In 2013, Republicans proved that they are capable of producing laughter, even when Rick Santorum takes most of the year off.
As we prepare for a 2014 that will inevitably bring us more Obamacare repeals, more uncomfortable discussions of ladyparts and endless profiteering by offensive reality stars, here are the best LOLs of 2013.
Leaker of the Year: Darrell Issa
As the chairman of the House Oversight Committee, Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) makes an excellent Fox News contributor… or enraged resident of Salem circa the 17th century. Instead of uncovering wrongdoing, Issa is “a human sieve” whose leaks would be a great help to hackers, terrorists and paranoiacs. The only thing Issa didn’t leak this year, it seems, is his own arrest record.
The “You Weren’t Supposed to Talk About Rape” Award: Trent Franks
Seemingly learning nothing from Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock, Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ) decided it was a good idea that people find out what he thinks about rape. As a conservative obsessed with women’s reproductive systems, Franks led the charge for a national ban on abortions past the 20th week of pregnancy. In a hearing he suggested that the rate of pregnancy from rape is “very low,” even though most people would argue that even one pregnancy from rape is far too many. The resulting furor actually resulted in House Republicans adding an exception for rape into the legislation and a female congressmember being put of charge of speaking about the bill. Franks has nearly disappeared since this incident. Experts speculate he’s being kept in the same soundproof chamber that Akin and Mourdock have been exiled to.
The “Fool You Twice” Award: Donald Trump
After using America’s second biggest political party as a personal publicity platform for over a year, the self-proclaimed billionaire is still promoting birtherism and being invited to speak at Republican events. Despite fraud charges against Trump University, he’s even marketing himself as a potential Republican candidate for governor of New York, a nomination he’d surely win if he weren’t just wasting everyone’s time and humiliating anyone who makes the mistake of taking him seriously.
Outreach of the Year
Second Runner-Up: Steve King
The congressman from Iowa was the author of the only immigration legislation that passed the House in 2013. His amendment would deport millions of young people brought here as kids. Why does he think such mass deportations are necessary? Look at the calves on those kids. They’re the “size of cantaloupes.”
First Runner-Up: The Duck Guy
Phil Roberston — the “patriarch” of the Duck Dynasty family — got lots of attention for his effort to help gay people understand why he prefers vagina. But many people missed the outreach to the African-American community of the 1950s. “Were they happy?” he asked about segregation-era blacks. “They were godly; they were happy; no one was singing the blues.” What evidence do we have that black people weren’t happy during Jim Crow? Except for the civil rights movement, I mean.
The Winner: The Whole GOP for Reaching Out to George Zimmerman
Anyone who says the GOP didn’t reach out to minorities in 2013 wasn’t paying to the warmth the right wing — especially Fox News’ Sean Hannity — extended to a Hispanic-American named George Zimmerman. I wonder what it was about him that appealed to Republicans so much.
LOL of the Year
Second Runner-Up: Scott Walker
The governor of Wisconsin doesn’t have a specific plan to replace Obamacare but he suggests that we listen to the ideas of the Heritage Foundation, which is the group that introduced the principles behind… Obamacare.
First Runner-Up: Sarah Palin
After going from breakup to make-up with Fox News, the half-term governor defended the comments of the anti-gay Duck Dynasty guy, the First Amendment and the Gospels, apparently without having ever actually read any of the three.
The Winner: Ted Cruz
The junior senator from Texas sat down for an interview at the The Atlantic‘s Washington Ideas Forum in November. Forgetting that he wasn’t speaking to his usual crowd that believes he’s a waxwork Reagan come to life, Cruz insisted that he didn’t want a government shutdown.
And of course, everyone LOL’d.
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Copyright 2013 The National Memo