In some ways, WC shouldn’t be picking on Rep. Paul Broun (R., GA). After all, there is vast, unplumbed ignorance in the Alaska Legislature. WC doesn’t have to go all the way to the 10th District of Georgia to find it. But Congressman Broun not only is in a position to do more harm than any member of the Alaska Legislature; he’s a licensed medical doctor and by training and testing, demonstrably knows better than the errant nonsense he spouts. A few examples.
Slate reported Paul Broun claimed after the President’s State of the Union address that “There are more people killed with baseball bats and hammers than are killed with guns.” Wrong. According to FBI data, 8,583 people were murdered with firearms in 2011. Only 496 people were killed by blunt objects, a category that includes not just hammers and baseball bats but crowbars, rocks, paving stones, statuettes, and electric guitars. Not just wrong, but stupidly, egregiously wrong.
Congressman Broun also claims the Earth is 9,000 years old. Our blue planet is 4.54 billion years old, or more than 500,000 times older than Broun believes it to be. As a physician, albeit a general practitioner, Broun presumably was exposed to nuclear medicine in medical school. Radioactive particle decay should be well within his intellectual grasp. But apparently not.
As WC reported earlier, during his 2012 campaign, video leaked of the congressman explaining to a group of sportsmen gathered at a Georgia church that evolution and the big bang theory were “lies straight from the pit of Hell.”
Broun voted against climate change legislation in June 2010, calling the entire concept of man-made global warming a conspiracy perpetuated by certain members of the scientific community. As Paul Krugman noted at the time,
I’d call this a crazy conspiracy theory, but doing so would actually be unfair to crazy conspiracy theorists. After all, to believe that global warming is a hoax you have to believe in a vast cabal consisting of thousands of scientists — a cabal so powerful that it has managed to create false records on everything from global temperatures to Arctic sea ice.
And now this buffoon, this pious hypocrite, this poltroon, is running for the U.S. Senate in 2014, seeking the seat of retiring Senator Saxby Chambliss. To this point, he’s the only declared candidate. Are the voters of the state of Georgia dumb enough to vote for this … politician? Are the voters of Georgia as dumb as the voters in Georgia’s 10th District?