Classy Egan: 'If Intelligence were Contagious, [the GOP] Would Be Giving Out Vaccines For It'

Don't believe in global warming? Are you pro-life? Then you're an idiot, says Timothy Egan, a former liberal New York Times reporter turned left-wing Times columnist. In his Friday online column "The Crackpot Caucus" he says of the Republican Party: "...if intelligence were contagious, [the GOP] would be giving out vaccines for it."

Egan strings together quotes of some congressional Republicans making missteps on matters of science and religion, before lumping creationist Republicans with pro-lifers and climate skeptics into one big bag of GOP anti-science stupidity.

The Catholic Church long ago made its peace with evolution, but the same cannot be said of House Republicans. Jack Kingston of Georgia, a 20-year veteran of the House,  is an evolution denier, apparently because he can’t see the indent where his ancestors’ monkey tail used to be. “Where’s the missing link?” he said in 2011. “I just want to know what it is.” He serves on a committee that oversees education.

In his party, Kingston is in the mainstream. A Gallup poll in June found that 58 percent of Republicans believe God created humans in the present form just within the last 10,000 years --  a wealth of anthropological evidence to the contrary.

The problem with that Republican-bashing is that according to the very poll Egan cites, a healthy 41% of Democrats think the same thing.

Another Georgia congressman, Paul Broun,  introduced the so-called personhood legislation in the House -- backed by Akin and Representative Paul Ryan -- that would have given a fertilized egg the same constitutional protections as a fully developed human being.


Nor is there is reputable scientific validity to those who deny that the globe’s climate is changing for the worst. But Bachmann calls that authoritative consensus a hoax, and faces no censure from her party.


A handful of Republicans have tried to fight the know-nothings. “I believe in evolution and trust scientists on global warming,” said Jon Huntsman, the former Utah governor, during his ill-fated run for his party’s presidential nomination. “Call me crazy.”

And in an on-air plea for sanity,  Joe Scarborough, the former G.O.P. congressman and MSNBC host, said, “I’m just tired of the Republican Party being the stupid party.”  I feel for him.  But don’t expect the reality chorus to grow. For if intelligence were contagious, his party would be giving out vaccines for it.