Yesterday, while I was exploring a new feature at TPM, a nifty series of “twitter rooms” which are constantly updated with the tweets that seem to be continuously emanating from D.C. legislators and various other capitol hill insiders, I came across a tweet from the notorious and noxious G. Gordon Liddy with a link to an interview with Missouri’s senior senator, Kit Bond. Naturally, I couldn’t resist and followed the link to a podcast where the two offered up the usual truckload of crap that Republicans are spreading on the topic of the proposed American Clean Energy and Security (ACES) Act that is under consideration in the congress.

I won’t bother to go too deeply into the assertions made by these elders of the Republican party, since Fired-Up Missouri got the job done before me, very capably debunking Bond’s effort to substantiate his claims that the cap-and-trade provisions will cost too much for what they will provide. No, what struck me about the interview were the comic overtones.

Admittedly, it wasn’t slap-your-knees humor.  It was mostly the roll-your-eyes and mutter-WTF-type of comedy, though, at times, it demanded a well-developed sense of irony to get the comedic point.  

Liddy went for the big chuckles right away when he asserted that Bond is a widely recognized “expert” on plant biotechnology. (See what I mean about the WTF factor?) Liddy then asked Bond, in this expert role, to explain why “everybody” was demonizing CO2 emissions since “there would be nothing green without CO2.”  I do have to admit Bond was pretty careful not to step too explicitly into the CO2-is-good pile, even though it would have been really good for lots more laughs.  


But don’t think Bond didn’t get his comedic chops in. He informed Liddy that we don’t need cap-and-trade to reduce toxic emissions.  Practical and easy measures like battery driven cars and tractors (which can be charged at night to avoid peak electricity use) will take care of all of those nasty emissions that seem to get the “rabid environmentalists” all worked up. Meanwhile, we need to exploit all that shale oil and the tons of coal that we have. (Did you know we are the Saudi Arabia of coal?) I don’t know about you, but when I heard this bit, I just about died laughing.  

Bond also put in a plug for his green jobs joke book, a report titled Yellow light on Green Jobs. Of course, he as much as admitted that all the jokes in this book have the same punchline which urges:

… caution with green jobs, … . We must avoid green job proposals that result in killing millions of existing jobs to pay for new green jobs, require expensive taxpayer subsidies, or pay low wages.

Sadly, there are always those who have no sense of humor, like real experts who insist on picking apart all the jokes and completely ruining the many versions of this recurrent punchline:

But Bracken Hendricks a senior fellow at CAP, told that Bond’s conclusion that green jobs cost too much, pay too little, and come at the cost of other jobs, is wrong.

The Center for American Progress has looked into this and we fundamentally disagree on all three of those points,” said Hendricks. “We directly compared investment in renewable energy and energy efficiency to traditional stimulus — when you give people checks. Because it’s more local and intensive it creates more jobs. We also compared it to investing in oil. The green job solutions create more jobs. … “

Bond and Liddy were really working as a team, though, when they hit the topic of “radical” environmentalists.  You know, those “kooks” who have managed to get such a toehold in the congress, not to mention access to Obama’s ear, and, heaven forfend, the national media that has:

… gone wild, even teaching in schools, that there’s a great catastrophe coming…

Such hilarity! Such comic exaggeration to imply that a rogue national media teaches environmentalism in the school, not teachers who actually respect and understand science.

By now, after all this slap-stick, I bet you’re wondering where I found the irony in this routine. If you’ll bear with me, I hope it isn’t just me who finds it ironic when two aspiring opinion leaders dismiss real climate science while citing junk science to substantiate their spurious claims about the costs of clean energy.

Equally ironic, perhaps even tragically so, is the spectacle of Kit Bond, a man who, as Liddy noted, graduated cum laude from the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton, was governor of a state in his thirties, and a multi-term congressman, reduced to distorting facts in the service of a toxic status quo. And doing it with the likes of the dim-witted Liddy!  What a sad, sad joke!

Image from Wikipedia Commons