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Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

Dear conservatives: Imagine a jackboot stomping on the face of your overwrought metaphor.

Welcome to “This Week In Crazy,” The National Memo’s weekly update on the loony, bigoted, and hateful behavior of the increasingly unhinged right wing. Starting with number five:

5. Ted Cruz

Ted Cruz watched Tuesday night’s Democratic debate, and either a.) what he saw scared the living hell out of him, reducing him to a mewling puddle of his own making, raving Chicken Little-like through the streets, begging everyone to listen that apocalypse is a’brewing, or b.) he is campaigning in Iowa and continues his craven and cynical bid for conservative support by playing to people’s worst instincts, suspicions, and fears.

Far from me to speculate on Cruz’s state of mind, but we can report that he was indeed in Iowa during the debate, and that he claimed he was not at all encouraged by what he saw. The debate, he said, “was a recipe to destroy a country.”

“It was more socialism, more pacifism, more weakness, and less Constitution,” he told an assembled crowd of Iowans, according to The Dallas Morning Newswhich also reports that Cruz “acknowledged that he hadn’t actually watched the debate. During much of it, he was stumping at a Pizza Hut.”

That may explain why his summation of the event bears very little resemblance to what anyone watching the debate actually saw.

The debate, he said, “was an audition for who would wear the jackboot most vigorously” — jackboot, of course, long being a symbol for fascism. During the debate, the Democrats were simply auditioning “for who would embrace government power for who would strip your and my individual liberties.”

Cruz continued:

“It was interesting for America to see each and every Democratic candidate explain how what we need is an even weaker America, how we should withdraw even more from America” – he probably meant to say the world – “[and] avoid any conflict whatsoever with Iran, with Russia, with ISIS, with the lunatics who want to kill us.”

Either the sky is falling or the caucus is coming. Who can say?

Via Dallas Morning News

Next: Rush Limbaugh

4. Rush Limbaugh

Rush Limbaugh phoned in his daily aria Wednesday to let Americans know that we were a stronger, better nation when we endured the endemic poverty and misery of the Great Depression.

Currently, we’re living in Handout Nation, which is actually much worse than the United States of the Great Depression in the 1930s, although the “propaganda-believing, willfully ignorant, mainstream media-watching, math-challenged consumer” doesn’t want to hear it.

Limbaugh continued:

In 1933, if you were out of work, you didn’t eat. You had to stand in a soup line and depend on charity. In 2015, you can be among the 94 million not working and have a roof over your head, have a cell phone, a car, your air conditioned home probably– or your home is probably air conditioned and, you’re eating as much as you want.

[…] If you can eat, and have a house, and a big screen, and a cell phone without working, who in the world is paying for it? Back during the Great Depression, if you couldn’t pay for it, you didn’t have it.

Limbaugh has trotted out this “94 million” figure before — the number of Americans of whom he says: “We are paying people comfortably not to work.”

Conservatives often use the not-in-the-labor-force number to hand-wring over how we’ve become a runaway welfare state, but as PolitiFact notes, it’s misleading since it includes people we wouldn’t necessarily expect to be working. The drop in labor force participation can be partially attributed to Boomers retiring and young people staying in school. Suffice it to say, they don’t all enjoy lobster dinners on the government’s dime — and suffice it to say, we don’t need to induce another Great Depression to improve our labor stats.

And Rush wasn’t even the only conservative this week to suggest that would be a good idea.

Via Media Matters

Next: Bill O’Reilly

3. Bill O’Reilly

Fox News continues its curious practice of demonizing Black Lives Matter as some kind of radical hate group — curious because the network is so comfy providing a forum for actual hate groups to espouse their views.

On his show Wednesday night, Bill O’Reilly likened Black Lives Matter to the Ku Klux Klan. Recall that BLM emerged two years ago as a response to systemic police brutality and citizen vigilantism that targets African-Americans, and that the KKK emerged some 150 years ago to perpetrate systemic brutality and citizen vigilantism that targets African-Americans. (You can see how one might accidentally conflate the two.)

