There's no doubt that Georgia has been one of the main generators of Republican craziness in recent years. Think of the thankfully departed Clinton antagonist Bob Barr. Or recent Todd Akin apologist Phil Gingrey. Or the walking mental ward that is Paul Broun. (Hell, even some Democrats in the Peach State catch the loony disease, as evidenced by Zell Miller, his 2004 RNC imitation of Darth Sidious on a ramapage and his subsequent dueling challenge to Chris Matthews.) With such a prolific array of nuts to choose from, it's easy to overlook one or two, especially those who don't make the news with crazy antics with the rapidness that Broun does. Such is the case with our subject for this Inmates entry, Lynn Westmoreland.
First elected in 2004 to succeed failed Senate candidate Mac Collins, Westmoreland is likely most known for one shining moment of stupidity courtesy of Stephen Colbert. In his first term, Westmoreland co-sponsored two Ten Commmandments bills, one aimed at placing the Commandments in the House and Senate chambers, the other aimed at displaying them in courthouses in "historical" settings. He then made the mistake of appearing on The Colbert Report for their "Better Know a District" segment and, well, this happened:
"What are the Ten Commandments?" Colbert asked matter-of-factly.Take a look at Westmoreland's humiliation here. After seeing it, it's no wonder he's largely known for that one massive media fail. But he's got other claims to infamy, most notably this ugly 2008 incident concerning the Obamas:
"What are all of them?" Westmoreland said, taken aback. "You want me to name them all?"
The June segment showed Westmoreland struggling to name just three. Westmoreland actually named seven, said his press secretary, Brian Robinson. And the remaining ones, he added, were somewhat obscure.
"Just from what I've seen of her and Mister Obama, Senator Obama, they're a member of an elitest class individual that thinks they're uppity," Westmoreland said.Brilliant. And needless to say, Westmoreland went through what I like to call the "George Allen Stages of Republican Racism Reaction," first going from standing by his words to pleading ignorance that it was a racial slur, which was kind of hard to buy coming from a Georgia native, Lynn, as somewere quick to note. And it especially isn't easy to buy now given that the following year he opposed renewing the Voting Rights Act.
When a reporter sought clarification on the racially loaded word, Westmoreland replied, "Uppity, yeah."
And if we need more evidence that Westmoreland has a big of a bigot problem, there was his support of Michelle Bachmann's Muslim Brotherhood witchhunt last year, which he was joined in by the likes of Louis Gohmert and Trent Franks as well as Bachmann. They say you are judged by the company you keep, Lynn and that's some nasty company you had there.
So while he may not make the headlines as rapidly as someone like Broun does, there's no doubt Westmoreland has a fair claim to stake in the GOP Lunacy Sweepstakes. Maybe he just has to work harder to make more of a name for himself.
I hear Colbert's always available...