Stew Lilker’s

Columbia County Observer

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The Season When Conservatives Ramp Up the Crazy

John Keats called autumn the “season of mists and mellow fruitfulness.” Which is true. But autumn is also the season when conservatives seem to ramp up the crazy.

Maybe college football gets them so riled up they can’t handle reality. Or maybe it’s the semi-annual almost-not-quite-government-shutdown. That certainly impels U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz into a bountiful harvest of hissy fits. Maybe cooler weather makes them frisky — in a deranged sort of way.

Perhaps you’ve heard Rush Limbaugh’s response to NASA’s Mars announcement? “This news that there is flowing water on Mars is somehow going to find its way into a technique to advance the leftist agenda,” said Rush.

Rush then lamented that it’s tough “being right and being alone.” Kind of like Matt Damon in that new movie.

Science is a socialist plot to make Jesus cry.

Kim Davis, the world’s most famous county clerk, has changed her party affiliation from Democrat to Republican. Probably required in order for her to collect her “Cost of Discipleship” Award from the Values Voter Summit this past weekend.

She must be feeling super-righteous what with that and her secret meeting with the Pope last week. Apparently, the Holy Father wanted to thank her for violating the Constitution and continuing to deny the full humanity of gay people.

Still, you could say it was progress toward ecumenism: Pentecostals, the branch of Christianity to which Davis belongs, often refer to the Church of Rome as “Babylon” or “The Mother of Harlots.”

Speaking of harlots, how about Congress? Demented waste of taxpayer money? Hell, yeah! No fewer than four committees are “investigating” Planned Parenthood. So far, they’ve turned up a big fat Benghazi bowl of nada.

I guess it’s easier than governing.

A procession of pasty white congressweasels met to verbally beat up on Planned Parenthood head Cecile Richards, calling her a “criminal,” accusing PP of trafficking in “baby parts.”  Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, went after Richards on her annual compensation. Because how dare some chick make a six-figure salary as CEO of 700-plus clinics serving 3 million people nationwide?

This is clearly part of the Republican plan to reach out to female voters, banish that “War on Women” thing once and for all, by trying to destroy a source of health care to women.

Repeat after me: PP doesn’t use federal money for abortions. PP didn’t profit from fetal tissue.

Which brings me to presidential candidate and top-drawer fantasist Carly Fiorina. On “Meet the Press” Sunday, she insisted that the infamous Planned Parenthood tapes show a newly aborted living fetus lying on a table as a voice says, “We have to keep it alive to harvest its brain.”

Except the tapes contain no such scene and no such sound.

When Chuck Todd challenged Fiorina on her (let’s be kind) “mistake,” she went all Trump on him: “Chuck, Chuck, Chuck, Chuck, Chuck,” she said. “Do you think this is not happening? Does Hillary Clinton think this is not happening?”

Um, yes. Chuck thinks this is not happening. Hillary Clinton thinks this is not happening. Because IT IS NOT HAPPENING.

Evidently, the fetus on the table scene was described by somebody in the tapes who may or may not have seen it. Indeed, it may have been a miscarriage, not an abortion, and there’s no evidence tying it to Planned Parenthood.

The states of Indiana, Massachusetts, Missouri, South Dakota, Georgia, Pennsylvania and Florida have all investigated their Planned Parenthood clinics. None has turned up any violations (though Florida’s Gov. 10-Watt altered a press release, removing the sentence that exonerated PP).

But just because there’s nothing even close in the tapes made by the so-called “Center for Medical Progress” (which is not a “center,” has nothing to do with medicine, and certainly doesn’t promote progress), and zero evidence that Planned Parenthood has done anything illegal or unethical, doesn’t mean Carly Fiorina can’t make stuff up.

That’s how you get on Fox “News.” That’s how you get the attention of Republican primary voters, the people who also believe that Barack Obama is a Muslim (54 percent of Trump supporters), that climate change is a liberal plot, and that Santa Claus is indeed a white man.

Diane Roberts teaches at Florida State University in Tallahassee. Column courtesy of Context Florida.

This piece was reprinted by the Columbia County Observer with permission or license.

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