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: Wayne LaPierre
(AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)
National Rifle Association Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre has long opposed gun safety laws on the grounds that America will soon devolve into Mad Max-style dystopia, but his latest op-ed for the Daily Caller is especially paranoid. In the rambling, 2,000 word piece, LaPierre claims that “Latin American drug gangs” and al Qaeda will soon overrun American cities, after an imminent “fiscal collapse” leaves the government unable to pay the police. At that point, civilization will crumble — just as it apparently did in Brooklyn after Hurricane Sandy, which LaPierre desrcibes as “the hellish world that the gun prohibitionists see as their utopia.”
But don’t worry, LaPierre isn’t really paranoid. “Hurricanes. Tornadoes. Riots. Terrorists. Gangs. Lone criminals. These are perils we are sure to face—not just maybe,” LaPierre writes. “It’s not paranoia to buy a gun. It’s survival.”
As usual, LaPierre has unwittingly made the case for background checks and mental health screenings for gun buyers.
4: Glenn Beck
Beck, as is his style, doesn’t agree with the outrageous charge — he’s just asking questions.
“There is so much in John Brennan’s background that should be questioned, that this is plausible,” Beck says of the crazy theory. “It seems like we can’t even ask reasonable questions any more.”
Yeah, that’s the best way to describe Beck’s second-rate Joe McCarthy impersonation… “reasonable.”
3: Ben Shapiro, Breitbart News
Shapiro, the Editor-at-Large of Breitbart News, set off a right-wing firestorm with a report quoting “Senate sources” who linked Defense Secretary nominee Chuck Hagel to a group called “Friends of Hamas.” Hagel’s opponents immediately ran with the story, which was referenced by such notable names as Senator Rand Paul and former presidential candidate Mike Huckabee.
There’s only one problem: there’s no evidence that “Friends of Hamas” actually exists. As Dave Weigel reports at Slate, the group is not designated by the State Department or Treasury Department, and does not return any results in a LexisNexis search. When Weigel asked Shapiro to clear up the mystery, Shaprio responded “The original story is the entirety of the information I have.”
Somewhere, Glenn Beck is wondering why he didn’t think of that.
2: Judson Phillips
Tea Party Nation founder Judson Phillips, the right-wing extremist who’s best known for trying to deliver the presidency to Mitt Romney three weeks after the election, unleashed an all-time crazy rant in a failed effort to get Republicans to walk out of the State of the Union address.
“Liberals are looking more and more like Nazis every day,” Phillips wrote. “Tonight Barack Obama will deliver an address to a joint session of Congress. The address is no longer the State of the Union address. Instead it will be a Hitlerian screed attacking Republicans.”
Phillips also targeted gay rights activists for pressuring the Boy Scouts of America to accept gay members, writing that they share Obama’s “Hitlerian” tendencies. “They want to destroy anyone or anything that dares to offer a contrary opinion,” Phillips says.
Because if there’s one thing the Nazis were known for, it was their tolerant attitude towards the LGBT community.
This week’s “winner” is the influential Tea Party group FreedomWorks. In the wake of former chairman Dick Armey’s departure from the group (following an attempted armed coup), FreedomWorks began an internal investigation into its management. The investigation turned up something completely outrageous: a promotional film for FreedomWorks’ “FreePAC” conference, which featured a female intern wearing a panda suit peforming oral sex on an intern wearing a Hillary Clinton mask. Yes, we’re sorry to say you read that correctly.
David Corn reports at Mother Jones:
In one segment of the film, according to a former official who saw it, [FreedomWorks EVP Adam] Brandon is seen waking from a nap at his desk. In what appears to be a dream or a nightmare, he wanders down a hallway and spots a giant panda on its knees with its head in the lap of a seated Hillary Clinton and apparently performing oral sex on the then-secretary of state. Two female interns at FreedomWorks were recruited to play the panda and Clinton. One intern wore a Hillary Clinton mask. The other wore a giant panda suit that FreedomWorks had used at protests to denounce progressives as panderers…Placing the panda in the video, a former FreedomWorks staffer says, was “an inside joke.”
Another FreedomWorks staffer who worked there at the time confirms that “Yes, this video was created.”
Days before the FreePAC event, the video was screened for staff. “My mouth was wide open,” a former official recalls. “‘What the hell is this?'”
In response to the video, Mississippi Republicans are presumably preparing an investigation.