The 5 Looniest Comments From Right-Wing Wackos This Week
It was a banner week for right-wing racists and sexists. The acquittal of Trayvon Martin’s killer, George Zimmerman, issued a cascade of attempts to portray Martin as the real criminal in an incident where the unarmed teenager was stalked and killed essentially for being black. The deeply objectionable things said in the wake of the trial are too numerous to mention, although Geraldo Rivera managed to maintain his supremacy atop the mountain of absurdity in his comments on the case, which began months ago when he identified hoodies as the uniform of criminals.
Meanwhile, the Texas legislature passed a bill severely restricting abortions that Wendy Davis and other brave Texas women fought against valiantly—immediately resulting in Planned Parenthood’s announcement that it would close three clinics in the state. That’s three out of a whopping 37 that will close in the nation’s second largest state. Those anti-choice legislators must be exceedingly happy, celebrating their victory, and kicking back to relax after a job well done. But wait, what’s this? They want more? Well yes, they do.
Republican Representatives Phil King, Dan Flynn and Geanie Morrison have introduced a “fetal heartbeat” bill, which would ban abortions after six weeks (a point when many women don’t even know they are pregnant) to keep up with the great, though considerably smaller and less populous state of North Dakota. The bill would criminalize abortions and mandate invasive vaginal ultrasounds for women seeking to commit the crime of deciding for themselves when to become mothers, since transvaginal probes are the only way to detect fetal heartbeats that early. One silver lining: the law would only go into effect if Roe v. Wade is overturned. Fingers crossed.
With so many ugly and appalling things to say, it’s a wonder that Republican lawmakers, pundits and bloggers found time to be offensive and absurd about other topics, but they are a resourceful bunch. Here are some other gems from the week that was.
1. Erick Erickson: Self-administered abortions are a real yuck fest.
Shortly after the vote to approve the draconian abortion ban, right-wing blogger Erick Erickson tweeted a link to a wire coathanger supplier, telling “liberals,” and really, the women of Texas, to “Go bookmark this site.” Rather like Geraldo’s jackass comments, this can be an instance of the right wing making the case against itself: Yes, your laws will drive women to desperate life-endangering measures, that is what we have been saying. Perhaps Erickson realized his mistake because he later deleted the tweet. But wait, then he defended his tweet against detractors by saying that before Roe v. Wade “only” 39 women died from self-administered abortions. Oh, only 39. (Not that we accept his accounting.) He also stands by his view that working women are “against nature.” Yeah, that one is still good.
2. Lou Dobbs: Eric Holder is a radical racist. DOJ organized and paid for protests.
Since we revisited Texas, let’s revisit Florida and Trayvon Martin as well, just for the sheer perversity of the reactions to the case. On Monday, Fox Business host Lou Dobbs promoted the conspiracy theory that the Department of Justice organized the protests over the killing of Trayvon Martin. Why is that? Well, because Attorney General Eric Holder is a radical racist. Just like his boss.
Yes, this cabal of black men at the pinnacle of American power used “thousands” of taxpayer dollars to train people to go out and pretend to be mad back when Martin was shot. And they are doing it again, because black people have to be paid to be mad about having their innocent young men gunned down. They are paying people like Al Sharpton to “raise racial tensions” nationwide. You see the DOJ, as “Fox & Friends” co-host Steve Doocy says, is letting the New Black Panthers call the shots.
And just to continue the thread, after President Obama’s moving comment later in the week that he would have looked much like Trayvon Martin at 17, came a tweet from one exceedingly clever Pajamas Media blogger @bob_owens: “Barack Obama and Eric Holder just want to run a Klan with a tan. You got a problem with that?"
Post-racial society indeed.
3. Paul Ryan: Undocumented immigrants don’t want to be citizens.
Wrongheaded on a number of issues—most famously the federal budget and the path out of deficit spending (now on the back burner)—Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) has redeemed himself ever so slightly by at least advocating for immigration reform in the House, the version with a militarized, drone-patrolled Mexican border that the Senate passed in June. He has even used his own Irish-immigrant lineage to argue in its favor. But on Thursday, Ryan made the rather curious claim that undocumented immigrants don’t want a path to citizenship.
“Most people just want to have a legal status so they can work to provide for their families,” he said.
It’s one thing to oppose a path to citizenship, which many Republicans do unabashedly, but quite another to dishonestly project that opposition onto the very people asking for it. In fact, as Think Progress reports:
Almost 90 percent of undocumented immigrants said they would apply for citizenship if allowed. The vast majority have family members who are U.S. citizens. Moreover, citizenship opens up more job opportunities and wage gains. Granting citizenship would also boost the economy; immigrants would pay more in state and local taxes if they became citizens.
Just 13 percent of Americans think the path to citizenship should be stripped from the Senate’s immigration bill. Polls have found repeatedly that most Americans support a path to citizenship, with a smaller majority supporting a much faster 5-year timeline instead of the Senate’s 13-year plan.
4. Ken Cuccinelli, Virginia Republican and gubernatorial hopeful, has a problem with sodomy.
Woe to consenting heterosexual couples, consenting homosexual couples and people interested in having sex in positions other than the missionary, if Ken Cuccinelli becomes the next governor of Virginia. They’ll all have to wave bye-bye to all that oral and anal sex they are having. Cuccinelli wants to get that good ol’ anti-sodomy law back on the books.
Cloaking the push as an attempt to keep children safe from sexual predators, when everyone knows that he is targeting the LGBT community, Cuccinelli has launched a website in his ongoing effort to reinstate a “Crimes Against Nature” law, which the U.S. Supreme Court declared unconstitutional in Lawrence v. Texas. “Keep Virginia Kids Safe!” the site says. Clever “When did you stop beating your wife” ploy, we concede, since it puts Democratic opponent Terry McCauliffe in the position of explaining why he does not want to keep those kids safe.
5. Bryan Fischer: Being gay, robbing banks and dealing drugs are all comparable lifestyle choices.
American Family Association’s Bryan Fischer is very mad at the Cheneys, especially Dick and Liz. He is not mad at Liz for the same reason other Republicans are mad at Liz, which is that she is dividing the party by running against a fellow Republican for Wyoming Senate. And he is certainly not mad at Liz and Dick for the same reasons progressives are, namely that they are evil incarnate. No, he’s mad because the whole family went soft on the issue of same-sex marriag, because Liz's sister and Dick's daughter Mary is gay.
“That complicates things for a lot of people,” Fischer said on the radio program he hosts. “If they have someone in their family (who is gay) they think they are obligated to support the homosexual agenda. That is just absurd.
“If you have a bank robber in the family,” he continued, “that doesn’t mean you automatically have to support that as a lifestyle choice. If you have a drug dealer in the family, you don’t have to automatically support that as a profession....It’s an absurd argument, though it has a strong emotional appeal. That may have affected Dick Cheney’s view of same-sex marriage, and it may well have affected Liz Cheney’s view of same-sex marriage.”
While we agree that the Cheneys would have been unlikely supporters of marriage equality unless it hit them where they live, we also find ourselves in curious agreement with the logic that whether or not you have a gay person in your family or are one yourself, should not affect whether you support equal rights for all. And that goes double for bank robbers and drug dealers.