So here’s how bad our political world has gotten: The 2015 recipient of the John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award is former South Carolina congressman Bob Inglis, who won the award for being an actual Republican who’s willing to say in public that climate change is real and caused by human activity. Apparently that is rare enough that it’s considered courageous.

Oh, and also political suicide: You might remember Inglis, who was a very conservative conservative Republican from South Carolina who lost his primary in 2010 to Tea party loonperson Trey Gowdy because Inglis, while staunchly anti-abortion and pro-gun, refused to accept certain fundamental truths of being a Conservative Republican in 2010. Like, for instance, that Barack Obama is an illegal alien who should never have been allowed to take office, or that the back of your Social Security Card indicates which international banking cartel owns you. The scoundrel even called on Joe Wilson to apologize for shouting “You Lie!” at Obama.

Worstest of all, he agreed in an election year with 97% of climate scientists that humans have caused climate change, which he went and said out loud, leading to the angry boos at a town hall in the video up above. And for Godssake, he still calls himself a conservative and thinks that free-market economics should be used to reduce greenhouse gasses — not just through crossing our fingers and hoping the Invisible Hand will fix things, but through market-based incentives. This tends to make wingnut heads explode — just look at the denunciations of him in the comments of this 2014 Daily Caller article where Inglis suggested cutting income taxes and offsetting the revenue with a carbon tax. Just in case you’ve forgotten how nuts things were in 2010, go back and read the Mother Jones profile of Inglis from shortly after he lost.

Following his expulsion from Congress by the teabagger militia, Inglis has been heading up the Energy and Enterprise Initiative, which seeks to encourage market-driven approaches to addressing climate change, and may also serve as a halfway house for recovering climate deniers.

The JFK Library Foundation citation notes what a weird and dangerous thing it was for Inglis to say that he thought that, just maybe, science was real and not simply a scam cooked up by a cabal of liberals and scientists so they could take away our F-350s and make us live in yurts:

Former U.S. Congressman Bob Inglis was named the 2015 recipient of the John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award™ for the political courage he demonstrated when he reversed his previous position on climate change, knowing that by acknowledging the scientific reality of atmospheric warming and calling on the United States to meaningfully address the issue, he was jeopardizing his political career. In June 2010, Inglis lost his re-election due in part to this decision.

The citation even recalls those mythical bygone days when a member of the House Science Committee actually gave two shits about science, noting that

as Ranking Member of the Energy and Environment Subcommittee, Inglis initially opposed efforts to address climate change. But interactions with scientists in Antarctica, Australia and elsewhere, along with encouragement from his five children, changed his views on climate change, and he began advocating for a carbon tax to reduce dependence on fossil fuels. In Washington and South Carolina, Inglis’s acknowledgment of the scientific reality of climate change drew intense criticism from within the Republican Party, and in June 2010, he was defeated for re-election in the Republican primary.

It’s a pretty sad thing that recognizing scientific reality is something that we have to give awards for. But as JFK’s grandson Jack Schlossberg said in recognition of Inglis,

In reversing his own position and breaking with his party to acknowledge the realities of a changing climate and its threat to human progress, he displayed the courage to keep an open mind and uphold his responsibilities as a leader and citizen at the expense of his own political career.

Also, in a stunning rebuke, the Kennedy Library won’t even be giving “participant” ribbons to any of the Republicans who have waved off questions about climate by saying “I’m not a scientist” or “I believe the climate is always changing.” They won’t even get any ice cream.

[ThinkProgress / Profile In Courage Award / Energy and Enterprise Institute / Mother Jones]

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  • memzilla

    They won’t even get any ice cream.

    It’d be melted, anyway.

    • Villago Delenda Est

      I see what you did there.

  • Rufus T. Firefly

    The earth is round and orbits the sun. I can haz courage award now?

  • Guest

    Somebody give this man a cookie.

  • JohnBull

    I’d hate to be in a mosque within 100 miles of this town hall meeting.

  • Tallmutha

    I feel like I’m at the bar on the Titanic. The bar keeps lowering.

    • Shalimar

      The alcohol from the bar might be interfering with your perception of how climate change works. The land isn’t lowering. It’s the water that keeps rising.

      • Lot_49

        Well, that’s just, like, your opinion, man.

  • Usedtobeyellerdawg

    This gives me a warm feeling in my heart; or maybe it’s just the weather.

  • MrBlobfish

    1 down, 100,000,000 to go.

  • weejee

    They won’t even get any ice cream

    Well obviously, what with all their global warming the liebrawls will cause ice cream to go extinct like the dinosaurs Jebus rode.

  • AntiDerpomeme

    RINO! How can a guy continue to align himself with the party of the willfully ignorant if he’s gonna start making decisions based on science and data and facts?

  • Lot_49

    “take away our F-350s and make us live in yurts”–Agenda 21 revealed!

    • OctopiRage

      Also, too the yurts are made of ammosexual skins.

  • dshwa

    It’s no wonder the rest of the world thinks we’re nuts.

  • OctopiRage

    Even worse the award is in the name of a liebrul, INPEECH!!!!111!

    • MrBlobfish


      • Villago Delenda Est

        Art Buchwald did an entire column once, during the Watergate years, in which the Rethug response to every question was “What about Chappaquiddick?”

        • MrBlobfish

          And now we have Benghazi. The more things change…

          • dshwa

            Conservatives oppose change. Which is why they don’t.

          • shastakoala

            With this one exception.

          • chicken thief

            Speaking of which, where was Hillz on that fateful night and where are the emails?!!!!!

