We all know that unlike, say, Rep. Rush Holt of New Jersey, Senator Marco Rubio, Governor Rick Scott, and Speaker John Boehner are not scientists. They don’t claim to be scientists. But we wish that they had at least stayed in a Holiday Inn Express last night. That way, perhaps they would be able to come to grips with the fact that 97% of scientists agree that human activity is causing climate change that will have far more economically-negative consequences down the road than the cost of addressing the problem would have now.

Jonathan Chait wants to know why it is suddenly so popular for Republicans to tell the public that they are not scientists and therefore are unqualified to have an opinion about whether or not climate change is actually occurring. It’s because they lack even an iota of moral courage. It’s because they are paid liars. This is not complicated and it shouldn’t even be debatable. Outside of a very small handful of genuine dunces who actually managed to get elected despite having personal beliefs about science that would make John Calvin blush, every single Republican who is either denying climate change or saying that they can’t make up their mind about it is actually just being dishonest. For money and career.

It is outrageous and deplorable behavior that ought to be met with the same derision and scorn we reserve for scam-artists and thieves. These are people whose basic character is so diminished that you would not leave them with your children. These are the kind of people who sell get-rich-quick pamphlets and try to convince you that you can lose your belly fat through a series of small, electric shocks administered by an ill-fitting belt. What they are lacking is any moral scruples about flim-flamming people. It’s like the Glenn Beckification of the Party of Lincoln is now complete. Science is the enemy because scientists don’t fall for their deceitful pitches for fraudulent products. It’s the party of gold-bugs and unskewed polls.

Karl Rove on election night is the face of the modern GOP. And if we listen to these clowns on climate change or let them continue to have a share of power, we’ll be just as bewildered as Rove was that night when the climate begins to really turn for the worse.

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Martin Longman is the web editor for the Washington Monthly. See all his writing at ProgressPond.com