Rep. Steve Stockman is one of those representatives. Put more simply, his reelection should be taken as a sign that certain areas of Texas are still bitter at Somalia's success, and even more bitter that they can't just elect outright crooks like Tom DeLay anymore. Mostly known for being a nutcase one-term Congressman back in the nineties, Stockman made a brief name for himself with Waco conspiracy theories, gun fetishism, gun fetishism about Waco conspiracy theories, and a relationship with the NRA and anti-government militias that even for the 1990's was fairly goddamn nuts.
How nuts? Oh, pretty nuts:
A Republican member of Congress from Texas has suggested that the Clinton Administration staged the 1993 raid on the Branch Davidian compound near Waco, Tex., to convince Congress that it should ban assault weapons.And here's a post-Oklahoma-City-bombing Los Angeles Times article on his behavior after receiving a note thought to be linked to that bombing:
"Waco was supposed to be a way for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (BATF) and the Clinton Administration to prove the need for a ban on so-called 'assault weapons,' " the Representative, Steve Stockman, who is a strong opponent of gun control, wrote in the June issue of Guns & Ammo magazine.
Stockman and his staff denied that they had delayed passing the note--which seemed to convey information about the Oklahoma blast--to the FBI. But they faced troublesome questions about why Stockman's staff also gave the note to the National Rifle Assn. and why Stockman in March wrote to the Justice Department objecting to what he said was an impending federal raid on "citizen militia" groups, apparently akin to the kinds of anti-government groups that seem to figure in the background of at least one suspect in the Oklahoma bombing.Before and after that short and entirely unhinged shift in Congress, Stockman hasn't had a political career so much as an ambitious, decades-long string of political failures punctuated by a few lucky breaks and more than a little friendly wingnut welfare (with an emphasis on molding young conservative minds via things like the Campus Leadership Program, and no, I do not know why that creeps me out as much as it does.) Still, for some reason a passel of ultraconservatives in Texas felt that it was finally time to give the obvious crazy person another shot in the big boy office, and Stockman is quickly making those Texans proud by being, well, as big a goddamn crackpot as he can manage without being hauled off for professional supervision.
Below the fold, let's consider his absolutely insane one-month record so far:
- He was only one of a handful of House Republicans to vote against John Boehner, boldly managing a "present" vote as the most spectacularly incompetent congressional coup of all time collapsed around its supposed planners.
- In the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary School murders, his response was to introduce legislation repealing the gun free zones around schools, and for the same reason as the similar NRA blustering—because what we needed, according to both, was to have many more people wandering around school zones with guns, and that would probably work out just fine.
- He was abruptly cut off in a Fox News interview after comparing Barack Obama to Saddam Hussein, thus managing to rank as one of the few crackpot Republicans too nuts even for Fox News to stomach.
- When Obama introduced a set of executive actions that included things like "finally appoint a permanent head of the ATF, even if that makes Republicans sad" and "government scientists should be allowed to research gun violence", Steve Stockman threatened in an exceptionally frothing statement to impeach Obama, if necessary, in order to stop such obviously scandalous things. This may have been the first, biggest sign that Steve Stockman is in fact a bona fide moron, but he quickly surpassed even that.
That brings us to Stockman's latest episode of Congressional Moron Theater. In response to other politicians inviting Sandy Hook first responders, children, and other figures to the State of the Union, decided to rebut the presence of those people by inviting Ted Nugent, a man whose unhinged, violent rhetoric even managed to garner a visit by the Secret Service:
Nugent in the past has threatened to kill President Obama, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and California Senators Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer.You might ask which parts of that cause Steve Stockman, in his official press release about the stunt, to refer to Ted Nugent as "a patriot". I imagine it's those very threats, because nobody, anywhere, has any idea what the vigorously self-emasculated Nugent actually does these days aside from drunkenly threatening members of the opposition while waving guns around. My own opinion is that Steve Stockman referring to the gun fetishist and possibly-drug-addled Nugent as a "patriot" in a press release is quite possibly a worse sin than inviting him to a government function at all, but that is because my idea of "patriot", especially in the wake of the latest in a long string of horrific mass murders, does not revolve around telling the nation's president to "suck on my machine gun." For Congressman Stockman, it does. (And can you imagine any other actual member of Congress, in the past, so closely aligning himself with someone who wished violence against the government? Forget rebranding the party, Karl Rove, you may have your work cut out for you convincing Americans that Republicans aren't for outright treason, given a few more years of this. Even secession talk is considered tame, now that "Obama, he's a piece of shit, and I told him to suck on my machine gun" is considered the high point of Republican "patriotism.")
“I was in Chicago and I said hey Obama, you might want to suck on one of these you punk; Obama, he’s a piece of shit, and I told him to suck on my machine gun,” Nugent screamed during a concert while brandishing two machine guns, “Then I was in New York and I said, ‘Hey Hillary you might want to ride one of these into the sunset you worthless bitch…. Then I was out in California and I thought, Barbara Boxer, she might want to suck on my machine gun, hey Dianne Feinstein ride one of these you worthless whore.”
There is another part of Stockman's press release regarding Nugent that I think even more perfectly encapsulates the man. It's unrelated, but that's all right: the spurious addition merely adds to the Stockmanesque mood of being absolutely batshit crazy all the time, about every subject:
Stockman will also be unveiling this week The Obama Failometer, a ten-foot-long billboard that will objectively measure the failure of Obama’s economic policies. The Obama Failometer tracks four monthly economic indicators from the Bureau of Labor Statistics; jobs created, civilian labor force participation rate and black and Hispanic unemployment. The figures are mathematically weighted to provide a measurement, on a scale from 1 to 1000, of just how badly Obama’s economic policies are failing. The inaugural Monthly Obama Failometer Score is an off-the-charts 1,179.That's right. Steve Stockman's new 1-to-1000 metric of how badly he thinks Obama is failing starts off at the Spinal Tappish 1,179, thus proving the Texas Republican innumerate as well as nuts. I would not be overly surprised if Texas schools are now teaching that 1,179 is between 1 and 1000, possibly because to believe otherwise marks you as an evolution supporter, but to have Steve Stockman come up with his own chart that says so really just encapsulates the man. Texas Republican Steve Stockman, once drummed from the party for being nuts, now the future of the party again.
Given material like this to work with, there's nothing Rove or anyone else can do to paint the new Republican Party as anything more than a collection of humiliating hucksters, dullards and outright morons, and the only thing left now (while waiting the possible downfall of the republic, of course, possibly because entire vast swaths of the population forget how to dress themselves or that gasoline should not be used as a dessert topping) is to grab the popcorn and watch them try.
In our efforts to battle against the influence of the NRA (and people like Steve Stockman), Daily Kos is enthusiastically supporting Democrat Robin Kelly in Illinois' 2nd district. Consider contributing to Kelly today!