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Monday, December 09, 2019

This Week In Crazy: Twisted Logic And Right-Wing Blame Games

Just when you thought the far-right fringe couldn’t possibly connect abortion with the stock market, or equate the LGBT Pride flag with a white supremacist symbol, they just, well, go ahead and do that. It’s “This Week In Crazy,” The National Memo’s weekly update on the shameful, racist, and hateful speech of the increasingly illogical right wing. Starting with one of our regulars:

5. Pat Robertson

PatRobertsonScreenshotSure, Pat Robertson, an organization that provides women’s reproductive health services is to blame for the recent stock market slide. The conservative televangelist said this week that “Black Monday” was God’s punishment for legal abortion and the federal government’s funding of Planned Parenthood. As anyone who watches Robertson’s The 700 Club (or who reads“This Week In Crazy”) knows, the host typically blames any negative incident, natural disaster, or preventable tragedy on abortion, same-sex marriage, or the LGBT community in general. In his usual fire-and-brimstone style, Robertson said:

We will pay dearly as a nation for this thing going on…. And possibly if we were to stop all this slaughter the judgment of God might be lifted from us. But it’s coming, ladies and gentlemen. We just had a little taste of it in terms of the financial system, but it’s going to be shaken to its core in the next few months, years or however long it takes and it will hurt every one of us.

I’m no economist, but I’m pretty sure Monday’s selloff had something to do with the cyclical nature of capitalism and China’s devaluing of its currency, which caused instability in global markets. Planned Parenthood has been accused of some vile things, but manipulating currency is not one of them.

No matter to Robertson, who likes to play financial advisor, warning viewers that troubled times are ahead. “You don’t know where to go, there is no place to hide financially except in the Lord,” he said. “The Lord is the ultimate refuge.”

ViaRight Wing Watch

Next: Donald Trump

4. Donald Trump

Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump's greets the crowd during his

Continuing his heated rivalry with Spanish-language news network Univision, Donald Trump had reporter Jorge Ramos booted from a campaign event in Iowa on Tuesday. The reason? Ramos asked Trump a question about immigration — out of turn.

The Donald’s reply: “Go back to Univision.”

Putting aside the fact that this is far from Trump’s first press conference, so he should be used to pushy reporters firing questions at him, his comment about Ramos showed the Republican presidential candidate’s true bigoted colors. (“Go back to Univision.” = “Go back to Mexico.”)

After the incident, Trump tried to portray Ramos as hysterical. “Certainly he was not chosen … he just stands up and starts screaming, so maybe he’s at fault also,” Trump said, adding, “He’s obviously a very emotional person.”

This coming from the man running for President of the United States, yet has a fit every time a reporter asks a challenging question, has gotten to second base with a flagpole, and has people touch his hair to show it’s his own.

Trump is not just “emotional” and vain, but he can be a bully, especially when provoked on his core campaign issue, and God forbid, asked to answer a direct question directly. At the campaign event, he repeatedly tells Ramos to “sit down” as the reporter continues speaking and reminding Trump that he has the right to ask a question.

The legendary Univision broadcaster is still hoping to land an interview with Trump.

ViaRaw Story

Continue reading: Keith Ablow

3. Keith Ablow

Keith_AblowFox News commentator and psychiatrist Dr. Keith Ablow sounds like the last person who should be sharing “expertise” on gun control and mental health issues. In a Fox segment this week, Ablow charged President Obama with “inflaming racial discord.”

As strange as the allegation was, delivered as an afterthought that sounded more like a rehearsed jab at the president, Ablow’s comment was typical of the right’s urge to blame the guy in the White House, with little evidence, for everything. Ablow echoed a conservative meme: The problem isn’t guns but lack of mental health care — which means “hands off our guns; blame the crazies.”

Sensible people can agree that individuals with mental health problems, as well as many others, should not have access to firearms. But Ablow’s claim that mentally ill people are the problem and guns are not is rebutted by many studies that show people living with mental illness are more likely to be the victims of violence than the perpetrators.

More ridiculous is how Ablow concluded the segment, seeming to place blame on the president because a black man who protested against alleged job discrimination just killed two white people: “There are some people who are unhinged out there who actually think [Obama is] right when he’s just trying to fan the flames of racial disharmony,” Ablow said.

What does Ablow mean when he says Obama has inflamed racial discord? Perhaps that the president has spoken in support of civil rights, voting rights and, repeatedly, about gun violence.

According to Ablow, that’s the real problem: “It would be helpful if President Obama, frankly, would stop tweeting … about gun control and get serious about attacking mental health care.” Again, the pundit blames a small segment of the population of people who commit violent crimes, instead of the policies and lawmakers that allow guns into the hands of far too many unstable people.

ViaMedia Matters

Next: Casey Davis

2. Casey Davis

CaseyDavis_Kentucky_clerkThe county clerk from Kentucky who continues to defy the Supreme Court’s ruling on same-sex marriage is apparently willing to allow his homophobia to take him to an early grave. Casey Davis, no relation to his fellow “religious freedom fighter” Kim Davis, said this week that marriage equality is “a war on Christianity” and that he is willing to fight, even if it kills him. He told a West Virginia radio show:

If it takes it, I will go to jail over — if it takes my life, I will die for because I believe I owe that to the people that fought so I can have the freedom that I have, I owe that to them today, and you do, we all do. They fought and died so we could have this freedom and I’m going to fight and die [so] my kids and your kids can keep it.

Incoherent and manic as he is, Davis continues to argue that issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples would violate his right to religious freedom. He talks a lot about God, freedom, and fighting for what he believes in, but says much less about his responsibilities as a government employee, the freedom of LGBT people to marry, and the long struggle of gay people to legally marry those they love. Then there is his misunderstanding of the U.S. Constitution:

There is a travesty taking place with that Supreme Court ruling was completely unconstitutional, completely unconstitutional. They have no right to tell us, the state of Kentucky, that our law that was voted with what was 70 percent of the people that it was wrong; they had no right.

Actually, as the Supreme Court, they have every right under the Constitution to find state laws in violation of constitutional rights. That’s part of the High Court’s mandate. Davis, on the other hand, has no right to deny LGBT people their right to marry. To borrow a semantic framework that conservatives love, if Davis doesn’t like same-sex marriage, he should move to Russia.
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ViaRight Wing Watch

Next: Dinesh D’Souza

1. Dinesh D’Souza

dinesh-dsouza-facebook-640We’ve saved the worst for last. Following the tragic televised killing of two journalists in Virginia this week, D’Souza took to Twitter to point out supposed progressive hypocrisy on gun violence, race and ideology.

D’Souza suggested that because the murderer was a gay black man, officials should demand the removal of the LGBT pride flag from public spaces, as occurred with the Confederate flag following the killing of nine black people in a Charleston, South Carolina, church by a white supremacist.

The key difference, of course, is what each flag represents and the killers’ motives in the shootings. The Confederate flag symbolizes white supremacy, or as its defenders argue, Southern “heritage not hate.” Except that the heritage of the South involves a long history of slavery, KKK lynchings, voter disenfranchisement, and other human rights violations perpetrated against black people. The rainbow flag’s history has no such violent or hateful meaning.

Consider D’Souza’s latest odious, trolling tweets, in which he blames President Obama for what is yet another example of gun violence resulting from unregulated access to firearms, illogically equates love with hate, and confuses healthy pride in your culture with dangerous pride in a racist ideology.


Photo illustration above: Confederate flag, Pride flag via Flickr, Edited Matt Surrusco


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