Lefty Blogger: Inhofe Global-Warming Speech Shows ‘Why No Intelligent Person Should Ever Vote For’ Republicans

New York magazine’s Jonathan Chait rounded up the usual suspects and then some on Sunday when he opined that James Inhofe’s recent Senate remarks about global warming, during which Inhofe used a snowball as a visual aid, demonstrate “why no intelligent person should ever vote for the Republican Party.”

Chait argued that “Inhofe’s argument was breathtakingly devoid of a factual or logical grasp of its subject matter” and remarked that while “the design of environmental regulation, or the appropriate balance between economic cost and clean air, is a subject on which reasonable people can disagree…the modern Republican party (as opposed to the one of a generation ago) is structurally incapable of reasonable disagreement or calculus. Cranks like Inhofe have veto power.”

From Chait’s post (bolding added):

A few days ago, Republican Senator James Inhofe delivered a speech about why no intelligent person should ever vote for the Republican Party. This was not, obviously, the putative subject of his speech, merely its subtext and inescapable conclusion.

Inhofe tried to make the case that global warming is fake because it is currently very cold. This is not even true. (It is unusually cold in the Eastern United States, but the planet on the whole is having an unusually warm year.) Even if it were true, it would be irrelevant, because the theory of anthropogenic global warming predicts a jagged, long-term rise in temperature, rather than a continuous one…Inhofe’s argument was breathtakingly devoid of a factual or logical grasp of its subject matter.

It would be alarming enough if Inhofe were merely one of 54 elected Republican U.S. Senators. In fact, he chairs the Senate’s Committee on Environment and Public Works. The implications of this go well beyond the simple reality that an Inhofe-chaired committee is unlikely to pass well-designed environmental legislation. We live in an era of party government, where presidents ratify decisions within narrow parameters set by their fellow partisans. Any Republican environmental policy will be shaped in a context where the views of James Inhofe are, at minimum, treated with respect.

Inhofe’s views lie perfectly within the mainstream of Republican thought…

Of course, the design of environmental regulation, or the appropriate balance between economic cost and clean air, is a subject on which reasonable people can disagree. But the modern Republican party (as opposed to the one of a generation ago) is structurally incapable of reasonable disagreement or calculus. Cranks like Inhofe have veto power…[A] stunt like Inhofe tossing a snowball on the Senate floor and claiming this refutes climate science actually tells you everything you need to know about giving the Republican Party power over government policy.

Environment Global Warming Weather Conservatives & Republicans New York Magazine Jonathan Chait James Inhofe


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