Rep. Thomas Massie's failed attempt to deny the science of climate change ended up backfiring.
A Republican congressman was loudly laughed at by people attending a hearing after he bungled an attempt to attack former Secretary of State John Kerry over climate science.
Kerry appeared before the House Oversight Committee on Tuesday, along with former Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, to testify about the threat climate change poses to the world, including American national security and safety.
Instead of taking the topic seriously, Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY) tried to deny the science underlying climate issues by attacking Kerry's college degree and dismissing the science — on which there is nearly universal consensus among scientists — as "pseudoscience."
Massie kept harping on the fact that Kerry — who served for 28 years as a senator and 4 years as secretary of state — has a bachelor's degree in political science and not a science degree.
His goal in making this point was a ham-fisted attempt to minimize Kerry's testimony about the climate problem. Kerry repeatedly made it clear to Massie that he was speaking on behalf of the vast majority of the scientific community, which agrees that human-influenced climate change is a problem and a security risk.
"I think it's somewhat appropriate that someone with a pseudoscience degree is here pushing pseudoscience in front of our committee today," Massie whined.
"Are you serious? I mean, this is really a serious happening here?" Kerry asked after the childish insult had been made.
The room erupted in laughter as Massie fumbled to recover from his attack.
He angrily pointed at Kerry and said, "It is serious you're calling the president's Cabinet a kangaroo court."
"I'm not calling his Cabinet a kangaroo court, I'm calling this committee that he's putting together a kangaroo court," Kerry replied.
Kerry was referring to the panel Trump is attempting to assemble under the leadership of climate change crank William Happer, who once compared climate scientists to Nazis and ISIS.
The panel, which is designed to push the false claim that climate change isn't real, is not receiving buy-in from the rest of the government. The Departments of Defense, Interior, and State have thus far declined to participate, as has NASA and NOAA, which leads American research into climate issues.
That is what Kerry was rightly dismissing as a kangaroo court.
Massie used his time with two members of a successful presidential administration not to work on an issue of vital American or global importance, but to make a fool of himself while trying to score a political hit against a Trump critic.
And it backfired spectacularly.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.