In a move uncharacteristic of most Republicans, Oklahoma congressman Jim Bridenstine has announced he has invited vocal climate science advocate Bill Nye the Science Guy as his guest to Trump’s State of the Union address on January 30.
Rep. Bridenstine issued a statement today, saying:
Bill Nye has been inspiring countless young people to enter the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math since before we used STEM as an acronym. Our country needs these disciplines now more than ever.
For a Republican to invite an outspoken critic of his president’s and his party’s climate-denying stance is a tragically rare event.
Bridenstine’s maneuver is not altogether altruistic. He is up for the position of NASA chief and has received sharp rebukes for his ignorance on scientific matters from Democrats and Republicans alike.
Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) cautioned:
I just think it could be devastating for the space program. Obviously, being from Florida, I’m very sensitive to anything that slows up NASA and its mission . . . I would hate to see an administrator held up — on partisanship, political arguments, past votes, or statements made in the past — because the agency can’t afford it and it can’t afford the controversy.
Nye, whose popular kids show in the nineties catapulted him to national prominence, has said, “If we were talking about climate change the way we discuss whatever happened in Niger or the president’s extraordinary tweet of today, we would be doing something about it.”
At least five Democrats have announced they will boycott Trump’s State of the Union speech to protest his recent racist “shithole” comments about immigrants from Haiti, African countries, and El Salvador.
Rep. Jacki Speier (D-CA) has urged her colleagues to wear black to the address and has invited #MeToo founder Tarana Burke as her guest to protest the “president’s” predatory misogyny.
Now, a even Republican is bringing a guest whose very presence amounts to a protest of Trump’s policies.
With Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller after him for conspiracy with Russia, money laundering, and obstruction of justice, and Iowa Republican voters denouncing his racism, Trump’s own party is turning against him.
Without them, he will nowhere left to hide.