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: Jerry O’Neil
Montana state representative Jerry O’Neil made headlines this week by introducing a bill that would allow criminal defendants to negotiate with a judge for corporal punishment instead of jail time.
The bill, which defines corporal punishment as “the infliction of physical pain on a defendant to carry out the sentence negotiated between the judge and the defendant,” would allow Montana to become the first state to inflict corporal punishment since Delaware publicly whipped a criminal in 1952.
As The Huffington Post points out, O’Neil — who supported Ron Paul for president in 2012 — was previously best known for asking the state to pay him in gold and silver coins, due to his fear of imminent monetary collapse.
4: Bryan Fischer
Fischer, the right-wing activist who serves as director of issues analysis for hate group The American Family Association, pushed back against Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal’s assertion that the GOP is the “stupid party” by citing, of all people, failed Missouri senate candidate Todd Akin.
“Conservative ideas are not stupid, they are wise,” Fischer declared. “People who advocate them are not stupid.”
Fischer then brought up Akin. “There is such a thing as legitimate rape!” he declared. “Was Todd Akin right? Absolutely!”
“He was completely accurate about that, so our ideas are not stupid, and the people who advocate them are not stupid,” Fischer concluded.
Back in reality, Akin was completely wrong about “legitimate rape,” and his ideas were, in fact, completely stupid.
3: Sheryl Nuxoll
Idaho state senator Sheryl Nuxoll may have come up with the worst possible excuse to oppose a state health insurance exchange: the Holocaust.
The latest evidence that Godwin’s Law applies to the right wing (in addition to the Internet) came in an email from the Cottonwood Republican. “The insurance companies are creating their own tombs. Much like the Jews boarding the trains to concentration camps, private insurers are used by the feds to put the system in place because the federal government has no way to set up the exchange,” Nuxoll wrote.
Surprisingly, Senate President Pro-Tempore Brent Hill, also a Republican, defended Nuxoll’s absurd rhetoric. “This is a very emotional issue for a lot of people,” Hill said. “As we get closer to making that decision, the rhetoric’s going to get more dramatic.”
Idaho Democrats can only hope so.
2: Glenn Beck
Beck, a consistent staple of this list, checks in at number two this week for a segment on his show that was way out there, even for him.
Dressed as a doctor, Beck celebrated the “death” of the establishment wing of the Republican Party with a giant cake, balloons, confetti, and video of dying elephants. “You can trust me,” Beck says conspiratorially. “I’m a doctor.”
1: Aaron Klein, WorldNetDaily
This week’s “winner” — in a landslide — is Aaron Klein of the right-wing conspiracy site WorldNetDaily. After a fly landed on President Obama’s face during a press conference last Friday, Klein “reported” that there could only be one explanation: Obama is Satan.
As Klein explains in complete seriousness, Beelzebub — better known as the devil — translates from the original Hebrew to “Lord of the Flies.” Therefore, the fact that flies periodically land on or near the president clearly suggests that “Obama is possessed by a demonic entity.”
As evidence, Klein cites a poster at the right-wing message board Free Republic, and a blog called The End Time which asserts “This really isn’t an academic question. The Lord of the Flies is real.”
Well, glad we cleared that up.
Hat-tip: Brian Tashman, Right-Wing Watch