          • She didn’t get in Ted Kennedy’s car because MOSSAD gave her an advance warning.

  • Beowoof14

    Oh man believing science must mean he is a heretic who should be burned at the stake.

    • Villago Delenda Est

      With sharp pointy teeth!

  • cousin itt

    Meanwhile, in Europe

    Campaigners in the Netherlands are taking the government to court for allegedly failing to protect its citizens from climate change.

    The class action lawsuit, involving almost 900 citizens, aims to force the government to cut emissions faster.

    The first hearing opened in the Hague on Tuesday.

    It is said to be the first time in Europe that citizens have tried to hold a state responsible for alleged inaction on climate change.

    • Blank Ron

      Why do they hate America the Netherlands?

  • Spurning Beer

    This is going to be a long, strange awards season.

    • Spurning Beer

      The William Safire Award for Subject-Verb Agreement
      The Nelson Rockefeller Award for Acceptable Personal Hygiene and Grooming
      The Laura Bush Not-Smoking-In-Public Award

      • Pat_Pending

        Everyone gets a trophy…

  • schmannity

    Not to be a half empty glass but, his courageous stand gave us Trey Gowdy?

    • Villago Delenda Est

      You haz point here.

    • Shalimar

      If he hadn’t made his courageous stand, his district would still have someone exactly like Trey Gowdy, except for superfluous opinions about climate change and Obama Kenyanism that will never actually be put to a vote.

      Yes, I know Gowdy is particularly heinous, but I still argue that every single one of them is just as bad because they are herd animals. A few of them distinguish themselves with particularly loud braying that can be heard from miles away. Still part of the same pack.

  • Paul Dietzel

    He woulda been reelected if it wasn’t for those meddlin’ 5 kids of his, prolly filling his head with some crazy ideas they got from book learnin’.

    • chicken thief

      I was thinking along the same lines. With 5 kids, what are the odds one has caught the gay? Or that a couple of them are just fine with the homo butt sexing even if they don’t participate? That maybe one doesn’t need to carry a gun every fucking where they go?

      This climate change flip flop could lead to a slippery slope of reasoned thought on many issues.

  • chicken thief

    Inglis took his stand in 2010 but received the award for 2015? Must have been a slow potential recipient year….

  • MrBlobfish

    The Energy and Enterprise Initiative – The World’s Loneliest Think Tank

  • The sea level is rising primarily due to the tears of real Americans weeping for their country ever since we elected a black man for president. – political science 101

  • chicken thief

    Just to fuck with the GOP and because he really was environmentally conscious, the Foundation should give Nixon the award posthumously.

    • Mehmeisterjr

      Say, you know who else should receive the award posthumously?

  • Pierre_de_Fermat

    A few days ago, Jon Chait listed the reasons Hillary Clinton would likely win the election.
    Number 6:

    6. There’s no alternative. …
    The argument for Clinton in 2016 is that she is the candidate of the only major American political party not run by lunatics. …

    • Whollyholeyholy

      That column is the actual best thing I have read all day. Especially the last paragraph. It is the only thing challenging my “lets just move out of the country, and permanently this time” mental state.

  • Jinmichigan

    He’ll likely get shunned out of the repug party.

  • beatbort

    The rest of the Republican Party has been collectively awarded the John Kennedy Toole Award for being a “Confederacy of Dunces.”

    • JAWs

      Which they’ll then argue is heritage not hate.

  • janecita

    Shit like this depresses the living hell out of me. How can people doubt something that is happening right before their fucking eyes? I just don’t get it. I’m glad that Mr. Inglis decided to listen to the science and ignore the propaganda.

  • WiscoJoe

    The soft bigotry of low expectations…

  • Unforgotten

    Imagine the following scenario:
    You wake up one day feeling weird, not exactly bad or ill, just weird. You go to the doctor and he does his stuff and tells you; ‘I don’t know what wrong with you and your [let’s say] liver, it might be nothing but I would like you to see a specialist’. You say ‘Sure, any names you might recommend to me?’.
    The Doctor replies ‘Well there’s Doctor John and there’s Doctor James’. Instead of flipping a coin you do some basic googling about the two doctors. Doctor John has been studying the human liver for the past thirty years, he has published books and studies and specialized magazines regularly brings out his name on a good way. Doctor James on the other hand… Well, he claims he’s a specialist (not going as far as saying that he’s ‘the best there is’ but…), but ten years ago he also claimed that he was a specialist in the human skin and ten years before he was a ‘specialist’ in human lungs… the ‘specialist’ called by plaintiffs to discredit the common thinking of the scientific community about this or that subject.
    And now he claims to be a specialist in… ‘livers’.
    Would you put your health in the hands of Doctor John or in Doctor James’s?
    The Republicans have been choosing the later in droves.

    • Mehmeisterjr

      Your analogy would be more accurate if Dr. James’s degree in Homeopathic Medicine were a fake.

      • Unforgotten

        It’s not, per the Board that he created with his buddies that is.

  • mollycruz

    Republicans like to spread national concerns in their campaign speeches, depending on their audience; trying to cover the bases. In the end they betray them all with their actual actions; more important than words. “Words, not actions, will bring our nation down.”

  • Me not sure

    I once ate everything on my plate. I got a sucker. Until now I thought it meant something. Thanx Wonkette!

  • JAWs

    “Thank you for not killing me, Pearl.”

    For some reason, that quote from Mike and the bots entered my mind about now.

  • DahBoner
  • Craig_Hubley

    Simply being sane in the Republican Party is risking your life, obviously.

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