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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We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

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