This fitful circus of folly we call the election cycle enters its next phase in two short weeks — when the first votes are actually cast. We’re in the pre-Iowa homestretch now, and everyone’s losing their minds. Welcome to “This Week In Crazy,” The National Memo’s weekly update on the loony, bigoted, and hateful behavior of the increasingly unhinged right wing. Starting with number five:
5. Village of Whitesboro, New York
The Iowa caucuses are two weeks away, and the general election isn’t until November. But according to Stephen Colbert “the most important vote of 2016” already occurred this week.
The village of Whitesboro, New York became the focus of national attention and derision held an opinion poll about whether to replace their controversial town seal. The seal appears to depict town founder Hugh White locked in a death match with a red-toned Native American.
“Political correctness, who cares?” one voter told WKTV. “This is our village, who cares what the world thinks? I want to see this settled today, once and for all.”
Thankfully, the good people of Whitesboro would not be cowed into wussifying their own history, and voted to keep the seal.
What the alternative seals had in cultural sensitivity they lost is historical verisimilitude. One of the proposed replacement seals appeared to show the Native American and Mr. White teaming up to beat down a British redcoat; another seemed to illustrate them high-fiving.
So maybe kudos are in order that the folks of Whitesboro are refusing to whitewash history. I suppose I’m being generous, but we could say that the decision to keep the old seal is less about celebrating a racially-charged violent heritage — and more about just acknowledging that it happened at all… right? …Right?
4. Fox & Friends
Count on Fox & Friends, the news network’s daily morning exercise in folksy, caffeinated inanity, to find fault in President Obama’s aspirational “moon shot” goal of curing cancer, which he trumpeted during his State of the Union speech Tuesday night.
The F&F gang must have tried heartily and failed to actually find an anti-cancer-cure angle to suit their purpose, so they instead settled for accusing the president of ripping his speech off from the liberal propaganda machine known as The West Wing.
Video from Media Matters below:
“If you’re going to rip off somebody,” host Clayton Morris said, “rip off Aaron Sorkin.”
Give F&F some credit. Since their mandate is to attack Obama for absolutely everything, they could have just as easily come out as “pro-cancer.” It wouldn’t even be the stupidest thing they’ve ever said.
3. Michael Savage
A few weeks ago Trump made a call-in appearance on paranoid savant Alex Jones’ InfoWars radio show. So of course it was only a matter of time before he put in a call to Jones’s shock-jock-in-arms and human interrobang Michael Savage, showing up on his Monday program.
Savage, you’ll recall, is the raucous fabulist famous for his deluded rants, in which he blames President Obama, whom he calls “this thing in the White House,” for literally everything in his life — whether it’s the imaginary American internment camps he espies around every corner; the urban, nonwhite “Army of the Night” he thinks is coming to steal his liberty; or any of his various ailments such as a nasty flu or his “post radio stress disorder.”
And now, with his characteristic yen for fantasy, Savage told The Donald that he was quite confident he would sweep the Hispanic vote in America. The reasoning behind this is more than a little specious, and exhibits Savage’s characteristic flair for free-associative nonsense. Savage is convinced this will occur, despite Trump’s propensity for hateful anti-immigrant — specifically anti-Mexican — remarks, because “the Hispanic culture is a macho culture. Men don’t like reporting to a woman. It’s just the way the culture is. And they’d rather have a man than a woman as president.”
Per Media Matters:
Trump later added that he’s the one who “came up with” getting rid of “anchor babies” from the country, claiming that “people come over, they have a baby, now we have to take care of the baby for the next 90 years. It’s ridiculous.” The Associated Press noted that it’s “extraordinarily rare for immigrants to come to the U.S. just so they can have babies and get citizenship. In most cases, they come to the U.S. for economic reasons and better hospitals, and end up staying and raising families.”
Numerous polls have shown that Trump is actually extremely unpopular with Hispanics. A recent ABC News/Washington Post poll found “Trump’s favorability rating is just 18 percent among Hispanics and blacks alike, vs. 44 percent among whites.”
Never mind that, during the 2008 Democratic primary, Hispanic voters voted for Hillary Clinton over Barack Obama nearly two-to-one. Savage’s grasp on reality is as strong as ever.
