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This Year In Crazy: 2015 Belonged To The Wingnuts

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This Year In Crazy: 2015 Belonged To The Wingnuts


Each week we round up the looniest examples of right-wing bigotry, idiocy, and bizarre behavior in our “This Week In Crazy” column. Now it’s time to take stock of the entire year — which gave us more inanity, head-spinning untruth, and backwards thinking than anyone could have expected or should have to endure. 

This is 2015 — The Year In Crazy…

As you may recall, this year kicked off with a big national conversation about the efficacy of vaccinationssetting the tone for a host of debates utterly untethered to reality, whether it was fraudulent anti-abortion videos meant to “expose” Planned Parenthood, or a U.S. senator using a single snowball to disprove 97 percent of peer-reviewed climate science.

We saw loony conspiracy theories that would be too unrealistic for an episode of 24 gaining currency with a surprising number of politicians, as when a handful of paranoid Texans thought that a military exercise was the opening salvo in a federal invasion. This delusion then gained traction and metastasized wildly in the patchwork of talk radio shows and fringe websites that have become the touchstone of our political discourse, until even Texas governor Greg Abbot and Ted Cruz voiced their concern.

The Supreme Court decision legalizing gay marriage was a landmark victory for civil rights, but it sent conservative Christians into an apocalyptic tizzy. Governors tried to pass legislation to legally discriminate against same-sex couples under the reprehensible camouflage of “religious liberty,” and one county clerk became a national martyr when she spent five nights in jail rather than let two men walk down the aisle.

When a racist terrorist shot up a black church with a gun, conservatives told us we could blame the attack on anything except racism and guns. Finally, we all just blamed a flag. Even so, down in Dixie and elsewhere, there were many who fought to fly it proudly — on the lawn of the South Carolina state house and over a grassy knoll in Texas just off Martin Luther King Jr. Drive.

It was hard to narrow it down, but based on your votes, we have assembled the top 5 crazies from this year’s archives.

As always, thanks for reading. See you in 2016!

Keep sane.

Number #5: Ben Carson

Sam Reisman

Sam Reisman is the former managing editor at The National Memo, where he still writes the weekly "This Week In Crazy" column. His writing has appeared in Flavorpill, The Huffington Post, Columbia Daily Spectator, and Bwog. He was the publisher of the 2010 edition of Inside New York, an annual guidebook to the city for students and young professionals.

Since 2011, he has co-curated and hosted Peculiar Streams, a showcase for NYC-based writers, musicians, comedians, and filmmakers. He is a staff writer at Mediaite, and blogs at SamReisman.com.

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  1. Buford2k11 December 31, 2015

    Yep, that about covers the tip of the Iceberg….Just to think that anyone of these candidates gets near the nuclear codes is driving me crazy, CRAZY I tells ya….But after a year of reading this column, I need to replace all the the hard surfaces in my office, after repeatedly bouncing my forehead off them in an attempt to maintain sanity…maybe a stainless steel computer desk…cause I cain’t quit the CRAZY……………

    1. Independent1 December 31, 2015

      But what’s the scariest to me, is not just the handful of right-wing crazies that we read about here week after week, but the fact that there are actually millions of Americans out there who are themselves so ignorant or crazy enough to believe all the lies, fantasies and fabrications of reality that these crazy people constantly spew!! To the point that one of them may actually get elected to run our country.

      1. Buford2k11 December 31, 2015

        actually, I hope that the “crazy numbers” are fewer than reported…than again, I look at the “Crazy Corner of Colorado” and go back to whimpering under my bed….

        1. plc97477 December 31, 2015

          They are fewer than reported. The people that are willing to say they are republicans shrinks more every time the don speaks.

          1. Steve Batchelor December 31, 2015

            More like it to any sane person…Less people are willing to say they are republicans shrinks anytime anyone on the clown car speaks, not just tRump.

      2. FireBaron December 31, 2015

        It’s the old “repeat a lie often enough and loud enough” dictum. As long as these mooks scream about all the non-existent ills they plan on expunging with a chain saw, they will find enough to believe them. Unfortunately, the oft used phrase of “there’s a sucker born every minute”

        1. Allan Richardson December 31, 2015

          Or in the case of the “Christian” crusaders, a sucker “born again” every minute.

