Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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November 3, 2010

GETTING TO KNOW SOME OF THE REPRESENTATIVES- ELECT.... About a week ago, Salon ran an interesting item, headlined, "The 10 most terrifying would-be congressmen." I put it aside with a little note to myself: "Check to see how many of these nutjobs actually win."

The answer: half of them.

Salon's Justin Elliott and Mark Benjamin explained they "looked around and identified the 10 Republican House candidates with the most bizarre, unnerving and downright alarming baggage who just might sneak through." As of this morning, Tom Ganley (R) in Ohio's 13th, Jeff Perry (R) in Massachusetts' 10th, Brad Zaun (R) in Iowa's 3rd, and Ilario Pantano (R) in North Carolina's 7th have all lost, while Jesse Kelly (R) in Arizona's 8th appears to be losing in a not-yet-called race.

So, which of the five "most terrifying would-be congressmen" won? Some real doozies:

Allen West (R) in Florida's 22nd

West first gained notoriety during his military service in Iraq, when he was forced to retire from the Army for engaging in abusive interrogation techniques. More recently, he's incorporated violent rhetoric into his campaign speeches, and made demonstrably ridiculous claims about his own background. Last month, we learned about West's ties to a violent gang of criminals, which the Justice Department believes is involved in drug running, arson, prostitution, robbery, and murder. Yesterday, he won by eight points.

Renee Ellmers in North Carolina's 2nd

Ellmers is perhaps best known for running on a virulently anti-Muslim platform, and based much of her advertising on her opposition to the Park51 project (which is nowhere near her district). In September, she appeared utterly humiliated during an interview with CNN's Anderson Cooper, but nevertheless narrowly won yesterday.

Austin Scott in Georgia's 8th

Scott ran on a platform that would, among other things, push mandatory drug testing for those Americans who receive unemployment benefits. He won by five points.

Scott DesJarlais in Tennessee's 4th

Roll Call reported a couple of months ago that DesJarlais, during a messy break-up with his ex-wife, allegedly held a gun in his mouth for three hours and was accused of spousal abuse. He nevertheless defeated incumbent Rep. Lincoln Davis (D) yesterday in a landslide.

Ben Quayle in Arizona's 3rd

Quayle, the son of the ridiculed former V.P., is perhaps best known for having contributed to a raunchy, sex-themed website -- and then lying about it. Yesterday, he won by double-digits.

Steve Benen 11:00 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (29)

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I've said it before, + it bears repeating: I, for one, welcome our new, bat-shit crazy masters.

Palin/Hypnotoad 2012!

Posted by: Zorro on November 3, 2010 at 11:08 AM | PERMALINK

IF you are a member of the idle rich class or against the working class you had a good night.

Just remember.

Republicans destroyed the middle class... By defunding education, lax regulation, anti-union activity and tax cuts for the wealthy.  It is time the rich pay their fair share. 

Posted by: KurtRex1453 on November 3, 2010 at 11:08 AM | PERMALINK

Hopefully, the in their first act as a Congress, they'll pass out Thorazine to some of the newcomers, and give rabies shots to all others, in case these loony-tunes bite.

Posted by: c u n d gulag on November 3, 2010 at 11:11 AM | PERMALINK

Kelly and crew here in Tucson attacked Giffords endlessly and viciously. So many dishonest signs, it was amazing.

Posted by: AZ on November 3, 2010 at 11:12 AM | PERMALINK

Celebrating our great national victory of dirt.

Posted by: cld on November 3, 2010 at 11:14 AM | PERMALINK

Torturers, bigots, wife beaters, soft porn kings and chronic liars. Am certain they all love Jesus, though.

Posted by: shortstop on November 3, 2010 at 11:17 AM | PERMALINK

First bill out of the new House: All citizens shall have IOKIYAR tattod on their butts.

Posted by: martin on November 3, 2010 at 11:19 AM | PERMALINK


Even the Republican nut-jobs with obvious criminal associations will be made "hands off" by Obama's Justice Dept. Obama will want to "look forward instead of backwards" and wouldn't want to look like his people are on a "partisan witch hunt".

