Something to Think About

It’s kind of wild to think about it, but CPAC, which was made up of wingnuts so crazed they cheered Beck and Limbaugh as speakers the past two years, is no longer the nuttiest group of the GOP. There are even more extreme folks who don’t think CPAC is quite bigoted enough and has been too nice to the gays.

And Jim DeMint, tea party extraordinaire, is the leader of thew new wing.

80 replies
  1. 1
    Dave says:

    John, do you remember what your original “Peak Wingnut” post was in reference to? I remember that you did it. I remember that I read it. But I’ll be damned if I can remember what it was.

    Regardless, they find new ways to top themselves each and every day…

  2. 2
    Comrade Javamanphil says:

    They are busy building the big tent party. They just don’t want to share the tent space with anyone.

  3. 3
    Mark B says:

    They are going into full Stalin vs. Trotsky mode.

  4. 4
    cathyx says:

    I thought Beck and Limbaugh were anti gay. But I don’t listen to them, so I don’t know. Why has CPAC come around? It’s not like there are very many gay republicans. I would think that stance would make them lose more members than get them.

  5. 5
    General Stuck says:

    They just don’t want to share the tent space with anyone.

    Deploy a few port o potties in that big tent and they will toe tap a different tune. Though I don’t know where they will put the firebaggers, when a grand collusion is formalized for the coming election.

  6. 6
    David Fud says:

    It is sort of like a Wingnut Event Horizon within a Wingnut Event Horizon where any pretense of rationality and external reference are gone.

    I’m expecting a Wingnut Supernova sometime soon, probably right after Obama beats the wingnut candidate in 2012. That would suck a lot of the wingnut into an impenetrable black hole with no escape and spew a lot of pretty wingnut wreckage around – if viewed from a considerable distance.

    Maybe I need to get a ticket out of here for 2013.

  7. 7
    Dave says:

    @Mark B: Who gets the icepick to the back of the head?

  8. 8
    MattF says:

    My theory is that this is a long-term consequence of having a President-of-color. They’ve tried “he’s a raaaadical,” “he’s not American,” “he’s not Christian,” but somehow, it just hasn’t really caught on and they’ve got to take their frustrations out on someone.

  9. 9
    Gin & Tonic says:

    This’ll be big fun. According to my Google News feed, Sarah Palin referred to Rick Santorum as a “knuckle-dragging Neanderthal.” Which he is, of course, but still…

  10. 10
    Alex S. says:

    Well, the main characters have just moved to another place. CPAC lost its Jim DeMint-wing over its decision to include GOProud. But the DeMint wing was part of CPAC before that already. CPAC just moved a little to the left, leaving the old far right behind.

  11. 11
    JPL says:

    @Mark B: I can’t see DeMint moving to Mexico, though.

  12. 12
    General Stuck says:

    Here is some good news

    Initial claims for state unemployment benefits fell 36,000 to a seasonally adjusted 383,000, the lowest since early July 2008, the Labor Department said.

    Lowest numbers of new UE claims for a week since Obama took office. Under 400 large usually portends new hiring to come.

    Meanwhile, back at the cuckoo ranch, Karl Rove is calling for repeal of the ACA via reconciliation, when the gooopers take back the WH and Senate. The depth of right wing hatred for that law cannot be misunderestimated. Their problem is that the regs cannot be lawfully repealed via reconciliation that would sink the insurance companies without the fed subsidies. Happy times right around the corner.

  13. 13
    chopper says:

    @David Fud:

    that’s the thing. it’s turtles all the way down.

  14. 14
    SpotWeld says:

    And this is where the false equivalence falls apart.

    As much as I can be convinced that there are segments on the left side of the political spectrum I cannot and have not see any such extremism rise to prominence. And yet as much as the Tea Party dabbles in the crazy, there will never be a cable channel devoted to promoting a “Code Pink Express”.

    There will never be a viable extreme left sub-party of the left.

  15. 15
    geg6 says:

    @Mark B:

    Exactly. Can’t remember where I read it the other day, but the way they are framing the arguments even sound exactly the same. Who knew all those undergrad Russian and Soviet history classes would be timely in 2011? It’s really quite fascinating to watch.

