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. Texas Sons of Confederate Veterans
This week marks the 150th anniversary of the surrender of General Robert E. Lee’s forces at the Appomattox Courthouse, which brought four bloody years of civil war to a close. But it also kicked off 150 years of a willfully ignorant campaign to rewrite the history of the Confederacy and reclaim her flag as a symbol of liberty, state sovereignty, and righteous rebellion. And not, you know, the enslavement of humans.
The latest battle in this ongoing slog to whitewash the Old South’s record is being fought in Orange, Texas, where a $50,000 memorial to the Confederacy sits atop a tiny scrap of privately owned land in the shadow of I-10. It is here that the Texas Sons of Confederate Veterans plan to raise 32 stars-‘n’-bars flags at a Confederacy memorial. Oh, yes. The memorial is on Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive.
When questioned by the Washington Post about the wisdom of this move, a spokesman for the group surprised everyone who has ever read a book by insisting that the American flag is actually much more racist, and much more stained by the sin of slavery, than Dixie’s Grand Old Flag.
And here’s the math to prove it: “The American flag flew over a slave nation for over 100 years,” said the spokesman. “The Confederate flag flew over a slave nation for four years. By comparison, the American flag is 25 times more a slave flag.”
Well, okay. I guess if we’re going to compare the two nations, we should consult an expert. I call to the stand Alexander Stephens, Veep of the short-lived Confederacy, who famously said that while the U.S. Constitution rested on the “fundamentally wrong” assumption of “equality between the races,” the Confederacy was “founded upon exactly the opposite idea; its foundations are laid, its cornerstone rests upon the great truth, that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery — subordination to the superior race — is his natural and normal condition.”
If you’re going to fly that flag, you should own up to what it means.
4. J. Christian Adams
J. Christian Adams, a former Justice Department official and onetime attorney for Michele Bachmann, went on Fox & Friends last Saturday to explain to all Christians and Jews of good conscience that it is perfectly okay to discriminate against atheists. In fact, it’s an infringement on your faith to be told you can’t discriminate.
Adams was brought on the air to discuss recent events in Madison, Wisconsin, where the city council passed an ordinance that granted atheists the status of an officially protected class. Within the city walls of Madison, it is now illegal to show prejudice toward a non-believer in matters of employment, housing, and public accommodations. Could other cities follow suit? Heaven forbid!
According to Adams, the goal here is actually not to treat secularists fairly; the real aim is to give angry atheists a license to attack the free practice of Christians and Jews (the only faiths it occurs to Adams to mention, incidentally).
“There’s a lot of reasons why Christians or Jews might not want to hire an atheist,” he raves. “In fact, it’s in the New Testament. It says things like ‘Avoid them!'” (I didn’t check to see if Adams nailed the exact phrasing of the King James Bible’s pleasant poetry there, but I assume he got the gist.)
“You might have a job, for example, when you want someone who believes in a higher power,” he continues. “Maybe you’re running an airline and hiring pilots, who you prefer they maybe believe in hell.”
With due respect, Mr. Adams, we’ve seen what happens when zealots flying planes believe they’re going to heaven. And it isn’t pretty.
You can watch the video below:ViaRaw Story.
3. Dallas Woodhouse
You might remember The Brothers Woodhouse as the feuding fraternal twosome — Brad is a Democrat, Dallas is a Republican — who got chastised by their mother when she called in to a segment of C-SPAN’s Washington Journal. She got in the middle of their brother-against-brother bickering on live TV to tell them they had better settle their differences before Thanksgiving.
Anyway, without Mama Woodhouse to mediate, Brad and Dallas appeared on Fox & Friends to discuss Rand Paul stepping into the GOP primary ring the day before he announced. They had, predictably, different takes.
According to Dallas (in the right corner), Paul has to demonstrate that he has overcome his isolationist tendencies and is ready to go all the way. Specifically, he said, “Rand Paul’s got to prove that he will nuke a Muslim country if we have to. I’m not saying we should. But I’m saying we will do that if it takes saving America and that there’s no doubt that he will do what it takes to protect America.”
That is setting the bar rather high. Short of actually pushing the red button and making a chunk of the planet disappear, how do you prove that you will nuke somebody?
In the left corner, Brad rejoined: “Thank God you’re not running for president.”
“I’m not saying we ought to do it,” countered Dallas.
“But I want someone who will, if it takes it.”
Someone please call their mom.
You can view the full video below.
2. James Dobson and Janet Porter
James Dobson, the psychologist and evangelical founder of the insidious anti-gay marriage organization Focus on the Family, and Janet Porter, founder of Faith2Action, a “pro-family” outfit, can be heard speaking on what is apparently a conference call — perhaps some kind of bottom-tier version of the Davos conference, just for homophobes.
They are discussing ways to regain some ground in their losing battle against same-sex marriage, when Dobson finally blurts out: “You talk about civil war. We could have another one over this.”
Can’t tell if it’s a warning or an attempt to boost morale. Listen to the audio, courtesy of Right Wing Watch, and decide for yourself:
[soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/199857877″ params=”color=ff5500″ width=”100%” height=”166″ iframe=”true” /]
ViaRight Wing Watch.
1. Michael Savage
If This Week In Crazy were a talk show, there would be a permanent Savage-shaped imprint on the couch. I want to ignore him, but the guy puts on such a good show. When Savage speaks, he does so with the surging accelerando force of a one-man orchestra, letting his paroxysms of paranoia build to a magnificent xenophobic climax.
On his show, Savage Nation, last Friday, Savage discussed the threats posed by militarized fundamentalist Islam to Christians and Jews, to democracies, and to the civilized world at large. Nothing too outlandish here, but remember: Savage runs marathons, not sprints.
Savage first rages against the Jews quietly celebrating Passover this week, saying the holiday’s narrative gives them a false sense of security, and will lead them straight into another Holocaust. Then he turns his ire against the Jews in entertainment who make films and television shows that mock fundamentalist Christians — “the only people on Earth who would protect the Jews.”
Finally, he arrives at his point. Christianity needs a reformation. In its modern state, the faith has “devolved into a form of social liberalism.” It is no longer a functioning religion. It is weak and ineffective, and in order to be an effective religion, it must empower its practitioners to survive. “We must have a politicized Christianity, in order for Christianity to survive at all.”
To beat militaristic, fundamentalist theocrats… we must become them.
On the same show, Savage had some kind words to say for the white man, and some words of warning for those who upset him: “You see, the white man is a quiet man and a peaceful man. Like many dictators before him, Barack Obama thinks the white man will remain quiet and subdued forever. Hitler made that mistake.” (Here follows another one of Savage’s cognitive cul-de-sacs, where he rhapsodizes about Hitler.)
“You push the white man only so far,” he growls, “you’re gonna have a reaction like you’ve never seen.”
You can hear the audio below, courtesy of Right Wing Watch
[soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/199560215″ params=”color=ff5500″ width=”100%” height=”166″ iframe=”true” /]
[soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/199554221″ params=”color=ff5500″ width=”100%” height=”166″ iframe=”true” /]
ViaRight Wing Watch.
Photo above: Gerry Dincher via Flickr