The Blood Moon on Monday night might have brought on the apocalypse, because a rash of stupidity in politics seems to have infected this great land of ours. When you have one major political party winning the argument against evolution, brainless is the new black. But if Republicans define dumb down any more, soon they’ll have to apply for drilling rights.
How low can they go? Mike Huckabee (R-Fox News) turned a legitimate gripe about airport security into this bon mot: “My gosh, I’m beginning to think that there’s more freedom in North Korea sometimes than there is in the United States.”
Well, sure. The similarities are obvious. For example, political dissidents in North Korea are sentenced to three generations in a prison camp, meaning their families, their children’s families, and their grandchildren have to live out their lives in prison as punishment. Huckabee makes a good living enjoying his First Amendment rights on TV and is the 2016 Republican frontrunner for president. The similarities are inescapable, kind of like North Korea.
Lately, it’s been hard to get Republicans to admit that racism exists these days. Now it’s hard to get them to admit it existed in the past. At a town hall, Rep. Ted Yoho (R-And a bottle of rum) told a black constituent that ending segregation was unconstitutional. On a Christian radio show, Jim DeMint, the ex-senator who now heads the Heritage Foundation, claimed that government played no role in ending slavery. It was “the conscience of the American people” and not, for example, the Union Army that won the war.
The stupid, it burns, and the rash is spreading. The minimum wage last rose in 2009 to $7.25 an hour. Congress isn’t going to do anything, so Oklahoma stepped in, and Gov. Mary Fallin signed a bill banning minimum wage increases. Supporters of the law said that raising the minimum wage could hurt economic development. Opponents of the law pointed out that this was Oklahoma and asked, “What economic development?”
If you look at the words conservatives use to describe the “War on Women,” it’s clear someone bought a new thesaurus at the He-Man Woman Haters Club: deceptive, fraudulent, phony, blather. Except there’s always another story about goofy Republicans who thought new ways to punish women for having lady parts.
In Missouri, a lawmaker is demanding that women seeking abortions undergo invasive ultrasound procedures to give them the shocking news of their pregnancies. But to State Rep. Chuck Gatschenberger (R-you kidding me), this is really very simple. Getting an abortion is like buying a car.
“I have to look at it, get information about it, maybe drive it, you know, a lot of different things. Check prices,” he said. “There’s lots of things that I do putting into a decision. Whether that’s a car, whether that’s a house, whether that’s any major decision that I put in my life. Even carpeting.”
Actually, he’s not far off. People hate getting lied to at a high-pressure used car dealership, which is remarkably similar to what goes on at a crisis pregnancy center.
But that’s nothing compared to what they’ve got going on in South Carolina, where a legislative committee expanded the state’s “Stand Your Ground” law to allow women to shoot people to defend “unborn children.” It seemed to have occurred to no one that a woman’s self-defense might have been sufficient cause for deadly force. Kudos to South Carolina for hitting the trifecta: guns, abortion, and race.
Some Christians see the Blood Moon as a sign of End Times. “There’s a sense in the world that things are changing and God is trying to communicate with us in a supernatural way,” said Texas pastor John Hagee, whose sermon series “Blood Moon Prophesies” predicted a “world-shaking event” in the Middle East between now and October 2015.
Turns out, a Blood Moon is just a lunar eclipse in which the Earth is between the Sun and the Moon. They happen frequently. The next one is in October. The Blood Moon isn’t End Times. Unfortunately, neither is the Republican Party. It looks like we’re stuck with each other.
Jason Stanford is a Democratic consultant who writes columns for the Austin American-Statesman and MSNBC. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter @JasStanford.