Nope. Leave the partisan witch hunts for the Republicans. It's what they do best (besides crippling the economy).

Posted by: SteveT on November 3, 2010 at 11:20 AM | PERMALINK

It was inevitable that the 'Crazy Caucus' would grow in the next Congress. Losing the Blue Dogs is no loss. Too bad there are still 22 of them. If Democrats didn't know it they now know that anger at government works both ways. In a binary system like ours, when you're pissed off you vote for the other party even when you don't like it. That's not rational, but it's reality.

Posted by: rrk1 on November 3, 2010 at 11:22 AM | PERMALINK

The last time the Republicans took control of the house they brought with them degenerates, hypocrites, and criminals - literally. I suspect this new bunch wont fare much better.


Scandals in the House Republican Class of 1994

Posted by: RolloTomasi on November 3, 2010 at 11:22 AM | PERMALINK

All of these wackos will turn into run-of-the-mill, bought-and-paid-for corporate stooges, obediently doing the will of Koch Industries and ExxonMobil, the minute they are sworn in.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on November 3, 2010 at 11:32 AM | PERMALINK

Morgan Griffith, who took Rick Boucher's seat in VA09 seems like a nutball. Get ready Daily Show!

Posted by: Dz on November 3, 2010 at 11:37 AM | PERMALINK

Are Congressmen subject to the security procedures of the Capitol and White House? Just an idle question...

Posted by: SP on November 3, 2010 at 11:48 AM | PERMALINK

Ben Quayle recently said his first priority as a Congressman would be to get the American English dictionary to modify the spelling of potato. But, he said, he wasn't exactly sure how it would be spelled.

Posted by: Vandal on November 3, 2010 at 11:51 AM | PERMALINK

I put it aside with a little note to myself: "Check to see how many of these nutjobs actually win."

Thus fulfilling your mandate to publicize Republicans. Next you're going to obsess over one of them for weeks or months. After that you'll then complain that the MSM narratives are always for the GOP.

Have you ever thought about, I don't know, publicizing Democrats on this so-called left wing publication?

Posted by: Observer on November 3, 2010 at 11:54 AM | PERMALINK

What does this tell you about Republican voters and their fellow travelers? How can we have a real democracy and be a successful nation in the world, with an electorate and candidates that deranged, misinformed, and unable to vote in their own best interests?

But if all the registered progressives, minority members, snobby hard-to-get independents etc had just gotten out and voted rationally, then maybe most of those would have lost, and the Repubs not taken the House. You'll have that to mull over in the future as your life as a pee-on continues to deteriorate ...

~ Those too smart to vote will be ruled by those too stupid to govern.

Posted by: Neil B on November 3, 2010 at 11:55 AM | PERMALINK

Neil B ~ Those too smart to vote will be ruled by those too stupid to govern.

A vote for a Republican is a vote for crime, and a vote for stupidity. It's a vote for building a house by shitting on a brick and throwing it at somebody.

Posted by: cld on November 3, 2010 at 11:58 AM | PERMALINK

Sportsfan79, how about showing you're a patriotic citizen who cares about the national interest. Explain for us what constructive policies your team will enact, how they will reduces taxes, spending, the deficit, etc. without wrecking a struggling economy; how they will keep good jobs in the USA, prevent further Wall Street meltdowns, rebuild our infrastructure, deal with Afghanistan and which military spending is really worthwhile, reduce the role of lobbyists, etc ?

Otherwise, the whole public is reduced to sniveling inconsolable infants. (Well, it was already infantile to vote against *their* own best interests.)

Posted by: Neil B on November 3, 2010 at 12:13 PM | PERMALINK

Yes, we understand. Wallowing in the misery of others is what makes you such a miserable excuse for a human being in the first place.
Enjoy your little victory in this battle. The war ain't over. Though you're encouraged to think that it is. The teabaggers and other white mainstays of the Republican Party are a dying breed. Your time in leadership wil be short-lived, so I'm sure you'll try to do as much harm as humanly possible to this country.

