10 of the Worst GOP Outrages of 2014

From rancher Cliven Bundy to the war on voting rights, this list will make you tear your hair out.

With 2014 coming to a close, it's worth remembering all the stuff we want to leave behind as we embrace the new year. Among these things are a whole host of outrages from the Republican Party. We present 10 of the worst and most outrageous political acts by the GOP this year:

1. Exploiting Police Deaths To Attack Democrats: Shortly after the tragic killings of two police officers in New York City, former Republican mayor Rudy Giuliani used the murders to accuse current mayor Bill de Blasio and President Obama of inciting the murders by criticizing police.

2. Astroturfing Minority Support: Rather than alter their policies to better the lives of racial minorities, several Republican candidatesdecided to use stock images of African Americans in their campaign advertisements to create the impression that the party doesn't have a white Christian male problem of narrowing support from diverse groups.

3. Promoting Bigotry Under Guise of Religious Freedom: Republicans in state legislatures nationwide promoted bills they claim were designed to advance “religious freedom” but were really about the right for businesses to use religion as a shield for refusing services to marginalized groups like gay Americans. In most states, these bills failed, but one did pass the Michigan House though it was not signed into law by the Senate.

4. Waging War On Voting Rights: As part of their 2014 push, Republicans across the country continued to push for disenfranchisement-promoting voter ID laws and attacks on early voting. One Georgia county even killed early voting because officials worried it was “just a way to wring out every last vote.” It wasn't all bad news, though. In Montana voters chose to keep election-day registration.

5. Holding Government Hostage to Deregulate Wall Street: In a last-minute showdown over a government spending bill, the GOP inserted a provision to deregulate a section of the Dodd-Frank rules on Wall Street. Despite a defiant stand by Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) the GOP's hostage-taking succeeded as Senate Democrats folded to their demands.

6. Calling For Crippling Flight Bans to Combat Ebola: Despite protests from virtually the entire medical community, GOP pols exploited panic about Ebola to call for flight bans to all of West Africa. Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) even said Obama was trying to import Ebola into the U.S.

7. Defending An Extremist Who Squatted on Federal Property:Although much of the right is mum about today's police brutality protests, they championed the cause of cattle rancher Cliven Bundy, whose fans took up arms to keep the federal government from removing him from federal property. Leading Republican politicians such as senators Dean Heller (NV) and Rand Paul (KY) defended Bundy's revolt.

8. Continuing to Deny Climate Change: The GOP continued its long history of resisting any change to climate policy. Louisiana state Rep. Lenar Whitney said the whole thing was a hoax and “the greatest deception in the history of mankind.” A long string of Republican pols responded to questions about global warming by saying “I'm not a scientist,” somehow believing this exempted them from having to give an opinion on the matter.

9. Electing the Senate's Newest Right-Wing Extremist: In Iowa, Republicans succeeded in electing Joni Ernst to the Senate. She touts United Nations conspiracies to take Iowan farmland, believes the president is a dictator, wants the federal minimum wage to be abolished, and thinks states can just nullify federal laws they dislike.

10. Trying Tt Prolong Our 50-Year Embargo on Cuba: While President Obama earned broad bipartisan praise and approval from the public and some GOP lawmakers for his Cuba move, some on the right lined up to pile on him, saying he rewarded tyranny and was practicing appeasement. For these Republicans, 50 years of a bad policy wasn't enough.

What were your top GOP outrages of 2014? What do you think we will have to endure next year?

Zaid Jilani is an AlterNet staff writer. Follow @zaidjilani on Twitter.

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