The incoming Congress may cause Americans to view some of our nation's past moments -- like the McCarthy era, or maybe even the Salem witch trials -- more favorably. There's increasing evidence that the GOP-led House will be taking its medieval crusade against modern science to the hearing rooms of Capitol Hill, embarassing the nation in the eyes of the world and -- for what it's worth -- probably destroying our reputation as a place for high-tech firms to do business:
Compromise on renewable energy standards is possible, but the posturing between Rep. Joe Barton, the chairman of the energy committee, and the administration, may make this terribly difficult. The GOP plans to hold high profile hearings examining the alleged "scientific fraud" behind global warming, a sleeper issue in this election that motivated the base quite a bit.
While some experts aren't worried about such hearings on the theory that the scientists would blow the right-wing politicians away, I'm not so sure that's how it will get spun on Fox News Channel and the other places where low-information voters get their low information. Here's a spot-on comment from the blog of New York Times environmental reporter Andrew Revkin: