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May 19, 2014 3:09 PM Mr. Hammer-and-Sickle Back With Some Ripe Homophobia

By Ed Kilgore

Earlier today I featured a bizarre video by Brian Slowinski, a long-shot candidate in the Republican competition to succeed everybody’s favorite wingnut, Paul Broun. I didn’t realize until today that another renowned champion of the mad fringe, Southern Baptist minister and radio gabber Jody Hice, is also in that race and actually has a decent chance of making a runoff.

Hice is drawing national attention right now with his ravings on same-sex marriage (you know, that issue Republican pols never talk about because Rebranding).

Here’s what Buzzfeed’s Andrew Kaczynski managed to glean from just a single recent episode of Jody’s radio show:

He says “homosexuals have the right to be married” just not “to one another.” And that children need two parents of different genders to grow up in the most “healthy, psychological, emotional, spiritual, physical” environment.
Hice calls it “totally unreasonable” to compare marriage equality with the Civil Rights struggle because “you cannot change your race” but “thousands and thousands of people” have chosen not to be gay.
He adds that “our Constitution does not protect sexual preference,” and compares the lack of a parent of one gender in same-sex couple with children to “losing mom or dad in a car accident.”

Nice, Hice.

But if the name sounds familiar, it’s because Hice also ran for Congress (in the pre-redistricting 7th congressional district) and made a Republican runoff in 2010. He entered that race with some notoriety from his endorsement of John McCain for president from his pulpit in 2008, a deliberate provocation aimed at IRS regulations banning electioneering activity by tax-exempt religious organizations (somehow, the conservative-targeting IRS did not take the bait). But during the congressional campaign he put up billboards on interstate highways with the slogan, “Tired of Obama’s Change,” with the “C” in “Change” turned into a hammer-and-sickle. Challenged about this imagery, he allowed as how he wasn’t for certain sure Obama was a communist, but since the president was obviously a “socialist,” linking him to the former Soviet Union seemed fair.

Who knows, if he makes another runoff, maybe Hice will bring back the hammer-and-sickle. But it looks like the 10th district race will be a tough choice for “constitutional conservatives.”

Ed Kilgore is a contributing writer to the Washington Monthly. He is managing editor for The Democratic Strategist and a senior fellow at the Progressive Policy Institute. Find him on Twitter: @ed_kilgore.

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