Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Will the REAL Republicans Please Stand Up

By Ebbtide

(Part 1 of 2)

Lately we’ve been hearing Republicans talk about how they need to stop being the party of stupid—although they usually seem to be implying that it’s okay to think and promote stupid ideas, as long as you don’t say them out loud.

Then you have Republicans like David Frum, who is either suffering from Stockholm Syndrome, or has lost his ability to reason, as he laments the bad acts, idiotic positions and ridiculous comments of Republicans while seemingly shocked that they are coming from members of the Republican Party.

davidfrum @davidfrum
We need to keep in mind the distinction between what is politically conservative and what is merely

davidfrum @davidfrum
"A party achieves nothing by boldly and bravely marching off a well-marked cliff." 

davidfrum @davidfrum
Post 2012, GOP needed to change on something. I was hoping it would be on universal health insurance for Americans

davidfrum @davidfrum
I agree w Jindal about avoiding gaffes. But "47%" wasn't a gaffe. It was an idea. That was the problem.

davidfrum @davidfrum
If GOP had not wasted past 2 years acting heedlessly, Obama wd have less leverage over Congress today

davidfrum @davidfrum
Frustrated by people who want to march my party over the cliff, then respond to all objections with: "Why are you attacking your party?"

Frum’s new book is described thusly:

WHY ROMNEY LOST is a forthright analysis that offers a bold, hopeful plan for Republican success in the years ahead. David Frum urges a Republican party that is culturally modern, economically inclusive, and environmentally responsible - a party that can meet the challenges of the Obama years and lead a diverse America to a new age of freedom and prosperity.

 Has David Frum actually met any of today’s Republicans?

Ah, but you see, Frum and his ilk (with a huge assist from the mainstream media) seem to insist that the wingut people aren’t “real Republicans.”  It’s the No True Scotsman fallacy writ large. If you’re unfamiliar with that, it goes something like: 

No true Scotsman is an informal fallacy, an ad hoc attempt to retain an unreasoned assertion. When faced with a counter-example to a universal claim, rather than denying the counter-example or rejecting the original universal claim, this fallacy modifies the subject of the assertion to exclude the specific case or others like it by rhetoric, without reference to any specific objective rule.

A simpler definition:

No True Scotsman is a logical fallacy by which an individual attempts to avoid being associated with an unpleasant act by asserting that no true member of the group they belong to would do such a thing. Instead of acknowledging that some members of a group have undesirable characteristics, the fallacy tries to redefine the group to exclude them

Is it possible they’re right? That any crackpot with a conspiracy theory, a complete misunderstanding of science…or geography…or history…or anatomy….or just about any other subject is NOT representative of the Republican Party?

Let’s explore the possibility. For argument’s sake, we’ll exclude

Rush Limbaugh
Ann Coulter
Alex Jones
Bryan Fischer
Glenn Beck
Sean Hannity
Michelle Malkin
Dana Loesch
The Crew at Breitbart

Oh, what the hell, we’ll exclude everyone on the right EXCEPT elected officials.  That’s right, we’ll just look at what elected Republican officials have had to say on any number of topics and then decide if they’re just the fringe on top or fringe AT the top of the surrey party itself.

What’s That You Said?

Without further ado, here they are, alive and kicking, the Republican “exceptions” that prove the point. NOTE—a few of these wingnuts were even too crazy for Republicans to put or keep in office, but they all are current office holders, former office holders (some of whom have gone on to be convicted felons), or were highly touted candidates who made it past the primaries on the Republican side of the aisle. Trust me, when I chose a Republican who is not currently serving, it was only because the action/comment/viewpoint was too delicious to pass up. My biggest problem in compiling this report was narrowing down the examples.

I decided to do the listing alphabetically by state, so you could see the breadth and depth of the derp, and you could easily locate your local loon.


Senator Jefferson Beauregard Sessions (brother of the Keebler elf), during climate change hearings in 2012, was more than surprised when informed by Senator Barbara Boxer that roughly 98 percent of climate scientists, contra Christy, accepted that anthropogenic warming was real and serious — he was outraged:

“Madam Chairman, I am offended by that, I’m offended by that — I didn’t say anything about the scientists. I said the data shows [sic] it is not warming to the degree that a lot of people predicted, not close to that much…”

He’s also a big-time racist. For an enlightening background on Sessions’ racist history, here’s a good recap.


Ha. I’ll bet you thought I’d go with Sarah Palin or Joe Miller, right. Nah. Too obvious
Alaska’s one and only Representative, Don Young was wingnutty more than 15 years ago.