  16. 16
    JGabriel says:

    John Cole:

    Jim DeMint, tea party extraordinaire, is the leader of thew new wing.

    For people who claim to love the Constitution, they should be prosecuted for the worst anti-Constitutionalism of all: they keep trying to create a less perfect union.


  17. 17
    cmorenc says:

    It helps to keep in mind that hard-core ideological wingnuts in the GOP truly believe that only a rather small portion of everything on the domestic side that the federal government (and often state and local governments too) have done since the New Deal has been deeply wrongheaded, from a practical, fiscal, and (correctly understood) constitutional perspective. So deeply wrongheaded that there MUST be something wrong with nearly every single bit of it, and indeed there is if you apply their ideological filters to it. These polarizing colored ideological filters block out any light not falling on things having the selected colors or characteristics, and like viewing a forest through a red filter, the trees look well, all red to them, and many factual objects cannot be seen at all when wearing such heavy light-blocking filters. Add a huge dose of resentment whereby they believe they are among the “producing” class thereby entitled to the fruits produced and the rest of society is leeching off them (with government as the leeches thuggish patron and facilitator)…and you have an emotional stewpot primed for peak wingnut.

  18. 18
    Rosalita says:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    HAHAHAHA! The Republican primaries are going to be non-stop entertainment

  19. 19
    PaulW says:

    The wingnuts figured out a long time ago (say 1994) that they can place the nuttiest, craziest, and openly corrupt Republican candidates up on the ballots; because they figured out that when it comes down to it there are enough centrist, reasonable conservatives (even among the no-party affiliate voters) who will still vote Republican no matter what. It’s the Democrats, you see. They are ALWAYS “too librul”, even when they’re really not.

    That’s why Republicans rely on more attack ads than the Democrats (last two elections, 2008 and 2010… I swear it was a three-to-one disparity with the GOP being the slimiest). They are more interested in painting Democrats as “socialist marxist fascist un-American godless evildoers looking to sell us out to Mexicants and Mooslims” than in focusing on issues. Fear is their primary tool to win elections… and that’s one of three things they only care about (the other two is allowing corporations to rob us blind, and barring women from ever being free, healthy and safe again.)

  20. 20
    Tone in DC says:

    Re: Super Sarah calling out Santorum.
    Oh, AYUH.
    This is gonna get real ugly, real fast if Rick gets his undies in a twist and a microphone catches any of it.

  21. 21
    Bob says:

    @Mark B: What you said. All together now, P U R I T Y!

  22. 22


    Who gets the icepick to the back of the head?

    OK, pet peeve of mine: it wasn’t an ice pick.

    It was a pickaxe.

    It wasn’t some James Bond-style assassination full of delicacy and precision. Hi-ya! Right into the soft spot! Trotsky got massacred by a guy who whacked at him with a big old axe.

  23. 23
    agrippa says:

    Those people seem to have a bit more respectibility nowadays. Basically, they are the same group of people who supported segregation and opposed civil rights.

  24. 24

    @Rosalita: Oh, yeah. It’s going to be so much watching the birther nonsense become a litmus test.

  25. 25
    Zifnab says:

    They’re not really going anywhere more rightward than their CPAC colleagues. They’re just splintering off, like a bunch of holier-than-thou sorority sisters.

    DeMint wants to be the grand pumba. This is all just window dressing for a power grab.

  26. 26
    piratedan says:

    I believe that the Republicans still have a big tent policy in place, but I’m guessing that their inclusiveness is more closely related to sticking all of their enemies into a big tent and turning that canvas into a concentration camp to keep an ever vigilant eye on rather than a kumbaya “lets work together” kinda thing.

  27. 27
    geg6 says:

    @joe from Lowell:

    Yup, about as brutally as one can imagine. Tough old coot, Leon was. Hit in the head with an axe, he fights back and spits in his attacker’s face. Then he stops his bodyguards from killing the guy so they can questions him. And then goes to the hospital and dies a day or two later. Pretty hard core.

  28. 28
    Culture of Truth says:

    An international caliphate coordinated by Osama bin Laden, George Soros, the Muslim Brotherhood, Barack Obama, and the Black Panthers? Yaaawn…. give me something new!

