Welcome to “This Week In Crazy,” The National Memo’s weekly update on the wildest attacks, conspiracy theories, and other loony behavior from the increasingly unhinged right wing. Starting with number five:
5: John Fleming
Congressman John Fleming (R-LA) — best known for his genuine outrage over a satirical Onion story about Planned Parenthood’s fictional “$8 billion abortionplex” — is apparently still struggling to separate fiction from reality.
During a Tuesday appearance with hate-group leader Tony Perkins, Fleming ranted about the recently approved UN Arms Trade Treaty. According to Fleming, the treaty — which seeks to prevent the sale of weapons to human rights violators and shut down black market arms sales — is actually a liberal plot to repeal the Second Amendment.
“This is a dangerous thing when it comes to the Second Amendment. People need to understand that there is an end-run around the Second Amendment that is available to the Senate and I do think President Obama and others do support this,” Fleming said, clearly not understanding exactly how the Constitution works.
He added that the treaty could prevent parents from spanking their children, speculating, “That could potentially be up for a ratification of a treaty with other nations. So that if you for instance spanked your child, you could be in violation of a UN treaty and a law created as such.”
Only three countries voted against the treaty: Iran, North Korea, and Syria. Based on Fleming’s extreme right-wing platform, the three states make good company for the Louisiana congressman.
4: Bill Cunningham
Right-wing talk show host Bill Cunningham stopped by Sean Hannity’s Fox News show Wednesday to share his thoughts on the ongoing economic recovery. You may be shocked to learn that he doesn’t think it’s going well.
“We’re now in the fifth year of the Obama recovery!” Cunningham shouted at Hannity. “We’re gonna end up like Les Miserables, in which men have to steal loaves of bread to feed their families, and women are going to sell their bodies like Anne Hathaway!”
To Cunningham’s credit, as unrepentantly stupid as his theory may be, at least his comparison of American women to 19th-century prostitutes is more creative than the GOP’s usual rallying cry of “we’re becoming Greece!”
3: Nelson, Georgia
Although polling suggests that overwhelming majorities support enacting stricter gun laws, apparently not many of the respondents are from Nelson, Georgia. On Monday night, the Nelson City Council unanimously passed the Family Protection Ordinance, which makes it mandatory to own a gun. The law, which does contain exemptions for felons, those with certain disabilities, and “conscientious objectors” opposed to gun ownership, suggests that — although the right to bear arms has never been seriously threatened — the right not to bear arms may be an easier target.
“I likened it to a security sign that people put up in their front yards. Some people have security systems, some people don’t, but they put those signs up,” Councilman Duane Cronic, who sponsored the measure, told the Associated Press. “I really felt like this ordinance was a security sign for our city. Basically it was a deterrent ordinance to tell potential criminals they might want to go on down the road a little bit.”
Cronic is right, his new law will certainly convince some people to bypass Nelson — but it probably won’t just be criminals who dodge the new Somalia of the South.
2: Louie Gohmert
Representative Louie Gohmert (R-TX) makes yet another appearance on this list, this time for asserting that gun control will somehow lead to bestiality.
During a conference call with anti-gay activist Rick Scarborough, Gohmert laid out an absurd slippery-slope argument against limiting magazine capacity to 1o rounds. “Once you make it 10, then why would you draw the line at 10? What’s wrong with nine? Or 11? And the problem is once you draw that limit,” Gohmert said, “It’s kind of like marriage when you say it’s not a man and a woman anymore, then why not have three men and one woman, or four women and one man, or why not somebody has a love for an animal?”
Right Wing Watch has audio of Gohmert’s rambling warning.
The best reaction to Gohmert’s latest theory probably belongs to The Daily Show’s Jon Stewart, who asked the question that many have wondered about the radical right: “What is it with you people and the animal-f**ing?”
1: North Carolina Legislature
This week’s “winners” are the Republicans in the North Carolina State Legislature. Reps. Harry Warren and Carl Ford introduced House Joint Resolution 494, which would allow North Carolina to establish a state religion.
“Each state in the union is sovereign and may independently determine how that state may make laws respecting an establishment of religion,” the resolution states. How do the authors justify this blatant violation of the Constitution? With nullification, of course.
“The Constitution of the United States does not grant the federal government and does not grant the federal courts the power to determine what is or is not constitutional; therefore, by virtue of the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, the power to determine constitutionality and the proper interpretation and proper application of the Constitution is reserved to the states and to the people,” the resolution states.
North Carolina has really outdone itself this time. Its previous effort to ban global warming was impressively crazy, but by trying to shred the First Amendment through nullification, the Republican legislature may have come up with the single least-American idea in American history.
Photo: Mr T in DC via Flickr.com