Summer is winding down, and sanity is in short supply. It’s “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. Dick and Liz Cheney
The ex-veep and his daughter have been making the rounds on the media circuit to promote the new book they co-authored, Exceptional: Why the World Needs a Powerful America, a magical-realist romp that explores how President Obama has brought ignominy and ruin upon our country, while also defending the Iraq War and America’s use of torture.
One of the misconceptions the Cheneys are striving to correct is this hysterical notion that “torture” is “bad.” Using “advanced interrogation techniques,” such as waterboarding, “wasn’t torture,” according to the book. It was, Dick said on CBS Sunday Morning, “the most significant source of intelligence for us that we absolutely had to have.”
Another enduring myth the book hopes to snuff out is that Dick Cheney is one of the most loathed politicians in American history. To quote Liz Cheney: “The gratitude as Americans that we feel is matched only by our love for him.”
In fact, she’s right. The amount of gratitude and amount of love Americans have for Old Vice are about equal — at a miserable nadir.
4. Chris Christie
Before Citizen Trump stole his thunder, Chris Christie was expected to be the braggart of note in this election cycle. It didn’t work out that way, but don’t worry. To compensate for some of that good old Christie blowharding we’ve been missing, here’s a lovely video of the Garden State guv getting into a shouting match with himself.
At a New Hampshire event last week, Christie fielded a question from a woman asking him to clarify his comments from August 4 that “breathing causes climate change.” Christie claimed that he didn’t say that, then demanded his microphone back.
“The first thing you need to do is not be wrong and not quote me incorrectly.” Christie told the questioner.
“Does human activity contribute [to climate change]?” the Chris Christie of mere weeks ago asked. “Of course it does. We all contribute to it, one way or the other. By breathing we contribute to it.”
“I never said that humans contribute to climate change by breathing,” the Chris Christie of now asserted. “You heard that? You need to clean out your ears, young lady… Ridiculous statement. I never said that.”
Confused? Well, this is nothing new. The supposedly tell-it-like-it-is, straight-shooting Christie has never exactly shot straight, or even twice in the same place, on the issue of climate change. He’s weaseled and wobbled like a Red Oak in unseasonable hurricane-force winds, appeasing whichever segment of Republican voters he thinks he needs to charm at any given time.
In this video assembled by NextGen Climate, you can see the swirling cyclone of confusion rattling in Christie’s brain.
Via Huffington Post
3. Glenn Beck
“I’ve given you every possible political solution that I could think of” to save the country from the deal, a bewildered Beck blubbered on his show recently. And he really has gone more than a little ballistic of late, proclaiming, “I’m not apocalyptic! We are suicidal and all I’m doing is telling you.”
Beck promised listeners that he was going to speak at a rally on Capitol Hill next Wednesday. “What will save this country is us standing.” The deal being basically in the bag, with the required number of Senate votes, Beck clarified that he didn’t expect to actually effect any political change. “I’m not there to speak to you; I’m not there to speak to Congress,” he said.
Beck claimed that he is going to the Capitol to speak to God. Apparently provincial prayers get lost in the static, and The Man Upstairs doesn’t hear you unless you ride a bus down to the National Mall.
Inviting listeners on a tour of the Freudian haunted house that is his brain, Beck elaborated: “I am there so I am standing before God Almighty so that He sees me doing what I’m supposed to do because when Daddy comes home,” Beck growled, “I don’t want Him asking, ‘Did you do all the things I asked you to do?‘”
Via Right Wing Watch
2. Fox News
The coldblooded murder of an Illinois police officer this week has detonated a chain of recrimination from the pundits at Fox News, who have come out in one voice to lay the blame — not on the culprits who are still at large and whose motives are unknown — but squarely on the Black Lives Matter movement.
Some hosts — like Elisabeth Hasselbeck, Bill O’Reilly, and Geraldo Rivera — have gone as far as to call the organization a hate group and a “murder movement.”
O’Reilly clarified: “I wouldn’t say they’re terrorists. I think they’re a hate group. They hate police officers. […] They hate them. They want them dead.”
Media Matters has put together a video highlighting the hypocrisy at work here, showcasing instances when these same pundits have legitimized and defended real hate groups, among them the Family Research Council and American Family Association, giving them a platform for rhetoric that has actually incited violence.
Via Media Matters
1. Mike Huckabee
Among the Bible-thumping bullies angling for the Republican nomination, it’s no easy task to hold the title as the most extreme conservative. But former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee is putting in a valiant effort. He’s been making the rounds this week, ticking off the social issues, such as marriage equality and abortion, establishing his credentials as the biggest, loudest candidate-for-Christ.
He’s been slinging stone tablets this week in defense of Kim Davis, the Kentucky clerk who had refused to do her job as a public official, citing her conscience and “God’s authority.”
In addition to praising her “courage” and “conviction,” and personally offering her his “prayers and support,” Huck’s been rolling out the stale, specious arguments about how “Government is not God” and “American[s] of faith [are] under attack by Washington elites who have nothing but disdain for us, our faith and the Constitution.”
Witness the rancid cocktail of Huck’s ignorance of jurisprudence combined with his Christian persecution complex in the following video, courtesy of Packet and Gazette News:
(After refusing a court order to resume her duties, Davis was held in contempt of court and jailed Thursday. So her Christian martyr status is pretty much secured.)
His crusade didn’t stop at marriage equality. In a recent Google hangout, Huck said that he would ban abortion even if it meant severe, violent repercussions for society — like riots.
He promised that if he were elected president, he would appoint an attorney general to criminally prosecute Planned Parenthood “for selling body parts,” while also unleashing an IRS audit on them. The Baptist minister reiterated his promise to extend Constitutional rights to zygotes, vowing that his campaign to obliterate legal abortion would not be deterred by “lawsuits” or other “extraordinary pushback — goodness, perhaps even riots in the street.”
If that sounds to you like a theocratic dictatorship… well, you’re probably just paranoid. But it’s hardly an original observation to note that Huck’s single-minded determination to impose his narrow dogma on the entire country and his callow disregard for the rule of law invites some rather unwelcome comparisons.
Illustration above: DonkeyHotey