You know, I’ve been watching politics closely for over 35 years and what has happened to the GOP in the last several years is pretty remarkable, if you step back and look at it. There are so many examples of them either changing positions as the wind blows or simply changing public opinion to match their crazy ideas. A perfect example of the latter is Climate Change (formerly Global Warming). Steve Benen has a post up with a link to a previous post of his own that shows this so clearly. From one of his pieces…
It’s disheartening enough that rejection of climate science has become a benchmark of Republicans’ ideology. It adds insult to injury to see how quickly the party’s perspective is regressing.It was, after all, literally just a few years ago that plenty of Republicans were willing to take the threat and the science seriously. GOP presidential candidates like John McCain and Mike Huckabee not only acknowledged climate change, they both endorsed cap-and-trade plans. Rank-and-file Republican voters, by and large, believed what the mainstream believed when it came to climate science.
If you follow that last link he gives, you discover that Republicans have been victims of a massive propaganda campaign. Maybe the word “victim” isn’t appropriate, since they seem to be doing it so willingly. Some might call it denial, some might call it lying to oneself and others might just call it stupidity. I think all apply. From another Benen piece…
A new report this week from the Pew Research Center shows what we probably could have guessed: conservatives in America reject evidence of global warming. But Pew study also raises an important related point: it didn’t use to be this way.Pew found that a 53% majority of self-identified Republicans believe there is no solid evidence the earth is warming. Among “Tea Party” Republicans, the results were even worse, with 70% concluding that the climate science is wrong. This isn’t exactly surprising.
But reader H.S. flagged a key detail about the trend in attitudes:
Disbelief in global warming in the GOP is a recent occurrence. Just a few years ago, in 2007, a 62%-majority of Republicans said there is solid evidence of global warming, while less than a third (31%) said there is no solid evidence. Currently, just 38% of Republicans say there is solid evidence the earth is warming, and only 16% say that warming is caused by human activity. In 2007, three-in-ten Republicans said global warming was the result of human activity.
That is one massive change in attitudes and it didn’t just happen by chance. If you want to know how this occurred, you just have to look at one example to understand it. Fred Upton, a Republican from my state of Michigan, has done a complete 180 degree turnaround. Just over a year ago in April 2009, Upton characterized climate change as “a serious problem that necessitates serious solutions.” It’s quite amazing how $20,000 can change a person’s mind. Brad Johnson fills in the blanks for us, via Steve Benen…(emphasis mine)
In a Wall Street Journal op-ed, incoming energy chair Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI) joined Americans For Prosperity (AFP) president Tim Phillips, a global warming denier, to support the lawsuits by global warming polluters against climate rules. One of the companies leading the charge against the Environmental Protection Agency’s greenhouse gas endangerment finding is Koch Industries, the private pollution giant whose billionaire owners have been directing the Tea Party movement through its AFP front group.
Upton once considered a “moderate on environmental issues,” but has worked hard to refashion himself as a hard-right defender of pollution in recent months. Some Tea Party groups tried to block Upton from taking the gavel of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, attacking his past support for energy-efficient light bulbs. Upton previously claimed that “climate change is a serious problem” and that “the world will be better off” if we reduced carbon emissions. However, in the course of the past two years — as he received $20,000 from Koch Industries — Upton has shifted to oppose not only cap-and-trade legislation but any form of limits on climate pollution whatsoever, instead supporting investigations against climate scientists and lawsuits against the EPA and its supposed “unconstitutional power grab that will kill millions of jobs.”
Look how far the GOP has regressed in just over a year. I don’t think you will find a single Republican saying anything about Climate Change these days. They have successfully brainwashed all their Fox-heads and Rush-heads to fall in line with the corporate overlords, Koch Industries. Lock-step everyone, lock-step. Tighten up those ranks, get those salutes tighter now…march, march, march. What’s next?