  29. 29
    Alex S. says:

    Yowza, Mubarak and Jon Kyl might be retiring…

  30. 30
    Dave says:

    @joe from Lowell: Somehow I doubt Trotsky noticed a difference. :) But thanks, I’m a sticker for details as well. And how do you smuggle a pickaxe into the room??

  31. 31
    Michael says:


    Who knew all those undergrad Russian and Soviet history classes would be timely in 2011? It’s really quite fascinating to watch.

    I’m also finding the wrangling to be similar to all the Duma drama of 1915-1916, where everybody was tying themselves up in knots to try and continue to placate the conservatives in Russian society with failed policies despite the fact that everything going on demonstrated the extent of the failure.

    Bruce Lincoln wrote a great book on that peculiar bit of Russian history. It actually flows like a novel and isn’t boring at all.

  32. 32
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Dave: According to Wikipedia it was an ice axe, not a pickaxe. Those are smaller, and perhaps contributing to the confusion, they are sometimes referred to as ice picks. But it’s a tool of alpinism (ice climbing.) But you can hide an ice axe under an overcoat.

  33. 33
    A Farmer says:

    Since Middle America is generally so old, white, Christian and straight, there is something easy to exploit. So Mr. and Mrs. Middle America are watching their standard of living sink, and need to figure out who to blame. The GOP has the answer: the young, the brown and black, the Muslims and the queers. “Well it isn’t us,” the Middle Americans say, “it must be those guys.” Pretty simple. In fact, the GOP sweetens the pot by telling them that they are what makes America great. Game over.

  34. 34
    mr. whipple says:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    This’ll be big fun. According to my Google News feed, Sarah Palin referred to Rick Santorum as a “knuckle-dragging Neanderthal.” Which he is, of course, but still…

    Holy crap. I agree with Snowflake Snookie!

  35. 35
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Gin & Tonic: Here is an ice axe in use so you can see its relative size, for those who are not familiar with the tool.

  36. 36
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    The “conservative” movement has always had inherent contradictions that make it impossible to maintain coherence over the long term. You’ve got the Ferengi side, which is all about the money, and the Fundie side, which is all about defending a system of sexual morality that can’t be done in a world of rapid economic and industrial change that by its nature is socially dynamic…and destroys the defense mechanisms of that sexual morality. But does provide all the lucre that the Ferengi side craves.

    Hence you’ve got GOProud, which is mainly Ferengi who give each other oomaks which drives the Fundies absolutely bonkers.

  37. 37
    jcricket says:

    I think we already went through the black hole of wingnuttia and are now on the other side where the normal laws of physics don’t apply. Unfortunately the gravitational pull of the wingnut black hole is so strong I doubt the Republican party will ever escape.

    BTW – I think Republicans only have a big tent so they have room to trap their enemies 80% allies inside and “re-educate” them.

    On a lighter note, the current Republican party conservatism jihad reminds of of the great Emo Phillips religion routine (the one that ends “die heretic, and i pushed him off the bridge”).

  38. 38
    jcricket says:

    @mr. whipple: She meant that as a compliment.

  39. 39
    geg6 says:


    That would be the Fourth Duma, I believe. Which was actually from 1912-1917. Had to go and look it up again, but I remember Rodzianko (the President of the Duma) being quoted by the British Military Attache (Knox, I see):

    I saw Rodzianko for a moment and told him that I was frightened that things were taking a turn that might endanger the continuance of the war. He said: “My dear Knox, you must be easy. Everything is going on all right. Russia is a big country, and can wage a war and manage a revolution at the same time.” It was, however, precisely because Russia was a big – and unwieldy – country that the situation was dangerous. In Petrograd there were some 219,000 factory hands and some 150,000 mutinous troops, and these constituted inflammable material that was internationalists were working day and night to ignite. Leaflets were distributed advocating the murder of officers. The outlook was black.

    Doesn’t seem so far from where we are, does it?

    Edited to add link: http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.....zianko.htm

  40. 40
    gnomedad says:

    @Tone in DC:
    Palin and Santorum slugging it out for alpha wingnut? I’d buy tickets to that.

