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Mitch McConnell is not a scientist -- just ask him! The next Senate Majority Leader does not care much for science, with all its high-falutin' book-larnin' and its incomprehensible metric system and what have you. However, when it comes to the Keystone XL pipeline, McConnell actually is a scientist, or at least he's decided that science is a useful cudgel when he can wield it in support of his preferred policies. Rebecca Leber at The New Republic tells us all about McConnell's change of heart as regards the Mary Landrieu Career Preservation Act, also known as the upcoming Keystone XL bill.


In remarks on the Senate floor, hours before a vote on a bill that fast-tracks construction of the pipeline, McConnell pointed to the “science” supporting the legislation.

“Those who took a serious look at the science and the potential benefits reached the conclusion long ago,” he said Tuesday. “They understand that the whole drama over Keystone has been as protracted as it is unnecessary. We hope to turn the page on all of that today."

Snark aside, we should all be happy that Senator McConnell has decided to throw his considerable political weight behind science-based proposals. Maybe now we'll finally get some action on climate change!

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) refused to weigh in on the issue of man-made climate change in a recent interview, giving it a wide berth ahead of his re-election battle in November.

"Each side has their scientists, and they can all go in and argue," he told Politico in an interview published Wednesday, when asked if he believed humans contributed to global warming. [...] "For everybody who thinks it's warming, I can find somebody who thinks it isn't," he said.

Yeah, but that's different because Mitch was trying to get re-elected when he said that. Doesn't count, stop being unfair to Mitch. Also, remember that time McConnell's campaign released an ad claiming Senator Terrapin was actually the "Godfather of Green?" That also doesn't count, because reasons.

Not that any of this matters. During the 2014 campaign, the Cincinnati Inquirer put together a fun fact check about McConnell's unscientific claims regarding the "War on Coal," and it turns out the well-informed voters of Kentucky didn't much care. This is the same strategy McConnell used when he pretended that Kentucky's wildly popular state-run health insurance exchange exists independent of the Affordable Care Act. He's counting on nerds like Yr Wonket to point out that he's being a disingenuous asshat, because that requires us nerds to explain why McConnell's wrong, which frees McConnell to remind everyone that Barry Nobummer hates you for your freedoms.

Mitch McConnell knows that a foolish, scientifically based consistency is the hobgoblin of both small minds and losing political campaigns. He's taken a serious look at the poll numbers and the potential benefits, and he reached his conclusion long ago.

[The New Republic]

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