Stephen Colbert understands the Republican candidates’ aversion to big words, logic, facts, and critical thinking. That’s why he wants to applaud how good they are at being as dumb as possible as fast as possible without stopping for any reason. Here, he highlights some notable moments where the candidates simplify climate and energy policy issues to the point of ridiculousness. Basically, he’s performing a reductio ad absurdum on their reductios ad absurdum, which isn’t an easy trick.

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Key points getting the reverse double reacharound reductio ad absurdum treatment:

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  • Santorum: Reducing CO2 is absurd, because CO2 is good for plants. Colbert: “Everyone knows that before industry and cars, Earth had no vegetation. That’s why factories are called plants, okay?”
  • Romney: Alternative energy is absurd, because you can’t drive a car with a turbine on it. Colbert: “‘If you put a windmill on top of your car, then where does the dog go?”
  • Gingrich: Algae biofuel is absurd, because come on! Algae! Colbert: “Algae fuel is never going to be able to power the spaceships that will take us to Newt’s completely feasible moon colony.”

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