Why Do Republicans Hate America So? — Nuclear Nonchalanting Edition

Update: Oh damn. For those in peril….
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So, as reported in today’s New York Times, here’s Mitch McConnell talking trash about how Real Americans™ deal with their neutrons:

“My thought about it is, we ought not to make American and domestic policy based upon an event that happened in Japan,” Mr. McConnell said.

Which, as I read it, suggests that right thinking folk take their disasters straight upside the head before attempting to learn anything from the experience.

What makes that way of thinking even more risible (if it weren’t so thoroughly tragic, of course) is that elements of the nuclear crisis developing in Japan right now were at least partly made in America.  As the Times also reported in a different article,  the Fukushima reactors were designed by General Electric, and we currently possess a sizable number of plants using the same approach to power generation.  Not a problem for McConnell, it seems, but Congressman Ed Markey sees it differently:

He said regulators should consider a moratorium on locating nuclear plants in seismically active areas, require stronger containment vessels in earthquake-prone regions and thoroughly review the 31 plants in the United States that use similar technology to the crippled Japanese reactors. “The unfolding disaster in Japan must produce a seismic shift in how we address nuclear safety here in America,” Mr. Markey said.

I don’t think much of Markey’s choice of words in that last line (tone deaf is the best that can be said for it).  But I got no problem with the idea of thinking twice before siting more nukes along faults and taking a look at potentially problematic reactors.  Still, even that, apparently, is too much of a genuflection to the train of events in Japan and that known liberal proclivity for prophylaxis for Senator McConnell to swallow.

And that’s O.K.  —  because we know that earthquakes know better than to f*ck with the US of A; that publicly traded companies facing increasingly expensive maintenance demands on aging nuclear power plants will never cut a corner; and that bad stuff only happens to bad places, which, by definition lets out  this exceptional nation most of us call home. Right?

Ratchet down the snark, and the sheer awfulness of McConnell’s statement actually deepens.  This is the “We make our own reality” mentality in action.  We need learn nothing from experience; we need pay no attention to what some folks talking strange languages might know; when we play roulette it’s OK — if you are a Republican it always comes up red.

That isn’t governance; that isn’t leadership.

It’s what little kids do when the world becomes too much.  But the minority leader of the US Senate is supposed to have gotten past tucking up tight in his quilt, eyes closed, pillow firmly over his head to bar entry to any discomforting hint of a reality that fails to conform to his aggrieved sense of what ought to be.

And in this case, I just can’t see how to read McConnell’s position as anything other than saying we gotta sit and wait for our own nuclear disaster — and then pay in our own blood and treasure — before we can even begin to see if we have a problem.

Which begs the questions:  Why does Mitch McConnell hate his fellow citizens so?

Consider this one more episode in the Factio Grandaeva Delenda Est chronicles.

Image:  Philip Absolon, See No Evil 2008

Explore posts in the same categories: Data matter, Republican knavery, Stupidity

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7 Comments on “Why Do Republicans Hate America So? — Nuclear Nonchalanting Edition”

  1. BCC Says:

    Professor Levenson:

    I look forward to your next post, in which you take Rep. Bachmann to task for confusing her Concords, and then saying “So I misplaced the battles Concord and Lexington by saying they were in New Hampshire. It was my mistake, Massachusetts is where they happened. New Hampshire is where they are still proud of it!”

    Yours from Concord, MA, where you might notice, especially around April 19th, that we take some pride in our history…

  2. Anonymous (Obviously) Says:

    Thanks to years of mergers and acquisitions, I now work for a Major German Multinational which Competes Directly with General Electric (*coughsiemenscough*).

    Anyway, we were informed today that a) our Japanese colleagues were all safe and accounted for, and b) the corporate public affairs office was looking at how best to provide reconstruction aid, including “in-kind aid.” IOW, look to the Germans to provide brand-new energy and transportation infrastructure to Japan, free of charge, in place of their current GE products.

    Thanks in advance for protecting my anonymity.


  3. The majority leader is being absurd. I suppose he’s saying just because the Japanese can’t handle nuclear power doesn’t mean the US can’t, but that still an arrogant and stupid attitude. It’s like when we torture it’s not torture.

  4. Stan Says:

    I’m not sure what McConnell is saying, but I sense an antinuclear stance in this thread. Unfortunately, the main alternatives to nuclear energy are coal, which when burned produces a lot of a major greenhouse gas, natural gas, now being recovered by a method which fracks up our water supply, and oil, our reliance on which seriously distorts our mideast policy. So I suggest we refrain from kneejerk condemnations of nuclear energy. The alternatives are yucky in their own way.


  5. I don’t think we have anywhere near a reason to abandon Nuclear power at this point.

    But I think the Japanese events should be carefully evaluated if only to determine we wouldn’t be at risk of the same thing.

    The Majority leader seems to be saying Japan is irrelevent to the US. To draw that conclusion so casually does not speak well of him.


  6. To be clear, I think Mr. Markey is drawing conclusion too quickly as well (as politicians tend to do – Iraq and WMD for example), but I find his error less egregious.


  7. This is yet again a manifestation of a new kind of political correctness, in which ideology rather than truth is decisive in determining political position, see, http://www.deliberatelyconsidered.com/2010/12/politically-correct/. Unfortunately this new truth has become a partisan position, as you ably show. By the way this is what the Cobert-Stewart “Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear” was all about, revealing the cogency of their art, see http://www.deliberatelyconsidered.com/2010/11/fact-versus-fictoid-in-the-age-of-cable/


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