Nel's New Day

October 6, 2012

Crazy Congressional Candidates

It’s crazy season once again on the campaign trail. Nationally, conservatives are trying to figure out how to prove to the country that things couldn’t possibly be getting better. Those who don’t outright state that President Obama cooked the books are trying to explain that a lower unemployment figure is no big deal. But the insanity goes far deeper when one considers the men running for Congress. (Somehow the males are far crazier than the females, except perhaps for Michele Bachmann.) And some of these people are already in Congress!

Two years ago, one of the craziest candidates was in South Carolina when Democrat Alvin Greene ran against incumbent Sen. Jim DeMint. The unemployed Greene had no funds, no signs, and no website, yet in the primary he defeated Vic Rawl, a former judge and state legislator with a $186,000 war chest. Later it was discovered that at that time he faced felony obscenity charges for supposedly showing obscene photos to a University of South Carolina student and had been kicked out of the Army and Air Force. Some Democrats thought he might have been a plant, but that was two years ago. The memory of Alvin Greene is now very dim.

This year, however, the awards for stupid statements go to Republican candidates, perhaps the most visible being Rep. Todd Akins (R-MO) who is currently running for the Senate. Although Akin’s fame has come more recently from his claim that women cannot get pregnant from “legitimate rape,” he has a history of idiotic declarations: banning hate crimes, as in the anti-hate-crime legislation, actually increases them “by elevating one group over another group”; a defense spending bill legalizes bestiality (although he didn’t explain how); voting for health insurance for poor children is a worse wreck than the Titanic; the Civil War took away state’s rights; and President Obama is the Anti-Christ because he taxes employers.

Delving deeper into Akin’s history, American Bridge 21st Century also found video in which Akin declares that doctors in abortion facilities perform abortions on women who aren’t pregnant. According to Akin, these places also don’t follow “good sanitary procedures,” and they cheat on taxes and misuse anesthetics “so that people die or almost die.” It’s almost as if he might be predicting the future if Roe v. Wade is overturned.

After it was discovered that he had failed to disclose $130,000 in pension funds from his time in the Missouri House, Akins amended his financial reports.

A strong supporter for Akins,  Rep. Steve King (R-IA) said he’d never heard of a child getting pregnant from statutory rape or incest. “Well, I just haven’t heard of that being a circumstance that’s been brought to me in any personal way,” he said in an interview with King with KMEG-TV. According to a 1996 review by the Guttmacher Institute, “at least half of all babies born to minor women are fathered by adult men.'”

Along with vice-presidential candidate Paul Ryan, King and Akin co-sponsored the “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act” (H.R. 3), which sought to change the exception for rape in restricting public funding for abortion to “forcible rape.” If this bill had passed the Senate, a 13-year-old girl impregnated by a 24-year-old man would have to prove she was “forcibly” raped before she could use Medicaid funds to terminate the pregnancy.

King also promised to single-handedly defeat President Obama’s policy implementing parts of the DREAM Act and warned that Islamic terrorist groups are using America’s southern border to smuggle terrorists into the United States. In a speech, King characterized minority students as people “who feel sorry for themselves.” In comparing immigrants to dogs, he said, “You get the pick of the litter and you got yourself a pretty good bird dog. Well, we’ve got the pick of every donor civilization on the planet.” When criticized for this statement, he said that it was a compliment. He also proposed legislation to allow dog-fighting because “It’s wrong to rate animals above human beings.”

Tom Smith, Pennsylvania candidate for Senate, claimed that pregnancy from rape is similar to “having a baby out of wedlock” before he made another another sexist remark to two women at a campaign event for VP nominee Ryan. After asking him what they were discussing (the response was “the power of petite women”), he told them, “My guess would have been you were talking about shoes.”

Rep. Roscoe Bartlett (R-MD) also entered the rape discussion by declaring that a tiny, tiny percentage of raped women get pregnant. These men need to do a bit of research. A study in 2003 “found that a single act of rape was more than twice as likely to result in pregnancy than an act of consensual sex.” The scientists speculated that rapists are more attracted to fertile and ovulating women who not rebuke their advances.

Earlier Bartlett warned people about nuclear terrorism and urged the 80 percent of the people to relocate to rural areas. He also stated that federally-issued student loans were unconstitutional; disregarding the Constitution could lead down a “slippery slope.” Bartlett cited the Holocaust as an example of what could happen when a country heads down a wrong path.

