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: Ted Yoho
Freshman representative Ted Yoho (R-FL), a Tea Party-backed veterinarian who shocked 12-term incumbent Cliff Stearns in the 2012 Republican primary, could best be described as “eccentric.”
In an interview with Florida political blog The Shark Tank over the weekend, however, Yoho’s opposition to gun safety laws veered sharply into crazy territory.
“On guns, [my constituents] were saying that the sentiment, when you read the Second Amendment, is that the militia had the same equipment as the military to protect them against the tyrannical government,” Yoho said. “I think it’s more important today than ever that we uphold our Second Amendment.”
Of course, as Scott Keyes points out at Think Progress, the modern military features far deadlier weaponry than it did during the Constitutional convention — and there’s a very good reason that all citizens can’t have access to landmines, rocket launchers, and other deadly weapons. If you have any doubt, just imagine Ted Yoho with a nuke.
4: Ted Nugent
Ted Nugent, who last appeared on this list claiming that gun owners are just like Rosa Parks, shifted abruptly from invoking the nonviolent civil rights heroine to once again toeing the line of treason.
At the Shooting, Hunting and Outdoor Trade Show (“SHOT,” as it’s known), Nugent referred to President Barack Obama as “an evil, dangerous man who hates America and hates freedom,” and ominously warned “we need to fix this as soon as possible.”
President Obama “actually is attempting to re-implement the tyranny of King George,” Nugent declared, “And if you want another Concord Bridge, I got some buddies.”
Nugent was presumably referring to the Battle of Concord; given that this was an actual fight in an actual war, Nugent — a particularly cowardly draft dodger — would not be remotely qualified to contribute.
In any case, the clock on Nugent being “dead or in jail” keeps counting down.
3: Rand Paul
When Secretary of State Hillary Clinton testified before Congress on Wednesday, most Republicans took the opportunity to ask America’s top diplomat about Susan Rice’s “Sunday morning talking points heard ’round the world” for the hundredth time.
That wasn’t far out there enough for Kentucky senator Rand Paul, however; he instead used his time to ask Secretary Clinton about the global “Fast and Furious” scheme that exists only in right-wing fever dreams.
“Is the U.S. involved with any procuring of weapons, transfer of weapons, buying, selling, anyhow transferring weapons to Turkey out of Libya?” Paul asked Clinton, apropos of nothing.
“To Turkey?” the genuinely confused Secretary of State responded.
Paul was referencing a Glenn Beck-inspired conspiracy theory that the late U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens was working with the CIA to gather loose arms in Libya, and smuggle them to Syria by way of Turkey.
Although Clinton had no idea what Paul was talking about, it seems that the young woman sitting over his right shoulder did — after Clinton’s response, she struggles to stop herself from bursting out in laughter.
2: Glenn Beck
The aforementioned Beck also made the list in his own right, for pushing a particularly meta conspiracy theory about…everyone else’s conspiracy theories.
After suggesting that the Sandy Hook and birther conspiracies were somehow started by Cass Sunstein and President Obama, Beck claimed that they were created as a means to distract the public from the Obama administration’s policies.
As Kyle Mantyla puts it at Right Wing Watch: “seeing conspiracies everywhere is so ingrained in Beck’s worldview that even while attacking conspiracy theories like those involving the Sandy Hook shooting, Beck cannot help but see these conspiracy theories themselves as part of a larger conspiracy designed to distract people from the ‘real’ conspiracies that exist all around them.”
1: Paul Broun
Representative Paul Broun, who is best known for claiming that evolution and the big bang theory are “lies straight from the pit of Hell,” made the most certifiable statement of the week when he declared that President Obama is actually loyal to the Soviet Union, not the United States.
“The Constitution I uphold and defend is the one I carry in my pocket all the time, the U.S. Constitution,” Broun told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “I think the only Constitution that Barack Obama upholds is the Soviet constitution, not this one. He has no concept of this one, though he claimed to be a Constitutional lawyer.”
As Jonathan Chait notes at New York Magazine, if Broun is referring to the 1936 Soviet Constitution, then he’d be accusing Obama of supporting a document that was praised by none other than Ronald Reagan.
More likely, Broun was accusing Obama of supporting later versions, which encourage an “epoch-making turn from capitalist to socialism” — making Broun completely crazy.