  41. 41
    eric says:

    all of this is childs’ play compared to what we will see at the 2012 GOP convention. I suspect that Obama already has that date penciled in for when he starts his 2013 State of the Union.

    That will be epic.

  42. 42
    Violet says:

    When is Peak Wingnut again?

  43. 43
    Ahasuerus says:

    @A Farmer: Tersest summary I’ve seen so far. Mind if I borrow it?

  44. 44
    scav says:

    @gnomedad: see earlier ABL on SP jonesing for media attention. This may just be the WWE of politics.

  45. 45
    Paul in KY says:

    @Dave: It was actually a rock pick that one would use to dig rocks out of ground in an archeological site. I guess it could also have been used as an icepick.

  46. 46
    Ivan Ivanovich Renko says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: Don’t forget the Sons of Dixie, who add hatin’ on darkies.

    [edited to remove the “Q” word- I ain’t gay so I ain’t gonna use it, but gay folk can call each other that all the hell they want to, and Goddess bless ’em.]

  47. 47
    Paul in KY says:

    @joe from Lowell: Trotsky was still able to subdue the assassin & stop him from any more strikes.

    Pretty good considering he was mortally wounded.

  48. 48
    Huckster says:

    @A Farmer: Bingo. And throw in a little Sharia Law just to remind them we have a black guy with an arabic name living in the White House, and watch their heads explode.

    The GOP is doubling down on old white people

  49. 49
    mr. whipple says:


    Palin and Santorum slugging it out for alpha wingnut? I’d buy tickets to that.

    That’a why it’s so vital that she runs. She’ll bust all(Crazy Ricky, Newt, Huckster, et al) their balls. No one is meaner or crazier. It could be EPIC!

  50. 50
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @A Farmer:

    You know, I’ve been reading Nixonland, the current book club project, and this is pretty much what was happening in the 60s, although we don’t have the demographic surge that was the root cause of the crime wave that hit back then. Not that it matters, we’ve got TV news to give the impression of a crime wave, which is just as effective for spreading The Fear amongst the Silent Majority.

  51. 51
    A Farmer says:

    @Ahasuerus:You are welcome to use it.

  52. 52
  53. 53
    Paul in KY says:

    @Dave: It was a rock pick, not a full sized pick ax. He hid it under his overcoat, that he had with him on a typically hot Mexican day.

    Trotsky’s bodyguards were pretty amateurish.

  54. 54
    piratedan says:

    by the way, anybody renounce Stalin yet today?

  55. 55
    A Farmer says:

    @Villago Delenda Est : Yes, Nixonland was a real eye-opener for me. I didn’t realize how much racial violence occured throughout the country at that time. But the worst part is that the blue collar white ethnics in the cities, and the folks in the rural areas, have been slowly watching their standard of living sink, and they just can’t understand it. They end up lashing out at the people the GOP point out to them. Mind you, they would probably select those people anyway, because they are different, but the propaganda provided by the GOP and Fox News convince them it is true. Suddenly, you’ve got a built in feedback loop, as everybody sits around in the bar or the coffee shop and tells one another about how they are victims of China, blacks, gays, Jews, Muslims, etc.

  56. 56
    sven says:

    This video clip of a Republican focus group is the problem in a nutshell. The nonsense has gotten so deep that there is no longer even a common point of reference.

    My favorite exchange from the video:

    (on policy towards Egypt)
    “…that there should be no outreach to the Muslim Brotherhood, who agrees with the idea?”
    (all participants raise hands)
    “All of you, then what is the solution?”
    (first response)
    “I would just like him to be proud of America.”

    What should be our policy regarding Egypt?
    We should be proud of America!
    Problem solved.

  57. 57
    gnomedad says:

    @mr. whipple:

    That’a why it’s so vital that she runs. She’ll bust all(Crazy Ricky, Newt, Huckster, et al) their balls. No one is meaner or crazier. It could be EPIC!

    I don’t have sufficient faith in her unelectability to sincerely wish for this. Not that my wishing matters. I want her as far from the Presidency as possible, no matter what the probable advantage or entertainment value might be. That said, I think she’ll run until it gets difficult or unremunerative.

