- Richard Mourdock (Indiana), who (1) said that rape, while horrible, “is something that God intended to happen;” and (2) questioned the constitutionality of Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security because they were not expressly mentioned in the Constitution by the framers (Antonin Scalia, the original originalist, must have been smiing);
- Sharron Angle (Nevada), who claimed that (1) Sharia Law (the Koran’s legal prescriptions and proscriptions) was flourishing in Dearborn, Michigan (not true) and Frankford, Texas (a town that did not exist), (2) the 9/11 terrorist hijackers entered the U.S. through the porous US-Canadian border (they did not), and (3) global warming was a fraud (how’s your heat dome doing, Nevadans?).
Which brings us to…
- Christine O’Donnell (Delaware), who (1) described AIDS education as “a platform for the homosexual community to recruit adolescents;” and (2) as an alleged lapsed witch, spent the bulk of her campaign denying that she was still dropping toads into boiling cauldrons and flying around on a broom.
These were all Tea Party-endorsed candidates about whom the pundits concluded that their tea had been spiked by something stronger. At the time, these displays of lunacy were thought to be anomalies, something like political temporary insanity. Having learned that baying at the moon was not a winning political strategy (the wingnuts all lost to relatively sane Democrats), it was assumed that the GOP had learned its lesson and would regress back to the mean (you can take that expression in any number of ways).
Not so fast.
The 2022 lineup of Republican congressional wannabes is not merely a replay of 2010, but an orders of magnitude expansion. The roster of Republican crazies goes beyond the more than 100 aspirants whose campaigns are grounded on Donald Trump’s “Big Lie” that the 2020 election was stolen from him through massive fraud, for which not a shred of evidence exists. They represent just one cohort of curious candidates. There are, in addition, a slew of folks both already nominated standard bearers and primary competitors whose views on various topics are, shall we say…out there. They include:
- Derrick Van Orden (Wisconsin), who followed up rioting at the U.S. Capitol (and lying about being there) by (1) going off against a teenage library staffer over a gay-pride display; and (2) saying that Covid-19 contact tracing was no different than “what the KGB used to do in the Soviet Union and the Stasi used to do in East Germany.”
- Herschel Walker (Georgia), who, in attempting to catch up to Trump’s 30,758 documented lies while president, lies about (1) his academic career, (2) his failed business ventures, (3) the number of children he fathered out of wedlock, and (4) expresses stunning ignorance when talking about climate change (e.g., the US and China exchanging air) and (5) is incoherent whenever he dares open his mouth.
- Joe Kent (Washington), who (1) demands that perennial GOP whipping boy, George Soros, be treated like a mafia don and prohibited from organized political activity in the US; (2) claimed COVID-19 is a China-designed “vehicle” to suppress U.S. freedoms; and (3) said the FBI incited protesters to attack the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021.
- Reba Sherrill (Florida), a QAnon groupie who (1) claimed that Democratic elites harvest the drug, adenochrome, from children, torturing them and drinking their blood; and (2) asserts that Dems are also trafficking children for sex.
And this time around, these characters are only the tip of the insanity iceberg. At least 33 additional Republicans running for the House or Senate are QAnon conspiracy theorists. No need to even mention sitting members of Congress running for re-election, knuckle-draggers such as Marjorie Taylor Greene, Lauren Boebert, Andy Biggs, Matt Gaetz and Paul Gosar, whose four siblings call their brother unhinged and have endorsed his opponent.
So the logical conclusion that the GOP would never make the same mistake again was delusional. After all, this is the same outfit that nominated the king of crazy for president and may well anoint him for a repeat performance in 2024, assuming he is not behind bars or confined to a padded cell. Despite the lessons of 2010, Republicans 12 years later still think the nation craves craziness.
This would all be just goofy fun stuff if it were not such a serious indicator of the depraved depths to which the Republican Party has sunk and how unserious it is about the business of governing.
July 22, 2022