First example: Congressman Cotton of Arkansas.
Sure, I'm obligated to point out how obliviously unconstitutional the Cotton Amendment was. But stunning stupidity aside, there's something really depressing in his follow-up:
“I sympathize with their plight if they are harmless, innocent civilians in Iran. I doubt that that is often the case.”
He seems to be suggesting that it's more likely that people from a country governed by a domestically oppressive, murderous regime are coming to America in order to attack us than that they're coming to seek shelter and aid from us.
Setting aside the rest of the offensively paranoid racism, that's a really sad--and very unpatriotic--sentiment to hear from a Congressman. I tend to think people from countries that murder demonstrators in the streets who come to the U.S. are probably more interested in taking shelter in our freedoms than attacking them. When the world looks up at the Shining City on a Hill, does Rep. Cotton really believe they're thinking "hey, a shining city on a hill! Let's attack it!"?
Next we have someone who I don't think will ever run dry as a fount of entertainment (unless he's actually elected and put in a position of power, in which case I don't think anyone will find it funny at all): the GOP nominee for Lieutenant Governor of Virginia, E.W. Jackson, who doesn't think federal disaster relief is constitutional, says that the idea of GLBT Pride Month "makes me feel ikky all over," and, of course, this:
In an April 28, 2011 statement while he was a Senate candidate, conservative minister and lawyer E.W. Jackson held up the three-fifths clause as an “anti-slavery” measure. The context of his statement was to attack President Obama after a pastor at a church service he attended referred to the three-fifths clause as a historical marker of racism.
“Rev. [Charles Wallace] Smith must not have understood the 3/5ths clause was an anti-slavery amendment. Its purpose was to limit the voting power of slave holding states,” Jackson, an African-American, said in his statement.
The Three-Fifths Compromise was the way that the South was able to dominate American politics until the Civil War. It's why more than half of Presidents before Lincoln were Southern slave-owners. It's why the list of Speakers of the House before the Civil War is dominated by Southerners and slave-owners. To claim that it was an "amendment" is bad enough for someone from HLS (the sort of mistake we expect from the laity), but to claim it was "anti-slavery" is stupid beyond all mortal ken.
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