Earlier this month we introduced our newest House candidate, Illinois particle physicist George Gollin. This link goes to the TV ad he’s trying to get up on more stations across the sprawling district that goes from Bloomington and Champaign, straight through the Illinois farm belt to the northern suburbs of St. Louis. The election is a week from Tuesday, March 18, enough time to show that ad to the undecided voters who will cast the decisive ballots in this hotly contested race. Can you help him do it?
Even before scientist/Rep. Rush Holt announced his retirement from Congress, a friend of mine put together this explanation of why it’s important to help Gollin win this race. He was making an argument that was the exact opposite of the argument for confirming Nixon failed Supreme Court nominee G. Harrold Carswell– later arrested for trying to have sex with random men in public toilets in Tallahassee and Atlanta– that was made by Nebraska Senator Roman Hruska. Hruska, no rocket scientist himself, is remembered for this one statement he uttered in his 22 years in the Senate, this one about Carswell: “Even if he were mediocre, there are a lot of mediocre judges and people and lawyers. They are entitled to a little representation, aren’t they, and a little chance? We can’t have all Brandeises, Frankfurters and Cardozos.” Well, I think we can try. We certainly have a very, very long way to go.
Thoughtful people in the House are really getting tired of listening to people who don’t know what they’re talking about.
One of the dirty little secrets of Congress is that many of them legislate in areas in which they are utterly bereft of knowledge. If ignorance is bliss, then some of the Members must be deliriously happy. (No wonder Sen. Ted Cruz is always smiling!)
Seriously, we have Members on the Agriculture Committee who couldn’t tell a plow from a harvester. We have Members on the Science Committee who couldn’t tell a proton from a photon. We have Members on the Foreign Affairs Committee who couldn’t locate Indonesia on a globe if their lives were at stake. And we have Members on the Intelligence Committee who are as dumb as…
Well, you get the idea. And don’t even ask me about the Ethics Committee.
So that’s why we’re supporting George Gollin for Congress, and why you should support him, too. He actually knows stuff. Lots of stuff.
Even worse, to the extent that Members of Congress know any stuff at all, it’s always the same stuff. According to Roll Call, out of the 435 Members of the House, we have 187 businessmen, 156 lawyers, and 77 educators. Do the math. That leaves 15 Members.
For four years, Alan Grayson worked as an economist. As far as we know, he’s the only Member of Congress who can make that claim. Roll Call did not uncover anyone else. And believe me, whenever he starts to talk economics in a Congressional hearing, the eyes glaze over. Quickly.
But don’t worry. Whenever we need an expert opinion on something, we can turn to the three former talk radio hosts in the House. (It was four, until one got caught snorting– possibly selling– cocaine.) Or perhaps we can benefit from the expertise of the former professional football player– whenever it’s third and nine on the Floor of the House.
This is why we need George Gollin in the House. The man actually knows what he’s talking about.
George Gollin is a physicist. In the 70s, he worked on muon scattering, to test quantum chromodynamics theory. (We’re not making this up.) In the 80s, he studied neutral K meson decay, to test for CP violation. (I swear that this is true.) In the 90s, he measured the production and decay properties of heavy quarks. (I kid you not.) Since then, he has specialized in the design and construction of electron-positron colliding beam facilities. (This is indeed bona fide.)
So we can elect George Gollin to Congress, or settle for yet another lawyer/businessman tool. What do you think? And as you consider that question, also consider that the U.S. Department of Energy spends roughly $10 billion a year in taxpayer dollars on physics research, with no one in Congress qualified to do oversight on that effort.
Members who serve on the House Science and Technology Committee tell me it’s bleak, really bleak. A few months ago, one of the Members on the Committee said that evolution is “a lie straight from the pit of hell.” Most of the Members are climate change deniers. One friend of our on the committee keeps encouraging them to transfer from the House Science Committee to the House Religion Committee, and follow their true calling. (There is no House Religion Committee, but their eyes light up anyway.)
The progressives on that committee need George Gollin’s help there– and in Congress. So we should help him get there.
Here’s another really good thing about George Gollin– he’s a liberal Democrat, and he’s not afraid to say so. In fact, that’s exactly what his TV ad says– that he’s a proud progressive Democrat. For that reason alone, he deserves our support. A progressive who is proud to be a progressive– how refreshing! I hope that this catches on.
Maybe Congress always will be crawling with witless lawyers and businessman, like vermin. But if someone like George Gollin can win, then maybe not. Maybe there is hope.
…Help George Gollin win his primary next month… because George Gollin has both a head and a heart.
You can contribute to Gollin’s campaign on the Blue America ’14 Congressional candidates page. Please do.