Vast, Unplumbed Ignorance: Paul Broun


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 crowbarsrockspaving stonesstatuettes, 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.

He remains a member of the Committee on Science and Technology and the Chair of the Subcommittee on Investigations and Oversight. WC isn’t easily given to despair, but this takes him close.

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?

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5 thoughts on “Vast, Unplumbed Ignorance: Paul Broun

  1. If you haven’t seen it, I invite you over to see one of my all-time favorite Daily Show segments on the esteemed Dr. Broun, along with his fellow science super-genius Congressman Aiken.

  2. It would make sense that Broun dismisses science—he has not been a party to any signs of evolution than
    I can fathom.

  3. WakeUpAmerica is very sorry that you poor Alaskans actually have a competitor for dumbest Palin in the 49th state (Palin). You have all WUA’s sympathy.

  4. Like you, I believe firmly that Dr. Broun does not believe the nonsense he is spouting. There is a dangerous practice on the Right nowadays in which highly educated people who should know better are engaging in this type of nonsense. They’re toying with great danger in the process. Broun is one of them. Another of the more recent ones is TX Sen. Ted Cruz and his wild allegations against Sen. Chuck Hagel as Defense nominee. Even Sen. John McCain and Sen. Lindsey Graham took issue with Cruz. Cruz is making wild statements about commies on the Harvard Law School faculty when he was there. He was a standout student, went on to clerk for Chief Justice Rehnquist, so one can be pretty confident he’s got the smarts to know better. He doesn’t really believe his own nonsense. So he’s playing to an element in his party and the electorate that eats up that kind of nonsense. Cruz and Broun and the others of like ilk will find that they are not in control of that element, and if loosed beyond control it can be quite destructive of their political party and the nation as well. Through the years and decades in conservatism, leaders managed to keep the crazies on the fringe. Wm. F. Buckley was successful in doing so. Even Barry Goldwater had standards, especially when warning as recently as the early 1980s in a speech about the dangers of increasing religious Right in the party. The danger goes beyond the religious elements and encompasses a wider element that takes comfort in hearing that kind of crazy talk from highly educated people who are merely toying with them as political pawns.
    Paul Eaglin
    Fairbanks

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