Radar’s Ten Dumbest Congressmen

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Radar has fun detailing “America’s Dumbest Congressmen.” Readers of Mother Jones‘ regular feature “The Diddly Award” will know many of the names and anecdotes already but when it comes to the antics of wise legislators such as Jim Bunning, Katherine Harris, and Patrick Kennedy, is it possible for familiarity to breed even more contempt?

Update, May 26, 2010: Hi Huffington Post readers! That Radar link (to their 2006 feature on America’s “dumbest” members of Congress) doesn’t work anymore, probably because of Radar’s complicated history. I’ve reproduced the list here for your convenience (minus Radar’s commentary, which I can’t find in a complete form is available on the internet archive—thanks, Anon.):

10. Senator Jim Bunning (R-KY)
9. Representative Patrick Kennedy (D-RI)
8. Senator Conrad Burns (R-MT)
7. Representative Cynthia McKinney (D-GA)
6. Representative Jean Schmidt (R-OH)
5. Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA)
4. Representative J.D. Hayworth (R-AZ)
3. Senator James Inhofe (R-OK)
2. Representative Donald Young (R-AK)
1. Representative Katherine Harris (R-FL)

A lot of these folks are no longer in Congress. Burns (8) lost to Jon Tester in 2006. McKinney (7) lost to Hank Johnson (of “Guam capsizing” fame) in a Democratic primary the same year. J.D. Hayworth is no longer a member of the House, but he’s running against John McCain in the GOP senate primary in Arizona. Harris (1) ran for Senate in 2006 and lost. Vern Buchanan now holds her House seat. Bunning (10) and Kennedy (9) are retiring this year. That leaves Schmidt (6), Boxer (5), Inhofe (3), and Young (2) still in Congress. None of those four seem particularly “dumb” to me, although I disagree with some of them on the issues. Anyway, here’s Mother Jones being mean about some of these very same folks back in 2006. 

—Nick Baumann

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is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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