We know that the right wing revels in stupidity; Willful stupidity and well practiced stupidity are thought to be the way elitist anti-populous tax-the-middle-class Republicans capture support from the masses. Seems to work rather well. But increasingly this trope of (ig)noble ignorance is being supplemented by large doses of mean spirited in your face angry verbal assault. Imagine a member of congress saying to an expert witness at a committee hearing “As long as I’m sitting here and you’re sitting there, I can call you whatever I want.”

Seriously. The last time I heard that kind of talk in real life was in a bar, late at night, everyone was drunk, and the words were slurred.

I would like you to look at two freshly produced essays reflecting on one recent incident:


Don Shelby has written this piece for Minnpost:

A video of Rep. Don Young every American should see

On Nov. 18 the celebrated historian, Dr. Douglas Brinkley, testified before the U.S. House Natural Resources Committee. The committee was taking testimony on another congressional effort to open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) to oil exploration and drilling….After Brinkley delivered his testimony, Rep. Don Young, R-Alaska, walked into the hearing late. Please watch this short clip of what happened:

Click here to be shocked and amazed. Don, former WCCO (CBS) News Anchor, is a friend of the victim, and provides excellent analysis of this fiasco.

Meanwhile, Shawn Otto (of ScienceDebate fame and author of an important new book on science denialism) also wrote about this astonishingly immature and inappropriate behavior by a member of the United States Congress:

Congressman to Witness: ‘You Just Be Quiet!’

A heated exchange between two congressmen and a historian they didn’t want to hear from shows what happens to democracy when knowledge is no longer the arbiter of what is true, but is simply another “way of knowing.”

This shameful display happened when Republican congressman Don Young from the state of Alaska shouted down a noted historian invited to testify before the House Natural Resources Committee…

Click here to be flabbergasted.

Comments

  1. #1 Marion Delgado
    November 22, 2011

    Here’s the deal on Young:

    Lives in Ft. Yukon so he has just folks appeal – even our 100% Democratic voting Natives usually support him. Among the most senior members of Congress. Lost to a dead man – Democrat Nick Begich, known to be dead when voters voted for him over Don Young.

    Drinks like a fish. For instance, addressing a group of HIGH SCHOOL students he made crude references to buttf-ing using that term (maybe the most famous incident but he’s got several dozen by now).

    The opposition to him has mostly been Diane Benson, getting closer every cycle. In 2010 Rahm Emmanuel, the Boll Weevil Neocon who was the political commissar heading the DCCC, spent a ton of money making sure Benson lost the primary to Ethan Berkowitz, who was noticeably less anti-war than Diane, who had a son in Iraq. That sunk the race, especially since the DCCC didn’t spend in the general. At the time the DCCC money was spent, Benson was polling even with Young and Berkowitz was substantially behind. Just saying. He’s lucky in his opponents, by which I mean the national Democrats. They’re as beholden to the neocons as the GOP are. The DCCC under Rahm Emmanuel actually lost more races than they won – if they had spent nothing the Dems would have gained more seats. The money was primarily spent on primaries and the only criterion for getting money was to be pro-war against Iran, etc.

    Doing reporting I had a chance to interview Stevens, Murkowski, Gravel, and several others but have never interviewed Young. His reputation is that he’s mostly like he was in that hearing.

  2. #2 Lisa Boucher
    November 25, 2011

    Don Young seems to be another poster child for the kind of government we inevitably get from a disengaged citizenry.

  3. #3 Pete
    November 26, 2011

    Ohhh boy…you Brave New Worlders/Trekkies are getting desperate.

    Drill-baby-drill!

  4. #4 https://www.google.com/accounts/o8/id?id=AItOawlFBTHQt2nQ-D5byBkq8JhaGwWNjpd5_3w
    November 27, 2011

    New Worlders? Trekkies? What the…I don’t even…

  5. #5 Daniel McCoy
    November 28, 2011

    If Don Young’s constituents want to drill, it’s because they all get checks from the government for oil:

    http://www.pfd.state.ak.us/

    More drilling, more government checks.
    You start passing out checks in the lower 48 and you could probably buy some votes for drilling down here too.

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