Sunday, July 07, 2013

The stupid files

"We will never have the elite, smart people on our side." Ex-sen. Rick Santorum 9/15/12 
"We've got to stop being the stupid party." Gov. Bobby Jindal, LA 1/25/13
At this point in the political cycle, whenever a Republican or high-profile conservative says something stupid or offensive, we often find ourselves thinking, "I hope someone is saving this for the election." At least I think that. I've decided to take up part of that burden. I welcome your contributions.

This is how I'm defining my file: I'm collecting quotes of Republicans sayings thing that are stupid in the sense that Bobby Jindal meant. Let's parse that.

By "quote," I mean it must be an exact quote that anyone can understand, not a paraphrase or a summary. Soundbites are the best. This is problem with some people. Louie Gohmert is a treasure chest of stupidity, but his best works are hidden in long rambling statements of twisted logic that end with bestiality. Every quote needs to be documented by a link to a news source, not a Facebook meme.

By "Republicans," I mean actual office holding Republicans (federal, state, or local offices all count), GOP party officials (again, at any level), and high-profile former office holders. I do not want conservative pundits, talk radio hosts, televangelists, or Fox News personalities. Right Wing Watch does a good enough job of documenting those. Naturally, those who are up for reelection next year are highly desirable, but, if I keep doing this, the real value of the project will come in three and five years when governors and senators who thought they had left this stuff far in the past come up for reelection.

This brings us to "stupid." What I do not mean by stupid are positions that are just plain wrong, or that will get Democrats and liberals fired up. I want actually stupid: scientifically, logically, or politically stupid. Ignorant statements about history or geography are good. Paranoid conspiracy mongering is also good. Anti-intellectualism is nice. I want things that independents, some kinds of libertarians, or even non-teaparty Republicans will be turned off by. Denying global warming is wrong; saying wind farms will use up all the wind and make the world hotter is stupid. Being against legal abortion is wrong; saying the body has a way to shut that down is stupid. Thinking Africa is a country or not knowing Libya is in Africa are both stupid. Overt racism and sexism are stupid; policies that have racist or sexist implications are not. Opposing a citizenship path for undocumented immigrants is wrong; saying such a path will force people who do not want to be citizens to become citizens against their will is stupid. Extra points will be awarded for scientific stupidity by members of the two congressional science committees.

Send me your nominations. I'll put up a list of inductees every month. You can put your nominations in the comments here, send them to archymarquis at aol dot com, or message them to me on  Twitter (@archymck).

Meanwhile: Some folks need to take up some of the other categories of outrageousness in the GOP and the right in general. Rudeness by Republicans (Obama is Hitler), paranoia from Republicans (he's coming to our guns and Bibles), violent rhetoric from the right in general (calls for a violent revolution, hints of assassination, threats of street-thuggery), these all need trackers and, since these aren't just oppo research, these need to be researched further back.