Sunday, March 2, 2014

21st Century Republicans

Michele Bachmann's effervescent glow

Is the Republican Party caught in a time warp?

In 2012, the NASA Rover Curiosity landed on Mars. Google virtual reality goggles were invented, as were self-inflating tires, fuel-cell powered MacBooks, and mind-controlled
 cybernetic limbs. There were major advances in stem cell research, and two molecular biologists in the United Kingdom created RNA, the first synthetic information-storing molecule. And the National Institute of Health decided that it would no longer conduct medical research on chimpanzees.

But the Republican Party was stuck somewhere way back in America's ugly past, with presidential candidates to match. 

Every week or two a different grotesque captured the fancy of Republican primary voters who couldn't accept Mitt Romney as their standard bearer. There was Newt Gingrich, who'd hooked up with his second wife while he was still married to his first wife (who had paid for his law school education) and met his third wife, an intern, while he was still with his second wife (and orchestrating the impeachment of Bill Clinton for his indiscretions with an intern). 

Then there were Herman Cain, a candidate with zero government experience who faced multiple sexual harassment charges, and Rick Perry, a climate change-denying Texas governor who was in bed with right-wing religious extremists. Rick Santorum, who'd lost his Senate seat by 20 points in 2006, had railed against "the dangers of contraception" and said that gay marriage rights were the gateway to "man on dog" relations. And last but not least, there was Michele Bachmann, a Minnesota Millenarian who criticized evolution thusly, "Where do we say that a cell became a blade of grass, which
the honorable Governor Rick Perry
became a starfish, which became a cat, which became a donkey, which became a human being? There's a real lack of evidence from change from actual species to a different type of species."

I thought the crushing defeat in the 2012 presidential election might wake the GOP up, might convince the Powers That Be to keep the crazies in their party locked in the closet, but the Republican Party is truly the gift that keeps on giving. Even as science, technology, and the human race evolve, vocal sectors of the Republican Party remain stuck in reverse—and proud of it.      

To capture this bizarre phenomena in real time, I am christening a semi-regular new series—"21st Century Republicans"—where I will share surreal GOP episodes of bigotry, misogyny, or hostility to science and reason.

Included here are just the examples from the past week. 

"Powerful GOP lobbyist drafts bill to ban gay athletes from playing in the NFL"

"Virginia Republican Says A Pregnant Woman Is Just A 'Host,' Though 'Some Refer To Them As Mothers'"

"Utah lawmaker targets women with new divorce barriers so men aren't 'surprised'"

"Utah state Rep. Jim Nielson (R) says that he is sponsoring a bill to force divorcing couples to take classes because he says that men are often 'surprised' when women want to end the marriage.

"The Associated Press reported on Tuesday that Nielson had filed a bill that would require couples to take part of mandatory divorces classes even sooner than the law required when Utah became the first state with the mandate in 1994. Nielson would like to see couples take at least half of the $55 two-hour classes at the beginning of divorce process."

"Texas Republican Says Ranchers Should be Able to Shoot 'Wetbacks,' Calls Obama a 'Socialist Son of a Bitch'" 

"Anti-LGBT researcher Paul Cameron open to death penalty for ‘dangerous’ gay ‘parasites’"

"Fox news guest tells Hannity:  'Overfed' non-whites use food stamps as a 'fat pill'"

"Tea Party Nation says Brewer’s Veto will mean mandatory penis cakes for 'homosexual weddings'"

"Maine Republican regrets saying men should rape women if abortion is legal"

"George Will: It’s ‘not neighborly’ for LGBT people to ask for equal rights"

There you have it. A window into the mindset of the Republican Party in 2014. To be continued.  

p.s. feel free to email new stories to 


Other political writing by Dan Benbow:

"Reasonable Doubt: 50 questions for lone gunman theorists"

"Martin Luther King, Jr.'s Road to the Mountaintop"

"The Master of Low Expectations: 666 Reasons Sentient Citizens are Still Celebrating the Long Overdue Departure of George W. Bush"


  1. Well put,Dan! Maybe Pat Buchanan didn't have the Republican Freak Show in mind when he said the party was a big tent---but they sure do all seem to fit in there snugly and feel at home, don't they!!

  2. Sarah Palin aka "The Whore of Babylon" is nothing more than a domestic terrorist poisoning the weak and feeble minds of America. The only thing Amazing about her new show (Amazing America with Sarah Palin) is yet another network took a chance on this proven loser. Please watch this music video I did back in 2008 called The Sarah Palin Smackdown. Thanx and peace~