10.30.12

Cult of EMP Crazy Chief: End of career in sight

Posted in Crazy Weapons, Extremism at 1:19 pm by George Smith

Maryland’s notorious kook, House Republican Roscoe Bartlett, is nearing what appears to be the end of his political career as head of the Cult of Electromagnetic Pulse Crazy lobby.

As long as I can remember Bartlett has been in congress, warning about how an enemy — North Korea, or terrorists, and now the special foe — Iran, will destroy American civilization with an electromagnetic pulse caused by a nuclear weapon detonated over the United States.

The Cult of EMP Crazy, aka as the missile defense/bomb Iran lobby, would have been nothing without Bartlett. Year after year after year Bartlett pounded the issue from the House, as often as possible, even causing the formation of a commission, now years past, to study the threat. And conclude that the nation could be trivially returned to the age of horse and buggy. (Or as I used to like to put it, the time of The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance.)

As a consequence, Bartlett is the inspiration for now hundreds of vanity-published books from the survivalist crew, all distributed on Amazon, all exactly the same — about the end of western civilization by EMP.

But next week, odds are it will be over.

Roscoe Bartlett will go back to being a private citizen, beaten by a banker running on the Democratic ticket. Maryland was redistricted and Bartlett’s once safe red corner of it has been made part of another, mostly blue.

From the San Francisco Chronicle:

Maryland’s ruling Democrats had a plan to oust 10-term Republican U.S. Rep. Roscoe Bartlett …

Now the 86-year-old incumbent must persuade independent and crossover voters in the Washington suburbs that he is more of a centrist than his 92 percent rating from the American Conservative Union suggests. Meanwhile, the better-financed John Delaney of Potomac, 49, has been running a brisk schedule of events on his home turf.

Voter registrations in the district favor Democrats over Republicans, 46 percent to 34 …

Despite all the lobbying, Bartlett was never able to put into action any legislation to deal with electromagnetic pulse doom. But the lobby itself is loud, vociferous and incessant, writing books, articles and opinion pieces, casting movies and commercials, even spanning the Atlantic Ocean to plague the Brits.

Bartlett, for his part, has an obscure career waiting in the prepper/survivalist movement, where everyone is convinced America is about to end, anyway.

In the House, the mantle of Bartlett’s leadership of the electromagnetic pulse crazy caucus has been passed to the odious and stupid Trent Franks, GOP birther from Arizona.

Reads the Chronicle:

[Bartlett] recently voted to dismantle the Clean Water Act, block limits on mercury and carbon emissions and continue taxpayer subsidies to the oil industry …

Bartlett chairs the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Tactical Air and Land Forces. He counts among his achievements a 2006 law barring condominium and homeowner associations from restricting how the American flag can be displayed and a 2001 law permitting the adoption of military working dogs after their retirement. He has also championed banning scientific research on chimpanzees, and he warns frequently that an electromagnetic pulse, such as that from a nuclear explosion in space, could disable all electronic devices.


At the WND right wing website, F. Michael Maloof, delivers a warning on what may happen with Bartlett gone:

The congressman who first brought the potentially catastrophic effects of an electromagnetic pulse event to the nation’s attention is now under fire from the electric power industry that has fought voluntary efforts to protect the national grid with hardened transformers.

Rep. Roscoe Bartlett, R-Md., is fighting for re-election against the influences of the powerful electric power industry lobby …

And in a quote from one of the old Electromagnetic Pulse Threat commissioners Bartlett pushed regularly:

“Millions of Americans and their children may well owe their lives and future prosperity to the vision, determination, and political courage of Congressman Bartlett in his unrelenting quest to protect our nation from natural and nuclear EMP …”

And at DD blog, this is probably the most admiring thing I’ve had to say about Bartlett in the past couple years:

Since Roscoe Bartlett has been at his cause for so long, one might legitimately ask what is the man’s legacy?

Striking fear into people who are not particularly perceptive is one of his signal achievements … Bartlett’s unstinting work aimed at describing the total end of US civilization in an instant is particularly resonant within the Christian right …

Bartlett, who won re-election at 84 in November, has been around longer than PEZ candy, parking meters and penicillin.

At the end of Maloof’s piece at WND, a plug for yet another book about electromagnetic pulse doom to throw directly into the trash:

In the [new tv drama Revolution], society has collapsed [due to mysterious electromagnetic pulses] and the country devolved into a collection of mutually hostile self-styled militias, private armies and warring tribes … It shows that basic necessities that Americans take for granted, such as widely available food and clean water, become inaccessible as millions die from starvation, disease or widespread violence.

[And so do shows about zombie hordes.]

A coming book, “A Nation Forsaken,” suggests that the show actually may downplay the real threat.

Maloof doesn’t tell readers he’s the author, too. And that without old Roscoe, what audience there is for it wouldn’t exist.


Telling the tales of Roscoe Bartlett — from the archives.

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