2. Ann Coulter
Ann Coulter has emerged as one of Donald Trump’s most fearsome and adamant fangirls. His dubious conservative record on any number of issues, not to mention his past chumminess with the Clintons, appears not to be an issue for Coulter. His strident anti-immigrant stance is more than enough to win the shriveled venomous heart of a virulent xenophobe like Coulter.
As he increasingly comes under criticism (and under threat ) from people within his own party, Coulter has shown no compunction at all opening up her characteristic brand of fire-breathing B.S. on his behalf — even if it means going after other conservatives. This includes Ted Cruz, who’s poised to possibly beat Trump in the Iowa caucuses, and so of course Coulter has added her voice to the chorus of challenges to Cruz’s eligibility. And now she’s set her crosshairs on South Carolina governor and GOP rising star Nikki Haley.
Haley had been tapped by the GOP to give the party’s official rebuke to the president’s State of the Union speech Tuesday night. She used the opportunity to take some not-so-veiled swipes at Trump, for his anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim rhetoric. She invoked her own background as the daughter of immigrants and defended the notion that America is open to anyone willing to come here and work hard.
Earning the ire of Republicans and Democrats alike, Coulter tore Haley (and whatever laughable shred of her own credibility remained) to shreds:
J@s@sF-ingChr@st – even GOP response to Obama’s SOTU is a paean to immigrants. And GOP can’t figure out why Trump is sweeping the country.
— Ann Coulter (@AnnCoulter) January 13, 2016
Trump should deport Nikki Haley. — Ann Coulter (@AnnCoulter) January 13, 2016
The only way to keep out Muslims terrorists, is to keep out Muslim immigrants. — Ann Coulter (@AnnCoulter) January 13, 2016
Nikki Haley: “The best thing we can do is turn down the volume” Translation: Voters need to shut the hell up. — Ann Coulter (@AnnCoulter) January 13, 2016
And then for an encore, Coulter went on Fox News Radio and called Haley a “bimbo,” who “was accidentally elected because she’s pretty and isn’t very bright.”
Go home, Ann. Everyone is embarrassed for you.
1. Mike Huckabee.
It’s hard to be a sanctimonious, righteous Bible-thumping candidate for Christ when you have a noted child molester in your corner. But it doesn’t seem to bother Mike Huckabee.
The Southern Baptist preacher currently languishing in the polls is the anti-gay, anti-abortion crusader who purports to defend the sanctity of the American family; he’s also a noted apologist for serial sexual abuser Josh Duggar. On this point he was challenged on the campaign trail: “You talk about the children. What’s your views on child abuse?” a woman asked Huckabee at a Clinton, Iowa event last week, kicking off a long, tense exchange, which was captured on video and posted online by the progressive Super PAC, American Bridge 21st Century.
When the woman persisted, Huckabee said, “You have no idea what you’re talking about. You don’t know that family and I do.” Indeed he does. Huck has been one of the Duggars’ most vociferous defenders, coming to their aid when Josh’s crimes were revealed to the public last year.
Huckabee said that despite the Duggars’ efforts to keep Josh’s serial abuse of his sisters from reaching the authorities, “their Christian witness is not marred in our eyes” and that he and his wife would “run to them with our support.”
So yes, the same Mike Huckabee who said of the Supreme Court decision legalizing marriage equality, “Jesus wept,” also defended Josh Duggar’s crimes as “mistakes” that may have been “‘inexcusable, but that does not mean ‘unforgivable.'”
Josh Duggar, you’ll recall, is the former subject of TLC’s squeaky-clean reality show 19 Kids and Counting, which beamed his large, all-loving conservative Christian family into living rooms all over the nation. He’s also a former executive director for the Family Research Council’s lobbying arm, which advocates against marriage equality and women’s reproductive rights. In his capacity as FRC mouthpiece, Duggar said that same-sex marriage was an existential threat to the American family, and that homosexuality was linked to pedophilia.
But Huckabee protested that it wasn’t very nice of the woman to challenge him on his record, saying that being told he supports child abuse “hurts my feelings.”
I’m playing the world’s smallest violin.
Photo: Marc Nozell via Flickr
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