Following Climate Week on Off the Markley, I promised I would write something really, really silly. As an incredibly smart, political, tuned-in friend told me:
“I don’t really read your blog when you’re talking about climate change or whatever. I like when you talk about things like belly-button lint.”
I know. I promised the Stupidest Column Ever. And it’s incredibly tempting to renege in this final slot of the week and address something real. After all my admonitions about climate week have only gained further credence with an apocalyptic monsoon wrecking havoc in the low-lying Philippines with 60 percent of Manilla deluged, 72 people dead and nearly 850,000 displaced. Oh, not to mention NOAA just confirmed that July was the hottest month ever recorded in the United States, and 2012 is fast on its way to becoming the warmest year ever.
Oh, and isn’t it weird that even fewer people seem to want to seriously discuss sane gun control measures after a white supremacist murdered six people in a Sikh temple with semi-automatic handgun with a modified clip—all legally purchased? Which is now being called "the mass shooter's weapon of choice?" No? We’re still gonna let that one go? Okay, no prob, Bob.
Anyway, I was trying to think of a topic for My Stupidest Column Ever, but you have to understand I once wrote about who might win in a fight between a dog and a baby, so this wasn’t going to be that easy. During my creative process, however, I began reading about the latest news from America’s favorite political party, the increasingly untethered-from-reality GOP, who just nominated a guy named Todd Akin in Missouri to run for the Senate seat currently held by Claire McCaskill.
Akin—I am not making any of this up—thinks Medicare is unconstitutional, wants to repeal the 17th Amendment (having people vote for Senators, instead of state legislatures), doubts climate science (naturally), believes “the heart of liberalism really is a hatred for God and a belief that government should replace God,” and who would be one of the most homophobic members of Congress (a really tall order) saying, “Anybody who knows something about the history of the human race knows that there is no civilization which has condoned homosexual marriage widely and openly that has long survived.” Oh, and he wants to withdraw from the U.N.
This guy is pretty much the average kind of individual the Republican Party has decided to nominate. The moderates are dudes like Iowa’s Steve King, who wants to introduce a bill—not making this up either—which “if it became law, would repeal everything Obama has signed into law.” Basically an “I win no matter what times infinity plus one no matter what you say!” law. Brilliant. Keep cranking these brave thinkers out, GOP!
However, all of this, in a way, feeds into the thesis of my Super-Secret New Project that will debut in the next couple of weeks, so I can’t complain (much more on that next week).
Finally, as I was trying to come up with my My Stupidest Column Ever, I stumbled across this post on the Atlantic, which pointed to a Fox News segment in which one of their Blonde Ladies they pull out of a DNA-sequencing vat interviewed one of the shrieking loons they keep in rotation about how Olympic gymnast and America’s sweetheart Gabby Douglas isn’t patriotic enough.
“But America is America, and we are a very nationalistic nation,” said Indistinguishable Propaganda Mouthpiece #475. “We've also lost over time that jingoistic feeling.”
As Conor Friedersdorf pointed out, the dictionary definition of jingoism is not a good thing: “extreme chauvinism or nationalism marked especially by a belligerent foreign policy.”
And the fact that these people took the time to shit on one of the sweetest, most likeable athletes from the entire 2012 games, who after kicking ass in event after event, won our hearts even further when she failed to win an event but still spoke to NBC’s reporter as if this was the most incredible moment of her life and she couldn’t be more grateful and genuinely happy to be there—it was more than I could take. I had to give up.
You try to come up with the Stupidest Thing to Say Ever, and Fox News will always beat you to it.