Any week with a Republican debate is bound to be chock-a-block full of truly shockingly awful statements these days. Somehow, we’ve become almost inured to what this gang of extremists spews on a daily basis. Islamophobia, bellicosity, cruelty toward immigrants and refugees, hysteria about ISIS, same old same old.
But this week contained a few gems you might have missed. Here’s a rundown.
1. Trump’s crazy spokeswoman Katrina Pierson makes mind-bendingly bizarre connection.
Katrina Pierson, it should now be amply clear, is a nutjob. But she’s a nutjob who adores her some Trump, so he gave her a job as his spokesperson. Earlier this week, some of Pierson’s questionable tweets in the last few years came to light. They included:
“This corrupt country has a head Negro in charge. What is he doing for blk children? He's helping everybody else, Why?” (March 2013)
“Perfect Obama's dad born in Africa, Mitt Romney's dad born in Mexico. Any pure breeds left?”
None of these tweets gave Donald Trump a single second of pause about hiring her.
Asked about the tweets on CNN, Pierson not only doubled down on these views, she blamed the liberal media cabal for causing them, digging them up and now asking about them.
“Look, these tweets––I’m an activist, and I am a half-breed, I’m always getting called a half-breed, and on Twitter, when you’re fighting with Twitter and even the establishment, you go back at them in the same silliness they’re giving you,” she explained oh-so coherently. “So I myself am a half-breed.”
Furthermore, obviously this line of questioning is exactly why her boss is skipping the Fox debate this week, she argued in a death-defying leap of logic. Because of this liberal media conspiracy against both her and her boss, and the veterans both she and her boss love so dearly that he all of a sudden needs to throw a benefit for them while he skips the debate.
Fox now stands accused of being part of the liberal media cabal. Wow, just wow.
2. Ben Carson spouts vintage gibberish.
We’re really going to miss former Republican frontrunner Ben Carson—after he presumably fades into oblivion—because he says things like this during debates:
“Putin is a one-horse, uh, country. Oil and energy.” This was his verbatim response to a question about Russia.
The collective response was, Huh?
Carson went on to name some Baltic countries and it kind of sounded as though he may have threatened to invade some of them, but it was very difficult to tell.
For his closing statement, he recited, trancelike, his version of the preamble to the Constitution. No one knows exactly why. Perhaps he thought it was a filibuster and he should just fill the air with random words?
We the People of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, ensure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.
Then he concluded: "Folks, it's not too late. Enough said."
No, no. Please say more, Dr. Carson. Before you exit the stage.
3. Ultra-conservative radio host in Iowa said this truly frightening thing.
In the midst of Donald Trump’s hissy fit with Fox News, we learned, much to our astonishment, that the channel is not nearly conservative enough for some folks. This blows our mind. It also frightens us.
"Most of my audience has a bipolar feeling about Fox News," Steve Deace, the conservative Iowa radio host who is backing Ted Cruz, said during an interview with CNN this week. "They view it as the most reliable place to go for news coverage, but they have grown increasingly untrusting of it when it comes to analysis."
Whoa! Wait a second. Most reliable place for news coverage?
"I saw this beginning in 2008, I saw a lot more of it in 2012, I see even more of it now," Deace continued. "Their feeling is that most of the Bush establishment people they put on there, from Brit Hume to [Charles] Krauthammer to Karl Rove, have been in the tank all along for anybody other than Trump and Cruz."
Fortunately, and this is comforting to know, hard-right conservatives still have some heroes on Fox News, like Sean Hannity and Eric Bolling.
And O’Reilly. Please let them still love O’Reilly. Or have those New York values gotten to Papa Bear as well?
4. Bill O’Reilly and Trump had this ridiculous and kind of hilarious exchange.
The Donald had a chat with the O’Reilly Factor this week in the midst of the kerfuffle about the ratings-grabbing frontrunner’s boycott of the Fox debate. Trump likes O’Reilly, who has always been “nice” to him, or “fair” in Trump’s view, which translates for the rest of us into “fawning.” Unlike that woman! The one with the “blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her whatever.”
It quickly became clear that O’Reilly’s assignment was to reel the Donald back in. To beg, to grovel and to bring all the dignity of his role as elder statesman of the Fox tribe.
“Will you just consider,” O’Reilly said, “I want you to consider, all right? Think about it. Look, I might come back. Forgive, go forward, answer the questions, look out for the phones. You owe me milkshakes. I’ll take them off the ledger, if you just consider.”
If this sounds a tad pathetic, it’s not. O’Reilly’s read The Art of the Deal.
Milkshakes, man! C’mon!
“Well, even though you and I had an agreement that you would not ask me that,” Trump replied. “Which we did. I will therefore forget that you asked me that.”
Nervous laughter from O’Reilly. We’re still friends, right Donald? Right? I’ll still buy you milkshakes.
“You’re actually telling the truth there,” O’Reilly said, attempting to preserve some semblance of dignity. See how my good pal Donald and I can josh around?
Donald was not finished with the spanking. “Because I told you upfront,” he wagged his finger. “I said, don’t ask me that question.”
Donald was vewwy vewwy disappointed in Bill, and Bill was vewwy vewwy sad. He had failed, epically. He was, in a word, a loser.
5. One of our favorite governors has a great idea to address the drug epidemic, chop chop.
Maine governor Paul LePage does not like drug dealers. We learned a few weeks ago that the New England tea partier especially does not like drug dealers with names like, “D-Money, Smoothie and Shifty" who bring drugs up to his state, and then, “Incidentally, half the time they impregnate a young white girl before they leave, which is a real sad thing because then we have another issue we have to deal with down the road," LePage said. Later he was surprised that people thought that was a little racist.
This week, LePage showed his usual measured approach to his state’s drug problem when he proposed that drug dealers like good ole D-Money, Smoothie and Shifty have their heads lopped off in the town square. This proposal came about in his weekly radio address to his adoring public. First LePage argued that "the death penalty should be the law" for dealers. Then he elaborated:
"I think these people—there's nothing good enough for these people. I think four years is not good enough, we've got to go to 20 years, we've got to keep them here until they die."
Upon further reflection, he figured that might take too long.
"If you want my honest opinion, we should give them an injection of the stuff they sell," LePage frothed. "I'm just appalled at people getting angry at me for making a comment when they protect these people. And the ACLU, mind you, is the worst organization in the state of Maine protecting these people."
The show’s hosts thought that pretty much capped off the interview and tried to mercifully conclude it, but LePage was not done.
"What I think we ought to do is bring the guillotine back," LePage interrupted. "We could have public executions.”
He is the thinking man’s governor.