I swear to god

This morning I woke up and said "Okay, James, stop being so mean to Republicans - just because they worry that the economy is more fragile than the world is in danger. They just have different priorities."

My personal theory is that Representative John Shimkus (R-Illinois) is psychic and heard me think that thought as he was driving by the place I'm staying in Arizona (because he also travels through time, you see). I'm forced to believe this because the idea that someone elected by thousands of people to represent them for anything at all - never mind in the federal government - could be so dumb that he doesn't understand anything about


Okay I'm done.

I mean, I just don't understand how you can be so willfully ignorant - does he just ignore every piece of information on this subject that crosses his desk? Illinois has to have some kind of climate change advocacy or lobbyism going for

No, I'm done. I am done.

But it's worth noting that the out-spoken, willful ignorance of a few conservative politicians and pundits do not represent the entire Republican party - nor conservatives in general. And while I'm (obviously) guilty of picking on the weak, stupid and sick members of the herd, I also firmly believe that the issue of climate change is larger than any partisan considerations.

It's like this - the changes we have to make go beyond progressive. Being progressive means you think there are some tweaks to be made. These changes are revolutionary - but not violently so. Instead, we've been given not only the means but the excuse as well to reinvent ourselves for the better. Maybe that's progressive or liberal or Democrat or whatever, but I see it more as a great opportunity (although, admittantly, one born from disaster).

And despite these few conservative politicians, I think that this opportunity extends to everyone. Solving climate change isn't about creating a liberal paradise - it's about tackling an issue. And while there are conservation elements to it, and while we certainly have to be careful about our cure being worse for the environment than the disease, that doesn't mean anything regarding party lines. There are ways of confronting climate change from all angles - and we need to be doing it, right now.

So I say screw you, John Shimkus - and Republicans and Democrats alike should too. Because people like him don't help anyone; he pisses off Democrats and makes Republicans look bad - and way worse than that, he holds back the actions that both parties should be taking. And just because he's stupid, and that's no excuse.

And since I'm trying to get better about hat-tipping, thanks Yglesias.

Updated thought:




Oh, no. No, I'm not.

Interesting, while those links aren't as outrageous as the "PLANTS WILL DIE." argument, the commentary leveled by my new favorites (when it comes to Illinois politics at least) progressillinois.com shine some light on carbon cap-and-trade.

I thought about writing a letter to the Chicago Tribune or the Slate Journal-Register, the nearest newspaper to Shimkus's district that I could find (and winner of the "Just pick one name, honey, you don't need three synonyms" award) - but then I realized that, as a resident of Oregon who has never set foot in Illinois's 19th district, I don't have much of a leg to stand on.

Anyone out there from the FIGHTIN' 19TH (or around there, anyway) wanna do me a favor and send them a letter sharing the character of the man they've chosen to represent them?

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