  58. 58
    meh says:

    OT but Mubarak is stepping down to make way for his VP to assume power. Incoming wingnut explosion…

  59. 59
    mr. whipple says:

    I don’t have sufficient faith in her unelectability to sincerely wish for this.

    Obama will crush her like a fruitfly, and win at least 40 states.

  60. 60
    Face says:

    What does “C.R.E.A.M” in the tags mean?

  61. 61
    Kryptik says:

    I’m honestly trying really hard to care anymore. It’s just hard considering it seems like full bore the Wingnuts have won and have already turned this country into an infuriatingly stupid and irreversably intolerant place. We’re basically on the verge of declaring war on a whole religion because of fear of ‘teh scary brown peeples’, ready to close our borders and declare all immigrants unwelcome, and all too happy to shuck any sort of science if it costs Exxon-Mobil or Focus on the Family any money or clout.

    And they’re only poised to get even more power in ’12 because of the Senate situation and redistricting. Peak Wingnut my ass. :/

  62. 62
    Michael says:


    Doesn’t seem so far from where we are, does it?

    No, it isn’t.

    I think that had it not been for the war, conservative coddling and general incompetence borne of conservative rule would have been tolerated more or less indefinitely by a mostly patient Russian society (note that the Duma was itself a new organization, born of the defeat at the hands of the Japanese in 1905).

    It took the privations of the war years to really spotlight the incredible clusterfuck that the ideologically tinged conservative government had imposed on Russian society, and demonstrated how remarkably out of touch and out of step the decisionmakers (those who demonstrated the right connections and financial resources to get into their positions)were.

  63. 63
    gnomedad says:

    @mr. whipple:

    Obama will crush her like a fruitfly, and win at least 40 states.

    Hmm. Perhaps I will reconsider my magical wishing powers. :)

  64. 64
    Ahasuerus says:


    What does “C.R.E.A.M” in the tags mean?

    Cash Rules Everything Around Me (so I’m told)

    But on this blog, perhaps it should be Conservative Republicans Exasperate American Moderates.

  65. 65
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @A Farmer:

    Understanding it means that they’d have to realize that this is class war, not racial war, that is being waged, and that the racial conflict is used as a tactic to sustain the class war.

    It’s classic divide and conquer. If the whites who are seeing their middle class existence being eviscerated ever stop being so stupid, the parasite overclass will be in serious trouble. However, as long as there is TV and beer, Homer will not something something, and Burns has nothing to worry about.

  66. 66
    Ash Can says:

    What slays me about the Palin-Santorum kerfluffle is that Santorum was trying to be nice to her — he was making excuses for her no-show at CPAC, saying she was a busy person, with business deals and a bunch of kids to take care of. She immediately went all OMG YOU MENTIONED MY KIDS YOU’RE A SEXIST PIG on him. I don’t think she even had any idea at all what he actually said. Good times.

  67. 67
    A Farmer says:

    @Villago Delend Est: The GOP brain-trust has been able to exploit the racial conflict by covering over the class war with the brilliant, but false explanation of trickle-down economics. Taxes must be cut on the wealthy to help create jobs, and taxes are so high because we are buying the young, strapping bucks t-bone steaks, as DougJ says. It’s a well put together argument for people who don’t want to think too hard. Also, I appreciate the Simpsons reference. Keep the TV and beer coming for me too.

  68. 68
    Michael says:


    What should be our policy regarding Egypt?
    We should be proud of America!

    America, Fuck Yeah!

    I’m about at the point where I’m ashamed to be a white Christian middle aged male.

    I went to get my hair cut yesterday (I live in the exurbs). There were other guys there, and the parking lot was full of monster SUVs with Rand Paul bumperstickers, ready to tackle the rough terrain of the paved roads of the suburbs and exurbs….

  69. 69
    Frank says:

    Gotta get to class soon, so I only read the first 20 entries here; I hope I don’t say what’s already been said. I remember hearing after the ’08 election that the Republicans had to decide between a more moderate and more extreme position. I foolishly thought they would swing back to the center. Now it appears that not only is the left demonized, so is the center! Today’s conservatives appear to want a country of born-again stay-at-home moms and ranching, truck-driving bankers. “Let’s round up all of them damn hippie professors, all o’ those whiney factory workers, all of them non-white, not-churchified types!” Am I being too harsh? Does this not fairly accurately describe the conservatives of America today?

