Chris Kapenga, Republican State Assemblyman from Deerfield.
To paraphrase Mark Twain: "Politicians are not merely food for laughter, they are an entire banquet."
Nine Wisconsin GOP legislators want to introduce a bill to have arrested any federal officials who enter the state of Wisconsin to help implement the Affordable Care Act. That is just the tip of the iceberg of new legislation the nine are proposing. At least one of them, Chris Kapenga, of Deerfield, apparently takes the position the ACA is unconstitutional, notwithstanding the decision in National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius. Heaven only knows where Mr. Kapenga was back in June, when the Supreme Court ruled. Here is what he had to say this week: "Just because Obama was re-elected does not mean he's above the constitution," Hopefully two years from now the citizens of Deerfield and other communities in his district will give some serious thought to whether Mr. Kapenga is intelligent enough to ably serve their interests in the assembly. None of the nine has indicated whether they intend the legislation to mandate the president's arrest if he chooses to come visit the Badger State again.
These nine devoutly dumb legislators are among the latest in a long string of bizarre folks the GOP has given us to lead at the local, state and federal level. Until more mature and prominent leaders of the GOP are willing to promptly call out these kinds of folks for talking as if they have the intelligence of rocks, even at the risk of offending the far right base of the party, the Republican party can expect to have many more election nights like November 6 in the future.
So what did Governor Walker or the leadership of the Senate or Assembly have to say about the silliness of the nine? No statement was issued by Scott Fitzgerald or Robin Vos. New Assembly speaker Vos was too busy threatening to cut UW-Madison funding for hosting President Obama's rally last month. The best Governor Walker was willing to do was to parade out a spokesman on Thursday to say: "Governor Walker doesn’t support arresting people for implementing federal law.” Gee, I'm glad we got that reassurance.
The GOP will continue its downward spiral if its party leaders continue to refuse to rebuke the kind of crazed rhetoric that continues to issue from its elected officials and its Tea Party base. Here are some recent examples of the craziness:
Alan West, Republican congressman from Florida who has refused to concede defeat in the 2012 election, at an April town-hall meeting of constituents:
"That’s a fair question. I believe there’s about 78 to 81 members of the Democratic Party that are members of the Communist Party,"Joe Walsh, Republican congressman from Illinois who was defeated by Tammy Duckworth last Tuesday:
"Abortions are absolutely never necessary to save the lives of pregnant women. With modern technology and science, you can't find one instance." "There is no such exception as life of the mother, and as far as health of the mother, same thing."Paul Broun, Republican congressman from Georgia, whom the party caucus named to the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology, speaking at a church gathering last month:
"God's word is true, I've come to understand that. All that stuff I was taught about evolution and embryology and Big Bang theory, all that is lies straight from the pit of hell."The folks in Athens, Georgia, where the University of Georgia is located, knowing that Broun was a shoe-in based on the electorate outside Athens, mounted a campaign to have Charles Darwin receive write-in votes. The British scientist now dead for 130 years, received some 4,000 votes. I marveled in a previous post over a year ago about Representative Broun.
The Republican State Senate Caucus in Georgia (group inanity award!) had a four-hour briefing at a closed door meeting on the following topic:
How President Obama is using a Cold War-era mind-control technique known as "Delphi" to coerce Americans into accepting his plan for a United Nations-run communist dictatorship in which suburbanites will be forcibly relocated to cities . . . and prescribing mandatory contraception as a means of curbing population growth.This doesn't even begin to touch the zaniness about climate change issuing from right-wing politicians. A topic for a future post perhaps.