The GOP’s cleansing of its ‘stupid’ wing will never work

This week has seen a rebranding bonanza from the GOP. Michele Bachmann took nine minutes to announce she will be leaving Congress, which caused many journalists and observers to announce the GOP is “scrubbing” away the stupid within its ranks. It makes for great headlines and rather humorous editorial, and allows the GOP to, at least superficially, rejoin the ranks of reason.

But, here’s why it will never work: the stupid DNA is just too embedded in the GOP. And I say this as a vocal critic of both President Obama, his administration, and the Democratic leadership.

Michele Bachmann is one minor cog in a system of stupid. She was, like Sarah Palin, simply the loudest right wing, Christian demagogue and practitioner of stupidity. But she isn’t the only one. Far from it.

Here are 5 GOP politicians (amongst many others) who prove that stupid still shines brightly in the batshit crazy wing of the GOP. Gov. Bobby Jindal (R-LA) can scrub all he wants, but he just won’t be able to eradicate stupid from the Republican party.

Louis Gohmert

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Rep. Louis Gohmert’s greatest distinction? He’s anti-gay. When he surveys the American landscape, he sees a homosexual conspiracy like a dark miasma hanging in the sky. In Gohmertland, gay boy scouts are pedophiles (never mind that most pedophiles identify as straight before getting caught).

Gohmert’s bigoted stupidity, captured on audio, goes something like this:

“I was just so brokenhearted over the vote with the Boy Scouts… You’re going to allow a situation where a 17-year-old guy that’s sexually attracted to other guys gets in a little tent with an 11-year-old new rookie Boy Scout and they spend the night together, night after night at camp? I mean, come on. I thought we were making progress. All I can figure is — I was an Eagle Scout, we share so much of the love of scouting — when you hear what happened, the people I talked to are, ‘Well, just think, there are so many corporations that are holding up their donations, and if we will just do this, all of that money is going to flow to Boy Scouts.’ Are you kidding me? Is money the most important thing in life? Gosh no. You’re blessed so much more if you follow the teachings in the little old rulebook we call the Bible.”

Gohmert, like most conservative Christians, is also openly misogynistic. At a recent congressional committee hearing to discuss a proposal, H.R. 1797, to criminalize abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy, this paternalistic chauvinism was on full display. Gohmert told the Democrats’ only witness, Christy Zink, that she should have taken her baby to full term, even though doctors stated that the baby was missing a large part of its brain and had a slim chance of survival.

Zink noted in her testimony that her survival was not guaranteed, and that even if her son had lived, her daughter would no doubt have been hurt by an often absent parent. This was Gohmert’s response:

“Ms. Zink, having my great sympathy and empathy both. I still come back wondering, shouldn’t we wait, like that couple did, and see if the child can survive before we decide to rip him apart? So. These are ethical issues, they’re moral issues, they’re difficult issues, and the parents should certainly be consulted. But it just seems like, it’s a more educated decision if the child is in front of you to make those decisions.”

To what end, Mr. Gohmert? So that the boy can live, without brain function, kept alive by medical equipment that would surely put Ms. Zink and her family into debt?

And then, of course, there is Gohmert’s wacky theory that Islamic terrorists are trained to “act Hispanic” in order to infiltrate the United States. Yes, Middle Easterners passing themselves off as Hispanics—it should work spendlidly. Oh, and Gohmert is a founding Birther. So there’s that, too.

Steve King

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When it come to stupid, Rep. Steve King (R-IA) is the king. When asked to comment on rape-induced pregnancy, King replied, “I just haven’t heard of that being a circumstance that’s been brought to me in any personal way, and I’d be open to discussion about that subject matter.”

Like any good American, King is Christian. And, like any good fundamentalist Christian, King has zero respect for God’s creation—that is, outside of human babies. During his 2012 re-election campaign, King had this to say at a town hall meeting:

“It’s wrong to rate animals above human beings… When the legislation that passed in the farm bill that says it’s a federal crime to watch animals fight or to induce someone else to watch an animal fight but it’s not a federal crime to induce somebody to watch people fighting, there’s something wrong with the priorities of people that think like that.”

