Thursday, March 10, 2011

Craziest Republican of the Day: Rand Paul

So what are Republicans doing after that "shellacking" of the Democrats in last November's midterms?

Well, they watched lamely while the lame-duck Congress did some amazing things (passing New START, repealing DADT), and while President Obama's popularity rose steadily, they voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act, purely a symbolic vote in the House that was widely ignored or ridiculed, and now they're just failing about in search of something, anything to hang their extremist right-wing hats on.

And that doesn't even include committing political suicide in Wisconsin as they watch their popularity plummet over their assault on labor (and on working people everywhere), not to mention throwing up what is, so far, a fantastically lame 2012 presidential field.

Oh, and they're complaining about toilets. Yes, toilets:

Senator Rand Paul's toilets don't work, and he blames the Department of Energy.

At a hearing of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources on Thursday, Mr. Paul lambasted Kathleen Hogan, deputy assistant secretary for energy efficiency at the Energy Department, telling her that the department's "hypocrisy" and "busybody nature" has "restricted choices" for consumers rather than made life better for them.

"You don't care about the consumer really," Mr. Paul said. "Frankly, my toilets don't work in my house, and I blame you."

Boo-freakin'-hoo. Consumers have more than enough choice and the concern here is the environment, which under Republican rule would simply be exploited to the very last drop of all remaining natural resources. What is wrong with trying to conserve water, with using technology to make our use of natural resources somewhat more efficient, more responsible and sustainable? Please. It's just a low-flush toilet, not some high-tech gizmo, and they work pretty damn well.

Not that Paul gives a shit. He just wants to freedom to rape the environment with as much recklessness as he desires.

But this isn't isolated Republican craziness. The entire GOP is anti-environment -- oh, sure, they'll go out into nature, but only to drill for oil and kill defenceless animals -- just as it is anti-science. Indeed:

The hearing was called not to examine toilet policy, but to consider two proposed bills, one that would update energy efficiency standards for appliances and a second that would repeal a measure passed in 2007 to phase in new efficiency standards for light bulbs beginning next year.

The new standards would make the current form of 100-watt incandescent bulbs obsolete. Those bulbs have long been known to be particularly inefficient, emitting far more heat than light.

Conservatives have taken up the cause of the incandescent light bulb, saying the government is trying to dictate to Americans what kind of light bulbs they can use in their homes.

This is also incredibly stupid. Again, it's not about consumer choice, let alone about freedom, it's about being responsible environmental stewards. And it's also about innovation, about technological progress, about jobs. There will continue to be more than enough choice; indeed, innovation will open up more choice than ever. Besides, how much choice will there be when there's no fresh water left, or when there's so little that we'll need to ration it?

And, seriously, defending inefficient (and dangerous) light bulbs? Is that really the great Republican issue of the day? I get that they're trying desperately to frame this anti-environmentalism as pro-freedom (and anti-government), but no one outside of their base really buys their "nanny state" fearmongering and all they're doing, as they flail about like this, is coming across as incredibly ignorant and remarkably crazy.

Which of course they are. Just add this to the list.

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  • I'm to the left of left, and you are all wrong about the new energy saving bulbs.

    They are a major health hazard, especially to children and pets.

    Their technology, unlike incandescent bulbs require that the bulbs are filled with mercury.

    Bulbs break.....often with pets, children, and even adults.

    Complaining about the environment AND uncritically supporting these poison bulbs is absurd !

    They are a major health hazard, and if you opined against those challenging them without having done your research, then you are grotesquely irresponsible.

    If you did the research and deliberately omitted the dangers, then you are a liar.

    Either way, this indicts this blog as superficial at best and dishonest at worst.

    By Anonymous Jay Diamond, at 3:55 AM  

  • It was interesting to contrast his incendiary rhetoric with the almost reasonable Rand I saw on The Daily Show.

    Time was, being two-faced was seen as a negative quality.

    By Blogger Capt. Fogg, at 9:50 AM  

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