“Environmentalists are a socialist group of individuals that are the tool of the Democrat Party. I'm proud to say that they are my enemy. They are not Americans, never have been Americans, never will be Americans."

- Rep. Don Young (R-AK), Alaska Public Radio, 08-19-96


”Abortions make up well over 90 percent of what Planned Parenthood does."

A few other gems from the Grand Goofball Canyon State.

Life begins "from the first day of the last menstrual period of the pregnant woman."
—Statement from an Arizona bill signed into law by Republican Gov. Jan Brewer

”He has no place in any station of government and we need to realize that he is an
enemy of humanity.”

—Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ), member of the Tea Party Caucus, on President Obama’s decision to fund international family planning organizations that support legal abortion, Sept. 26, 2009


"I have opponents in this race who do not want to change the Constitution. But I believe it’s a lot easier to change the Constitution than it would be to change the word of the living God. And that’s what we need to do is amend the Constitution so it’s in God’s standards rather than trying to change God’s standards so it lines up with some contemporary view of how we treat each other and how we treat the family." –said former Governor, Presidential candidate, and ubiquitous spokesman, Mike Huckabee, at a rally in MIchigan on Jan. 14, 2008 (Source: ThinkProgress, Jan. 15, 2008)


Gary Kreep, who recently won the race for a San Diego County Superior Court Judge seat, gained national attention for his birther obsession. After Obama's inauguration, Kreep took on a so-called "birther" lawsuit demanding proof of Obama's birth certificate. He is also currently suing the California Secretary of State, demanding she verify citizenship of all candidates before they appear on the November ballot.

Kreep earlier created an infomercial entitled, “Where was President Obama born?”

Rachel covers it all quite well here:

So, just to recap—unqualified AND a grifting birther. Be proud, San Diego.


Even if some people say, ‘Well the Republicans should have done this or they should have done that,’ they will hold the President responsible. Now, I don’t even want to have to be associated with him. It’s like touching a tar baby…

Not to be outdone, his cohort, Congressman Mike Coffman had this to say in May, 2012.

"I don't know whether Barack Obama was born in the United States of America. I don't know that," Coffman said. "But I do know this, that in his heart, he's not an American. He's just not an American."


Not many Republicans to choose from in Connecticut, so we’ll go with two-time Republican nominee (and big-time loser) Linda McMahon, who has described WWE as a soap opera, and obviously continued to live in a fantasy world during her multiple campaigns. After losing twice in two years,

"I was stunned for a moment," McMahon told Bloomberg News. "I sat there for a few minutes on my own, reflecting on what the race had been. I thought about the thousands of people who not only had touched me but whom I had touched as well. All the notes, 'Thank you for running. Thank you for showing me that it’s worth putting everything on the line,' and things like that."

Uh, Linda, honey, “thousands” of people did vote for you, about 650,000, but a whole lot more voted for Chris Murphy and he beat you by more than 11 points.

Just for giggles—a true statement by Lovely Linda:

“I have said from the beginning, I would spend what it would take 
for the people of Connecticut to know who I am and what I stand for.”

In her two tries for the Senate, she spent $97 million. So, I guess the people of Connecticut DID get to know who she was and what she stood for, and they rejected her-TWICE.


Christine O’Donnell, never-elected, but often put forth as the Republican candidate has such a grasp of what constitutes evidence.

"Creationism, in essence, is believing that the world began as the Bible in Genesis says, that God created the earth in six days, six 24 hour periods. And there is just as much, if not more evidence supporting that"

This never gets old:


Teabag heartthrob, Marco Rubio has said many idiotic things, and lied while saying many of them, but this is my favorite:

Rubio’s answered, “I’m not a scientist, man. I can tell you what recorded history says, I can tell you what the Bible says, but I think that’s a dispute amongst theologians and I think it has nothing to do with the gross domestic product or economic growth of the United States…”


Rep. Paul Broun, R-Ga., a member, along with Todd Akin, of the very science-y House Science Committee, doesn’t have very much respect for science.

“All that stuff I was taught about evolution and embryology and the Big Bang Theory, all that is lies straight from the pit of Hell,”  (And this guy is a doctor.)

And then there’s Phil Gingrey, whose mea culpa to Rush Limbaugh pretty much sums up the Republican party.

Following statements made to Politico yesterday telling Rush Limbaugh to "back off," Republican congressman Phil Gingrey now has his tail between his legs. In a groveling call to Limbaugh's conservative radio program this afternoon, Gingrey offered a humble apology and described Limbaugh as a "conservative giant" who plays an integral role in maintaining the ever-decreasing Republican base.

