Here are the 5 biggest right-wing outrages this week: Trump's world is exploding in chaos
This was a brutal week for President Donald Trump. His poison-pill-loaded plan to end the government shutdown he created went down in the Senate, and as his allies fought each other trying to assign blame and the shutdown began to paralyze major airports, he finally gave in and endorsed a bill to end the shutdown without his wall. Meanwhile, his campaign adviser Roger Stone was indicted for obstruction and witness tampering related to his coordination between WikiLeaks and the Trump campaign, and NBC News revealed his administration has been systematically overruling intelligence officials trying to deny security clearances to dozens of White House aides, including Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner.
And through all of this, right-wingers everywhere have been finding inventive ways to get themselves into trouble.
Here are five of the craziest right-wing moments of the week:
- Adam Kinzinger compares Central American migrants to "critters."
As the federal government shutdown continues to drag on, GOP lawmakers who support Trump's demand for a border wall with Mexico have been flailing to argue why it is necessary. But it would be hard to do a worse job of it than Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL).
"I think we have to look at all immigrants as human beings made in God's image," Kinzinger told Katy Tur on MSNBC Tuesday. But, he then immediately proceeded to give an offensive analogy for why he considered a border wall sensible:
Kinzinger: “When Nancy Pelosi says a wall is immoral, we look at that and go, ‘How is a wall immoral?’ I have four walls around my house and they keep bad people out and critters out.” pic.twitter.com/xwk6qsOnjr
— TPM Livewire (@TPMLiveWire) January 23, 2019
Kinzinger had it right the first time: immigrants are human beings, not "critters," and the border of a major nation is not anything like the walls of a house.
- Ben Stein says Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is promoting "the same kinds of things" as Hitler, could lead America to genocide.
Freshman Democratic Socialist lawmaker Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) continues to confound the GOP with her confrontational style and her unapologetically leftist policies on taxation, health care, and the environment. But right-wing actor and media personality Ben Stein sees something much more sinister in her politics, as he said on Fox Business on Wednesday.
"We have a society in which there are an awful lot of people who have no idea that Stalin, Hitler, Mao Tse-Tung all came to power promising the same kinds of things that Ms. Ocasio-Cortez is promising," said Stein. "And it led to mass murder, it led to dictatorship, it led to genocide. These promises are old promises and they invariably lead to bad things."
Stein has no idea what he's talking about. He seems to think that Hitler was a socialist, when in fact he was a fascist. He also can't seem to name one policy Ocasio-Cortez is proposing that led to mass murder or genocide — in fact, many of her ideas, like a 70 percent top marginal tax rate and a green energy stimulus package, have already been successfully used before in the United States without leading to a second Holocaust.
- Utah Republicans seek to legally define women as individuals capable of "receiving sperm."
Time and again, Republican attempts to rile up their base with a culture war against transgender rights have backfired, with "bathroom bills" in North Carolina and Texas ending in defeat and humiliation for the GOP. But Utah Republicans want to give it a try now — and their bill is so ridiculous it has to be seen to be believed.
HB 153, authored by state Rep. Merrill Nelson, would require all birth certificates identify people only as male or female, and prohibit anyone from changing their gender. But perhaps the most insane part is how the bill defines "female", as noted by Rewire News legal analyst Imani Gandy:
The bill defines female as: “an individual with ovaries who is confirmed before or at birth to have external anato… https://t.co/FL6ogalodO— Imani Gandied Yams🍂 @firstname.lastname@example.org (@Imani Gandied Yams🍂 @email@example.com) 1548357850
That's right: Utah Republicans want to define "female" as a person capable of "receiving sperm" from a man! This isn't just anti-LGBTQ, it would legally codify a degrading, misogynistic view of women.
Also, if read literally, the bill might not allow anyone to identify as "female" since none of the organs that "provide eggs" or "receive sperm" are "external anatomical characteristics." Utah Republicans might want to take a middle school health class before trying to invent their own legal definition of women.
- Colorado lawmaker says whites were lynched "in nearly equal numbers" to blacks "for being Republican."
Celebrating Martin Luther King Day should not have to be a controversial act. But on Monday, Colorado state Rep. Lori Saine managed to make it so.
In a video posted to Facebook of a speech originally given last Friday, Saine complained she was not being allowed to introduce her own separate resolution honoring Dr. King — but her speech's characterization of Reconstruction-era lynchings might offer a hint as to why her fellow lawmakers didn't want her weighing in:
FULL VIDEO: Colorado State Representative @lorisaine honors MLK by saying how whites and blacks alike were lynched… https://t.co/ilJDEEBnVs— Joe St. George (@Joe St. George) 1548111447
None of that is true. According to the NAACP, 72.7 percent of the 4,743 recorded lynching victims from 1882 to 1968 were black. And most white lynching victims were targeted for supporting black civil rights, not the Republican Party (which did support black civil rights in its early years, but reinvented itself around conservative former segregationists in the decades following passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act).
- Ron DeSantis' secretary of state resigns over photographs of blackface "Katrina victim" Halloween costume.
But Saine's temper tantrum was not even the most racist incident this week. That distinction has to go to freshly-minted Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis' secretary of state Michael Ertel, who resigned after just three weeks in office following the release of photos from a private Halloween party he attended in 2005.
According to the Tallahassee Democrat, Ertel "identified himself as the white man in blackface and red lipstick, wearing earrings and a New Orleans Saints bandanna, and falsies under a purple T-shirt that had 'Katrina Victim' written on it."
Michael Ertel, the newly appointed secretary of state of Gov. Ron DeSantis, has resigned after photos emerged of hi… https://t.co/XBg9VtnINH— Yahoo News (@Yahoo News) 1548361203
DeSantis, who became governor and appointed Ertel after narrowly defeating African-American Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum, has faced frequent accusations of racism, from his comments that electing Gillum would "monkey" up the state of Florida, to his associations with a far-right activist who has claimed there is a "race war" against whites.