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
Professional conspiracy theorist and self-styled Nazi Germany expert Glenn Beck claims his regular spot on the list for finally sharing the truth behind his supposed clairvoyance: Beck, you see, has a “bizarre gift.”
Beck shared this theory while recounting the story of how he sensed a stranger’s pain at the NRA convention, causing him to stop his book signing, chase the man through the convention hall, and tell him that everything is going to be OK. When the stranger heard the message — which he would know was deeply insincere if he had ever seen even 10 seconds of Beck’s show — Beck claims he “immediately broke down and hugged me and started to cry.”
“I have this bizarre gift,” Beck said, “that occasionally I can look people in the eye and I can feel them and I don’t know anything about them, I don’t know what they’re going through but I can feel pain sometimes.”
Of course, if Beck really had a George Costanza-esque ability to sense the slightest human suffering, then talking to any regular viewer of his show would be downright overwhelming.
4. Rick Perry
Texas governor Rick Perry dipped into his deep knowledge of American history on Sunday when he compared discriminating against gays to abolishing slavery.
Perry made the tortured analogy during an appearance on the Family Research Council hate group’s “Stand With Scouts Sunday” webcast.
“For pop culture to try to come in and tear [the Boy Scouts’ history] up, and it just happens to be the flavor of the month, so to speak, and tear apart one of the great organizations that served millions of men, to help them become great men and great fathers, that isn’t appropriate” Perry said.
Pointing to a portrait of Sam Houston, Perry continued, “[Houston] was against slavery, and he stood up, and very passionately said ‘Texas does not need to leave the Union.'”
“That’s the type of principled leadership, that’s the type of courage,” that people need to show on the issue of segregating the Boy Scouts, Perry concluded.
In reality, although Houston did oppose secession and the extension of slavery, he was also a slaveowner who opposed abolition. And Perry, of course, isn’t exactly a credible source on questions of secession.
Ultimately, the lesson here is that — if this somehow wasn’t already clear — you probably shouldn’t take a history lesson from the “oops” guy.
3. Jon Cornyn
Photo: Gage Skidmore via Flickr.com
Senator Jon Cornyn (R-TX) mixed up his stereotypes Thursday, when he argued against the “Gang of 8” immigration reform bill by warning that men “wearing some form of turban” were crossing the U.S.-Mexico border.
After sharing his “anecdotal” evidence that U.S. Customs and Enforcement only apprehends 25 percent of undocumented immigrants who cross the border — the actual number is 82 percent, according to a Government Accountability Office report — Cornyn decided to resort to some good old-fashioned fear-mongering.
“Another deputy sheriff in Brooks County showed me a picture of three gentlemen that they detained all wearing — happened to be wearing some form of turban,” Cornyn claimed. “And I said, ‘Where are these folks from?’ And they said, ‘Afghanistan.’ And as we all know, the border patrol had documented that people from countries of special interest including state sponsors of terrorism have been detained coming across the southern border.”
Although Cornyn offered no actual evidence to support his claim, the terrifying thought of a man in “some form of turban” crossing the border will probably keep fellow Texan Louie Gohmert awake for weeks.
2. Michael Speciale
Photo: _jennieMarie via Flickr.com
In North Carolina’s absurd Tea Party legislature, even a bill banning puppy mills isn’t unoffensive enough to pass without some crazy debate.
The bill, which requires facilities with more than 10 breeding dogs onsite to provide the animals with food and water, daily exercise, appropriate housing, veterinary care and humane euthanasia when needed, drew the ire of some of the state legislature’s right-wing members.
“I’m a PETA person — I’m a Person that likes to Eat Tasty Animals,” Rep. George Cleveland (R) said during the debate. “We are opening the door so, in the next session, we’ll have another puppy mill bill, and it’ll build on this one. I don’t think this is a good idea,” he added, apparently arguing that protecting puppies from abuse is a bad idea.
But Cleveland’s complaint paled in comparison to Rep. Michael Speciale (R), who argued in the craziest way possible that the requirements are too ambiguous.
“‘Daily exercise’ – if I kick the dog across the room every day, is that considered daily exercise?” Speciale asked. “’Euthanasia performed humanely’– should I choose the ax or the baseball bat?”
Happily, despite Speciale’s disturbing complaints, the bill passed in a landslide 100-15 vote, and will now go to the state Senate.
1. Erik Rush
This week’s “winner” is WorldNetDaily columnist and Fox News contributor Erik Rush, who took Benghazi conspiracy theories to a whole new level in his latest paranoid screed.
Rush — who was last seen on this list calculating that there is a 50 percent chance that President Obama cancels the 2016 election and declares himself a Marxist dictator — used his most recent column to assert that Obama not only covered up the truth about the Benghazi attack, but actually organized it himself.
“I have always leaned in the direction of the administration having orchestrated the attack for reasons of its own – given his connections to the Muslim Brotherhood and legendary understanding of all things Islamic, it is possible that President Obama could even have arranged for the assault on the compound without the foreknowledge of his Cabinet,” Rush writes.
His evidence? “I am operating with such questions as the unresolved Trinity United murders before me,” Rush explains. For those of you who don’t dabble in right-wing fever dreams, the Trinity United murders are a long-running conspiracy claiming that Obama teamed up with Jeremiah Wright to kill his secret gay lovers.
You may be laughing now, but Darrell Issa is quite possibly arranging a hearing to investigate these shocking new claims as we speak.