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Favorite Republican Nutters

by: James L.

Thu Aug 23, 2007 at 12:56 AM EDT

While the Republican Party is currently home to some of the nuttiest policies of recent decades, it has also been home to some of the nuttiest people.  Cranks, loons, shifty-eyed ramblers, hard luck gamblers, and certifiable basketcases alike have all found a welcome home as elected officials in the GOP.

As an example, you may remember Rep. Fred Heineman (NC-04), a one-term wonder from 1995-97, who professed that his congressional salary of $180,000 made him "lower middle class":

Heineman made news in 1996 with his assertion that his $180,000 income made him lower-middle class. "When I see a first-class individual who makes $80,000 a year, he's lower middle class," Heineman said. "When I see someone who is making anywhere from $300,000 to $750,000 a year, that's middle class. When I see anyone above that, that's upper middle class."  (Raleigh News & Observer, 10/21/95)

Clearly a man with a firm grip on reality.

Of course, another favorite Republican nutjob is Rep. Barbara Cubin (WY-AL), whose record is one of utter batshittery and embarrassment, including one notable evening where she barked to a startled audience of GOP donors: "I know what Victoria's Secret is. She's a slut."  And who could forget her penchant for sharing penis-shaped cookies with her colleagues in the Wyoming legislature, or her infamous threat to slap her wheelchair-bound independent opponent after a debate last fall.

Who are some of your favorite Republican nutters?  To be clear, I'm not asking for necessarily the most conservative, or the most mean-spirited policy-wise.  I'm talking about loony quotes and behavior that reflect a serious personality flaw or detachment from everyday reality.  Citations of direct quotes or descriptions of activities, with links if possible, are preferred.  Post 'em in the comments.

The dumber the better, people.

James L. :: Favorite Republican Nutters
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Here's a few:
Robin "I'm flat-out, completely, horizontally opposed to CAFTA," "there is no way I could vote for CAFTA" Hayes, a few weeks before voting for CAFTA.
Ted "It's a series of tubes!" Stevens
Kay Bailey "I hope that if there is an indictment... that it's not on some perjury technicality" Hutchinson , 7 years after voting to impeach and remove someone from office on a "perjury technicality"
Michelle "God then called me to run for the United States Congress" Bachman
Mike "[Baghdad is]like a normal outdoor market in Indiana in the summertime" Pence
Ron "only about 5 percent of blacks have sensible political opinions" Paul

Thanks for mentioning My Favorite
and my opponent, Mike Pence.  Also, there are no blackhawks overhead at Indiana markets, and there is really no similarity at all.  Just another in a long series of un-truths from this "rising star". 

When everyone figures out this guy needs targeted, we will be here ready to pull the trigger. 

We are the campaign running against Mike Pence.

[ Parent ]
So many to choose from...
I don't know if you can boil it down to a pithy quote, but Tom Coburn's opposition to "Schindler's List" on the grounds of the nudity being sexual deserves an honorable mention.
An oldie but a goodie:  During the Rodney King riots, ex-Rep Bill Dannemeyer, R-CA, said on "Crossfire" that none of this would be happening if we still had prayer in school.  Dannemeyer also said at one point that people with AIDS "emit spores" and are thus contagious through casual contact. 
Then there's Bill Napoli, the state senator from South Dakota, and his soliloquy about under what circumstances he'd allow for abortions.  Too long (and disgusting) to repeat here, but if you don't know that one, google his name and you'll find it.
Helen Chenoweth's pontifications about who won the Civil War were pretty interesting too.
And who could forget ex-Rep. Gerry Solomon, R-NY, arguing that his wife needed an automatic weapon to ensure her safety when he was in DC?  (Full disclosure: he later apologized for that, although it wasn't clear whether he was apologizing for yelling at Patrick Kennedy or for the stupidity of what he yelled.)
But I think Ted Stevens and the Series of Tubes takes the cake.

Reminds me of another favorite
Tom Coburn:

On the tape, Coburn tells how a campaign worker form Coalgate, Okla., told him that lesbianism is "so rampant in some of the schools in southeast Oklahoma that they'll only let one girl go to the bathroom."

[ Parent ]
You beat me to it.
That was the first one that came to my mind. Don't worry, he's going down in 2010 (there's a good chance that seat is open again). I doubt Henry runs, though. I'm banking on our great Attorney General, Drew Edmonson.