  70. 70
    Frank says:

    Oh, and one more thing! Sarah’s insult of Santorum pretty much echoes the tone and emotional maturity of Willow’s insult of someone who criticized Bristol’s dancing. Now we see where Willow learned her juvenile name-calling technique — from Mommie Dearest!

  71. 71
    Mike in NC says:

    Jim DeMint, tea party extraordinaire, is the leader of thew new wing.

    The local rag had a front page story today about how excited the evangelicals and ultra-conservative teabaggers are about a DeMint run for the White House. Preferably next year.

    After all, he’s leading the rest of the GOP pack at 24% in South Carolina, that hotbed of reasonableness and moderation.

  72. 72
    Another Commenter at Balloon Juice (fka Bella Q) says:

    @Gin & Tonic: That may be the most insightful comment the Great Northern Grifter(R) has ever made.

  73. 73
  74. 74
    TOP123 says:

    href=”#comment-2419763″>Mark B: Win!

    So who’s Trotskii, and who’s Stalin? (I mean in your analogy, of course– either of them would be smarter and more accomplished than the entire GOP side. Even if they weren’t dead.)

  75. 75
    Another Commenter at Balloon Juice (fka Bella Q) says:

    @Another Commenter at Balloon Juice (fka Bella Q): By which I mean she’s correct. But of course for the wrong reason, because as usual, she’s too stupid to twig to the notion that he was trying to provide her some cover by excusing her declining as being too busy and too far away. Couldn’t happen to a better SOB. I believe she said no because she was trying to wuss out on the GOPProud thing. She can’t take a stand because she hasn’t figured out the best one to take* and if she’s “too busy” she can avoid the whole discussion for the moment.
    @mr. whipple:
    And I agree that there’s no one meaner or crazier than Granny Grifter(R). So much so that “epic” may not be a biog enough word.

    *Which means that whoever tells her what a good social issue stand is had not decided that point yet.

  76. 76
    canuckistani says:

    @TOP123: We’ll find out when one of them gets an ice axe in the head, and the other becomes dictator-for-life.

  77. 77
    Bokonon says:

    This … and Mississippi is considering whether to offer a vanity license plate honoring Nathan Bedford Forrest.

    You know … founder of the Klan? The Confederate general who summarily executed Union prisoners on the basis of their race? That guy.

    Talk about putting an ice-axe into the heads of your political opponents. The extreme right down south has finally found a way to do something more extreme and polarizing than flying the Confederate flag. They are outright trying to have the state acknowledge and celebrate the Klan, and wave it in people’s faces.

    So … the extremists are really coming out in the open sunlight and flexing their muscles, aren’t they? No pretending, no temporizing, no concessions to political correctness any longer. They appear to be done with that. They are here, and radicalized, and on the move. They are looking us all in the face, and smirking, and talking nullification and secession, and challenging us to try and do something about it.

    Schisms on the right are amusing and all, but they are just the leading edge of a big, black, roiling mass of extremism heading our way.

  78. 78
    hilts says:


    Mississippi Goddamn!!

    @Another Commenter at Balloon Juice (fka Bella Q)

    Sarah Palin calling anyone a knuckle dragging neanderthal is too rich. She’s the ultimate knuckle dragging neanderthal with her inability to string together more than 2 consecutive coherent sentences and her inability to articulate any substantive public policy proposals.

  79. 79
    TOP123 says:

    @canuckistani: Hahaha! the problem I’m having is this; I can see the victims of the infighting, I just can’t spot the dictator for life. Looking at the GOP bench for the right combination of intelligence, bureaucratic knife-fighting skills, ruthlessness, and dark charisma to make a Stalin, I at best come up with a Cheney. The current crop of conservative leaders wouldn’t survive five minutes in the deep end of the Bolshevik swimming pool.

  80. 80
    TOP123 says:

    @Bokonon: That is… insane. Please tell me this is a dark joke.

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