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Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

Welcome to “This Week In Crazy,” The National Memo’s weekly update on the wildest attacks, conspiracy theories, and other loony behavior from the increasingly unhinged right wing. Starting with number five

5. Chris Mapp

Chris Mapp

Screenshot: YouTube

One week after Texas Senate candidate Dwayne Stovall dropped one of the craziest campaign ads you’ll ever see, another challenger to Senate Minority Whip John Cornyn (R-TX) has exposed his wingnut bona fides.

In an editorial endorsing Senator Cornyn for re-election, the Dallas Morning News noted — in the understatement of the century — that “the other candidates are less informed, little known and generally offer extreme, vague or impractical ideas.”

“South Texas businessman Chris Mapp, 53, told this editorial board that ranchers should be allowed to shoot on sight anyone illegally crossing the border on to their land, referred to such people as ‘wetbacks,’ and called the president a ‘socialist son of a bitch,'” the editorial board wrote.

Mapp’s unique “shoot wetbacks on sight” immigration plan unsurprisingly caused controversy in Texas, forcing Mapp to explain himself. It did not go well; his defense to the San Antonio Express-News was that using the racial slur is as “normal as breathing air in South Texas.”

When Rep. Steve Stockman (R-TX) launched his insane campaign to depose “Liberal John Cornyn,” it seemed like a safe bet that he’d be the craziest candidate in the race. But this being Texas, perhaps we should have known better.

4. Louie Gohmert

Louie Gohmert2

Gage Skidmore via Flickr

Of course when it comes to crazy Texas politicians, Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) is still the reigning champion.

Gohmert, predictably, was a big fan of the controversial anti-gay bill that passed through Arizona’s legislature before being vetoed by Governor Jan Brewer. But the rationale for Gohmert’s support was rather bizarre — even by his standards.

“These are religious beliefs and how have we gotten so far afield from the Constitution that we say, well if you’re not willing to embrace the liberal beliefs that we have then your religious beliefs are not protected?” Gohmert said during a Wednesday appearance on the Janet Mefferd show. “It doesn’t say that in the First Amendment, it avoids the establishment of a religion. Well some are establishing the religion of secularism and everybody else’s religion has just got to basically go to blazes.”

You may be stuck trying to figure out what the “religion of secularism” is, but Gohmert plowed right ahead, explaining how discriminating against gay people is the natural conclusion to the civil rights movement.

“Some of them are very shocked, they participated in the civil rights movement and then to turn around and have gay rights folks saying now ‘you can’t practice your religious beliefs…’ Wait a minute, wait a minute, we stood up for you and your beliefs and now you’re saying we can’t stand up for our beliefs because they conflict with you?” Gohmert exclaimed. “That’s not what freedom is about.”

In case this was somehow not clear already, don’t take history lessons from Louie Gohmert.

Audio of Gohmert’s comments is available at Right Wing Watch.

3. Bryan Fischer

It may not shock you to learn that America’s most paranoid homophobe, American Family Association mouthpiece Bryan Fischer, was also a big fan of the Arizona law.

On Monday, Fischer explained that the law would be a critical weapon in his never-ending fight against hypermasculine homosexual stormtrooopers.

“They are jack-booted homofascist thugs,” Fischer said of the law’s opponents, “who want to use the tyrannical and totalitarian power of the state to send men of faith to jail. That sounds far more like Nazi Germany than the United States of America.”

Two days later, Fischer offered a slightly more articulate version of Gohmert’s argument.

“Yeah, Jim Crow is back,” Fischer said of the law’s opponents, “but it’s because of the work of Big Gay and their allies, including the NFL.”

With regards to the NFL’s threat to move the Super Bowl from Arizona if the law passes, Fischer raged “What the NFL is saying to Arizona [is that] if you don’t bow the knee to the God of Gayness, you cannot sit at our lunch counter.”

If you’re cringing at Fischer’s awful lunch counter analogy, cut the guy some slack. After all, he loves black males!

2. Lawrence Lockman

Lockman
Image via Maine.gov

Last year, the right-wing Susan B. Anthony list began training Republicans to stop terrifying voters by sharing their theories on “legitimate rape” and abortion with the public.

Unfortunately, they came far too late to help Maine state representative Lawrence Lockman.

Lockman, a Tea Party-backed ally of Maine’s equally absurd Governor Paul LePage, has a long history of erratic behavior. A report from Bangor Daily News’ Mike Tipping, published Tuesday, reveals that Lockman has uttered a shocking number of offensive statements throughout his three decades in politics. But this statement from 1995 stands out as especially crazy:

If a woman has (the right to abortion), why shouldn’t a man be free to use his superior strength to force himself on a woman? At least the rapist’s pursuit of sexual freedom doesn’t (in most cases) result in anyone’s death.

You read that correctly: According to Lockman, if abortion is legal, then rape — excuse me, “pursuit of sexual freedom” — should be too. After all, it’s a victimless crime (unless someone dies.)

Even Todd Akin probably thinks that Lockman should have kept that one to himself.

The revelation of Lockman’s remarks has prompted loud calls for his resignation, and a half-hearted apology from the first-term legislator (“I have always been passionate about my beliefs, and years ago I said things that I regret,” he explained).

If Maine’s legislature does use its superior strength to force him out of office, Lockman shouldn’t fret; after all, the Virginia Republicans would probably welcome him with open arms.

1. Tea Party Nation

judson phillips

This week’s “winner” is Tea Party Nation president Judson Phillips, who somehow managed to one-up Gohmert and Fischer with an even more ridiculous response to Arizona’s S.B. 1062.

