Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Craziest Republican of the Day: Pat Toomey


No, he's not as crazy as, say, Sharron Angle or Christine O'Donnell, or countless other Republicans around the country, but, well, he's still out there. Greg Sargent makes a great point:

As many people have already pointed out, some of the leading beneficiaries of this season of Tea Party craziness are Republican candidates who hold extreme views on specific issues but nonetheless come across as moderate and reasonable when compared to the likes of Sharron Angle and Christine O'Donnell.

Case in point: Pennsylvania Senate candidate Pat Toomey. In a local radio interview on Friday, Toomey said the degree to which human activity is to blame for global warming is being "very much disputed" and "debated."

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Toomey's claim isn't as out there as some Tea Partyers who say flatly that there's no proof whatsoever that human activity has caused global warming. Toomey at least allows that this topic is up for debate. But Toomey's claim that this is "very much disputed" is sharply at odds with scientific consensus, which holds that human activity is primarily responsible for global warming.

Indeed, Toomey seems to be something of an agnostic on the core question of whether human activity is global warming's true culprit. That would put him at least partly in the company of O'Donnell, who recently said she doesn't have an opinion on whether global warming is created by human activity, or Angle, who recently dismissed that notion as a "mantra of the left" that's not backed up by "sound science."

Yet because O'Donnell and Angle have upped the crazy bar so high in so many other, more attention-grabbing ways, this sort of stuff from the relatively buttoned up Toomey passes unnoticed.

Once upon a time, Toomey would indeed have been considered something of an extremist in the Republican Party, or at least on the right of a fairly right-wing party. But now? Now he seems relatively sane.

When even global warming "agnosticism," despite all the evidence and the broad scientific consensus, passes for sanity, you know the crazies have taken over.

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