Benumbed by the Crazy

When I get a chance, I check a few blogs on both the left and right, just to see how the “wings” are portraying what they see. I see exaggerations from both sides–but I have to say, there really isn’t much question who is crazier. There is spin, and then there is “are you f***ing kidding me?”

Yesterday, Crooks and Liars posted a poll to Daily Kos, asking respondents to rank the week’s most egregious examples of loony-tunes. Here were the contenders–all Republican:

Arkansas state House candidate Charlie Fuqua, for claiming that all Muslims in the U.S. should be deported.

U.S. Rep. Todd Akin, for claiming that doctors perform abortions on women who aren’t pregnant.

Jack Welch, for accusing the Obama administration of manipulating the latest jobs numbers.

Georgia Rep. Paul Broun, a member of the science and technology committee, for saying that evolution and the Big Bang theory are ‘Lies straight from the pit of hell.’

Meanwhile, three Republican legislators from Arkansas have weighed in with noteworthy contributions that the pollster somehow missed: Jon Hubbard has said and written that slavery was not so bad compared with normal African life at the time of American slavery; Loy Mauck has described President Abraham Lincoln as a terrorist; and Charles Fuqua (yep, same guy who wants to expel all Muslims) expressed support for the death penalty for rebellious children.

This isn’t spin. Each of these statements was widely reported in credible media sources. How has it come to this? How could presumably sane American citizens elect people like these? How have we come to the point where most Americans simply shrug off these displays of monumental ignorance and/or bigotry? This isn’t a matter of contending positions or policy differences–this is lunacy.

When did the general public become so desensitized to the GOPs descent into radicalism, and its rejection of reality? What happened to turn the party of sober fiscal conservatives and thoughtful social liberals–the party that I used to call my own–the party of Gerald Ford and Dick Lugar and Bob Orr and Bill Hudnut–into some sort of dangerous cult?

I feel like we’re the rabbit in the old Tom and Jerry cartoons–the one who is plopped into that pot of water that is slowly, diabolically heated…so slowly that the rabbit doesn’t notice the water boiling until it’s scalding him. In the years since Reagan (who, by today’s standards, was a commie), the delusional quotient has been rising gradually, incrementally, inexorably….until we’re suddenly in the deep water of an alternate reality.

How much hotter does it have to get before we come to our collective senses?


  1. I was just called a “socialist” today for saying I would vote for Obama. I replied that given the rxamples you listed plus Alan West, Bachmann, Newt, Santorum, Cain, Palin, Rep. Stephen King, et al. I would take a Pelosi, Reid, and Obama/Biden a million times over. The GOP has lost its damn mind.

  2. It’s the coming to fruition of a strategy deployed over decades to place dominionists in positions of power. They’re in the congress, the senate, and on the SCOTUS. All in an effort to try and make the country more theocratic. I live in Australia and know this, because as an atheist I make it my business to know what the religious are up to. What amazes me is why the sane voices in powerful positions won’t address it for fear of upsetting the vast majority of more moderate religious voices.

  3. Thanks Prof K
    You could not have said it better
    Thanks again.
    Please send that one to the Star !!

  4. And Georgia Representative Paul Broun is running unopposed. This shows the weakness of the Democrats here.

  5. A piece of poetry I read years ago by that ever-popular Anonymous fits the current political situation:

    “The grizzly bear is huge and wild,
    it has devoured the infant child.
    The infant child is unaware,
    it has been eaten by the bear.”

    Also fitting at this time is a quote by poet Dilys Lainge:

    “Women receive the insults of men with tolerance,
    having been bitten in the nipple by their toothless gums.”

    In Ms. Laing’s quote, the word “insults” could be changed to “stupidity” regarding Republican men. We have suffered the indignities from men for centuries and seem to be backtracking rather than moving forward. Where is Helen Reddy and her anthem, “I am woman, hear me roar.”

  6. There’s fringe on both ends of this rug. Recently a close friend called me a ‘tea bagger’ simply because I’d said I was voting for Romney. The friend didn’t ask why I was voting for Romney, but rather just conveniently placed me into a preconceived category without any attempt at dialogue or intelligent conversation. Things have gotten really nasty.

  7. The steep decline of political speech only needs to be traced back 1 decade to the SCOTUS decision on Citizen’s United. The SuperPACs can contribute money but cannot associate themselves with a single candidate or campaign, and by default have been forced to denigrate the opposition instead. The advertisers receiving the SuperPAC money become hired character assassins, spewing the worst vitriolic spin at the opposition that it can muster — all without needing to be truthful. It is this sinister approach to campaign commercials that have poisoned the voting public and have resulted in certain officials being elected not because of their own capabilities or viewpoints but solely for the often unwarranted scorn of the opponent.

  8. I’m assuming that “Bare Faced Lies” are covered by the First Amendment ?

  9. Jason – your friend said something stupid, but your attempt to show equivalency is how we got here. If I can show one dumb statement on both sides, anything goes?

    Does your friend hold elective or appointed office? Is yout friend a candidate for office from a major political party? Does your friend have the movers and shakers of the Democratic Party paying homage? Does your friend ever get free TV time for his stupid comment, just because of who he is?

    No equivalency here, sorry.

  10. Mr. Farber, one could just as easily counter with Bill Maher calling women “c—s” or “t—s,” then proceeding to donate over a million dollars to reelect Obama. To date I haven’t seen anybody mention returning any of it. When it comes to researching dopey quotes two people could go back and forth all day long and they’d both be right.

    Small minds talk people, larger minds talk ideas. I’ve repeatedly posted comments challenging positions, ideas, and policies on this blog. By virtue of everybody steadfastly refusing to acknowledge or even address their blatant partisanship and/or untruthful cherry-picking of information tells me more than some jackball in New England or the Rust Belt showing his or her true colors.

    Equivalency? Blah. Redundancy? Certainly.

  11. Mr. Small, I didn’t know I WAS voting for Romney. Why don’t you tell me why I’m voting for him?

    In the interest of playing along, here’s how I see it: I don’t think a lot of Romney’s calculus adds up, though to an objective observer he obviously has a lot more experience in dealing with the American economy. I don’t think he has the political capital to accomplish many of the things which he’s promising. However, I KNOW President Obama’s philosophies haven’t worked (the flop side, if you will), and I KNOW that my family is worse off than when he took office. In the end they’re both flip-floppers, so I may throw my vote away and write in for my favorite author so I can complain either way. So it goes. What’s your excuse?

  12. The currrent political discourse reminds of the
    McCarthy era where a number of Republicans disliked McCarthy and his tactics but feared the
    political retribution for taking him on or for being considered soft on Communism. FINALLY
    McCarthy was exposed for the vindictive fraud he was, but he damaged too many folks before he
    damaged himself.

    Fortunately, today we have the Sheila Kennedys, Lawrence O’Donnells, Rachel Maddows, et. al. and the internet to help us expose these folks for the crazies they are.

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