Disrespect for the planet is the hallmark of stupid. Granted, humans fighting other humans may be stupid, too, especially when it comes to war. But, when one dismisses the value of animals, it’s not too far to make an illogical jump that devalues Earth’s entire ecosystem. And this devaluing of the ecosystem is truly part of the GOP’s machine of stupidity, because to value ecological issues is to chip away at the GOP’s religious obsession with the free market; which should be able to do as it pleases with little to know ethical considerations.

King’s stupidity is wide-ranging, but perhaps his most entertaining moment came last year when he reignited a favorite GOP past-time: the quest to make English the official English language. To that end, King took aim at ATM machines that offer both English and Spanish menus. In his world, there would be no Spanish option. Hey, let’s just get read of Spanish speakers to get right to the root of the problem, right?

Enlightenment, folks.

It would take a book to list the entire catalog of King’s brand of crazy stupidity. In the interest of time, I leave you with one last King comment. It’s up to you to search out his other fine moments. Back in 2009, King theorized on a conspiratorial level that gay marriage is a “purely socialist concept.” That level of idiocy really speaks for itself.

Ted Cruz

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Like many recent GOP jackasses, Rep. Ted Cruz (R-TX) is a product of the Tea Party revolution in the Republican party. As with most Tea Partiers, history is irrelevant, or at least entirely open to reinterpretation and revisionism. Hard to believe this comes from a man who attended Harvard Law School, clerked for former Chief Justice William Rehnquist, and is considered an “intellectual.”

Cruz, like many Republicans, believes that Ronald Reagan single-handedly brought about the downfall of the USSR. This type of Republican think Reagan’s beligerent rhetoric scared the Soviets into submission. Smarter Republicans like to claim that Reagan’s arms race forced the Reds into debt, making their political position nationally and internationally untenable.

But, those who know their history realize that the reasons for the Soviet Union’s disintegration were many and varied. Reagan was, in all honesty, part of the puzzle. But to credit Reagan, as Cruz does, with bringing down America’s Cold War opponent, is kind of like bystanders observing a burning building and watching a man say unto it, “Building, you will burn down to the ground!”, then spreading the word to people who weren’t witnesses that a man had ordered a building to burn and it had indeed obeyed. One of those bystanders is Ted Cruz.

Like other Tea Partiers, Cruz believes George Soros became a billionaire for the express purpose of imposing communism on the world. Witness Cruz’s blog post on the United Nations Agenda 21, the fringe right’s paranoid fantasy of the New World Order.

“In 1992, the United Nations adopted Agenda 21 to ‘achieve a more efficient and equitable world economy,’ outlining a process to eliminate environmental decay and social injustice through micromanaging industries, communities, and culture. They will meet again next year to discuss its ‘progress’ in over 100 nations.

The originator of this grand scheme is George Soros, who candidly supports socialism and believes that global development must progress through eliminating national sovereignty and private property. He has given millions to this project. But he is not the only one promoting this plan; in fact, the International Council of Local Environmental Initiatives (ICLEI) now consists of over 600 cities in the United States.

It’s possible that Cruz, as an “intellectual,” is cynically using Soros as a tool for demagoguery. Not a first in the GOP by any means.

Don Young

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Sarah Palin may be the most famous Alaskan outside of the Kodiak Grizzly Bear, but Don Young is the state’s most notable dickhead. Known as “Alaska’s Third Senator,” Young notably swung an 18-inch walrus penis bone on the House floor to advocate for native Alaskans’ right to cultivate aphrodisiacs from endangered animal organs. Don also voted for the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act in 1999, a bill that is believed to have helped precipitate the 2007 sub-prime mortgage crisis. 

Young also notably called his father’s Mexican farmhands “wetbacks” in the most nonchalant of ways, as if he were waxing nostalgic and dreaming of amber waves of grain. Racism in any form is stupidity on the grandest level. It is, after religion, the hallmark of an under-developed mind. Some might say Young’s “wetbacks” comment was a generational misstep, but that’s too generous. Over a life time, people should evolve their minds. Not so with Don Young.

Paul Broun

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Rep. Paul Broun (R-GA) gained notoriety in the 2012 election cycle for his anti-science rhetoric. Broun sits on both the House Committees on Energy and Commerce and Science, Space and Technology. For Broun, as with other select Republicans, science is only useful insomuch as how easily it can lend itself to the US’s war-making capabilities.

Broun is also infamous for stating that the Big Bang, evolution and embryology are “lies straight from the pits of hell.” This from a man who holds a medical degree.