Posted by: c u n d gulag on November 3, 2010 at 12:17 PM | PERMALINK

And out here, Raul Labrador. Wants to limit government. However is vehemently anti-choice - and apparently doesn't see the dichotomy of limiting government while forcing gov't into or control over a woman's womb.

Posted by: Wordsmith on November 3, 2010 at 12:28 PM | PERMALINK

The American people have spoken...unfortunately, what they've said is "we're not too smart." Maddie Walker in Body Heat might "like that in a man," but I have a bad feeling we're not going to like that in an electorate.

Posted by: seriously on November 3, 2010 at 1:08 PM | PERMALINK

@ shortstop: Torturers, bigots, wife beaters, soft porn kings and chronic liars. Am certain they all love Jesus, though.

I've said it before and i'll say it again, Republican voters just don't care if their candidate is a demonstrable liar, hypocrite, crook or nut. They identify with the tribe, and that's all that matters. The phrase IOKIYAR didn't get coined for nothing.

...hey, wait, what's the matter with pr0n?

Posted by: Gregory on November 3, 2010 at 1:11 PM | PERMALINK

No matter how you spin the election, the Republicans won the house and diminished the lead in the Senate. Half of the blue dogs lost to more conservative (and probably crazy) opponents, many of whom never held office. Where does this do the Democrats any good?

Portraying the loss of the blue dogs as a feature only adds to the isolation of the Democratic party. I blame the Democrats for this, they failed to protect seats (yes even BD seats) that they could have won and failed to be as aggressive as Howard Dean would have been. Now you have a House that is much farther to the right, at least one crazy Senator in Rand Paul, and the possibility of even crazier Presidential candidates in 2012 who could have a chance of winning. (The latter is unlikely, however, since the more politically savvy - assuming some are left - in the Republican party will attempt to nominate a more sane person.)

In addition the state legislatures and executives are majority Republican.

The Democrats just blew it. No amount of snark can hide that fact.

Posted by: mikeyes on November 3, 2010 at 1:13 PM | PERMALINK

...hey, wait, what's the matter with pr0n?

Nothing. I mean that. But Jesus, he was so high-school freshman about it. It was all "Heh, heh, titties, heh, heh" kind of stuff.

Posted by: shortstop on November 3, 2010 at 1:24 PM | PERMALINK

@ shortstop

Ah, he appealed to his base.

Posted by: Gregory on November 3, 2010 at 1:34 PM | PERMALINK

And his dad.

Posted by: shortstop on November 3, 2010 at 2:01 PM | PERMALINK

Oh Goodie, here come the talking points from the majority..

"Cut discretionary spending"...


Cut what you sociopaths? How about the military? How about Medicare?? These lowlife mother fuckers are in it for themselves people. They and the pussy Democrats need to be voted out. What we require is an ultra progressive party with star power. Morgan Freeman for President! (PS, I have no idea where his political views lay but the voice alone can capture millions). Really sorry, I woke up from my dream/delusion.. We'll just have to see how this all plays out... again....

Posted by: Trollop on November 3, 2010 at 2:24 PM | PERMALINK

I recognize the anger and frustration with the results of this election. I would like to offer a narrative for all of us to adopt:

Imagine you are speaking with your grandchildren and great-grandchildren in about 30 years (or someone else's if you don't have any). How would you answer their question:
What did you do in your life to eliminate poverty, hunger, violence against others, homelessness and hatred? Can you identify the acts that you undertook and the words you spoke to create a better, more loving and peaceful world?

Do you have the courage to answer this question honestly? Did you vote for the candidates who addressed the issues of humanity or did you vote for the ones who preached hatred and division?

Ask the questions and answer them honestly. Even if you don't speak them out loud, you will know in your heart how you answered.

I am committed to Oneness through Justice and Transformation
st john

Posted by: st john on November 3, 2010 at 2:56 PM | PERMALINK

Ive wished to write similar to this on my webpage which has given us a concept. Cheers.

Posted by: Karena Phillips on February 2, 2011 at 11:46 AM | PERMALINK



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