THE BLOG

This Is Why We Can't Have Nice Things

01/30/2014 07:26 pm ET | Updated Apr 01, 2014

Obama's State of the Union address gave conservatives a lot of opportunities to run their crazy flags up the proverbial vaginal probe this week. Faced with a Congress in serious need of maximum strength ex-lax, Obama laid out a plan for legislating by executive order -- raising the minimum wage for federal contractors, for one, saying that, "If you cook our troops' meals and wash their dishes, you shouldn't have to live in poverty."

Conservatives panicked.

"He's president of the United States!" cried recurring nightmare Rep. Michele Bachmann. "He's not a king!" she said, ignoring (or ignorant of) the fact that -- according to the American Presidency Project -- Obama has issued fewer executive orders per year than any president in the last 125 years. Others labeled the president "Kommandant" and a "socialistic dictator."

Conservatives really didn't need a State of the Union address from a (black) president to strut around the national stage in their clown shoes. Just listen to the right-wing WorldNetDaily's columnist Lord Monckton, who claims that the only way to save democracy is to disenfranchise anyone who receives any government benefits -- "everything from food stamps to Medicaid to Medicare." According to Monckton, anyone who is unemployed, old or low-income votes Democrat; therefore, they shouldn't be allowed to vote. Stop the vote and save democracy!

This is not to say that the GOP has completely run out of ideas. Not at all! Just listen to Mike Turner, the State Representative in Oklahoma who, terrified that it could ever be legal in his state for gay people to marry, has proposed a statewide ban on marriage entirely. Not a ban on gay marriage. A ban on all marriages. No one, straight or gay, according to Turner, should be allowed to marry anyone else -- if it means that any citizen of Oklahoma could marry someone of the same sex.

We've heard liberal arguments before that the government shouldn't play any role in the religious sacrament of "marriage" -- that "marriage" should be left to the church, that the government should offer civil unions for everyone else. But we've never heard a conservative call for a ban on all marriages entirely.

Is this is a contemporary conservative's definition of "traditional values"? Or is it a politico's version of a grade-school teacher who, deciding that one student has misbehaved, punishes the whole class?

We suspect that -- just like the conservative candidate who lobbied recently to airlift the U.S. Capitol to the state of Nebraska -- this is simply a small-time politician's stunt to get national attention. And, once again, we're dutifully giving it to him. (We admit it.)

But we consider what we're doing -- giving yet another crazy person the attention he craves -- to be a kind of public service. After all, if we didn't give these guys what they wanted, they'd do something crazier.

We know you're tempted to say it's not possible for them to get nuttier. But crazy conservatives have carved out a permanent podium on the national stage. After all, if Mike Huckabee can become a presidential frontrunner by claiming that women want insurance to cover contraception because they're incapable of controlling their own libidos, is anything out of bounds? Is there no idea too crazy to propel a conservative to a GOP rising star? What's next? What do YOU think?

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