Joseph Wyatt: GOP not so grand anymore
CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Do not take it from me. In mid-December, Republican House Speaker John Boehner blasted far-right elements such as the Heritage Foundation and Americans for Prosperity who "have lost all credibility," Boehner said.
Consistent with Mr. Boehner's conclusion, below is a monthly compendium of exemplary episodes in which the most rabid radical righties of conservatism have drifted yet further from Christ's teachings.
In January, 10 weeks after Hurricane Sandy, 179 conservative members of the U.S. House voted to withhold aid for suffering populations of New York and New Jersey. In the Senate, another 36 followed suit, even though 31 of them had received disaster aid for their own states.
Ted Nugent was a special guest of conservative Rep. Steve Stockman (R-Texas) at February's State of the Union address -- because Nugent is a patriot, Stockman said. Nugent dodged the draft, had an affair with an under-aged girl, has said the South should have won the Civil War, was kicked off the Kiss farewell tour because of his racist comments and entertained a giddy concert audience with a rant in which he shouted that the president should, "suck on this," as he displayed an assault-style rifle.
Despite the negative votes of 22 conservative senators and 138 conservative representatives, in February the Congress passed renewal of the Violence Against Women Act.
At March's Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), Ann Coulter called Bill Clinton a rapist. Tucker Carlson claimed that murdered abortion provider Dr. George Tiller was guilty of "Nazi stuff." Phyllis Schlafly said that it isn't possible that women can be raped by their husbands; and Fox News' Brent Bozell called the president a "skinny crackhead."
In April, conservative Rep. Louie Gomert (R-Texas) baselessly claimed the Obama administration, ". . . has so many members of the Muslim Brotherhood [advising it] . . . ."
In May, conservative commentator and Fox News employee Charles Krauthammer wrote that the earth's "temperatures are the same as 16 years ago." His rationale? The year 1997 was unusually warm. He remains mum on the 10 warmest years on record, each of which has occurred in the past two decades.
In June, former GOP presidential candidate Bob Dole, observed the radicalization of the party and advised it to hang out a "closed for repairs" sign.
Closer to home, July saw revelations that our new state attorney general, conservative Patrick Morrisey, had gutted the AG's consumer protection division. Additionally, we learned that Mr. Morrisey stays up nights to author intimidating inquiries, such as "Will you wear a name tag?" which he aims like tiny darts at individuals whose activities offend. Morrisey's targets have included providers of safe abortions and those who wish to help everyday citizens get health insurance, via Obamacare.
By September, a number of spiteful conservative governors had rejected the Obamacare expansion of Medicaid and, thus, had denied five million working poor an opportunity to be insured.
The October partial government shutdown threw 800,000 out of work and cost the economy $24 billion. Nevertheless, the leading congressional conservative presidential candidates, (Ryan, Rubio, Paul and Cruz) voted to continue the shutdown. Their grandstanding failed.
In November, Virginia voters rejected radically conservative candidates in all five state level votes. Losers included Ken Cuccinelli, the candidate for governor. Cuccinelli would have pushed for the medically unnecessary trans-vaginal probe legislation and would prefer to outlaw any form of sex other than the penile-vaginal variety. In his spare time he decided that Planned Parenthood has been worse for blacks than the KKK.
For once it is appropriate to say, "Amen, Brother Boehner."
Wyatt is a Gazette contributing columnist and a Marshall University professor.