I happen to live in the 4th district in Oregon, where we’ve been lucky to have an independent liberal democrat representing us in the form of Mr. Peter DeFazio since 1986. One of the things I like most about Mr. DeFazio is that every time I shoot an email to his office someone responds directly (I’m not sure whether or not he answers himself of has staff do it with some canned answers, but either way I think it’s awesome). This year, riding on the coat-tails of the conservative energization, Pete has a little competition.
Art Robinson is a Californian transplant, and a chemist who worked with Linus Pauling – a scientist most remembered for being one of only two individual winners of Nobel prizes in two separate categories (the other is Marie Curie). If you know the Linus Pauling story, you know that toward the end of his life, most of the scientific community started to write him off as a kook – he became one of the biggest names supporting high dosages of vitamin C as a cure-all (a concept which was studied and dismissed and which Pauling championed anyway).
Most recently Art Robinson has gained notoriety for founding the Global Warming Petition Project – a conservative movement to deny the reality of anthropogenic global climate change. He also founded the Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine. Much of his platform rests on normal conservative standards, and takes advantage of the Tea Party anger at “the establishment”. Mr. Robinson’s website uses vague language which sounds good but doesn’t really indicate any actual plan.
Robinson’s site makes logical jumps based on over-simplifications of highly complicated issues, and yet when Rachel Maddow quotes his writing directly he refuses to answer simple questions and returns accusations of liberal media slander (Wait, why did you agree to the interview?).
Just about the only things I can see agreement with him on are the expansion of nuclear power, and maintaining the Constitution as the basis of the country. He also thinks that we should deport all illegal immigrants, repeal as many taxes as possible, overturn the Health Care bill, and eliminate “many government agencies” – Department of Education and Environmental Protection Agency have been suggested.
I get the impression that Art has seized upon the knee-jerk reactions of many conservatives to these issues, and hasn’t bothered to think through what would happen if he got his way, nor contemplated how these things he wants to change came to operate in the way that they do. Unfortunately, I don’t foresee him listening to arguments which contradict his position. While he makes one or two good points on his website, I haven’t heard a single useful argument coming from his mouth in speeches, nor do I think he displays the mental flexibility needed to serve in the US House of Representatives.