Here's the meat of it, via Think Progress:

Rush, thank you so much. I thank you for the opportunity, of course this is not exactly the way to I wanted to come on. ... Mainly, I want to express to you and all your listeners my very sincere regret for those comments I made yesterday to Politico. ... I clearly ended up putting my foot in my mouth on some of those comments. ... I regret those stupid comments.


It’s hard to find Republicans in Hawaii, but this little Linda Lingle (former Governor—losing Senate candidate) tale is somewhat enlightening as to the right wing view of facts/reality.

First she said it:
Shapiro wrote that Lingle calling Bush “the greatest president ever” was “an overstatement that makes even some Republicans cringe.”

Then she confirmed she said it:
Lingle sent Shapiro an email the day the column appeared in the newspaper. “Thanks for covering my speech at the convention and the generally upbeat piece,” she wrote. “You would have to pick up on the `greatest President ever’ line that I misspoke. It was not in my notes and I meant to say a great president. It was fair comment nonetheless,

Then, when running for Senate, she flat out denied ever saying it
“I would ask that Congresswoman Hirono cite where that was said, because it’s not a statement I ever made,”


Michael Crapo, a three-term Republican Senator with a reputation as a social and fiscal conservative, registered a blood alcohol content of .11 percent after police pulled his car over in this suburb south of Washington, D.C., authorities said.

When U.S. Sen. Mike Crapo sponsored a 2010 bill to cut taxes on small beer brewers, he said he did so for pro-business, not pro-beer reasons.

A Mormon, the Idaho Republican told The Associated Press at the time that he abstains from alcohol, and he pledged to have a root beer to celebrate if the bill passed.

(See also: Craig, Larry—I am not gay.)


The chairman of a subcommittee that oversees issues related to climate change,  Representative John Shimkus of Illinois is —  you guessed it  — a climate-change denier.
At a 2009 hearing, Shimkus said not to worry about a fatally dyspeptic planet: the biblical signs have yet to properly align. “The earth will end only when God declares it to be over,”


Senator Dan Coates:

“It's more than health care. It's a government takeover of our lives.”

(We already know everything we need to about Richard Mourdock, so I won’t bore you with another rehash of his brilliance.)


Within a few short months last year, Steve King, one of the dumbest people on the planet, went from:

King also bemoaned that inability of states to outlaw contraceptives and even said that King George would not have had the “audacity” of President Obama to mandate that insurance companies cover contraceptives as part of his compromise policy with religiously-affiliated organizations.

STATES’ RIGHTS, RIGHT? Well, not so much when it comes to chickens. Ever the farmboy, Stevie was fighting against California’s wish to NOT import tortured chickens, actually invoking the commerce clause, which Republicans usually avoid like the plague..

“I am asking you why should I care what they think in California? In fact, what—why should I care about the conclusions that have been brought forward by the Supreme Court?”   —Iowa Representative Steve King, February 28 2012


From 2011: Newly elected governor Sam Brownback plans to issue executive orders eliminating the Kansas Arts Commission. (Brownback's budget report for Fiscal Year 2012 is sub-titled, "Happy New Year, Art Fags.")

These days, Sam the Sham is pushing to get rid of income taxes and corporate taxes (making up the shortfall with, “consumption” tax that disproportionately affect the poor). Democrats are up in arms, but the Tea Party thinks he’s moving too slowly at "gettin' er done. "

Brownback’s counterpart in DC, Senator Jerry Moran, wants to do the same thing on a national basic.


Maher was especially struck by Republican Sen. Rand Paul’s line of questioning during the hearing. He asked, “Is the U.S. involved with any procuring of weapons, transfer of weapons, buying, selling, anyhow, transferring weapons to Turkey?”

Clinton at the time paused notably. “To Turkey?”

Paul later went on Sean Hannity’s talk show on Fox and said he had no proof and had had no hearing on anything with regard to Turkey. “In other words, this is just a bunch of horse shit I heard on TV that I’m going to bring into the United States Senate,” Maher said.

