Raquel Benson is a Senior Contributor to TDA, a journalism student, humanist, and artist with issues of chronic imagination. She may be brash, but it stems from a deeper concern for the world around her.
Opinion – Coming forth for another uncomfortable debate, Alaska Congressman, and a grumpy bridge troll, Don Young, opened his arguments by referring to Rice University professor, Doug Brinkley, as “Dr. Rice,” and calling his testimony “garbage.”
A little removed from the real world, the congressman who called the BP oil spill “not an environmental disaster” literally rode his snowmobile all the way to Friday’s House Natural Resources Committee hearing in Washington. Brinkley attended the committee hearing to promote national monument status for Alaskan natural wonders–you know, the wonders that people like Young are determined to plow over with an SUV.
Correcting Young, Brinkley said, “It’s Dr. Brinkley, Rice is a university, and I know you went to Yuba Community College and couldn’t graduate…”
Young retorted, “I’ll call you anything I want to call you when you sit in that (witness) chair. You just be quiet.”
Brinkley shot back, “You don’t own me. I pay your salary. I work for the private sector and you work for the taxpayers.”
Committee chair Doc Hastings reprimanded the professor, threatening to toss him from the meeting if he didn’t follow the rules. He defended Young’s use of “Dr. Rice,” calling it a “foo pas,” garnering a giggle or two when he failed to enunciate the term as “faux pas.”
Young continued, calling people who pay trips to appreciate Alaska’s national wildlife refuge “an elitist group.” He later attacked the professor for being a professor. And everyone knows professors are elitist.
“You sit there in the Rice University, when the people support drilling for their good and for the good of this nation, as a college professor in an ivory tower you can go up there and camp and spend your time. And I hope you spend a lot of money,” Young spat.
Hastings finally said the congressman was being “disrespectful” and that he was “disappointed at best.”