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. Glenn Beck
This Week In Crazy mainstay Glenn Beck takes the fifth spot on this week’s list, for outrageously claiming that “I’ve never been called a conspiracy theorist in my life.”
Beck made the surprising assertion on Wednesday, during an extended attack on MSNBC host Rachel Maddow’s credibility:
“We have debunked all of those things,” Beck said in response to Maddow tying him to fellow nutcase Alex Jones. “I’ve never been called a conspiracy theorist in my life. I’ve had death threats because I’ve debunked the [9/11 theories].”
Of course, regular This Week In Crazy readers won’t have to search far to to find examples disproving Beck’s claim. After all, just one week ago Beck himself spun a conspiracy that the media was engaged in a conspiracy to label him as a conspiracy theorist.
Presumably, Cass Sunstein is behind this latest plot as well.
4. Larry Pratt
Photo: Gage Skidmore
Reliably-crazy Gun Owners of America executive director Larry Pratt launched another paranoid attack Wednesday, warning right-wing radio host Steve Deace that the Senate’s “scamnesty” immigration plan is really an elaborate gun control plot.
“The scamnesty plan is a plan to bring in a gazillion Democrat [sic] voters,” Pratt claimed. “They’re going to be dependents, they’re not going to be working at a nuclear reactor or a car factory, they’re going to be probably just sitting around drawing welfare and voting Democrat.”
“If we pass it will we probably will guarantee not winning any more national elections,” Pratt added. Deace deftly followed this logic to the following conclusion:
“By the time you get all of those folks into their citizenship status,” Deace said, “you can say buh-bye to your guns and buh-bye to the rest of your freedom because this would be a country that had been californicated.”
On the plus side for Pratt, his vision of a dystopian future in which “gazillions” of brown people are allowed to vote seems like a surefire way to boost gun sales among his paranoid target audience.
Audio of the exchange is available at Right Wing Watch.
3. John Culberson and John Carter
Photo: Frank Vest via Flickr.com
Temporarily satisfied with their 37 attempts to repeal the Affordable Care Act, House Republicans are now moving to neutralize a different imaginary threat: ACORN.
This week, the House will vote on a government funding bill including this language, which was inserted by Rep. John Culberson (R-TX): “None of the funds made available in this Act may be distributed to the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) or its subsidiaries or successors.”
Just to be safe, Rep. John Carter (R-TX) put forward a bill the next day that would extend the funding ban to “any prior appropriations Act.”
If this seems odd, it’s because killing ACORN is one of few things that congressional Republicans have actually accomplished. Congress banned federal funding for ACORN in 2009, causing the community organizing organization to go bankrupt and shut down in 2010. But that isn’t stopping Reps. Culberson and Carter from dancing on the group’s grave.
Rep. Alan Grayson had the best response to the bill, asking “Is it too late to defund Saddam Hussein?”
But in this case, there may be a method to the right’s madness. With nearly half of Republicans believing that ACORN stole the 2012 election (despite the minor handicap of not existing,) clamping down on this phantom threat could be a smart political move. After all, as Culberson and Carter’s fellow Texas congressman Louie Gohmert proves, there’s always someone crazier out there, ready for a primary.
2. Cathie Adams
Representative Michele Bachmann (R-MN) may be on her way out of Congress, but thanks to Tea Party leaders like Cathie Adams, her most ridiculous conspiracy theories will live on.
During a Tea Party event late last week, Adams — a former Chairman of the Texas Republican Party — shared her definitive proof that Bachmann is right, and Grover Norquist is actually complicit in a “stealth jihad” against the U.S.
“As you see, he has a beard,” Adams said. Case closed.
“He’s married a Muslim woman,” Adams continued. “But he denies that he has converted himself. He denies that.”
Although Adams warned that Norquist is “trouble with a capital ‘T,'” she doesn’t believe that all hope is lost. “Thank God Ted Cruz is now in the United States Senate!” she declared.
Whatever you do, don’t show Adams this link.
1. FrontPage magazine
That the right wing detests New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg is hardly surprising, but the sheer level of stupidity in the latest attack from David Horowitz’s FrontPage magazine is rather shocking.
New York City recently rolled out a long-awaited bicycle-sharing program, under which participating New Yorkers can rent out public bikes which are docked at stations across the city. Clearly, this is an unforgivable sin to the right. The reason? Nazis.
In a column for FrontPage, Daniel Greenfield explains the true evil of Bloomberg’s bike-share program:
Bicycles are one of the obsessions of Mayor Bloomberg and his transportation secretary Janette Sadik-Khan. Khan is the granddaughter of Imam Alimjan Idris, a Nazi collaborator and principle [sic] teacher at an SS school for Imams under Hitler’s Mufti, Haj Amin al-Husseini. The bio of his son, Wall Street executive Orhan Sadik-Khan, frequently mentions the bombing of the family home in Dresden and surviving trying times after World War II. It neglects to mention that the times were only trying because their side was losing.
In conclusion, Greenfield writes in 100 percent seriousness, “In partial revenge, Khan has made many New York streets nearly as impassable as those of her grandfather’s wartime Dresden.”
While accusing Mayor Bloomberg of being a Nazi is hardly a new tactic for the right, the Islamic Nazi angle is a new twist. Expect to hear it repeated soon, at an NRA convention near you.