Donald Trump was eerily quiet most of the week, or perhaps Ben Carson’s mounting insanity just temporarily drowned Trump’s crazy out. It is unclear what plane of reality the retired neurosurgeon is operating on when he suggests mass shooting victims should have rushed the shooters, and Jews could have prevented their own Holocaust. He then proudly relayed a story of how he once bravely faced down an armed robber by suggesting he go stick up the poor Popeye’s cashier instead. Carson ended the week by comparing himself to soldiers storming Normandy Beach on D Day and punctuated much of this unhinged talk with a bizarre giggle.
An inadvertent moment of truth-telling occurred this week, when no-longer-in-the-running-for-House Speaker Kevin McCarthy blurted out the truth about Benghazi always being a political hit job. Order was restored in the universe when right-wingers and conservatives attempted to deny this obvious truism.
1. Kasich’s very GOP woman problem? What woman problem?
Ohio Governor John Kasich — you know, the reasonable GOP presidential candidate even Rachel Maddow admits might be slightly less horrible than the others? — well, maybe not so much. Kasich’s patronizing attitude toward young women and his callous disregard for senior citizens were on full display this week. On a campaign stop at the University of Richmond, Kasich reportedly had several tone-deaf moments when he tried to relate to the young people, especially the female ones. The college paper reported that Kasich chuckled to one female student who was trying to get his attention, "I’m sorry, I don’t have any Taylor Swift tickets.”
To another female student, he said, "I’m sure you get invited to all of the parties,” the paper reported.
Now, we’re pretty sure Kasich has no idea how casually sexist (and ageist) those comments were. Why, he’s probably pleased that he even knows who Taylor Swift is. Boy, he sure knows what makes young women tick. Why was Freud even confused about what (young) women want? Kasich has it figured out.
It turns out Kasich likes to lecture silly senior citizens as much as silly school girls. At a campaign stop in New Hampshire, he chatted amicably with the crowd about how, if he gets his way, their Social Security payments may be lower than what they expect. “I’m not running a popularity contest,” he said, stating the obvious. When some audience members said that lower payments would really upset them, given that they spent a lifetime paying into the system and are counting on the income, Kasich said, "You’re just going to have to get over it.”
Ooh, good advice.
2. Bristol Palin has blog-orrhea on the subject of birth control.
We don’t normally like to say this about a woman, but Bristol Palin is kind of asking for it. The country’s least trustworthy person on the subject of birth control appears to be self-destructively drawn to the topic much as moths to the proverbial flame.
Preggers Palin inexplicably blogged this week about how terrible it is that high schoolers in Washington State are being given access to birth control.
“Life isn’t so innocent and carefree for some 10 years old in Washington State,” she wrote. “This summer a report came out claiming that some schools in Washington were giving free birth control implants to children as young as 10 years old! These birth control devices are implanted in a girl’s uterus, and all of this can be done without a parent’s consent! … It is crazy that the government is offering a controversial form of birth control that can have serious life-long side effects to 10-year-old CHILDREN, but then to do all of this behind a parent’s back is simply outrageous!”
Can’t help thinking if young Bristol had snuck some birth control in behind mama bear’s back, she might not be in this fix.
But more importantly, our advice to Bristol would be just to shut up. The program she misrepresents and decries is nothing like the program of her fevered imagination. Most of the recipients of birth control in Washington State are between the ages of 17 and 20. The very small number of recipients between the ages of 10 and 12? All we can suppose is that they really need it.
3. Climatologist and biblical scholar Michelle Bachmann has a theory about floods.
Where there is horrifically bad weather in America, there will always be some kook proclaiming it is God’s wrath for America’s sinful ways. Same-sex marriage, blah blah, abortion, yah de yah de yah.
This week the storm in question was the flooding in South Carolina, and the kook in question was Michelle Bachmann. Turns out that the severe flooding in South Carolina and parts of North Carolina — yep, God’s wrath, people. What’s God pissed off about now? U.S. policy on Israel. “US turns back on Israel, disasters following,” Bachmann tweeted. She helpfully included dramatic flood pictures from South Carolina, so her followers would know which biblical flood she was referring to.
How exactly the U.S. is turning its back on Israel is not explained. Of course, this is not the first time Bachmann has pointed out that President Obama’s foreign policy is hastening the End Times. They are nigh, people! Time to take that crash course in ark building.
4. Rupert Murdoch has decided he is the arbiter of who is black. Stunningly, Ben Carson agrees with him.
Very rich, very white and very conservative right-wing media baron Rupert Murdoch gave himself a new title this week: arbiter of all things black. Murdoch, who enjoys tweeting his ill-advised stupidity almost as much as Donald Trump does, tweeted his support for Dr. Ben Carson, who is apparently Murdoch’s kind of black man, and then denigrated President Obama. “Ben and Candy Carson are terrific,” Murdoch crowed. See what a friend he is to black people? He thinks the two of them are “terrific.” The tweet continued: “What about a real black president who can properly heal the racial divide.”
Apart from the shocking audacity that he, an 84-year-old white billionaire, should even utter the phrase “real black,” it’s pretty clear that Murdoch and Carson share the view that healing the racial divide means simply denying the existence of racism and blaming black people for all their problems.
Slammed on Twitter and brilliantly lambasted by late-night comedians (“He can kiss my real black ass,” Larry Wilmore said), Murdoch backpedaled, kind of. He needn’t have: Carson swiftly and reliably came to Murdoch’s defense saying the media mogul is not a racist. Because, of course he isn’t. Because in Ben Carson’s universe, there are no racists.
5. Donald Trump says truly absurd thing about Hillary Clinton.
Sure, the Benghazi witch hunt has been fully exposed as the political hit job it always was, but Donald Trump is still more than happy to pander to anti-Clintonites by hammering away at the nonexistent email scandal. Trump had to do something to get back in the spotlight Ben Carson has been stealing all week. With slightly declining poll numbers, and having admitted he would drop out if he wasn’t going to win (because Trump is no loser; a quitter, maybe, but not a loser), Trump tried to get his mojo back at the end of the week.
First he told "Morning Joe" that he would never quit, so there. Then he told a rowdy partisan crowd that Hillary Clinton shouldn’t even be allowed to run, but the Democrats are still going to let her. “If a Republican did what she did, with the email thing, they would be in jail,” he said referencing nothing. “It’s very unfair.”
The crowd roared.
Yes, Republicans are being jailed left and right for things like email infractions. Lying (about everything, but most recently Planned Parenthood, as Fiorina has, and encouraging racist violence against Latinos, as Trump has) is no bar to running for president, but Clinton’s umpteenth manufactured scandal is—there oughta be a law.