This Week In Crazy: Rush To Delusions
Hypocrisy, zealotry, and gobbledygook. 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. David Daleidan
The mastermind behind the fraudulently shot and deceptively edited videos meant to smear Planned Parenthood into oblivion is now complaining about unfair treatment.
David Daleidan was head inquisitor (or, as Fox News characterizes him, citizen journalist) behind the Center for Medical Progress — the contemptibly misnamed anti-abortion outfit that released films which supposedly exposed the non-profit women’s health care network as a trafficker in human remains. Several state investigative probes and a congressional investigation later, and the only indictments handed down have been against Daleidan himself and his accomplice.
That indictment came in Texas, but it seems like California is potentially about to follow suit. The Washington Post reported:
Investigators with the California Department of Justice on Tuesday raided the home of David Daleiden, the anti-abortion activist behind a series of undercover videos targeting Planned Parenthood, the activist said.
Authorities seized a laptop and multiple hard drives from his Orange County apartment, Daleiden said in an email. The equipment contained all of the video Daleiden had filmed as part of his 30-month project, “including some very damning footage that has yet to be released to the public,” he said.
Daleidan and his conservative supporters have been quick to condemn the raid by officials as a politically motivated action. His own outside-the-law actions, of course, remain inscrutably righteous.
The curious habit of state legislatures enshrining Official State Things is innocuous enough for the most part. Lately, though, Tennessee has been taking the practice to bizarre extremes.
Recently, the Volunteer State elected to make its official state firearm one of the most deadly weapons available for civilian use — so powerful it can down a commercial airliner, apparently. And then, as an encore, the legislature voted to make the Holy Bible the state’s official book.
After nearly 30 minutes of debate, the state Senate on Monday approved the measure, sponsored by Sen. Steve Southerland, R-Morristown, with a 19-8 vote, sending the legislation to Gov. Bill Haslam’s desk.
While proponents stressed the historic significance of the holy book and its religious meaning, some opponents argued that the bill trivializes something they hold sacred while others stressed constitutional reservations.
Lowering the Bar helpfully notes that this is both plainly unconstitutional and stupid — and furthermore that Tennessee isn’t even the first state to try to do this. In Louisiana, LTB writes, “the debate was not over whether to do it but over which version of the Bible would be appropriate.”
3. Andrea Tantaros
Fox’s Andrea Tantaros earns her seat on the Outnumbered couch by being progenitor of some fairly outlandish — and incorrigibly ditzy — Obama conspiracy theories
Tantaros is what happens when you cross Dale Gribble from King of the HIll with Helen Lovejoy from The Simpsons, by which I mean she manages to somehow hybridize the dopiest bromides of a self-righteous PTA meeting with the conspiracy theories of Alex Jones.
Here is the Fox News luminary in her own words, speaking about Barack Obama on Tuesday’s show:
Why would the administration give cover to ISIS? Is it about his legacy? Some people are asking the question, is he covering for ISIS? Why would the administration be pressuring these agents to not give us the facts on the ground?
Video below, courtesy of Media Matters.
For another example of super-sleuth Tantaros in action, check this out.
2. Rush Limbaugh
You wouldn’t know it to look at him, but Rush Limbaugh, patron saint of shock jocks, is quite flexible.
That’s judging by his catalogue of contortions this week, which included the talk radio host defending Trump’s obscene remarks about “punishing” women, then defending his remarks defending Trump by saying that he was not, in fact, defending Trump, while still defending them… his remarks, that is. Like I said, he’s flexible. Being spineless can do that.
First, there was Limbaugh blasting MSNBC’s Chris Matthews for “setting up” Trump with a hypothetical question. He also tried to explain Trump’s answers away by blaming New York City liberals for inculcating poor Donald Trump’s brain with horrible caricatures of conservative ideologies, which he had little choice but to parrot on national television.
Then, there was Limbaugh asserting that Trump was technically correct in his assessment that, if you believe abortion is murder, then yes the woman should be punished. Trump’s only error was that he was “politically” in the wrong. (Side note: Take a moment to relish the editors at DailyRushbo’s decision to describe Limbaugh’s characterization of Trump’s comments as “politically wrong,” and not “politically incorrect,” because, you know, thesauri have a well known liberal bias.)
Then there’s the delicious not-about-face about-face the shockmeister performed over the next several days: pushing back against accusations that he was defending Trump, then recalibrating to explain that he had merely wanted to limit the damage Trump’s comments had done, whining:
It wasn’t pandering, it wasn’t an excuse. It was an attempt to explain to people who want to support Trump why he might have screwed it up. It was an attempt to explain to people who don’t want to support Trump why it might not be what you think it is.
Who are you going to believe — Rush, or your lying ears?
1. Sarah Palin
Sarah Palin’s style is much more conducive to dittohead rallies than stately functions. No crowd seems to work as well for her as a throng of Tea Partiers cheering and sloshing around their drool buckets every time she says something like “No-Bama.” This was most cruelly illustrated this week by her insane, nonsensical — even by the extremely relaxed standards of the Alaskan governor — speech this week at a Wisconsin Republican function.
It was as if each word was plucked from her own worst game of Boggle. Palin’s latest bag of dictionary confetti impelled even the journalists in the room (who you’d think would be inured to her antics after all these years) to start caustically live-tweeting the event. The governor’s penchant for internal rhyme and folksy nonce words was in evidence, making the 20-minute monologue resemble nothing so much as a Wasilian riff on “Jabberwocky.”
If you don’t have the stomach or time to endure Palin’s 20-minute monologue resembled, you can view the best bits edited together in the following video (courtesy of Mediaite):
It demands a response, and this was the best one I could find:
Image: DonkeyHotey via Flickr
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