark Kirk
    387 Russell Senate Office Bldg
    Washington DC, 20510

    Dear Senator Kirk,

    The NYT reported:

    [Another Republican blasted from both sides of the spectrum for his record on emissions, 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 am hoping they mangled the quote. It is hard to believe Al Gore’s problems could impact the laws of physics. If the Earth traps more heat it will heat up. You know this. It’s got nothing to do pressure from green groups. Get a spine man and speak the truth. Six years from now climate change will be obvious even to the Tea Party if it should still exist. Ignore the deniers and be a leader.

    Sincerely,
    Mike ….

  11. Sasparilla says:

    The sad thing is the underlying truth here. This is a Republican that voted for the climate bill in the House a year and a half ago, no small feat, even then. To even be a viable Republican now means he can’t even think about doing something like that today, can’t even talk about it in a responsible manner (otherwise he’d obviously be a person who might be able to do that, since he did before).

    It’s quite a little victory that the forces of greed and avarice (the Koch’s etc.) have won here and hard to see how we’ll get out of it (as a country). Seems like the takeaway is that it will be virtually impossible to get climate action from the GOP for the foreseeable future – not that we didn’t know that, but this just drives that point home. Once it is possible (and its hard to see when that might be possible without a true climate pearl harbor in the US), then this guy will be a possible vote, but at this point – he can’t do it as its political suicide for him.

  12. Jim Groom says:

    If Al Gore had never been born would this idiot flip-flop again? If you believe that, you had better buy some ocean-front property in Idaho.
    These guys are truly amazing and deserve nothing but pity.

  13. Mulga Mumblebrain says:

    This is what you inevitably get in capitalist societies. Just as bad money drives out good money, so bad money dished out by bad people, to buy the political process, drives good people from politics. It goes on, getting worse and worse, because the selective pressures are in favour of the venal, the unscrupulous, the stupid and the arrogant. In my own country my experience has been of politicians becoming more stupid, more malicious, more unprincipled and less admirable with every passing year. I now can think of but an handful of public figures, in politics, business and the media, who I do not regard as morally insane.

  14. Malcreado says:

    Yeah kirk now has Obama’s old seat. The dem he beat was the same guy who screwed up the state college tution fund. Go figure kirk won.

  15. Peter M says:

    Kirk, and other republicans, and their large media of supporters are taking a huge risk in laughing at Gore and denigrating a vast cadre of scientists including James Hansen, Micheal Mann & others.

    The science of AGW at this point is glaringly concise and irrefutable. The Era of AGW Disasters IS upon us.

    Kirk and his GOP colleagues, plus Fox News and other deniers in the not too distant future may find employment again, cleaning up the mess from global warming/fossil fuel disasters they said was a hoax.

  16. John McCormick says:

    Forgive this off topic comment but it is most appropriate for the “Stop the Madness” heading.

    There is madness in the hearts and minds of some who measure out punishment based on their own twisted views. Some of those people are living in Bangladesh.

    I believe the following new article must be shared:

    Rape Victim, 14, Dies After Public Flogging in Bangladesh

    Feb 3, 2011 – 7:01 PM

    AOL News

    A 14-year-old Bangladeshi girl allegedly raped by a much older cousin has died after being publicly flogged for adultery, media reports said.

    Hena Begum was sentenced to receive 100 lashes by a village council made up of elders and Muslim clerics in the district of Shariatpur, about 35 miles from the capital, Dhaka, the BBC said today.

    She endured about 80 lashes before collapsing Monday, according to The Daily Star, a Bangladeshi newspaper. Her family took her to a hospital, where she died.

    “What sort of justice is this? My daughter has been beaten to death in the name of justice. If it had been a proper court then my daughter would not have died,” Dorbesh Khan, the girl’s father, told the BBC.

    Family members said Hena was raped by a 40-year-old married cousin, The Daily Star said. The man’s family beat up the teen, then accused of her adultery, the newspaper said.

    The very next day, she was sentenced to the flogging in a fatwa, or religious ruling, issued by the village council under Islamic Shariah law, the BBC said.

    Sponsored Links
    Her father was also told pay a fine of about $700, police told the BBC.

    Four people, including a Muslim cleric, have been arrested in connection with Hena’s death, the BBC said. Police said they were looking for another 14 people in the case.

    Bangladesh’s high court has ordered district officials in Shariatpur to explain why they did not protect the girl, The Daily Star said. The court ruled eight months ago that Shariah punishment was illegal.

    In December, a 40-year-old woman in Rajshahi district died after she was publicly caned for allegedly carrying on an affair with her stepson.

    John McCormick

  17. Ray Kondrasuk says:

    Isn’t this a classic example of an ad hominem attack?

    “A” says “B”. Y’know, there’s something objectionable about “A”. Therefore, “B” is false.

    Applying it here:

    Al Gore warns of global warming. Y’know, Al Gore is divorced. Therefore, global warming is false.

    Joe, where can we get those new, improved head vises?

  18. Mulga Mumblebrain says:

    Just why is John McCormick allowed to use an ostensible climate blog to peddle Islamophobic hatred? He and his ilk have the entire mainstream media at their disposal for this Holy Work, so why pollute this site? Does this mean I can have a whinge next time Israel obliterates a few hundred Gazan children?

  19. Prokaryotes says:

    Mula, it is possible that someone else posted under the nick of Cormick. Happend before here with other users. Which again highlights the chance to weed this out, with an site update to offer member registrations.