Writing on the Tea Party Nation website, Phillips laments that “the left and the homosexual lobby are both pushing slavery using the Orwellian concepts of ‘tolerance’ and ‘inclusiveness.'”

After slamming Governor Jan Brewer for giving in to the leftist gay slavemasters — “She has an honored place in the ranks of the French Republicans,” Phillips writes — the hate group leader gets to the meat of his crazy argument:

Should a devote [sic] baker be required to create a cake for a homosexual wedding that has a giant phallic symbol on it or should a baker be required to create pastries for a homosexual wedding in the shape of genitallia [sic]? Or should a photographer be required to photograph a homosexual wedding where the participants decide they want to be nude or engage in sexual behavior? Would they force a Jewish photographer to work a Klan or Nazi event? How about forcing a Muslim caterer to work a pork barbeque dinner?

That’s right: One day you’re being prevented from refusing service to LGBT customers, the next you’re being forced to bake penis pastries and photograph the ensuing orgy.

Clearly, Arizona’s anti-gay bill inspired an abundance of startlingly crazy responses. But with apologies to Gohmert, Fischer, and many, many others, Judson Phillips once again takes the (non-phallic) cake.

Check out previous editions of This Week In Crazy here. Think we missed something? Let us know in the comments!

If Boss Trump is headed for defeat, he's getting his revenge early. His revenge upon his deluded supporters and the people they love, that is. Trump's re-election campaign now consists mainly of what epidemiologists call "super-spreader" events: large-scale rallies of unmasked, non-socially distanced Trumpists yelling in each other's faces while the Big Man emits a non-stop barrage of falsehoods, exaggerations, and barefaced lies.

Let me put it this way: If, say, the Rolling Stones decided to put on free concerts at airports around the country, they'd likely end up being taken into custody and deported as undesirable aliens. Of course, they'd also draw far bigger crowds than Trump, but that's not the point. The point is that Trump's actions are reckless and immoral; the peacetime equivalent of war crimes.

"Covid, covid, covid, covid, covid," he hollers. Trump claims that the United States is "turning the corner" on the pandemic, and that the accursed news media will quit reporting Covid-19 fatalities come November 4. He claims that health officials are motivated by greed because "doctors get more money and hospitals get more money" if they report that the virus was the cause of death.

Surveys have shown that more than a thousand physicians and nurses have died fighting the disease nationwide.

As ever, what he accuses others of doing is an excellent guide to the question: What would Trump do? Answer: he'd steal the silver dollars off a Covid victim's eyes and demand an investigation of Joe Biden

According to the Washington Post, the Trump campaign organization signed an agreement with officials in Duluth, Minnesota to limit attendance at a September 30 fly-in rally, in accordance with public health guidelines. Hours before the event, it became clear that no effort was being made to honor the agreement; some 2500 Trump supporters bunched up without masks on the tarmac, ten times the agreed limit.

Health Department officials' protests were simply ignored. Three days later, Trump himself was taken to Walter Reed Hospital by helicopter. Three weeks after that, the following headline appeared in the Duluth News-Tribune: "St. Louis County sees another record-breaking week of COVID-19 cases."

Any questions?

The Trump Circus subsequently performed in Janesville and Waukesha, Wisconsin in the midst of a record-setting pandemic outbreak there. "It took us 7 and a half months to reach our first 100,000 cases, & only 36 days to reach our second," the Wisconsin Department of Health tweeted. "In just two short months, the 7-day average of new confirmed cases has risen 405%."

But the show must go on. Trump regaled his Janesville audience with a veritable torrent of lies. The New York Times did a thorough fact-check of his October 17 speech. Reporters documented 130 false statements during Trump's 87 minutes onstage. Nearly three-quarters of his factual claims were untrue. The most egregious concerned Covid-19, probably because the disease represents his single greatest failure and most damaging political liability.

Another question: Does Trump count upon his supporters' invincible ignorance or simply share it? I fear it's a little of both. In Janesville, Trump made this absurd claim two minutes into his harangue: "When you look at our numbers compared to what's going on in Europe and other places," he said "we're doing well."

Any regular newspaper reader knows that this is simply nonsense. As the Times reports, "America has more cases and deaths per capita than any major country in Europe but Spain and Belgium. The United States has just 4 percent of the world's population but accounts for almost a quarter of the global deaths from Covid-19."

Germany, to choose the most striking comparison, has suffered only 122 deaths per million of its population, according to Johns Hopkins University. The United States has recorded more than five times as many: 686 per million. Neighboring Canada, meanwhile, is at 264 per million. Several Asian countries, have handled the pandemic even better.

It's a matter of capable leadership and public cooperation.

No wonder Trump appears to have succumbed to a case of dictator envy. "COVID, COVID, COVID is being used by [the 'Fake News' media] in total coordination" he tweeted the other day "in order to change our great early election numbers. Should be an election law violation!"

Yeah, well they all report the same World Series scores too. Furthermore, if Trump had good election numbers, he wouldn't whine so much. Has there ever been a bigger crybaby in the White House?

(In related news, Vladimir Putin has issued a mandatory mask mandate after a surge in Russian Covid infections. Go figure.)

Meanwhile, the rallies go on; a bizarre spectacle people treat as if it's normal. Trump has become Covid-19's Typhoid Mary, an Irish cook who unwittingly infected 53 people back in 1906.

But unlike Mary, he should know better. If anybody should be locked up, as his rapt admirers chant, it's the Super-Spreader in Chief.