I'm a Ralph Yarborough Democrat

[ Parent ]
Thank you for reminding me of Dannemeyer's infamous quote.  I remember how completely outraged I was when I read this years ago.

"People with AIDS emit spores"

Pass the aspirin.

"My name's Dr. Multimillionaire and I kicked your ass." -- Rep. Steve Kagen D-WI to Karl Rove

[ Parent ]
Michelle Bachmann
I love this one of recent vintage:

"Iran is the trouble maker, trying to tip over apple carts all over Baghdad right now because they want America to pull out. And do you know why? It's because they've already decided that they're going to partition Iraq.

And half of Iraq, the western, northern portion of Iraq, is going to be called... the Iraq State of Islam, something like that. And I'm sorry, I don't have the official name, but it's meant to be the training ground for the terrorists. There's already an agreement made.

Emphasis very, very much added!

Love the wild-eyed photo.

[ Parent ]
And who can forget
Howard Kaloogian's photo of lovely downtown Baghdad suburban Istanbul?

What was the thing with
Helen Chenoweth and the salmon?

I believe it was...
about a particular species of salmon that is on the endangered species list.  Chenoweth made a point of serving it as an hors d'oeuvre at her fundraisers, and said it couldn't be endangered "because you can buy it at the supermarket in a can." As for endangered species in general, she said there was only one: the straight white Christian male.

She also always insisted on being called "CongressMAN Chenoweth."

[ Parent ]
Ronald Reagan
Not sure if you wanted to include GOPers from other than Congress but who in the world can forget when Ronald Reagan announced that trees were a major polluter?

Here are a select few Reaganisms:

"Trees cause more pollution than automobiles do." -- Ronald Reagan, 1981

"Abortion is advocated only by persons who have themselves been born. "

"Facts are stupid things." -- Ronald Reagan, 1988

"Fascism was really the basis for the New Deal." Ronald Reagan, 1976

"My name's Dr. Multimillionaire and I kicked your ass." -- Rep. Steve Kagen D-WI to Karl Rove

This was the same administration that tried to ease school lunch nutrition standards by requiring that ketchup be considered a vegetable.

And to think that so many people want to put that man on the dime. *shudder*

[ Parent ]
No discussion on wacky Repubs is complete without...
Bob Barr. Who could ever forget the incident involving the gun going off at his fundraiser?

Friends of Senator Carl Levin

Speaking of guns
How about Dan Burton and the watermelon?

[ Parent ]
Virgil Goode
Virgil Goode of Virginia the Congressman who stated that it was improper to take the Oath of Office on the Koran when Keith Ellison of Minnesota was sworn into Congress earlier this term.

Who are the three GOP presidential contenders Goode has contributed to?  Tom Tancredo, Duncan Hunter, and Ron Paul.

"My name's Dr. Multimillionaire and I kicked your ass." -- Rep. Steve Kagen D-WI to Karl Rove

Goode and silent
We haven't heard much from the congressman lately, and it's a shame, he usually had some funny things to say.

I would have loved to see the look on Goode's face when he found out Ellison used a Koran owned by a former citizen of Goode's district, a man named Thomas Jefferson.

[ Parent ]
However, the looniest of the all
is a current Member of Congress with the best political  nick-name I have ever seen, Bill "Brain-Fade" Sali who earlier this year stated:

"We have not only a Hindu prayer being offered in the Senate, we have a Muslim member of the House of Representatives now, Keith Ellison from Minnesota. Those are changes ­ and they are not what was envisioned by the Founding Fathers," asserts Sali.

Sali says America was built on Christian principles that were derived from scripture. He also says the only way the United States has been allowed to exist in a world that is so hostile to Christian principles is through "the protective hand of God."

"You know, the Lord can cause the rain to fall on the just and the unjust alike," says the Idaho Republican.

According to Congressman Sali, the only way the U.S. can continue to survive is under that protective hand of God. He states when a Hindu prayer is offered, "that's a different god" and that it "creates problems for the longevity of this country."

"My name's Dr. Multimillionaire and I kicked your ass." -- Rep. Steve Kagen D-WI to Karl Rove

Nutters? Oh boy, here we go.
As I used to call the ex-Senator:  Ricky SanitaryNapkin
(seemed to absorb the camera and fillibuster on CSPAN)

Newt (the Newtie) Gingrich  oh my goodness he's from my area and I don't want to claim that!

