This Week In Crazy: The Stupidity Of A Free State
A well-regulated militia — which consists predominantly of disturbed white men who retch at the mere mention of “regulation” — being necessary to the stupidity of a free state, we can always look forward to hearing more pro-gun idiocy after a tragedy, such as the one that took place last week in Oregon.
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. Michele Bachmann
Oh good, Michele Bachmann is still posting every crass, cold-blooded, idiotic thought that pops into her head on social media.
You may recall that back in April the former congresswoman protested the Iran nuclear deal by likening President Obama’s leadership to the Germanwings pilot who deliberately steered his plane into the Alps, calling the president “a deranged pilot flying his entire nation into the rocks.”
She’s gotten less creative with the metaphors, but no less insipid with her remarks, telling her Twitter followers on Sunday that the catastrophic flooding in South Carolina is God’s punishment for our pursuit of diplomacy in the Middle East. The United States, she tweeted, “turns it back on Israel, disasters following [sic].”
US turns its back on Israel, disasters following http://t.co/1hYq8GAP7j
— Michele Bachmann (@MicheleBachmann) October 4, 2015
Cause and effect aren’t Bachmann’s strong suits, if she has any. This isn’t the first time Bachmann has coarsely invoked divine wrath as our comeuppance for foreign policy decisions she doesn’t agree with. Right Wing Watch notes that she had suggested back in April that natural and economic disasters would befall the nation if we, as she characterized it then and now, turned our back on Israel.
And this has been a recurring motif for Bachmann, who shortly before she left office told the president (to his face) to bomb Iran, and she did it at a holiday party. Ho ho ho.Next: Tucker Carlson
4. Tucker Carlson
It can be tempting for gun-control advocates to see those countries that pass strict regulations on assault weaponry as utopian safe havens where the streets are paved with background checks.
It is equally tempting for conservatives to mischaracterize any reasonable attempt at gun control as a full-throated war against liberty — and so any country that has achieved it must be demonized.
So it was on Fox & Friends Sunday morning, when co-host Tucker Carlson declared that because they had the temerity to enact sane gun laws in the wake of their own tragic mass shooting, there is “no freedom” in Australia.
In fact, he continued, if you say anything unpopular Down Under, you can be locked up in jail. Really, any country where gun laws are in effect is under the thumb of tyranny.
Carlson claimed that the problem with passing gun control laws in Australia is: “They also have no freedom. You can go to prison for expressing unpopular views in Australia. And people do. And in Western Europe, by the way. And in Canada. No one ever says that.”
Suffice it to say, this big Aussie bugaboo described by Carlson is about as far from reality as… well, as Fox News.
If I’m being charitable, Carlson is referring to hate-speech laws that exist in both Canada and Australia, but his portrait of these nations as Orwellian hellholes where freedom doesn’t exist is disingenuous in the extreme. (In case you were wondering, democracy is alive and well in these countries.)
You can see the video of the segment below, courtesy of Raw Story:
Once again, Fox News has speciously mischaracterized other nations as dystopian simply to make a point. Earlier this year, the network had to backpedal in a big way after a guest, Steven Emerson, explained to Fox viewers that various enclaves in Western Europe has been converted into “no-go zones” ruled by Sharia law, and his claims went completely unchallenged on the air.
3. Bryan Fischer
Bryan Fischer — the spokesman of the American Family Associate hate group and perennial TWIC piñata — has been on a roll this week.
On his radio show Focal Point Tuesday, Fischer explained to his listeners that gay men are more dangerous than guns.
“Did you know that there is something that is entirely preventable… and it is killing more people than guns? You know what that is? It’s men having sex with men.” Fischer claims that this is “not my opinion” by invoking CDC and FBI statistics, comparing gun homicides to deaths from AIDS.
“The bottom line,” he said, “is that we could save more lives by banning homosexuality than we could by banning guns.” (Insert usual clarification about how nobody who has a pulpit worth a damn is talking about “banning guns” en masse, but that’s the least of Fischer’s transgressions here.)
This is a constant hangup for Fischer, who — like many conservatives of late — has advanced the notion that we need to be more like Russia, particularly by emulating that country’s anti-gay propaganda crusade.
(After Fischer’s rant concludes, he takes a call from a woman lamenting that the military hasn’t overthrown Obama, and that Christians need to stand up to him and his jihadi Muslim brethren waiting in the woodwork to steal the country “that God gave us.” Give a listen and shed a tear for the nation. “I think a lot of people agree with you,” Fischer says, but that as “attractive and appealing” as the idea of a coup is, it’s ultimately inadvisable. Better to go the impeachment route. Whew.)
Fischer had some other highlights this week, including a lengthy rant on his show Thursday about how Americans could stand to learn more from “the anger of Jesus.”