          The folks who want to post the Ten Commandments in public places need to read the Ninth one: apparently BEARING FALSE WITNESS is OK as long as you’re doing it for “God’s side.”

          1. Irishgrammy December 31, 2015

            Boy howdy, you have hit the nail on the head there Allan ……The reality is these “Bible Thumping” hypocrites drive me to absolute distraction, there is nothing “Christian” about the way they think, certainly nothing Jesus Christ EVER said, EVER, NEVER!!! Have gone back recently re-reading the words Jesus spoke per the New Testament, and am absolutely baffled ….. AM NOT sure where the heck these creatures get their belief system from, they are all so full of abject hatred, intolerant judgment, and outright racism and bigotry of their fellow man, it boggles the mind!!! I know atheists that have more “Christian” love, tolerance and understanding than any of these faux organized Evangelical “Christians” especially those that follow people like Trump, Cruz (the absolute worst two) and Carson, I don’t even know how to interpret his brand of Christianity, or any of the other clowns under the tent, Huckabee comes to mind immediately! LYING as you say, IS so easy for these people as long as they cloak it in their “religious” belief system…… truth and reality have no place in the far right ideology, ruins their angry intolerant high!!!

          2. Charlotte Sines January 1, 2016

            I have said it before and I will keep saying it because it is true, religion turns people’s minds to mush.

          3. idamag January 3, 2016

            Christian Crusaders, dubya protecting us from terrorism, the economy is going to fail if….., you name it, they all benefit from being able to scare people. It is their dragons. My analogy is:
            This happened way-back-when, In the middle ages, also known as the dark ages. When night fell, people were afraid of what was out there. This fear included dark forests and the unknown. So, a few knights were sipping tea and came up with a plan. Give them the gold and they would save the people. From what? “Let’s call them dragons. We will make them fierce and dangerous. They donned their armor, took the gold and rode away. The people said, “How brave they are!” They came back with tales of their feats. Of how they slew the fire-breathing dragons. And that, my children, is how they soak the people – invent an enemy, save the people from the illusion and laugh about their ignorance.
            There were the knights. There was fire and brimstone. There was Adolph hitler. There was the communists. There was agent orange. And I am sure everyone, on this board, can name a few other dragons .

      3. idamag December 31, 2015

        That loud primitive sound is my screaming at the mere thought of one of them becoming the leader of our country..

        1. Steve Batchelor December 31, 2015

          I just can’t see it ida…Every one of them, and I can name 30 at least, has pissed off or shite on every sane person, every person of color and every female in the country. The way I see it if their batshit nominee gets 30% of the vote in the national I’ll be surprised. BUT and it’s a big butt…If the media with their right slanted BS gets enough brainless people to believe whatever they say against our side then all bets are off.
          What we all have to do until November is keep repeating to everyone that will listen to VOTE FOR THE SANE candidate whether it be HRC or BS.

          1. idamag January 2, 2016

            We can see the effects of a bunch of 2.1 GPAs in the House. Imagine that level of intelligence as president.

          2. Steve Batchelor January 2, 2016

            Saw less than that level of intelligence and subterfuge from Dubya/Cheney for 8 years and don’t want to see it happen again.

        2. Irishgrammy January 1, 2016

          I console myself with the fact that Pres. Obama was elected twice in all time high voter elections by 53% and 52% respectively and I cannot believe a country that accomplished that could possibly vote a majority for either of these hateful, lying, demagogues Trump or Cruz, let alone any of the junior squad of Rubio, Bush or Christi, the rest of the clown car are “fill”……Their message, their ideology, their proven failed ideas of “tax cuts for the wealthy, eliminating regulations, attacking “others”…Hispanics and other minorities, Muslims, LGBT community, constantly attacking Planned Parenthood an organizations that has done SO much good for 100 years and women’s right to choice let alone women’s right to anything and their desire to end Social Security and Medicare, let alone their obsession to kill Obamacare is hardly a recipe that a majority of Americans will ever support!!! What is so depressingly apparent now and frankly has been becoming more so over the last 7 1/2 years is the blatant racism and bigotry that is so destructive and contemptible and how it is being “played” to by two of the most horrible political candidates ever produced in my lifetime, Trump and Cruz……just sickening.

