Janet Allon, AlterNet
With Congress taking its summer break, Tea Partiers and other kooks were saying some of the nuttiest things we have ever heard. With straight faces!
Photo Credit: Shutterstock.com/Christopher Halloran
August 10, 2013 |
The Right-wing crazies may have truly outdone themselves this week. With Congress taking its summer break, Tea Partiers and other kooks were suddenly uncorked (that word will come up again in another context, so look for it), taking to the airwaves, appealing to their bases, and saying some of the nuttiest things we have ever heard. With straight faces! Things like, “tanning beds are racist," "Wendy Davis is an ‘Abortion Barbie,’" "climate change is a religion" — you cannot make this stuff up. And if you did, no one would believe you.
1. Rep. Ted Yoho (R-FL): Obama’s tax on tanning beds is racist
You may have heard about the frantic, delusional attempts in the Republican-controlled House of Representatives to block, prevent, defund, wage war on and just outright deny the reality of Obamacare. These might be comical if they were not actually hurting real people who are suffering, and in some case dying because of lack of health care.
Rep. Ted Yoho probably thought he came up with a real smart argument this week when he went after a provision in Obamacare which places a 10 percent tax on tanning beds. ‘Das racist,’ he said, because dark people don’t need to tan. Here’s a little reality check for Mr. Yoho, as pointed out by Jamelle Bouie in The Daily Beast. Nobody needs to tan. Sitting under the ultraviolet light of tanning beds is bad for you.
“Risk for melanoma increases by 75 percent when people begin tanning before the age of 35, according to the International Agency for Research on Cancer. One study found that tanning beds cause roughly 170,000 cases of skin cancer each year, and at one point the Food and Drug Administration proposed banning bed use by customers under 18. When it comes to lowering costs in the health-care system, reducing skin cancer incidence by encouraging people not to use tanning beds is low-hanging fruit.”
Taxing things is what the government can do to encourage or discourage behavior, and so a 10 percent tax on tanning bed use is a provision to discourage this behavior in Obamacare. Snooki was upset about it, but Yoho one-upped her.
Of course, this absurdity demeans and misunderstands the very concept of racism, and is part of what is now a tradition among Obama’s conservative opposition to deliberately portray the first black president as being “the real racist.”
2. Rick Santorum: Liberals Make It Uncomfortable to Shower at the YMCA
Okay, pay attention here, because this is one of those convoluted arguments that only the deranged ultra-Conservative brain can produce. For those of a more progressive and logical ilk, it’ll be a real mind bender. Former, and perhaps future, Republican Presidential candidate Rick Santorum recently told a group of anti-abortion students (misleadingly called Students for Life) that liberals who support abortion rights “make it uncomfortable” for them to shower at the YMCA.
Here’s the background: The Town Lake Branch of the YMCA in Austin did in fact ban the “pro-life” group, who had come to town to support Texas’ severe abortion-restricting legislation, from using their facilities because the group was blatantly proselytizing, disrupting other members, and generally using the YMCA as a forum to express their political views. Some YMCA staff even said the group was intimidating the people who worked there.
Santorum flipped this all around by telling the “Right-to-Life” students that this was a leftist plot. “Because they live it. They’re passionate. They’re willing to do and say uncomfortable things in mixed company. They’re willing to make the sacrifice at their business because they care enough… They simply won’t give up. We have the truth and we give up! We have righteousness and we give up because it’s unpopular!”
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