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Sep 27 2012

So how are the crankiest and the craziest doing?

The Republican party has become the home of such extreme people that even political leaders in other countries feel free to ignore the usual protocols and start piling on, with the Australian deputy prime minister Wayne Swan saying, “Let’s be blunt and acknowledge the biggest threat to the world’s biggest economy are the cranks and crazies that have taken over the Republican Party.”

This is quite a remarkable intrusion into the internal politics of another country. Who do the Aussies think they are? Don’t they know that only US politicians have the right to lecture the political leaders of other countries?

Evan McMorris-Santoro takes a look at how things are going for four of the nuttiest members of congress that might be the people Swan had in mind: Joe Walsh, Steve King, Allen West, and Michele Bachmann.

These are Tea Party favorites for whom nothing, however extreme, seems to be out of bounds to say and, in an encouraging sign, they seem to be struggling to win re-election though sadly they will likely squeak through in the end.

17 comments

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  1. 1
    sunny

    What does it say about the people who are voting for them? Such people interest me more than the cranks.

  2. 2
    Marcus Ranum

    This is quite a remarkable intrusion into the internal politics of another country. Who do the Aussies think they are? Don’t they know that only US politicians have the right to lecture the political leaders of other countries?

    Yeah, what’s next? Are they going to chide the US for not living up to the part of the nuclear nonproliferation treaty that says the nuclear powers will disarm? Next thing they’ll be doing is asking for a “red line” or threatening to bomb us or some nonsense like that!

  3. 3
    Marcus Ranum

    What does it say about the people who are voting for them? Such people interest me more than the cranks.

    Yeah, really. I was sitting next to a woman on the airplane the other day, and (for some reason I do not understand) she assumed that the book I was reading about the Iraq war meant I was a republican… And made some approving comment, that led into a general discussion of politics. When I found out she was a republican I asked her, rather too loudly, “How can you be both a woman and a republican??” I thought it a good sign that there were giggles from other passengers on the plane. But, seriously… “I self-identify with a group that hates me” is classic “I want to be in the club that won’t let me in, specifically because they won’t let me in” type behavior.

  4. 4
    stonyground

    Sunny says what I was going to say but much more concisely. In any western democracy, except the US, the Republican party would be unelectable. The most idiotic political party that ever existed in the UK was the Natural Law Party. They claimed that all of the world’s problems could be solved by Yogic Flying*. The Natural Law Party are only slightly more mental than the US republican party. They got hardly any votes.

    *Yogic flying involves assuming the lotus position and bouncing up and down on a trampoline. The clever part is being photographed in mid air to give the impression that you are levitating.

  5. 5
    DaveL

    We have them in Canada, too. The last I heard, their platform included realigning the Canada-U.S. border crossings to run east-west, to improve their Feng-Shui.

  6. 6
    Jenora Feuer

    Indeed, and Winnipeg-born stage magician Doug Henning was one of the big-name candidates of the Natural Law Party for a time. Both for Lancashire, England in 1992 and Rosedale (Toronto), Canada in 1993.

    Goes to show that being in the business of fooling other people doesn’t mean that you can’t be fooled yourself.

  7. 7
    kyoseki

    It’s a lot like being a liberal gun owner.

  8. 8
    kyoseki

    …. still more practical than a large chunk of the Republican Party Platform.

  9. 9
    Reginald Selkirk

    Yogic fliers and meditators reduced the murder rate in Washington, D.C. Just ask them. You may also want to read Robert Park’s version in Voodoo Science.

  10. 10
    Reginald Selkirk

    realigning the Canada-U.S. border crossings to run east-west, to improve their Feng-Shui.

    Bad idea. That would mean waiting in line in the morning, or the evening, and staring into the sun.
    .
    For the same reason, an auto-commuter who works the day shift should not live west of his place of work, because it means driving into the sun in the morning on his way to work, and driving into the sun in the evening on his way home.

  11. 11
    One Day Soon I Shall Invent A Funny Login

    These are Tea Party favorites … they seem to be struggling to win re-election though sadly they will likely squeak through in the end.

    Maybe, but if you really think it’s sad, you need to look at (and one hopes, contribute to) the Credo Action campaign to take down the tea party ten.

    Is this sort of activist link allowed? Wouldn’t want FTB to lose its 501c3 or anything…

  12. 12
    Trickster Goddess

    Heh. I actually voted for the Natural Law Party in one election. Not for the yoga and despite the woo, but because they were the only party that was willing to discuss the problematic Multilateral Agreement on Investment treaty that was being negotiated at the time. Neither the Liberals, Progressive Conservatives nor even the NDP would even acknowledge the subject.

  13. 13
    DBP

    More like being a liberal NRA member.

  14. 14
    machintelligence

    True. The NRA got too shrill to suit me.

  15. 15
    kyoseki

    Yeah, those guys just seem to be a paranoia delivery service.

  16. 16
    kyoseki

    The Democrats will single you out for being a gun owner and the NRA will single you out for being a liberal.

    I don’t really see the difference here.

    The Democratic party seriously needs to just fucking relax when it comes to gun ownership instead of using any excuse to try to pass more asinine legislation that doesn’t solve or even address the problem.

  17. 17
    ashleybell

    Yep. Every underprivileged group has it’s Uncle Toms and Auntie Tomasinas. They get to be ‘one of the good ones’. Its too bad Stowes decent and principled character got used as the denegrating term that it did, but its in the modern vernacular now with a succint meaning everbody knows. These people are like the Jews in the camps who were in charge of policing barracks who were sometimes said to be worse than the Nazis themselves. Going over the top to proove your loyalty.

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