Using his own recent blog poston the subject as a touchstone, Fischer claims that in our culture, “The Gospel has been feminized. The Gospel has been emasculated. Christianity has been wussified.”
“Jesus,” Fischer said, “was the ultimate muscular Christian.”
Enough of this “turn the other cheek” hokum; eschew that namby-pamby “tolerance.” Be a “muscular Christian” and take the fight to the sinners! You can begin by banning homosexuality (see above). Fischer is careful to note that Jesus used a whip.
2. Ben Carson
Ben Carson has gotten plenty of well-deserved flak for his tone-deaf and tangled responses to the shooting in Oregon last week.
He said on his Facebook page, that despite all the horrible gun violence he had witnessed as a doctor, he “never saw a body with bullet holes that was more devastating than taking the right to arm ourselves away,” implicitly putting the sacred right to fire 10 rounds without reloading on a par with the lives lost in Roseburg, Charleston, Aurora, Newtown, et al.
On Fox & Friends Tuesday, he encouraged would-be victims of a gun shooting to charge at the shooter (great doctor’s advice). “I would not just stand there and let him shoot me,” he said. “I would say: ‘Hey guys, everybody attack him. He may shoot me, but he can’t get us all.'”
The Nightly Show‘s Larry Wilmore called attention to another one of Carson’s characteristic chasms of ignorance, pointing out that the presidential candidate was so uninformed he apparently did not know that someone had tried to do just that in Roseburg.
Carson didn’t stop there. Per Mother Jones:
On Wednesday, Carson doubled down on these controversial comments in an interview with CBS This Morning. “I would ask everybody to attack the gunman because he can only shoot one of us at a time,” he said. “That way, we don’t all wind up dead.”
That brings us to Wednesday evening, when Carson appeared on a radio show and described an actual episode in which he was faced with a gunman. In Carson’s telling, he responded quite differently in this real-life scenario than he said he would have reacted if faced with a possible shooter. “I have had a gun held on me when I was in a Popeye’s in Baltimore,” Carson told Sirius XM’s Karen Hunter. “[A] guy comes in, put the gun in my ribs. And I just said, ‘I believe you want the guy behind the counter.'”
You can view Carson’s remarks here.
Honestly, the notion that Carson wouldn’t take his own advice can only be a comfort — considering some of his advice.
1. Ted Nugent
Ted Nugent is the gun nut who gives other gun nuts a bad name. And when a mass shooting happens in America, he is not to be outdone by anyone else in the vulgar, remorseless remarks department — not even Dr. Carson.
Writing in his WorldNetDaily column, Nugent describes a “fundamentally transformed America, a heartbreaking embarrassment where rugged individualism, self-sufficiency and self-defense is scorned and condemned and, horror of horrors, outright forbidden” in any state that maintains reasonable gun laws or in any library, school, airport, or church where — y’know — you can’t bring your gun.
“I smell dirty, rotten, anti-American, criminal loving, constitutional oath violating infringement running amok where the Second Amendment no longer exists,” Nugent raves.
Echoing conservatives’ debunked line about the dangers of gun-free zones, Nugent continues: “Gun-free zones are a self-inflicted suicidal curse and send a big, crazy message to evil people to come and get us. We are unarmed. We are helpless. Do with us as you may.” (For what it’s worth — and being a pesky fact, it’s probably worth very little to Nugent and his ilk — one is allowed to carry a gun on the Umpqua Community College campus.)
Any reasonable measures taken by lawmakers and activists to restrict the senseless proliferation of assault rifles in our country is, in Nugent’s schema, a “big lie of political correctness.”
Charging at the shooter, as Carson suggests, is insufficient. The only answer: “Get a damn handgun. Practice with it. Train with it. Learn to carry it hidden and discreetly.” He continues:
If someone is approaching you with the intent to do grave bodily harm, and you will know it when it happens, try to escape to the best of your ability, but if there is no escape, pull out your weapon and aim for center mass and start shooting. Keep on shooting until you believe the threat to be over.
With zero irony or perhaps without a functioning mirror, Nugent decries his countrymen for being “so callous, so dishonest” and so beset with “denial as to ignore this self-imposed death wish upon their fellow Americans.”
And I think Nugent is absolutely correct when he writes: “Insanity is pandemic when a society continues to repeat the same thing over and over again and again and have the life-destroying audacity not only to expect different results, but to actually push for more of the same and increase the conditions resulting in yet more massive loss of life.”
“What sort of blind, uncaring idiot fails to admit to the pattern here?” he asks. He doesn’t need to look very far.
Photo: “2015 ‘Southern’ But Really Confederate Heritage DC Rally.” Taken September 5, 2015. (Stephen Melkisethian via Flickr)
This post has been updated.
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