Here’s the actual story as it unfolded:


Hmmm—Jindal or Vitter; Jindal or Vitter. Oh. Let’s go with Diaper Dave (who’s rumored to be thinking of running for governor—Yikes!) In 2009, not that long after his own little prostitute issue and just a month after fellow Southern Republican Mark Sanford had been “hiking the Appalachian Trail”

Sen. David Vitter disagreed Wednesday with criticism that Southern Republicans are ruining the party and said a return to conservative values is the best way to restore political power. “I'm on the side of conservatives getting back to core conservative values,” said Mr. Vitter, Louisiana Republican and member of the Senate Armed Services Committee.
 “There are a lot of us from the South who hold those value, which I think the party is supposed to be about. We strayed from them in the past few years, and that's why we performed so badly in the national elections.”


Maine has one crazy Teabagger Governor, Paul LePage. He showed his wingnut bona fides as far back as during his campaign, when he told an audience that when he became governor, they could expect to see newspaper headlines stating, "LePage Tells Obama To Go to Hell."

Once governor, he told the NAACP to kiss his butt.

In February 2011, LePage again gained national attention when he spoke on a local TV news program saying he hoped to repeal the Maine ban of Bisphenol A, voted for unanimously by the Maine Board of Environmental Protection, because "There hasn't been any science that identifies that there is a problem" and added: "The only thing that I've heard is if you take a plastic bottle and put it in the microwave and you heat it up, it gives off a chemical similar to estrogen. So the worst case is some women may have little beards....and we don't want that.


Maryland has two Democratic Senators, a Dem governor and all other top state officials, and all but one Democratic US House reps. So it figures that their one GOP voice is a doofus. It's likely that he was only elected in the first place because his Dem opponent withdrew right before the election.

Fresh off that dynamic victory, Andy Harris was feeling his oats once he got to DC, and as HuffPo’s Jason Linkins described it: Andy Harris, Super-Genius Congressman, Takes Himself Hostage In Fiscal Cliff Talks

GOP freshman, Rep. Andy Harris (Md.), said he would vote against any tax increase that wasn’t paired with spending cuts at least 10 times as large. And if Obama rejects such a deal? "Then we go over the cliff," Harris said.


Our choice for the Bay State has to be none other than pickup truck driving centerfold, Scott Brown. First of all there’s that bit about secret meetings with kings and queens. Then there was his boneheaded assertion that he saw the Bin Laden takedown (only Scotty got fooled by an interwebz hoax—what are the odds.) And there was his fundraising effort when he claimed Rachel Maddow was running for his seat.

So, I guess we can safely say, Scotty is a LIAR. But this is a new favorite (and I had not seen it until I started researching this post). Yes, it’s small and superficial, just like Scott Brown.

In all the brouhaha about Elizabeth Warren's claim of Native American ancestry, a major item has been overlooked by the so-called liberal media.  In the 1980's, after Scott Brown appeared in Cosmo, he was interviewed by the New York Times.  In that interview, he claimed to be the great-grandson of Arthur Prentice Rugg, a chief justice of the Massachusetts Supreme Court in the 19th century, and he said he found it amusing to be reading cases in which his great-grandfather was involved.  Here's a snip from the original article:

Until a few weeks ago, Scott Brown was a 22-year-old first-year law student at Boston College Law School who frequently ran across opinions written by his great-grandfather, Arthur Prentice Rugg, former Chief Justice of the Massachusetts Supreme Court.

"I read many of his cases this year," he said, "which I found amusing."

The problem for Scott?  He was not Rugg's great-grandson, they were only distantly related.  The Times had to print a retraction a few days later.


Governor Rick Snyder and the Michigan Legislature share the honors for their Emergency Manager crappola. In short, these slimebags had created a way to take total control of any city in Michigan, throw out the elected officials and set up what amounted to their own little fiefdom. They could close schools, cancel contracts, disband city councils, fire mayors, etc.

The people of Michigan rose up against it and, although the Republicans tried to get their petitions thrown out because of the font size on the paper (no, I am not kidding), the voters prevailed, got the initiative on the ballot and rescinded the Emergency Manager Law in November, 2012.

Rick and his posse were not to be thwarted. The people may have spoken, but their overlords the Republicans weren’t listening. As soon as they were back in session after the election, they enacted another Emergency Manager Law and Snyder signed it.

Rachel Maddow has covered this story from the beginning, with particular focus on the ugly treatment of Benton Harbor, MI.

 Just go to her blog and you can follow her stories since it all began. Here here and here are a few of the stories. 

I believe Snyder and the Michigan Rethugs may be the most heinous group in the country.


Okay, I really tried to come up with someone else—the other two MN Republican congress critters, while not my cup of tea, do not seem to be batshit crazy, so I guess we’re left with our long-time favorite, Michele (one l) Bachmann.

