In this exchange concerning the deployment of additional forces to Guam, I challenge anyone, whether Democrat or Republican, to not cringe at the 1:15-1:20 mark of questioning from Hank Johnson, Democrat representing Georgia's Fourth District (just east of Atlanta) concerning the environmental impact of an additional Marine brigade being sent to Guam...
...which would pretty much nominate Congressman Johnson for consideration as a mid-grade moron.
You can see that the Admiral responding to Johnson's questions paused for just a moment, anticipating laughter or getting ready to "make a funny" as well, and he stopped himself for just long enough to realize Oh shit, he really meant that and this guy holds a vote on my funding so he instead decided to take the question at face value and that turned out to be the safer road for him to go down.
Okay, on reflection maybe I was a bit harsh on Johnson above, when I said he was a "mid-grade moron." He did manage to get himself elected to Congress, after all, suggesting that he is probably actually pretty smart. He might have just been having a bad morning and didn't think through to the point that he would realize that islands are part of the surface of the Earth and therefore are incapable of capsizing. This isn't a matter of being uneducated, it's a matter of not using his native intelligence and education, of letting a desire to assume a particular posture get in the way of constructing reasons to support that posture. Results-driven reasoning can lead you to do that, which is why I think Johnson's remarks are, in all seriousness, better classified as "antiscience" rather than simple idiocy.
Hat Tip to Doug Mataconis. UPDATE: I considered the possibility that this might be an April Fools' joke. But Johnson's exchange was made more than a week ago.
Not A Potted Plant Has A New Home
Readers! Not A Potted Plant is moving. Please switch your RSS feeders like Google Reader, and update your bookmarks, to draw from the blog's new site, generously hosted by the League of Ordinary Gentlemen. Thank you for your continued support.