Jesse Helms (just too many so I'm actually speechless!)

Tom (The Hammer) Delay - Bugman in his prio life squishing creatures.  Too bad he couldn't exlplain his reason for the Shiavo "err on the side of life" fiasco.

O. Hatch - Maybe just nutters like a fox... Naah!


the perverted speaker of the house for covering the perveted pedophile Mark Foley.  (hey, at least if there was a sex scandal w/Clinton it was with women and of the age of consent!) 

Um... the only one's claim as "nutters" are Arlen Spector (he's more bi-partisan) and Chuck Hagel
ummm, maybe the tide is turning.

and this is da list as I see it in my "bb in a boxcar brain." 

[ Parent ]
1 more sheesh!
Senator Ted Stevens (bridge to nowhere and porkbarrel king)

"Shut UP!  I'll quit if I don't get this"  yep like he isn't near Strom Thurman's age... 

[ Parent ]
We got plenty.
Hell, Jim Bunning and Jim Inhofe are two of the best, and they're still around.

As are Texas Reps. Sam Johnson and Lamar Smith.

I quite liked Frank Cremeans, who interrupted Ted Strickland's service in OH-06 for one term in 1994.

Also, Steve Stockman was a notable crazy person.

As was Little Ricky Santorum.

And John (Box Turtle) Cornyn.

And need I even mention Jeannette Schmidt?

Any favorite quotes?

[ Parent ]
There was, of course "cowards cut and run", from Schmidt.

Sam Johnson, during his time in the Texas Lege, called Bill hobby, arguably the most respected politician in Texas, a fascist communist. I'm not sure why, but I'll look it up.

Bunning, of course, compared Dan Mongiardo to Saddam Hussein's sons, and accused him of assaulting Bunning's wife.

My favorite is this one, from Inhofe, comparing environmentalists to Nazis:

"It kind of reminds... I could use the Third Reich, the Big Lie... You say something over and over and over and over again, and people will believe it, and that's their [the environmentalists'] strategy... A hot summer has nothing to do with global warming. Let's keep in mind it was just three weeks ago that people were saying, 'Wait a minute; it is unusually cool...."

Cornyn is famous for "None of your civil liberties matter much when you're dead", and also for "It does not affect your daily life very much if your neighbor marries a box turtle. But that does not mean it is right ... [N]ow you must raise your children up in a world where that union of man and box turtle is on the same legal footing as man and wife."

Smith is known for saying of Midnight Basketball, "All this on the theory that the person who stole your car, robbed your house and assaulted your family is no more than a would-be NBA star".

[ Parent ]
No Tom Tancredo?
How can any list of bat shit-crazy Republicans be complete without Tom Tancredo?  This is the guy who advocates bombing Muslim holy sites. 

Or what about David Duke?  I know he wasn't elected, but he was still a Republican.

Follow the elections in Georgia at the 2010 Georgia Race Tracker.

Duke was elected once
He was elected to the State House in 1989. Later on, Republican insiders decided it was probably overkill to have Bush and Reagan personally endorse Duke's opponent.

[ Parent ]
Not sure how nutty this is...
but it's one of my favorites:

Take Representative Terry Everett, a seven-term Alabama Republican who is vice chairman of the House intelligence subcommittee on technical and tactical intelligence.

"Do you know the difference between a Sunni and a Shiite?" I asked him a few weeks ago.

Mr. Everett responded with a low chuckle. He thought for a moment: "One's in one location, another's in another location. No, to be honest with you, I don't know. I thought it was differences in their religion, different families or something."

To his credit, he asked me to explain the differences. I told him briefly about the schism that developed after the death of the Prophet Muhammad, and how Iraq and Iran are majority Shiite nations while the rest of the Muslim world is mostly Sunni. "Now that you've explained it to me," he replied, "what occurs to me is that it makes what we're doing over there extremely difficult, not only in Iraq but that whole area."


And speaking of which...
Speaking of Sunnis and Shiites, Trent Lott was asked a similar question and answered, "Well, they all look the same to me!"

[ Parent ]
And speaking of which...
Par for the course since he got in trouble at Strom's 100 birthday talking about segration...etc.

