Thursday night’s tenth GOP presidential debate was, ironically, best summed up by CNN’s closed captioner for the hearing impaired.
Last night’s Republican presidential debate was many things, but you only need to watch about 30 seconds to get the gist of it.
That pretty much says it all.
Hired to caption the debate for the hearing impaired, this anonymous individual instead spoke for all of us who watched the debacle, and were appalled and a little frightened at how far the GOP has devolved.
Shooting Down Political Discourse
Texas’ new law allowing licensed gun owners to carry handguns on public university campuses goes into effect on August 1, but it’s already having an impact. Under the law, private universities may still ban guns from their campuses, and none in Texas has allowed guns in their classrooms or dormitories. However, the Texas attorney general’s office has issued an opinion that no limits may be placed on students carrying guns in classrooms and dormitories at public universities.
Faculty members at the University of Houston expressed concern that guns in the classroom could chill debate. They didn’t have to wait long to be proven right. Jonathan Snow, president of the faculty senate, told the university regents, “Academics know the intrusion of gun culture into campus inevitably harms academic culture.”
For professors, this means that before discussing controversial topics they now have to wonder just which students are packing heat. To that end, at a meeting to discuss the law, the University of Houston played a slideshow that warned faculty to “avoid sensitive topics” and “provocative statements.”
At least one Texas professor is leaving for relatively saner climes. Frederick Steiner, the dean of the University of Texas’ architecture program announced that he’s leaving the school, partly due to the state’s insane law allowing guns on college campuses. Steiner said the new policies around the law “don’t make any logical sense at all.” Steiner added, “How do you criticize someone when you know or suspect that they have a firearm? Having been in those situations, people can lose their tempers. That’s not a situation where a firearm would enhance the experience.”
Four months ago, an economics professor at UT Austin quit over the “campus carry” law, and moved all the way to Australia. After 15 years at UT, Steiner will leave to head the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Design.
I’ll say it again. This is how the right-wing shoots down political discourse.
Here’s the rest of the best of wingnuttery this week:
- Anti-government attorney Kory Langhofer said during a panel discussion on KPNX that deceased Supreme Court Justice Antonin could vote “from the grave,” to ensure conservative majorities in the cases under consideration when he died.
- Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-Kan.) said that military leaders have a constitutional duty to disobey any orders from President Obama about closing Guantanamo Bay prison.
- Glenn Beck urged his fans to join him in “a fast for Ted Cruz, our country and the Nevada caucus.” Beck called Cruz a “new George Washington, and said ”if Donald Trump wins, it’s going to be a snowball to hell.”
- Beck also warned that failure to elect Cruz would lead to “violent revolution.”
- Former presidential candidate Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) told the audience at the Washington Press Club Congressional Dinner that his party had gone “batshit crazy,” and asked, “How did I lose to these people?” Graham added, “If you kill Ted Cruz on the Senate floor, and the trial is at the Senate, no one will convict you.”
- Conspiracy theorist Alex Jones warned listeners, “…they are going to kill Donald Trump,” as part of the “plan to cause a revolution, because we’re winning winning informationally.”
- Newt Gingrich reminded the “Fox & Friends” gang, “Look, you can say that Trump is the candidate Fox & Friends invented.”
- Fox News host Kimberly Guilfoyle said that asking for Trump’s tax returns is “discrimination” against rich people.
- GOP presidential candidate John Kasich said that Ohio women “left their kitchens” to help him get elected in his early days of running for office.
- When CNN guest and former NYPD detective Harry Houck claimed that Beyonce’s song/video “Formation ” is racist, his fellow panelist laughed in his face.
- Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant has declared April “Confederate Heritage Month.”
- Speaking of confederates, apparently 20 percent of Donald Trump’s supporters don’t think Abraham Lincoln’s decision to free enslaved Africa-Americans was the right thing to do.
- During an appearance on Glenn Beck’s program to honor Black History Month, right-wing historian Dave Barton declared, “Blacks were not able to free themselves, whites did,” because whites in Congress passed the 13th and 14th amendments. Never mind that there weren’t any blacks on Congress when the 13th and 14th amendments were passed.
- Georgia state Republican senator Greg Kirk was forced to admit the proposed “religious liberty” bill he sponsored would protect the Ku Klux Klan as a faith-based organization.
- The Georgia-based telecommunications company, 373K, Inc. announced that it would relocate after Georgia state senators passed the “religious freedom bill.” “I’m gay, our CFO is gay, we have people from every walk of life working here,” co-founder Kelvin Williams said. “We don’t tolerate that kind of crap.”
- Jefferson County Parish Sheriff Newell Normand might be a Republican, but that didn’t stop him from unleashing a blistering critique of former Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal. Claiming that Jindal’s leadership destroyed the state he loves, Normand said, “ Bobby Jindal was a better cult leader than Jim Jones. We drank the elixir for eight years. We remained in a conscious state. We walked to the edge of the cliff and we jumped off and he watched us and guess what? Unlike Jim Jones he did not swallow the poison. What a shame.”
- In Arizona, Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery said his office will no longer give employees iPhones, because Apple is “on the side of the terrorists.”
- Having learned nothing from Todd Akin, Idaho Republican state Rep. Pete Nielsen claimed during a legislative hearing that rape does not result in pregnancy, “because of the trauma of the incident.” Nielsen added, “That may be true with incest a little bit.”
- Illinois state Republican legislators proposed a bill to deny financial aid to single mothers if a father isn’t listed on a newborn’s birth certificate. Republican state Rep. Jeanne Ives likely agrees. Ives recently said she was “not interested in providing childcare to people when you don’t even know the paternity.”
- Pat Robertson railed against the Department of Education’s finding that transgender youth are protected under federal anti-discrimination law. Robertson said it was “insane” to debate transgender rights when we’re “facing thermonuclear annihilation.”