From looking for un-American congresspeople to fighting against the census to saying vaccines cause mental retardation to not believing in pretty much any form of science, Michele is definitely the poster-child for wingnuts on parade at the heart of the Republican Party.  (And she’s on the Intelligence Committee. Oy)


Mississippi’s GOP senators are standard issue wingnuts: Cochran and Wicker hate choice, hate gays, love prayer in school, hate healthcare reform, love war etc. etc. (Notice that even though they hold extreme positions, they don’t really stand out in the crowd in Washington.)

Where MS earns full-blown credit for craziness in on the state level. Remember, current Governor, Phil Bryant had to step into some pretty big clown shoes left by former guv Hayley Barbour. But Phil’s up to the task. One of his big goals is to shut down every abortion clinic in the state (because MS, with one of the highest number of teenage pregnancies and one of the lowest standards of living CERTAINLY wouldn’t want to allow abortions.)

Mississippi’s only remaining abortion clinic, the Jackson’s Women’s Health Organization, is struggling to stay open as it is faced with unnecessary, complicated restrictions imposed by the state’s Republican lawmakers… On Thursday, the clinic received its first official notice that the state intends to revoke its operating license, although the women’s health organization will be able to remain open while it awaits a state hearing on the matter…

Mississippi’s  governor revealed the GOP’s true intentions behind over-regulating the Jackson Women’s Health Organization. “My goal of course is to shut it down,” Gov. Phil Bryant (R) said.

Of course, Bryant is a rabid opponent of Obamacare, and refuses to expand Medicaid to cover an additional 200,000 poor residents (and did I mention that Mississippi is poor). He believes “There is no one who doesn’t have health care in America. No one.”

But Bryant can’t be worrying his pretty little head about healthcare, y'all. He’s got embryos to save! Even though Mississippi voters, the most conservative voters in the country, voted down a personhood bill, Bryant’s not giving up, because he knows best.


Who can ever forget Todd Akin: “If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways of shutting that whole thing down” - mid 2012 Senate Campaign. That, and his followup “clarifications” caused him to crash and burn and lose by double digits to Claire McKaskill, who, until that moment, didn’t have a ghost of a chance of winning.

The double whammy was that Akin had to give up his House seat to run for Senate, so, for now, he’s outta there!

But don’t fret. MO has plenty more wingnuttery where Todd came from. Ya got yer Roy Blunt, of the famous (failed) amendment that bore his name that would allow an employer to deny health services if they conflict with their 'religious beliefs or moral convictions." (thanks, Roy.) While he was in the House, Blunt was a member of the "CREW's Most Corrupt" in 2005 and 2006.

 In the Senate since 2011, he’s known as a “culture warrior” who loves school prayer, school vouchers, GUNZ, wants to drill here/drill now (He’s one of the "Dirty Dozen" lawmakers who had "consistently sided with Big Oil and other dirty polluters" and (big surprise) doesn’t believe in global warming.

It wouldn’t be the Show Me state if I didn’t highlight Rep, Vicky Hartzler. 

She’s a birther who said, “I have doubts that it is really his real birth certificate, and I think a lot of Americans do.” Vicky, who is considered the MOST anti-gay person in Congress LOVES sharing her thoughts on same-sex marriage, comparing it to incest, polygamy and pedophilia.

She's also compared gay marriage to handing out drivers' licenses to third-graders (she's against it), and proposing to modify Don't Ask, Don't Tell by forcing gay soldiers to live in segregated barracks. (I think she might be a wee bit obsessed with the whole gay thing.)

Oh, and when she was a state rep? She wanted to prosecute any woman who had a late-term abortion for murder. What a lovely lady.

I Can’t Take It Anymore

That’s enough for one sitting. We’ll be back shortly to delve further  into the stupidity (and cupidity) that is the Right Wing, In the meantime, I present you with a brief musical interlude. Sing along to get yourself in the mood for more major league derp coming up in our next installment.

Gals and gays and grans better scurry
When Repubs show up in a flurry
There are many reasons to worry
With their “fringe” on top.

Watch those tea bags wavin’ their Gadsens
Saying lefties are makin’ them mad sons
Things could still get worse from the bad guns
As their brains go pop.

Their platform’s crazy, all the planks are insane
Their speeches border on treason
But teabag favorites seem to make it plain
They’re in DC for a reason.

Two more years of House rule by baggers
Led by loons and dolts and false flaggers
Shouting NO and calling us naggers
When we try to stop
All the Rightwingnut obstruction from the
“Fringe” at the Top.

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