Turns out the two camps have more in common than anyone would have guessed. O’Reilly complained that “the leadership of Black Lives Matter could have repudiated” inflammatory rhetoric inciting violence against police officers, and because they didn’t, the entire movement must be held to account, in the same way that all Klansman are likely to be criticized, even though the KKK really only has a few bad apples.

O’Reilly continued:

If the movement doesn’t repudiate, it’s like the Ku Klux Klan, alright? You know, are all Klansman going to hang blacks? No. But they’re all in the same soup bowl, alright? Because they don’t divorce themselves from the group who did do those things.

Ah, Fox News’ old “soup bowl” argument — which holds that it is the perennial responsibility of moderate Muslims to repudiate Islamic extremists — that rests on the careless assumption that you can lump disparate groups into an all-inclusive antagonistic “They.”

For the record, the day I stop actively repudiating conservative blowhards on this page, it will not be because I chose to go swimming in the same sour chowder as them. It will be because I got sick of listening to them.

Via Media Matters

Next: Curt Schilling

2. Curt Schilling

When Donald Trump realized that he wasn’t going to be invited to the Democratic debate, the tycoon decided to steal as much thunder as he could via social media, announcing that he would be live-tweeting the event as a one-man Statler and Waldorf (albeit with a more limited vocabulary and wit than those muppet curmudgeons).

At one point, The Donald asked his followers who they thought was winning the debate (other than Trump, of course).

Leave it to former professional baseballer and would-be video game magnate Curt Schilling to tweet the retort that launched a thousand spit-takes.

Schilling responded to Trump, simply: “ISIS.”

This is part of a pattern of intemperate tweeting, which has gotten Schilling in trouble before. Per Huffington Post:

In August, ESPN suspended Schilling from his role as an analyst at the Little League World Series after he tweeted a meme that compared Muslims with Nazis. ESPN called the tweet “completely unacceptable,” and later announced that Schilling’s suspension would apply to Sunday Night Baseball and run through the end of the MLB season, too.

Of course, Breitbart found some way to defend Schilling’s remarks, saying his tweet was a reflection of ISIS’ relative absence from the Democratic debate: “Whereas the Republican event broadcast on CNN witnessed ISIS namedropped 27 times, CNN’s Democratic debate heard five mentions of ISIS or ISIL,” they wrote.

To Schilling’s credit, his tweet did leave Trump without a comeback.

Next: Jerry Boykin and Rick Wiles 

1. Jerry Boykin and Rick Wiles

When far-right-wing activist Jerry Boykin joined Rick Wiles on his radio show Tuesday, the conversation turned into a duet of insane condemnation of usual suspects like President Obama, as well as right-wing watchdog groups that keeps tabs on nutgardens like them, but — as the men readily admit — never misquote them.

They kicked off their screed-for-two-voices by condemning the president for inspiring the murderer in the the mass shooting at Umpqua Community College. Responding to reports that the killer specifically targeted Christians, the pair located the rampage squarely within the ongoing conservative Christian paranoid fantasia of persecution by vindictive secular forces — what Boykin described as “the fight of the future.” He continued:

Right here in America, the church, the Christian church, has been so demonized and denigrated by the current administration and those that support this administration that I think that you have to expect this because there are enough crazies out there that when you constantly hammer the U.S. Christian church, you have to expect that there is going to be some reaction and that’s what we’re seeing.

[…] It’s not just about having to bake a cake or take photographs for a gay wedding, this is about literally about life and death for Christians in the future. It’s coming.

Even though the shooter described himself as a ”conservative, Republican,” Boykin and Wiles conclude that he must have been a devoted follower of “ultraliberal, anti-Christian, and anti-American organizations” like the Southern Poverty Law Center, which monitors hate groups (such as the Family Research Council, of which Boykin is Executive V.P.), and the indispensable website Right Wing Watch.

Audio of these nits’ conversation is below, courtesy of (who else?) Right Wing Watch:

Via Right Wing Watch

Illustration: DonkeyHotey via Flickr

Check out previous editions of This Week In Crazy here. Think we missed something? Let us know in the comments!

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