No, we’re not gonna give this a pass. Steve Scalise is the US House of Representatives Minority Whip and representative for Louisiana’s 1st congressional district since 2008, victim of a deranged leftwing shooter in 2017, and wingnut. Scalise is notable for his general wingnuttery, his attempts at historical revisionism and to question the separation of church and state, and his fierce opposition to gay rights. In 2018 he blamed Obama for trying to rig the midterm elections.
For our purposes, perhaps his most important qualification for inclusion here is his climate change denialism. Sure, he is one of many climate change deniers in Congress, but that really is no excuse. In 2013, Scalise argued at CPAC that climate change is a myth that doesn’t need to be addressed, pointing out that President Obama was cold during the inauguration: “He talked about global warming at his inauguration, I found it ironic that the President was wearing a trench coat it was so cold but he’s talking about global warming,” Scalise said, spectacularly failing to grasp the basics of anything. He also noted that a snow storm later cancelled a congressional hearing on climate change: “you can’t make this stuff up.” And in 2014 he blamed a UN-backed “radical environmentalist” conspiracy: “While their global warming agenda continues to lose support, it’s ironic that radical environmentalists are at it again, less than a month after NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration), announced the Great Lakes had the most widespread ice coverage in over 35 years. Thirty years ago liberals were using global cooling to push new radical regulations [they demonstrably were not, though it is unclear how changing one’s view in light of the evidence is supposed to be an indictment of science in any case]. Then they shifted their focus to global warming in an effort to prop up wave after wave of job-killing regulations that are leading to skyrocketing food and energy costs.” He is a bit short on detailing the motives of the conspiracy, but I guess we all know that science is an evil conspiracy anyways.
Steve King apparently thinks Scalise is like Jesus, though King is admittedly not particularly good at thinking.
Diagnosis: Wingnut and denialist who toys with conspiracy theories. It should scare us, but we’ve become so accustomed to it that we barely notice.