It just gets worse and worse. You might have thought enslavement and mass murdering people would be off the table as policy prescriptions for dealing with immigration, but then you haven’t being paying attention to the GOP primary race lately.
Donald Trump’s idea to build a wall between the U.S. and Mexico once seemed like the worst idea imaginable. Now, it falls almost quaintly in the middle of the pack of horrific GOP ideas. Right-wing radio host Jan Mickelson, close pal to Ted Cruz et al. suggested enslavement of the undocumented this week. The ever reasonable Dr. Ben Carson thought, hey, why not drone the border?
Not to be outdone, Trump celebrated the “passion” of two supporters who beat up a homeless man in Boston for no other reason than the fact that he appeared to be Hispanic. These are dark, dark days with no apparent let-up in sight, and inflammatory rhetoric that is increasingly inciting actual violence is being normalized. Here’s a sampling of five outrageous right-wing moments this week.
1. Trump thinks sometimes passionate Americans beat people up, and that is apparently okay with him.
You might have thought this a while ago, but now it’s official. As journalist Matt Taibbi noted, Trump just stopped being funny. Full stop. The yuckfest is over.
That line was officially crossed when the GOP frontrunner tacitly endorsed two thuggish supporters who beat an apparently homeless Hispanic man in Boston. They did that because they, like their Trump hero, want to make America great again. A reporter asked Trump about it and Trump first said he had not heard of the incident. After a brief pause, he added, "I will say, the people that are following me are very passionate. They love this country. They want this country to be great again. But they are very passionate, I will say that."
As with all of his myriad outrageous and incendiary statements, he has not rethought or dialed that back one iota. For that is not his way. And it never will be, no matter what horrific venom spews from his mouth, or what horrors he inspires his “passionate” supporters to do.
2. Ben Carson has already endorsed torture, why not drone the border?
The good and gentle-seeming doctor is not to be outdone. During the GOP debate on Fox, he staked out the position that it would be fine to torture our prisoners in warfare, just not be a big blabbermouth about it. Why not go it one better, and drone the border to keep immigrants out, he suggested this week at a rally in Phoenix. After all, he reasons, why would we not use every tool available to us? We want to win, don’t we?
Plus, it will save Mr. Trump the trouble of building that gold-plated wall with the nice door in it.
Later, Carson clarified his point, a clarification that sounded a lot like his argument for allowing our military to torture prisoners at the debate.
“The take-home point is this. We have excellent military leaders,” he said. “We need to employ their expertise because this is a war we are fighting. That’s the bottom line.”
So, if it’s a military dictatorship Republicans are yearning for, Ben Carson may well be their guy.
3. Andrea Tantaros is concerned that men no longer have anything they can exclude women from.
Fox’s show "Outnumbered" is the network’s attempt to appeal to the lady demographic and sort of talk their version of women’s issues. Those women’s issues often include helpful relationship advice like meeting your man at the door in lingerie, like a good little woman. So, it's must-watch TV.
Naturally, "Outnumbered" was very interested in the news that two women have successfully graduated from the Army’s grueling Ranger School, making military history. Andrea “America is awesome!” Tantaros is concerned about the fellas, though. “I believe in equality and all those things,” she said, somewhat unconvincingly, “but there seems to be this sense that men can’t have anything to themselves anymore. They’re, like, kicking down the doors like golf clubs and Navy SEALs...we have to be everywhere in the name of empowerment.”
Then this women-oriented co-host who believes in equality, and all those things, and that "rape culture is actually a war on boys," expressed some further worry about the menfolk. “We should care about how these [men] feel. It’s not always about the women.” Except when it’s about making your man a sandwich after sex, or having your toenails done at an “all-girl spa,” which she firmly believes is what women really want, after all.
4. Rick Santorum tries to sound as hardline as other GOP contenders on immigration, unaware that the lines have completely changed.
Largely irrelevant GOP presidential candidate Rick Santorum is having trouble keeping up with the Trumps and the Carsons for insane statements, but he did helpfully weigh in on the immigration debate this week.
He simply suggested that deporting parents of U.S. citizens was a fine idea because that’s what we do with other kinds of “criminals” like bank robbers.
"It’s like someone who robs a bank because they want to feed their family," the former Pennsylvania senator said in a speech at the National Press Club that very few people gave a damn about. "Do I feel bad that they don't have enough money and they felt the need to rob a bank and provide for their family? Of course I feel bad, we all feel bad.... But that doesn't obviate the fact that they've broken the law and that there are consequences to breaking the law."
Poor Santorum, he obviously cannot keep up with the level of hateful insanity it takes to rise in the crowded Republican pack of presidential hopefuls this year.
He also stopped short of calling for a repeal of the 14th Amendment automatically granting birthright citizenship to babies born in the U.S., although he did suggest he would look more closely at the Amendment on the chance that it doesn’t actually say what everyone agrees it says.
Ha! And he calls himself a hardliner!
5. Ted Cruz puts crazy and scary words together that make it sound like Christians are being horribly persecuted in this country.
To no one’s surprise, Ted Cruz made a series of vile statements this week about how Christians are being persecuted because they can’t discriminate against gays. This is his definition of “religious liberty.”
During a cookout at an Iowa State Fair, Cruz got into a dispute with the actress Ellen Page, who pointed out to him that “religious liberty” has long been used to justify discrimination against vulnerable groups. Asked whether he is comfortable with the fact that in some states, gay and trans people are fired for being themselves, he replied, "We should not be persecuting people...for their religious faith."
See what he did there with that cleverly timed pause. He almost made you think he cares about anti-LGBT persecution. But of course, he doesn’t, silly.
Another thing Cruz did this week is visit the radio host Jan Mickelson, who recently suggested enslaving undocumented immigrants. Cruz used the opportunity to rail against the gay “jihad” waged on Christians and the “atheist Taliban” that supports that "jihad."
Oh, for crissakes.
“There is an assault on faith and an assault on religious liberty that we see across this country and it has never been as bad as it is right now,” Cruz said, claiming that “radical atheists and liberals” are “driving any acknowledgment of God out of the public square.”
Driving God out of the public square, he said, is contrary to the Constitution, which he appears not to have read in a very long time.