James Inhofe, the Perfect Strom of Climate Denial

December 12, 2014

When school children learn about the era when the world could have done something to avoid most of the effects of climate change, but didn’t, Senator James Inhofe will be remembered in much the same way we remember the most vile segregationists of the Old South – as an answer to a multiple choice question, or short paragraph, about global tragedy.

Jake Tapper’s CNN interview above is  evidence that journalists are moving away from the “he said, she said” framing on climate change, and challenging science deniers more forcefully.  Unfortunately, about 30 years too late to avoid “a compliant,ignorant, incompetent, lazy, bought-off, and cowed media” from becoming an answer on the same test.


Senator Inhofe made headlines recently in claiming that Climate Change was a global conspiracy headed up by Barbara Streisand, who apparently is pulling the strings of an international cabal of evil doers, who wish to destroy America.
I doubt this will be a future test answer.

Nevertheless, we expect similar headlines to grace the media on a regular basis as Senator Inhofe re-ascends to the chairmanship of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, the nation’s most powerful legislative seat in matters of the global life support system.  It is important that those who support and surround Senator Thur.. I mean, Inhofe, be always and forever made to answer for that support, challenged to defend his manifest craziness, and reminded of it whenever they wish to weigh in on matters of substance and fact.

In case you don’t remember Strom Thurmond and his Inhofe-like prominence in the segregationist movement, see below. (racial language alert)

The Washington Monthly:

Like many artists and most bigots, Strom Thurmond was highly productive early in life. By the age of fifty-five, the humorless South Carolina reactionary had run for president as a Dixiecrat, secured election to the U.S. Senate, penned the neo-confederate “Southern Manifesto” denouncing Brown v. Board of Education, and performed the longest one-man filibuster in the Senate’s history: a ghastly King Lear with pitchfork and noose, in which Thurmond denounced the 1957 Civil Rights Act as the death of liberty. (It ended when he grew hoarse and sat down.) When Lyndon Johnson pushed the much toothier Civil Rights Act of 1964 through Congress, he again did it over Thurmond’s filibuster. The following year, Thurmond fought the Voting Rights Act. His political idols were John C. Calhoun, Robert E. Lee, and Spiro Agnew. In his most famous speech, Thurmond pledged in 1948 that there were not enough troops in the Army to force “the southern people” to “admit the nigger race into our theaters, into our swimming pools, into our homes, and into our churches.” But apparently they were allowed into “our” beds: in 1925 the twenty-two-year-old Thurmond sired a child with a sixteen-year-old African American family maid. His illegitimate daughter remained anonymous until her father’s death in 2003.

Today Strom Thurmond’s name brings to mind two sentiments: revulsion and disgrace. Here was a racist hypocrite who denounced the intermixing of black and white while secretly paying hush money to his own biracial daughter. He never apologized for his years as a segregationist, and even had the nerve later in life to deny that they ever occurred. Thurmond’s association was toxic enough to cost Trent Lott his position as Senate majority leader in 2002, when Lott suggested during an unguarded moment that the United States would have been a better place had Thurmond been elected president in 1948.


12 Responses to “James Inhofe, the Perfect Strom of Climate Denial”

  1. dumboldguy Says:

    It’s odd that any Crock post that references racism even obliquely doesn’t get many comments. Inhofe in his way is the same kind of sick F**K that Thurmond was, and the fact that either one rose to such positions of power is symptomatic of a greater sickness in this country. We are still working our way through the racism of Thurmond et al, and have a long way to go. Let’s hope the climate change denialism and insane religiosity of the Inhofes don’t take as long to overcome.

  2. […] a position, are challenged and confronted constantly with the statements of uber-climate denier James Inhofe, incoming Chair of the Environment and Public Works Committee, who has said the findings of 97 percent of relevant, working scientists are “a […]

  3. […] key problem these folks are going to have is their Crazy Uncle in the Basement, Senator Strom..I mean James Inhofe, the 80 year old incoming chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, who hopes to […]

  4. […] I’ve pointed out that Senator James Inhofe, the new Chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, is to Climate Denial what Strom Thurmond was to civil rights. […]

  5. […] Jeff Sessions, apparently gunning to play Jesse Helms to Jim Inhofe’s Strom Thurmond, took to the Senate floor this week, as one right wing site boasted, to “..tell Warmists to […]

  6. […] Strom..ahem..James Inhofe was in fine form yesterday, tossing a snowball on the Senate floor as a supposed rebuttal to […]

  7. […] Naomi Oreskes, author of Merchants of Doubt, on finding out that she was being attacked on the floor of the Senate by James Inhofe, the Strom Thurmond of climate denial. […]

  8. […] deniers, mostly Republicans, find themselves in, as staggering demonstrations of ignorance, like Senator Strom,..er..James Inhofe’s recent “snowball” speech, continue to go viral and define that party on the wrong side […]

  9. […] Washington Post has been writing some scathing editorials on the towering dumbness of folks like Senator Strom..ahem..Jim Inhofe, whose recent “snowball” stunt so perfectly captured the current level of […]

  10. […] I’ve posted before on the link between racism and climate change denial, and I’ve noted that Senator Jim Inhofe is to climate denial as Strom Thurmond was to civil rights. […]

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