This Week In Crazy: Farewell to Iowa
Trump’s depressed Iowa fans, Michele Bachmann’s wild-eyed prophecies, and the revenge of Cliven Bundy! 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. Cliven Bundy
The three-week siege of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge ended with the arrest of Ammon Bundy and some of members of his self-proclaimed “militia,” as well as the death of one of his accomplices. And while federal agents are all but begging Bundy’s remaining co-occupiers to peaceably remove themselves from the premises, Ammon’s daddy Cliven, who knows a little something about facing down federal authorities and getting his way, has decided to inflame the situation with an insane letter.
Bundy has put officials on notice in a certified letter to the Harney County Sheriff (he also copied Oregon governor Kate Brown and President Barack Obama, as well as “Internet to the World”) that his son’s merry band “WILL RETAIN POSSESSION OF THE HARLAN COUNTY RESOURCE CENTER” [emphasis, all of it, in the original]. In the letter he claims to speak on behalf of all people of Harney County (never mind that the elder Bundy is a resident of Bunkerville, Nevada), and demands that all federal and state authorities clear out of that region.
Bundy posted to his Facebook page the letter, which is as sure to actually accomplish his goals as it is to help his son’s case:
Hat tip Daily Kos
4. Sore Loser Trump Fans
Before he leapt into his fit of hysterics about do-overs and fraud, Donald Trump was uncharacteristically gracious about becoming a total loser in Iowa. But his followers were not.
Trump’s biggest fangirl, Ann Coulter, took to Twitter in the moments following The Donald’s loss in the Iowa caucuses to proclaim that her anointed one was actually the “leading GOP vote-getter tonight, among natural-born-American candidates.”
Trump is the leading GOP vote-getter tonight, among natural-born-American candidates.
— Ann Coulter (@AnnCoulter) February 2, 2016
She also blasted Fox News for providing an explainer on how caucuses work, a gambit she said was an attempt to keep Trump supporters (presumably first-time caucus-goers) from coming out:
That was just part of the many-tentacled conspiracy unfurled by the media-political establishment to keep Trump from winning the Hawkeye State, apparently. His fanatics also began promoting a rumor — started by Breitbart — that the Microsoft app used to tally votes had given a huge boost to Marco Rubio.
Assembling online under the banner of the hashtag #MicrosoftRubioFraud, the Trump Twitterati connected the dots between Microsoft’s financial support of Rubio, their vote tallying site’s partial failure in some districts (due to overuse), and the triumphant showings of Ted Cruz and Rubio (who still came in third after Trump, but never mind).
If the #MicrosoftRubioFraud is true, elites are coming ever closer to declaring civil war on millions of armed patriots. Won’t end well.
— Nick Krauser (@Krauserpua) February 2, 2016
Best part of #MicrosoftRubioFraud is the idea that Marco Rubio allegedly stole a slightly-higher-position in third place. Sure, makes sense.
— Philip Bump (@pbump) February 2, 2016
Also, Reuters gathered up the tears of Trump supporters and put them online for all to see:
3. Michele Bachmann
Improbable onetime Republican candidate for president Michele Bachmann sounded her trumpet for the End Times (again).
In a radio interview last Saturday, Bachmann laid out her case for why turmoil in the Middle East, coupled with our evil president’s satanic ambition, would envelop the Earth in Obama’s dark dominion during its final fiery days.
Per Right Wing Watch:
“I believe that [Russia and Iran] are positioning themselves so that someday they could invade Israel to be able to take over the vast stores of oil and natural gas that Israel is controlling,” she said, adding that “this very unique new partnership between Iran and Russia in Syria” with the support of China “lines up with scripture.” All of these powers, she said, are seeking “a global world order to keep their game going into the future and to support them if they would invade against Israel.”
And who will lead this global world order? Why, none other than Obama.
This is a recurring theme with Bachmann, who espies portents of the Armageddon in every news clipping. Last November, in another radio interview, Bachmann enjoined Christians to make their merry way down their end-of-the-world bucket list and begin converting as many Jews as possible. “We’re seeing the fulfillment of scripture right in front of our eyes,” she said.
Hat tip and audio courtesy Right Wing Watch
2. Linda Harvey
Meet Linda Harvey, president of the Ohio-based Mission: America, an anti-gay, anti-trans advocacy group, whose tenets hold that “homosexuality is not normal and natural” and that America is a “gravely ill” nation that can only be saved by “the blood of Jesus Christ.” It may surprise nobody that the Southern Poverty Law Center considers them a hate group.
