News & Politics

5 Crazy Right-Wing Freak-Outs in Just One Glorious Week

A hilarious look at conservative thought in the Obama era.

For reasons that I don’t understand -- perhaps it’s subconscious karmic payback for murdering children in a past life -- I feel compelled to read a lot of right-wing blogs.

The wonderful thing about them is the window they offer into the pulsing id of the conservative movement -- up close and personal and without the filters of focus groups or dog whistles. For instance, do you think that Glenn Beck is insane? Oh puh-lease. Beck has precisely nothing on your typical Red State diarist or NewsMax columnist, each of whom is likely to support abolishing women’s suffrage or launching a military coup against Obama at any given time.

To give you an idea of the level of madness we’re looking at here, I’ve decided to share with you the five stupidest, craziest and most inflammatory things that right-wingers said over the span of a single week. When you read these things, keep in mind that these are the sorts of people Republican officials have to interact with on a regular basis. Indeed, the following five crazed tirades are almost enough to make you feel a little sorry for those staffers. Most of them came to Washington to act as soulless money funnels for corporate interests. Instead, they end up spending much of their time taking angry calls from some screamer who wants to privatize his local police force.

Number 5: John Derbyshire takes a bold stand against women’s suffrage

Last week, John Derbyshire, the National Review’s resident British crank, outlined a bold strategy to help Republicans return to power: by denying women the right to vote. The Derb explained that the trouble with women is that “they want someone to nurture, they want someone to help raise their kids, and if men aren’t inclined to do it… then they’d like the state to do it for them.” In other words, uterus-afflicted individuals should be barred from voting because they’re more likely to vote for people who disagree with John Derbyshire. Democracy in action!

Derb tried to show that he wasn’t completely out to lunch, however, by acknowledging that it’s highly unlikely that women will ever give up their right to vote.  Of course, if women ever did find their right to vote repealed someday, Derb also said that he “wouldn’t lose a minute’s sleep” over it.

What is refreshing about Derbyshire is that he doesn’t try to hide his bigotry or to disguise it with code words – he just has it right out there. Derbyshire has been known to openly game-plan future race wars, to declare that blacks and Latinos are too stupid to educate and to write entire columns declaring his hatred for Chelsea Clinton back when she was just 20 years old. So in this respect, it’s not shocking that Derbyshire opposes women’s suffrage. What’s shocking is that it took him this long to say it.

Number 4: Erick Erickson threatens to dissolve his own town’s police department

Erick Erickson, the founder and managing editor of RedState.com, has a second gig as a city councilor in his hometown of Macon, Georgia. And apparently, the police force in that town is upset by low pay and long hours and they want to form a union. Erickson’s response? He threatens to simply abolish the entire department!

Writing at the PeachPundit blog, Erickson said that he actually asked the city attorney about the possibility of dissolving the police department. The attorney replied that police unions in the state of Georgia cannot strike or collectively bargain, meaning that any union the police formed would be essentially worthless. This didn’t deter Erickson entirely, however, as he said he’d still rather “contract out to the sheriff’s office than see a union come in” because unions “breed inefficiency, corruption, and taint.”

Regardless of how this ultimately turns out, you have to seriously question the intelligence of a man who talks openly of canning his entire police department. It’s almost as if he’s begging to be pulled over and subjected to multiple anal cavity searches.

Number 3: John L. Perry urges a military coup against Obama

I knew that right-wingers would at some point start harboring fantasies of launching a military coup against Barack Obama, but even I confess that I didn’t expect them to come less than 10 months into his presidency.

But NewsMax columnist John L. Perry decided that the threat of Obamunism was too dire to ignore much longer and felt forced to go Full Metal Wingnut in his column this week. The piece was hilariously titled “Obama Risks a Domestic Military Intervention,” thus suggesting that if the military decided to launch a coup against the president it would be entirely his own fault. The best part about having a coup, says Perry, is that it would be practically guaranteed to be non-violent, since “America isn't the Third World” and “if a military coup does occur here it will be civilized.”

I’m not sure how this would play out in real life. I’m picturing military troopers storming the White House dressed in rainbow-colored uniforms and armed with guns that fire only flowers and puffy white clouds.

“Please come out to play with us!” the commandos would yell at Obama.

At any rate, this column was so nutty that apparently even NewsMax decided to yank it.

Number 2: Dan Riehl suggests that dead census worker could have been a “child predator”

While there is still much we don’t know about the death of census worker Bill Sparkman – who was found hanging from a tree with the word “Fed” written across his chest – it’s probably safe to assume that it wasn’t a suicide. Blogger Dan Riehl, however, took a bold new tack in the investigation this week when he used flimsy circumstantial evid… hell, it doesn’t even qualify as that. Long story short, Riehl speculated that Sparkman may have been a “child predator.”

Why? Because according to Riehl, “Sparkman's bio and work history suggests at the least he was not just your average guy. No teaching degree, no full-time means of employment and no wife or kids so far as I am aware. But he certainly did gravitate towards children. I can't help but wonder if this wasn't a revenge killing disguised to look like something else. If he did have issues in this regard and messed with the wrong kid, it isn't as if something like that can be ruled out until we know more.”

There are times when reading conservative blogs makes me feel outright dirty. This is one of those times.

Number 1: Conservatives everywhere declare that it’s their patriotic duty to stop America from hosting the Olympics

Conservatives are well-known for not only wearing their American flags on their hearts, but on their nipples and groins as well. But all that changed last week when Barack Obama began lobbying the International Olympic Committee to let his hometown of Chicago host the summer Olympics in 2016.

Immediately after Obama started his push, conservatives began attacking Chicago as a crime-infested hellhole unfit to hold prestigious international events. Fox News contributor Kimberly Guilfoyle, for instance, said Chicago had problems of “lawlessness, violence on the street, innocent bystanders being killed, children beaten and unable to go to schools.” The ever-classy Sean Hannity, meanwhile, decided to help Chicago’s Olympic bid by highlighting the story of a 14-year-old boy who was chased down and beaten with a pipe. And Michelle Malkin decided to do her part to help Obama by highlighting his “Chicago cronies Olympics bid.”

When Obama’s push failed, of course, conservatives across the nation leaped up in joy, apparently ecstatic that they had smeared the reputation of a great American city.  (Ironically, winning city Rio de Janeiro has a murder rate more than three times as high as Chicago’s.)

It used to be that I felt I understood what conservatives wanted: strong defense, low taxes and no illegal immigrants. But now with their vociferous opposition to hosting the Olympics in their own country, I admit that I literally do not understand what the hell motivates them anymore.

Brad Reed is a writer living in Boston. His work has previously appeared in the American Prospect Online, and he blogs frequently at Sadly, No!.