Immigrants Have Cantaloupe Calves, and 4 Other Unhinged Comments from America’s Lunatic Right-Wing Fringe This Week
You know you’re pretty far out on the rightward flank of the right wing, when Speaker of the House John “repeal all laws” Boehner and Rep. Paul “slash all social programs” Ryan (R-Wisc.) publicly denounce your comments, but such was the accomplishment of Iowa Rep. Steve King this week. In the past, King has compared immigrants to both dogs and livestock, but this week he went with a fruit metaphor. You see he is just really tired of all the claims that sometimes undocumented immigrants and especially their children achieve things, contribute to and are actually good for a country founded by, well, undocumented immigrants.
“For everyone who’s a valedictorian, there’s another 100 out there that weigh 130 pounds and they’ve got calves the size of cantaloupes because they’re hauling 75 pounds of marijuana across the desert,” King notoriously said.
Although Republican leaders rebuked King’s comments, realizing that publicity like this might cost them some Latino votes, it is worth remembering that 97 percent of the House backed King’s amendment to defund the Obama administration’s directive to stop deporting the children of undocumented immigrants. So House Republicans don’t really disagree with the content of his statement, maybe just the colorful language. The Tea Party firebrand does have a way with words, once comparing House janitors who changed incandescent bulbs to more energy-saving compact fluorescents to Stasi troops.
King remained defiant throughout the week, standing by his cantaloupe statement, and saying he has spent a lot of time on the Mexican border and personally seen the giant cankles on these drug mules. Then he gave a speech in the House talking about how he really just wants logical, rational policy, and how every human being deserves dignity and compassion.
We hope he likes cantaloupe. Because he got a load of it in his office from hundreds of immigrants and their supporters he offended.
Here are the other lowlights from this week in crazy.
1. Jennifer Rubin: Our first black president is taking us backwards on the subject of race.
While some of the bigoted, victim-blaming Trayvon Martin commentary died down this week, eclipsed by Anthony Weiner’s penis pranks and the vitally important royal baby-naming cliffhanger, arch-conservative, proudly Islamophobic Washington Post columnist Jennifer Rubin kept the racism flame alive with comments on President Obama’s speech last Friday. In a conversation with NewsMax radio host Steve Malzberg, Rubin simply denied the existence of institutional racism. Racial prejudice and discrimination no longer exist, she asserted. Poof, gone. Racism is something “most Americans have never personally experienced,” she said. We think it is pretty clear that when Rubin says “most Americans,” she means, “most white Americans.”
Then she was back to the old canard. Black Americans are to blame for all their problems. Why didn’t Obama point that out in his speech? “It is just mind-boggling, and first of all, he doesn’t address the issue of black-on-black crime which is much larger, as you know, and much more of an endemic problem,” Rubin said. “And he doesn’t comment on every black kid that shoots another black kid. Why is that? He is only interested in cases that can bring up the race issue? What about the number of black kids that are killed every week, every month in Chicago?”
Ah, the virtues of short and selective memories. We believe Obama did talk about Chicago’s murder problem, when 15-year-old Hadiya Pendleton, who attended his inauguration, was felled by a gang bullet. Not to mention the President’s ultimately unsuccessful attempt to get some very reasonable gun control legislation passed in light of both Chicago’s murder problem, and of course, Newtown.
Back with Rubin, host Malzberg chimed in that Obama seems to believe that dysfunction in the black community is due to America’s violent past.
“Exactly,” Rubin continued. “You know, the sad part about it, or the disgusting part about it—however you think of these things—is that he doesn’t address then the current problems, he doesn’t address broken families, he doesn’t address kids who grow up without fathers, he doesn’t address the broken schools, he doesn’t address the drug problem, so all of these things are never addressed because it’s slavery or Jim Crow or whatever.”
“I feel like we’ve gone backwards on the race issue,” Rubin concludes.
2. Pat Buchanan is not sure what’s worse, Anthony Weiner sexting or Christine Quinn being a married lesbian.
We were not going to talk about Anthony Weiner. We were not going to talk about sexting, dick pics, or make fun of his nom de plume Carlos Danger. We were not going to speculate on Huma’s motives, the childhood source of the former congressman’s pathetic need for validation of his manliness, or his misunderstanding of social media. We weren’t going to talk about it, because, really, what’s the point? But, somehow, sure enough, the haters managed to turn this into an opportunity to, once again, bash gay people. Really, when you are a hater, just about everything is an opportunity to bash gay people, here and in Russia, where horrifying videos have come to light about gay teenagers being kidnapped and tortured.
The hater in question here is syndicated right-wing columnist Pat Buchanan, who saw in the Weiner scandal a chance to point out the moral failings of other major New York, a.k.a. Sin City, politicians. The worst of those moral failings can be summed up pretty simply: acceptance of gay people and belief in their equal rights. Worst offender is New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, whom Buchanan erroneously labels “a lesbian about to marry another lesbian.” Quinn is already married, of course. (Get your facts straight, Pat.)
Well behind her in the morality race are “the sitting mayor and governor (who) are divorced and living with women not their wives.” But back to the far worse gay thing, former mayor Rudolph Giuliani and former senator Hillary Clinton both marched in New York City gay pride parades. We are, Buchanan inevitably concludes, “a mentally and morally sick society.”
Oh, for the good old days. “Thirty years ago, homosexual acts were crimes,” Buchanan wistfully reminisces. “The Supreme Court has since discovered sodomy to be a constitutional right. State courts are discovering another new right—of homosexuals to marry.
“To call homosexuality unnatural, immoral or a mental disorder will soon constitute a hate crime in America,” Buchanan concludes hysterically.
3. Ted Cruz: Gay marriage will lead to persecution of Christians and violation of their First Amendment rights.
Wait, that last Buchanan bit sounds familiar. It turns out that Texas senator and right-wing darling Ted Cruz is worried about people’s rights to say vile, violence-inciting things about gay people as well. The people whose First Amendment rights he is most worried about are Christians. In a piece of convoluted logic that appears to have zero factual basis, Ted Cruz told Christian Broadcasting Network that our country is at a precipice of complete collapse of liberty because of gay marriage. He is just really freaked out about it.
Here is what Cruz says is going to happen: “That’s where it [gay marriage, or just having an open mind about gay marriage] gets enforced,” he told interviewer David Brody. “It gets enforced against Christian pastors who decline to perform gay marriage, who speak biblical truths about marriage, that has been defined as hate speech.”
How does Ted Cruz know this is what is going to happen? Because this is what has happened in “other nations that have gone down the road towards gay marriage,” he says. He does not mention which nations these are. Maybe because there are none.
4. Ken Cuccinelli still thinks gay people are ‘soulless’ and ‘self-destructive.’
When he made his bid last week to restore Virginia’s old “Crimes Against Nature” laws, which would outlaw oral and anal sex for everyone, Virginia attorney general and gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli disingenuously claimed he was trying to protect children, but no one really believed him. Cuccinelli was gunning for the LGBT community, and admitted to his retrograde views about gay people this week in his debate against Democratic rival Terry McAuliffe. McAuliffe pointed out several times that Cuccinelli has called LGBT Virginians “soulless” and “self-destructive,” assertions Cuccinelli dodged and weaved for as long as he could. Finally, pressed by moderator Judy Woodruff about whether he stands by those statements, Cuccinelli responded briefly, saying, “My personal beliefs about the personal challenges of homosexuality haven’t changed.”
Something tells us that Cuccinelli’s belief system excludes evolution as well.