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Jim Hightower: Welcome to GOP Nutland

Todd Akin's tutorial on 'legitimate rape' not the only display of right-wing nuttiness

While it’s hard to fathom right-wing nuttiness, it’s sure not hard to find these days.

We saw it bloom spectacularly recently, popping right out of the head of Todd Akin, the GOP’s Senate candidate in Missouri. The learned congressman gave America a twisted tutorial on the imaginary science of “legitimate rape,” including an astonishing assertion of his belief in medical mojo. Akin explained that raped women don’t get pregnant because — according to his grasp of reproductive science — the female body has ways “to shut that whole thing down.”

Whoa, screamed Mitt Romney and the entire Republican hierarchy, as they rushed to declare Akin out-of-bounds, unacceptable and ... well, nutty.

But wait. Guess who’s presently cosponsoring legislation with Akin to impose this theological witchcraft on America’s women? Why, it’s Romney’s choice to hold the second-highest office in our nation, VP nominee Paul Ryan. Like his buddy Todd, Ryan has sponsored many bills to deny abortion to victims of rape.

Now, guess which party has just fully embraced Akin’s nuttiness by including his absolutist “no-abortion-even-in-the-case-of-rape” provision in its national platform? Yes, the Romney-Ryan Republicans. Yet, that same party’s panicked Poobahs have pronounced Akin’s views so extreme that he should withdraw from the Missouri Senate race. Excuse me, but — logically speaking — doesn’t that mean Ryan should also withdraw from his race?

Of course, in the fantasy universe of the far right, logic is an alien intruder, barred from interfering with either approved doctrine or political expediency. Indeed, here’s their idea of logic: Akin, a devout worshipper of junk science, is a member of the House Committee on Science. Go figure.

And if you find that surreal, let me add that his committee assignment is hardly the only illogical perversion in the doctrinal right’s carefully constructed NutLand. Michele Bachmann, for example, is a member of the House Intelligence Committee.

While Akin’s pseudo-scientific tommyrot about “legitimate rape” has surged him into the lead for the title of Dottiest and Most Dangerous Political Nut of the Year, never count out us Texans in any hard-nut contest.

Our state’s DMDPNY front-runner had been Ted Cruz, currently the GOP candidate for U.S. Senate, who’s deeply concerned that the United Nations is plotting to take over America’s golf courses. Suddenly, however, a dark horse from Lubbock has shot past Cruz and seized the lead. County Judge Tom Head, perhaps suffering from the heat of August, shocked and delighted the right-wing-o-sphere by demonstrating in an Aug. 21 interview that it’s actually humanly possible to get even nuttier about President Barack Obama than simply ranting that he’s a Kenyan Muslim socialist. I’ll let Head speak for himself.

“In this political climate, what is the worst thing that could happen? Obama gets back in the White House,” he answered to his own question. “No. God forbid,” he added. Why? Plunging deeper into paranoid darkness, Head announced that a re-elected Obama is “going to try to hand over the sovereignty of the United States to the U.N.” And that, Head warned, would lead to the worst: “Civil unrest, civil disobedience, civil war, maybe. We’re talking Lexington, Concord, take up arms and get rid of the guy. Now what’s going to happen if we do that?” Head asked as he built to his logical conclusion: “(Obama’s) going to send in U.N. troops.”

However, Head (who oversees emergency preparedness in the county) told Lubbockians not to worry, for if they approve a local tax increase, he will use the money to recruit and train more police to combat Obama’s diabolical U.N. takeover scheme. “I don’t want ‘em in Lubbock County,” Head said. “So I’m going to stand in front of their armored personnel carrier and say, ‘You’re not coming in here.’”

Thank you, Judge Head, for showing America just what you’re made of — a sack of nuts and a bucket of silly putty.

Jim Hightower is a national radio commentator, writer, public speaker and author of Swim Against The Current: Even A Dead Fish Can Go With The Flow. Click here for more information, or click here to contact him.

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