          1. idamag January 1, 2016

            We are reaping the effects of not valuing education as it should have been. As strange as this may sound, with all his faults, Christie is the smartest they have.

          2. plc97477 January 1, 2016

            I think I saw a flea on one of their arms that is smarter than any of the members of the clown car.

    2. charleo1 December 31, 2015

      Might I suggest primal therapy, and copious amounts of ibuprofen, and gin? If no relief, forget the therapy, and double down on the pills, and booze. You’re Welcome!

  2. Bren Frowick December 31, 2015

    I’d have to place Carson a few rungs higher on that list, behind Trump alone. Coulter and Cruz are too obviously peddling snake oil to the ignorant masses in a Machiavellian strategy to gain themselves fame, while Fiorina’s lies are just a pale shadow of the crazy tumbling out of Carson and Trump. Really, the only difference between Trump and Carson is that one says it loudly and the other quietly. One is an unapologetic jerk about it, and the other makes the insanity sound like a prescription for ibuprofen.

  3. CripesAmighty January 2, 2016

    Perfect list. I would, however, quibble with your assessment of Ann Coulter’s deeply held nuttiness. Ann is as nutty as an ad agency algorithm. Her finely calibrated shtick–“Sh*t Ann Coulter Says(tm)”–which is to say whatever is just outlandish enough to set the redneck rabble aquiver, and whet their appetite for more, keeps the clicks and book sales humming.
    She is particularly adroit in her navigating the wholesale theft of her racket by Donald Trump: Rather than attempting to compete with his jet-fueled publicity machine; like a club comic finding her act stolen by Jerry Seinfeld, she has made the shrewd move to agree to play second banana to the stadium act and hitch along for the cash-spinning ride. Well played.

  4. Aaron_of_Portsmouth January 2, 2016

    This century has seen in its earliest stages the depth of depravity to which conservative forces in America, and elsewhere in the world have sunk to. Whether its aping long-standing outlandish and illogical conspiracies, displaying an abundant fondness for bigotry, elevating paranoia and xenophobia to a morbid form of art, and/or being adroit at putting both feet in their mouths(and talented enough to utter nonsense at the same time without choking), the Conservatives have no equals.

    The open endorsement of Bibi, Putin, and the Neo-Nazis in America, the long-term tacit approval of the KKK and other supremacist groups, and the witless approval and fawning by Anne Coulter and similar pundits—all these factors and numerous other negative ones have indelibly stamped the Right as a “Certified Terminal Case” destined for a ceremonial sweep into the “Dustbin of Anachronism and Lunacy”.

    The historians and psychoanalysts of the future will have a treasure trove of data that will take decades to sift through and analyze—deciphering data from particle physics experiments at the LHC will be far easier.

    1. idamag January 2, 2016

      Very well put.

  5. Matforce January 2, 2016

    “Utterly untethered to reality.” That sums up the GOP, who after 35 years of “trickle down” economic favor for the “job creators” and their demand that USA labor capitulate to pressure from global sweatshops, cannot admit to their boondoggle. Indeed, they double down on the crazy, inverse reality circus show!

    BTW, I just read in the morning paper that “China’s manufacturing/exporting has just shaken off a recent slump,” and then my worst fear; it stated that “China is engaging in an emphasis on service and national “consumerism.”

    GREAT, they’re taking a page from the USA 1950s & 60s playbook! If the Chinese steer national policy from offering up their 2 billion plus citizens as cheap labor pawns for international corporatists to exploit in exchange for our Yankee technology, trade secrets, and industrial know how, then once they have obtained what they need to catch up to us, become a consumer based economy that places ample discretionary disposable income in the hands of those 2 billion + Chines… we’re toast!

  6. pattreid January 4, 2016

    Carson: Idiot savant?


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