Rep. Joe Walsh (R-IL), previously infamous as “the deadbeat dad” for refusing to pay his wife over $100,000 of child support, now seems to be comfortable attacking his opponent, Tammy Duckworth. He has mocked her for not being a “true hero,” despite her experiences as a Black Hawk helicopter pilot in Iraq when she lost both legs. Before Duckworth’s speech at the Democratic National Convention, he said, “It has become abundantly clear that at this point the only debate Ms. Duckworth is actually interested in having is which outfit she’ll be wearing for her big speech.” After the convention, he said that he was telling Sandra Fluke to get a job. Fluke was another convention speaker who had earlier been called a “slut” by Rush Limbaugh because she had protested for free birth control for women.

Walsh also accused Rev. Jesse Jackson of “oppressing African Americans.” At a town hall meeting, Walsh warned that there is “a radical strain of Islam in this country…trying to kill Americans every week.”  Following the congressman’s remarks, two attacks were launched against houses of worship in suburban Chicago, near Walsh’s district. California-based cell phone company CREDO‘s super PAC has targeted Walsh among a group of 2012 candidates whom they consider the “most odious members of Congress.”

Earlier this year he said that President Obama was elected only because he is black. After re-districting, Walsh left his safe, red district to move to another one, possibly because he was allegedly offered $3.5 million in general election fundraising help from House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH). Duckworth is ahead of Walsh by 14 points, 52-38.

Joe Walsh’s Ohio neighbor, Samuel “Joe” Wurzelbacher (aka Joe the Plumber), went to Arizona to call for building a fence and “start shooting” as a solution for undocumented people coming into the United States. One of his ads blames the Holocaust on gun control in Germany and warns of this situation in the United States. Currently he seems to have violated campaign finance laws when he used donations to buy clothes.

Wurzelbacher had good racist company in Arizona with candidate Gabriela Saucedo Mercer, a Mexican immigrant who ranted about the people coming across the border into Arizona. “That includes Chinese, Middle Easterners,” she said. “If you know Middle Easterners, a lot of them, they look Mexican or they look, you know, like a lot of people in South America, dark skin, dark hair, brown eyes. And they mix. They mix in. And those people, their only goal in life is to, to cause harm to the United States.” Mercer’s comments were so vicious that Arizona’s Gov. Jan Brewer backed out of attending a fundraiser for her.  

Mercer became briefly infamous for comparing giving food stamps to poor people to feeding animals. For a short time, her Facebook page had a statement about the large number of people receiving food stamps and how the government asks that animals not be fed in parks because they will become dependent on this food and not take of themselves. She concluded, “This ends today’s lesson.”

Rep. Gohmert (R-TX) claimed that President Obama’s foreign policy is trying to establish a new Ottoman Empire. This is evidently not a new theory among far-right politicians.  

Rep. Paul Broun (R-GA), a member of the House committee on science and a physician, said in the Liberty Baptist Church, “All that stuff I was taught about evolution and embryology and the Big Bang Theory, all that is lies straight from the pit of Hell.”

Rep. Scott Tipton (R-CO) has accused nuns of wanting “to try and divide” the country.  This was after he conceded that climate change exists but said that admitting it would “divide the country.”

 

Farther out on the wacko scale than Bachmann is another Minnesota candidate, Allen Quist. He not only believes that people and dinosaurs lived at the same time but is also convinced that women are “genetically predisposed” to be subservient to men, basing his belief on what he perceives the behavior of wild animals. While he was a state representative, Quist compared a gay counseling clinic to the Ku Klux Klan because both were breeding grounds for evil. He actually went “undercover” at an adult bookstore and a gay bathhouse, trying to prove that they had become a “haven for anal intercourse.”Quist is Bachmann’s mentor.

And I almost forgot about our own homegrown Oregonian! Art Robinson, House candidate, has a doctorate in chemistry from UC-San Diego and believes that nuclear waste should be disposed of by diluting it and sprinkling it in the ocean or putting it in the foundations of houses. He also thinks that global warming is a myth. A 2001 profile of Robinson in the Independent Scientist begins:  “Matthew Robinson, 13, has a Colt .45 strapped to his waist as he practices the piano in the living room. He lives on a 350-acre farm in southern Oregon, with his brothers and sisters, and his father, the scientist Art Robinson.”

And this is just the tip of the iceberg. For much, much more, Google “crazy congressional candidates.”

2 Comments »

  1. Powerful and hard-hitting blog that should be in every newspaper.

    Like

    Comment by lynchly — October 7, 2012 @ 7:43 PM | Reply

  2. truly horrifying person, Steve King

    Like

    Comment by Lainie — October 7, 2012 @ 6:59 PM | Reply


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