In a column titled “Is Your Pastor Apologizing to LGBT Anarchists?” published on WND Wednesday, the homophobic activist attacked not gay rights activists — that would be too easy — but Christian pastors who don’t share her particularly virulent strain of intolerance. In some respects, this is even more vile.
Harvey has previously blasted LGBT activists as the “Gaystapo,” and decried their “fascist” bid for equality. Now she has set her ire on pastors who, she says, are too accommodating in their views — namely, any religious leaders who are the slightest bit tolerant and still have the temerity to call themselves Christian. It isn’t enough for the former ad exec to tear down gay men and women. She needs to redefine Christianity as a whole.
If you happen to know a man or woman of the cloth guilty of any of the following, send them Harvey’s way. She knows how to sniff out a bad Christian.
Do they, for instance, ever — gasp— apologize to gay people for the centuries of intolerance and violence they have suffered at the hands of Christian institutions? They shouldn’t, Harvey says — such “apologies are unnecessary because broad claims of victimhood are exaggerated to put Christians on defense.”
Or do they ever try to wheel out the fallacious “‘Christ includes everyone’ heresy.” Malarkey! In the Gospel of Linda, Christ does not welcome gay people with open arms because “We cannot treat these depravities like neutral traits or disabilities requiring sympathy.”
Perhaps you know a pastor who has been hoodwinked by “the civil rights ploy.” Marriage equality is not something we need to strive for anymore, because, she writes, it “was achieved at creation, because males marry females and vice versa. Have you ever heard your pastor teach the congregation this one simple talking point, grounded in Scripture? Stating this doctrinally essential fact overcomes the main ‘gay’ claim.” What a wonderful privilege to be Linda Harvey, for whom all the admissible facts and data in the world were revealed millennia ago.
It is one thing to stake your personal bigotry on a narrow interpretation of your faith; it is another thing to say yours is the only true version of that faith.
1. The Ted Cruz Christian Right Coalition
The Religious Right helped secure Ted Cruz’s victory in Iowa, so perhaps it’s worth taking another look at who these people are and what they stand for.
Luckily, both Media Matters and Right Wing Watch have been keeping their fastidious eyes on the long list of far-right conservative activists and lobbyists, as well as the extremists media personalities, who have been lining up behind Cruz.
Media Matters’ Daniel Angster described the lineup at Cruz’s last rally in Iowa:
Cruz’s rally featured seven speakers including anti-gay activists like CEO of The Family Leader Bob Vander Plaats and Duck Dynasty patriarch Phil Robertson as well as Iowa’s Rep. Steve King (R). However, it was the presence of radio hosts Glenn Beck, Michael Berry, and Steve Deace which best illustrated the divisive nature of Cruz’s platform.
Robertson, stumping for Cruz Monday, railed against the “depravity” and “perversion” of gay marriage. (The prurient 69-year-old has a nagging preoccupation with sexual practices, warning CPAC-goers last year that STDs are the “revenge of the hippies.”)
And it’s not as if the Texas senator just shrugs these people off. Each endorsement is broadcast with an enthusiastic release, touting the endorser’s true “spiritual commitment.” At times, Cruz even borrows some of their most extreme rhetoric — such as his appropriation of the idea of a “rainbow jihad,” an image coined by radio talker Deace to describe the LGBT rights lobby.
It makes sense that Cruz would attract luminaries of the extreme religious right since, as Right Wing Watch’s Bryan Tashman writes, “he has vowed to implement their agenda with promises to defy the Supreme Court on gay marriage, consider engaging in anti-gay civil disobedience, sign sweeping anti-abortion legislation, go after Planned Parenthood, appoint ultraconservative justices to the bench and block threats to religious liberty of Christians, which he says are rampant in America.”
An incomplete list of radical pastors and far-right extremists who have thrown in with Cruz includes doomsday cultist Mike Bickle, Family Research Council president Tony Perkins, American Family Association mouthpiece Bryan Fischer, and Family Leader founder Vander Plaats (among many others).
If anyone is heartened by the results in Iowa, and wishes to see in Cruz a quieter, more palatable alternative to the bombastic Trump… don’t deceive yourself.
Image: DonkeyHotey (via Flickr)
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