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: Shaun McClusky
(Photo by gabriel amadeus/Flickr)
Shaun McClusky has a novel idea for solving Tucson’s crime problem: buying every citizen a shotgun.
McClusky, a Tea Party activist who unsuccessfully ran for mayor of Tucson in 2011, claims to have already raised $12,000 to pay for single-break-action shotguns and background checks for the residents of crime-heavy neighborhoods.
“We need to take back our city, and it needs to come back to the citizens and not the criminals,” McClusky explained. “Right now, the criminal element is winning.”
The plan is part of the Armed Citizens Project, which hopes to test whether more guns actually do reduce crime. This theory has never been scientifically proven, although there is ample evidence suggesting the exact opposite effect.
Of course if the NRA rhetoric that McClusky clearly believes proves correct, it would mean that background checks are essentially useless. Which would mean that McClusky would almost certainly be providing free shotguns for the “criminal element” that he believes is running Tucson. Tucson citizens had better hope that McClusky is about as good at collecting shotguns as he is at collecting signatures.
4: National Organization For Marriage
Many right-wingers are apoplectic over the possibility that the Supreme Court could legalize same-sex marriage, but perhaps no group had as embarrassing a reaction as the National Organization for Marriage. NOM executive director Brian Brown organized a “historic” rally at the Supreme Court this week, which ended up attracting far fewer protesters than expected. But those who did attend didn’t skimp on the crazy.
Among others, the rally featured Doug Mainwaring, an openly gay Tea Partier who explained that “as a gay man, I can state categorically, it is not homophobic to oppose same-sex marriage”; Gary Bauer, who threatened to destroy the GOP if it accepts marriage equality; and Jim Garlow, who warned that “the court would tend to try to flex their muscles against Almighty God,” but their “arms are too short to box with God.”
In Brown’s opinion, the rally was a stunning success. “I was not alive during the civil rights movement, but this is what it must have felt like,” he told equally crazy radio host Janet Mefferd, without a shred of irony.
3: Fox News
As part of its effort to discredit gun-safety advocates, Fox News spent time this week claiming that a recent Mayors Against Illegal Guns ad depicts a man pointing a gun at children.
Fox News digital politics editor Chris Stirewalt claimed during an interview on America Live that the man in the ad has “his finger on the trigger” of his gun, which is “sort of pointing back at the kids” behind him.
Of course, as this handy graphic from Media Matters makes clear, Stirewalt’s claim is a flat lie.
But hey, why let a little thing like depth perception get in the way of a good talking point?
2: Glenn Beck
After The Daily Beast reported that right-wing congresswoman Michele Bachmann is under investigation for campaign finance violations, her fellow This Week In Crazy regular Glenn Beck leapt to her defense.
According to Beck, there is only one explanation for Bachmann’s troubles: The Muslim Brotherhood is trying to silence her. Beck’s theory — which also claims that the State Department is mass-relocating Somalian refugees into Bachmann’s district as revenge for her investigations into the Muslim Brotherhood — is so unhinged that it must be seen to be believed:
1: Tennessee State Senate
Tennessee lawmakers faced a crisis this week, when a new sink was installed in the men’s restroom in the state Capitol building in Nashville. Upon encountering the sink, several Republican legislators and their staff jumped to the only logical conclusion: It must be part of a Muslim plot.
Senator Bill Ketron confirmed to the Associated Press that and his fellow Republican senator Judd Matheny were concerned that the sink was actually intended for Muslims to wash their feet, and brought it up with the Senate clerk.
After an exhaustive investigation, Legislative Administration Director Connie Ridley was able to determine that “It is, in layman’s terms, a mop sink.” Crisis averted.
This is Ketron and Matheny’s second foiled attempt to prevent the rise of a new Caliphate; back in 2011, they were the main sponsors of an unsuccessful bill that sought to ban Sharia law.