Dana Rohrabacher: Congressional Embarrassment

Congressman Rohrabacher (R-California) gave a presentation yesterday concerning global warming which was carried live on C-SPAN. I have not been able to find either video or a transcript but here's the gist of it: Rohrabacher resides firmly in the lunatic fringe. He's a global warming denier and a conspiracy theorist. He plays fast and loose with the facts and apparently has no problem with misrepresenting them. In layman's terms, he's bat-shit crazy.

Rohrabacher denies the existence of global warming outright and obviously, any link that humans might have to its cause. It should be pointed out that Rohrabacher consistently refers to "the theory of global warming", using the same sort of ignorant sneer that one associates with proponents of so-called "Intelligent Design" when they refer to "the theory of evolution". Of course, we have come to expect a misunderstanding of the scientific usage of theory from the magnates and minions of the small-minded, so this may come as no surprise. Here's a typical example of some of the arguments that he presented:

If global warming was true, the theory tells us that there should be an increase in both the frequency and severity of storms, yet New Orleans has not been hit with a hurricane as powerful (let alone more powerful) than Katrina in the following years. I'll give you a moment to reread it because I understand that it is so monumentally stupid that you'd think only someone with a brain-ectomy might utter such drivel. The man has no concept of climate.

Rohrabacher's main thrust, though, seemed to be that any mention of climate change is a part of some manner of conspiracy. You know, caused by them. He never explains precisely who these folks might be or what their motivations are, but he is very clear that it is all about "social engineering". Apparently, there are groups of nameless, faceless bureaucrats in the US government who are determined to prevent people from having fun and getting cheap airfares (this last bit was repeated several times). They do this through fear. (As a side note, it is interesting how he doesn't talk much about the use of fear and homeland security.)

According to Rohrabacher, the fear card is an outgrowth of both the cyclamates and alar scares of the 70's and 80's. When these bureaucrats noticed the reaction of people to the banning of said substances, they understood the power that fear held, and decided to use it for purposes of social engineering (although, besides the aforementioned vague references to fun, he doesn't explain what this entails). He then goes on to say that, of course, the cyclamates and alar scares were completely bogus and unfounded. While it is true that the risks of cyclamates and alar may have been overblown, it's not so much those items that are of interest in this speech, but their supposed role in establishing a conspiracy which is now pushing global warming. That is, because the cyclmates and alar affairs were bogus and unfounded, by extension global warming must also be bogus and unfounded because it is just the latest salvo in this conspiracy. Did I said he was bat-shit crazy? I take that back. The comparison is completely unfair to bats, whether crazy or incontinent.

Rorhabacher went on to list other "unfounded" environmental and health scams. My favorite in this list is acid rain. According to this rock-with-lips, this intellectual giant among doorknobs, acid rain does not and did not exist. It was all part of this conspiracy. I'd like to take this overgrown twit up to the Adirondacks and show him the dead lakes caused by acid rain. Given his stance on torture, perhaps we can even use him for a demonstration of acid rainwater-boarding. Wouldn't that be apropos?

Rohrabacher also noted that many young people in his district believe that the air in California is worse now that it ever was, and are shocked to learn that it was worse 40 years ago. Curiously, he credits "liberal Democrats" for pushing the legislation to curb air pollution back in the 1960's for which we are now seeing some benefits, but somehow fails to see that the spirit of the 1960's environmental movement is the same sort of concern that currently surrounds global warming.

In conclusion, I would be beyond embarrassed if this dolt was my representative. I can only imagine that he believes that being a contrarian is noble in and of itself, and that a sizable portion of his constituency are also along for the ride.

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By R Hampton (not verified) on 06 Jun 2008 #permalink

Sayeth the bats: "No offense taken. The term 'batshit crazy' refers to humans inhaling too much of our guano and being adversely affected by the vapors, a perfectly appropriate analogy to the mental state of Rohrabacher."

Pssst - embarrassment wants another R.

By Tegumai Bopsul… (not verified) on 09 Jun 2008 #permalink

what has gone wrong in the states with people voting these idiots into office. I am glad I moved to Europe 10 years ago and am now thinking seriously of changing citizenship as the U.S seems to be on the path to becoming a 3rd world coutry. I will wait to see who becomes the next president and it should not be Mc Bush

By Ex Partiate (not verified) on 13 Jun 2008 #permalink