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. John McCain
It hasn’t been a great week for Sarah Palin. The former half-term Alaska governor’s weekend speech to the Iowa Freedom Summit was so rambling and incoherent that even her erstwhile allies on the right are admitting that she may not be the sparkling, mesmerizing political tour de force that they once claimed.
But at least one prominent Republican is still on Team Palin: the man who unleashed her upon America in the first place, Senator John McCain (R-AZ).
On Wednesday, The Washington Postasked McCain if Palin could be a viable 2016 presidential candidate.
“She’s very interesting,” McCain replied. “And I’m sure she’d do great.”
I wonder if the senator writes Amazon reviews in his spare time?
It may be tempting to discount McCain’s optimistic view of Palin’s presidential prospects, given that his “illegitimate son,” Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC), is also planning a run. But keep in mind: McCain has literally never been wrong.
4. David Duke
Speaking of wildly improbable 2016 campaigns, House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA) may have drawn a new challenger: former Ku Klux Klan grand wizard David Duke.
Scalise, you may recall, landed in hot water last month when news emerged that he had spoken at a conference for Duke’s white-supremacist group, the European-American Unity and Rights Organization (EURO). At the time, Duke spoke out in Scalise’s defense, calling him a “nice guy” who shares his “conservative” values. But since then, he’s had a change of heart.
“I am not registered to vote right now. I have legally been able to vote for years but I haven’t registered right now…but I might just register. Just so, I might have to run against Steve Scalise because you know, I really might,” Duke told Louisiana radio host Jim Engster on Wednesday. “I mean, I’m definitely going to consider it because it’s so disgusting to me to see…he got elected on false pretenses.”
“He [was] elected supposedly ‘David Duke without the baggage’ but he is not David Duke, and he certainly doesn’t — he’s basically condemning the people of his district who voted overwhelmingly for me to be their U.S. senator and voted to be their governor,” he continued. “He’s insulting every one of the members who actually voted for him because he is suggesting they’re racist because they supported my views.”
“So that’s the thing, again I call on him to step down. He should step down because he has…betrayed his people,” Duke added. “That’s the difference between, see they always talk about the fact that the Republican Party’s issues are my issues. The difference with me in the Republican Party is that I didn’t betray them when I got elected.”
So, yes: The former leader of the KKK is considering a challenge against one of the six Louisiana legislators to vote against establishing the Martin Luther King holiday, because he’s not enough of an unrepentant racist.
BuzzFeed has the audio:
GOP outreach gets better every day.
3. Victoria Jackson
Former Saturday Night Live actress Victoria Jackson has moved on from intentional comedy in recent years, but as her second career as a Tea Party activist proves, she can still bring the laughs.
As the good folks at Wonkettereport, this week Jackson has been consumed with a mystery: Is President Obama a Muslim, or a jihadist?
Regular readers of This Week In Crazy will not be surprised to learn that Jackson’s answer is “both.” And she’s writing a song to prove it.
“Talk about Islam, talk about jihad, there’s a guy in the White House, who doesn’t believe in God!” Jackson croons in the preview of her new “hit,” which she posted to YouTube. “He believes in Allah, and the Holy Koran. He says that he’s a Christian, but we know he’s a Muslim man!”
2. Glenn Beck
American prophet Glenn Beck checks in at number three, for sharing the horrible truth about Democratic plans to raise the minimum wage.
According to Beck, such a hike would not benefit American workers — but it would “lead to unrest.”
“All revolutions need the youth. You need unrest in the minority populace, and in the youth,” Beck explained on the Tuesday edition of his show. He went on to explain how raising the wage would prevent recent college graduates, teenagers, and the immigrant “unskilled labor force” from finding jobs, because it would eliminate entry-level work.
(Economists disagree, but that’s never stopped Beck before.)
“Then you have a whole population that is ripe for unrest. You have a whole population ready for revolution,” he continued.
While Beck acknowledged that Hillary Clinton probably doesn’t want to overthrow the government — although “she is a lover of Saul Alinsky” — he feels differently about President Obama.
“You look at somebody like Barack Obama, who sat there and listened to the ramblings of literally a madman — Jeremiah Wright — there is a possibility that he knows exactly what he’s doing,” Beck warned. “They’re only trying to raise this minimum wage not because they believe it is going to help people, but because it will lead to unrest!”
By the way, if you’re trying to flee the coming revolutions, don’t bother going to Europe; Beck is pretty sure that it will go up in flames before long.
1. Bryan Fischer
For over five years, the American Family Association has employed religious-right extremist and This Week In Crazy favorite Bryan Fischer. But on Wednesday evening, The Rachel Maddow Showreported that the group was making a change: Fischer was out as spokesman and “director of issues analysis.”
In a remarkable letter to the Southern Poverty Law Center, the AFA denounced several of the controversial statements that Fischer has made as a member of the organization, including:
• “[T]he ideas expressed by Bryan Fischer that the violent expulsion of Native Americans was divinely ordained and that, ‘Superstition, savagery and sexual immorality’ morally disqualified Native Americans from ‘sovereign control of American soil.'”
• “Bryan Fischer’s characterization of minorities as ‘people who rut like rabbits’
• “[T]he statement by Bryan Fischer that, ‘Homosexuality gave us Adolph [sic] Hitler, and homosexuals in the military gave us the Brown Shirts, the Nazi war machine and six million dead Jews.”
• “[T]he notion advocated by Bryan Fischer that, “We need an underground railroad to protect innocent children from same-sex households.”
The group’s sudden about-face probably has something to do with its plan to sponsor an upcoming Republican National Committee trip to Israel; the GOP’s outreach problems are bad enough without Fischer hanging around it in an official capacity.
But the AFA didn’t sever ties with Fischer completely; he will still host his Focal Point radio show on the AFA’s radio network and blog on its website.
Let’s see how that’s going for them:
“I don’t think you will ever find a more directly demonic energy than when you deal with the homosexual agenda,” Fischer said this week on his show. “They’re vicious. They are mean. You literally are staring into virtually the unvarnished energy of Satan himself when you come up against the forces that are pushing the homosexual agenda forward.”
But, in what could only be a sign of things to come, Fischer returned to the air on Wednesday to explain that gay people aren’t literally demons. They’re actually just Satan’s “prisoners of war.”
In This Week In Crazy, that counts as progress.
Check out previous editions of This Week In Crazy here. Think we missed something? Let us know in the comments!
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