[ Parent ]
Sorry for the double, but...
I just remembered a doozy from Conrad Burns:  after attending a commencement at MIT, he said he "didn't hear very many American names."  After being called on it, he explained that he'd meant to say "European" rather than "American," and that he meant it as a compliment to Asians for their high academic achievement.

The pathetic thing is, I think he was probably telling the truth.  I really do believe that's a right-winger's idea of proving he's not a racist.

A few more
"Could you picture Davy Crockett at the Alamo looking at his Blackberry getting a message from Congress? "Davy Crockett, we support you. The only thing is we are not going to send any troops." I'm sure that would really be impressive to Davy Crockett." - Todd Akin (R-MO)

There's probably a half-dozen examples from Bob Dornan and Jesse Helms.

There was the state rep or senator from Alabama who cited the biblical defense for slavery in 1996.

Oh yes, Steve Stockman was unique too.

Here's a couple of doozies from Arkansas....
When Blanch Lincoln first ran for office in '98, her opponent was a man named Fay Boozeman (not to be confused with his dimwitted kin Congressman John Boozeman).  During the course of the campaign, Boozeman let slip that in his "professional, medical opinion, a woman can't get pregnant from being raped."  Boozeman was an optometrist...come up with your own joke.  After losing to Lincoln he would be put in charge of [destroying] the state health department until he died when a barn fell on him.  I'm not making any of that up.

The granddaddy though would have to be "Joltin' Jim" Holt.  This is another challenger of Lincoln's who quipped during a debate that we should save social security by "ending abortion."  He would later bring the controversial creationist advocate Kent Hovind to testify to the state senate, and during his race with Bill Halter said that voluntary pre-K and the minimum wage were "the exact same things the Soviet Union did."  What an embarrassment.

We may have a winner with Fay Boozeman!  Somehow getting killed by a barn just makes him seem even nuttier...

[ Parent ]
A friend of mine once said that was God saying "Enough!" after he and Guv Huckster forced lots of poor kids off the ARKids health insurance rolls.

[ Parent ]
One of my favorites
Tom Cole(R-OK) saying in 2004, "if George W. Bush loses this election, Osama Bin Laden wins this election".  Another one of his doozies was, "We cannot let Bush be defeated on Social Security during a war".

Rudy Boschwitz
After losing to Paul Wellstone, Rudy Boschwitz once lamented "I'm a better Jew."

Follow the elections in Georgia at the 2010 Georgia Race Tracker.

Rudy Boschwitz
After losing to Paul Wellstone, Rudy Boschwitz once lamented "I'm a better Jew."

Follow the elections in Georgia at the 2010 Georgia Race Tracker.

Sorry for double post.

Follow the elections in Georgia at the 2010 Georgia Race Tracker.

[ Parent ]
Boschwitz said that he was a "better Jew" before the defeat. Although that's not as bad as his claims about Wellstone burning a flag in 1996.

[ Parent ]
how could all of you possibly forget...
the biggest nutter of them all: NEWT GINGRICH?!

"The idea that a congressman would be tainted by accepting money from private industry or private sources is essentially a socialist argument."

"I think one of the great problems we have in the Republican Party is that we don't encourage you to be nasty. We encourage you to be neat, obedient, loyal and faithful and all those Boy Scout words, which would be great around a campfire but a lousy" then it cut out, sorry.

if anyone has any more, please post.  i think there was one about getting rid of free speech, but i can't find it.  i hope this dumbass gets the nomination, it would not only counteract any possible anti-hillary sentiment, but might be the kiss of death for the party.

Top ten signs you're an SSPer #1: your favorite song is "Panic At Tedisco" and no one understands what you mean.

Ah, Newtie Pie
I don't remember the one about free speech, but no collection of Gingrich-isms should ever be without this one:

"If combat means living in a ditch, females have problems staying in ditches for 30 days because they get infections, and they don't have the upper body strength.  I mean some do, but they're relatively rare.  On the other hand, men are basically piglets, you drop 'em in a ditch, they roll around in it, doesn't matter, you know.  These things are very real.  On the other hand, if combat means living on an Aegis cruiser monitoring the movement of twelve carriers and their planes, a female may again be dramatically better than a male who gets very, very frustrated sitting in a chair all the time because males are biologically programmed to go out and hunt for giraffes."

[ Parent ]
Bill Frist
And his experiments on cats and his diagnosis of Terry Schiavo.

Follow the elections in Georgia at the 2010 Georgia Race Tracker.

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