He’s not the only one, of course. For instance, I’m convinced Matt Gaetz has the largest head-to-brain-size ratio in the animal kingdom and that Louie Gohmert is the lamentable result of a failed attempt to breed a white supremacist lemur with a bowl of beets.
But none of these characters are part of the venerable upper chamber. Wisconsin’s Ron Johnson, on the other hand, very much is.
In a recent wide-ranging New York Times story about Johnson’s boundless stupidity, one section jumped out at me. You see, Johnson thinks he understands history and science, when in fact his only connection to anything marginally “scientific” is the baking soda volcano inside his head.
The Times story starts out by delineating some of Johnson’s recent sins against the brain-endowed community—i.e., his insistence that he wasn’t scared when the Trump troglodytes stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6, his eager acceptance and dissemination of Russian disinfo, etc.—but when the topic of climate change came up, I nearly spit green tea all over my laptop:
But there were signs in that first campaign of Mr. Johnson’s predilection for anti-intellectualism. On several occasions, he declared that climate change was not man-made but instead caused by “sun spots” and said excess carbon dioxide in the atmosphere “helps the trees grow.” He also offered a false history of Greenland to dismiss the effects of global warming.
“You know, there’s a reason Greenland was called Greenland,” Mr. Johnson told WKOW-TV in Madison back then. “It was actually green at one point in time. And it’s been, you know, since, it’s a whole lot whiter now so we’ve experienced climate change throughout geologic time.”
In the interview on Thursday, Mr. Johnson was still misinformed about the etymology of Greenland, which got its name from the explorer Erik the Red’s attempt to lure settlers to the ice-covered island.
Okay, sure. Parts of Greenland were green, but it’s not like it was a vast verdant island in the 10th century that has since become swathed in ice.
To be fair, Johnson also said, “I could be wrong there, but that’s always been my assumption that, at some point in time, those early explorers saw green. I have no idea.”
They did see green, Ron. And you also have no idea. Both can be true.
Sure, there’s some green in Greenland, but it’s still mostly white. Why else would Donald Trump want to trade Puerto Rico for it? But that has fuck-all to do with climate change, bro.
I was born and raised in Wisconsin and lived there most of my life, so I know how much it hurts to see a mediocrity like Ron Johnson replace a progressive stalwart like Russ Feingold. It’s like ordering a baked Brie wheel and getting a crockpot full of Velveeta dumped in your lap instead.
But, hey, we’ll survive. Assuming Ron Johnson doesn’t melt the Greenland ice sheet with his searing stupidity, anyway.
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