Jim Inhofe

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[A]rguably the dumbest person to sit in the Senate for a long, long time.
—Historian Erik Loomis[1]
Remember kids, if you get un-hooked on science early, maybe someday you could completely lack any understanding of science and then grow up to be the chairman of the Senate Environmental Committee.
Stephen Colbert[2]

James Mountain "Jim" Inhofe or 'Senator Snowball' (1934–2024) was the batshit wingnut who served as the senior Senator from the state of Oklahoma. God help them.

He was one of the leading global warming deniers in Congress and is well known for having called it "the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people." He was also one of the Republican Party's leaders in the culture wars, and is bucking to be a candidate for the Légion des Crèches Américain with crossed Tannenbaums in the War on Christmas. This should come as no surprise considering that he's a member of the fundamentalist bloc called The Family.

Inhofe also made a stupid risky (but alas, non-monetary) prediction, namely that Mitt Romney would win by a "substantial margin" (undefined, of course) in the midst of taking a predictable shot at Barack Obama on Bryan Fischer's Focal Point.[3]

Inhofe ultimately retired at the end of the 117th United States Congress, at the ripe young age of 88.

Military service[edit]

Inhofe was a licensed commercial pilot who learned to fly while serving in the US Navy. An objective account of his Navy career is difficult to find; he didn't even mention it on his official Senate website. But, since he was 17 years old when the Korean War ended and about 31 when the Vietnam War heated up, it's likely that most if not all of his Navy career was limited to peacetime non-combat duties. Still, because he actually served in the military — unlike some of the other numerous too-busy-to-volunteer-for-military-service non-veteran backers of the War on Terror — it's difficult to say that his hardcore support of sending troops into harm's way qualified him as a chickenhawk.

Inhofe on climate change[edit]

With all of the hysteria, all of the fear, all of the phony science, could it be that man-made global warming is the greatest hoax ever perpetuated on the American people? It sure sounds like it.
—James Inhofe[4]

Inhofe was probably the most vocal climate denialist in the US Congress and has virtually declared War on Science[5] in the process. According to Inhofe, AGW is "the second-largest hoax ever played on the American people, after the separation of church and state"[6]:xi (no, we're not repeating that again). As "evidence" that global warming is a hoax, Inhofe has cited the Oregon Petition, and he persisted in saying that there is a scientific consensus that climate is getting cooler. In 2010, he said "I don’t think that anyone disagrees with the fact that we actually are in a cold period that started about nine years ago."[7] An indication of what he meant by "anyone" may be gleaned from an appearance in Voice of Christian Youth America’s radio program to promote his book The Greatest Hoax: How the Global Warming Conspiracy Threatens Your Future, where he argued that climate change is refuted by the Bible and hence a particularly popular idea among liberals whereas Christians reject it (note the contrast).[8]

In an address to the 2006 Values Voter Summit, Inhofe asserted that global warming is a conspiracy cooked up by the UN to destroy America,[9] and in his own words climate science "kind of reminds ... I could use the Third Reich, the Big Lie ..." He also compared the United States Environmental Agency to the Gestapo and EPA Administrator Carol Browner to Tokyo Rose.Wikipedia Who, precisely, is behind the conspiracy seems to vary, however — after blaming it on George Soros, he seemed to have added Michael Moore and MoveOn.org to the list of people who are really behind the alleged climate change hoax.[10]

Among his global warming-related efforts, he was particularly infamous for his 2008 list of "high-profile scientists" who allegedly oppose AGW,[11] a list that overlapped with the Discovery Institute roster and known HIV denialists,[12] plus several climate scientists who explicitly accept AGW. The list was heavily criticized for its profound dishonesty,[13] including systematic misrepresentation of climate scientists,[14] resume inflations,[15] and quote-mining.[16][17] After massive criticism, Inhofe changed the list to "scientists whose research undermines AGW", despite numerous complaints from the scientists that their research did no such thing.

In 2015, Inhofe claimed to disprove global warming by bringing a snowball and tossing it on the Senate floor.[18]

Inhofe's granddaughter came home from school and challenged him over his climate change denial. Inhofe decided teaching science at school brainwashes kids.[19]

Oklahoma bombing[edit]

In the hours following the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, Inhofe made a statement on TV that pissed off a lot of federal employees. When asked about casualties, he said that he doubted that there would be many because, since the federal offices opened at 9 a.m., most of the employees would probably still be somewhere else drinking coffee,[20] perhaps forgetting that he was also a federal employee (the bombing occurred at 9:02 a.m.). However, when Bill Clinton said that the demagogy on conservative talk radio contributed greatly to this act of domestic terrorism — a claim that Clinton reiterated on the 15th anniversary of the event[21] — Inhofe was outraged both times because he thought that Clinton was trying to politicize the bombing.

See also[edit]