Republican Congressman: Fetuses With Guns Won’t Be Aborted

fetus_gunTo paraphrase a line from the 1989 Batman movie: I’ve found a name for my pain, and it is Rep. Steve Stockman (R-TX). Until this past weekend, I was only mildly aware of this unit, but now that I’m fully introduced to his brand of politics and off-the-rails wingnuttery, I can neither turn away nor resist the urge to mercilessly assault him here and via social media.

I’ll get into the reasons presently, but first: who is Steve Stockman?

Out of the entire roster of fringe, far-right members of Congress, Stockman is perhaps the most extreme, radical, unhinged and, quite possibly, insane of the batch. And that’s no exaggeration. Sure, there’s considerable competition from the usual suspects: Gohmert, Bachmann, King, Foxx and so on. But Stockman is a new superstrain of far-right radicalism — he’s a wingnut internet troll but with the power to sponsor and vote on federal legislation. It’s almost as if he was genetically engineered by consortium of all the worst, most histrionic right-wing talk radio hosts, Fox News screechers, bloggers, Huff Post commenters and southern-twanged Christian fundamentalist crackpots. And this understates his awfulness.

Stockman and Nugent.

Nugent and Stockman.

Stockman, age 56, hails from the Texas 36th, served in Congress for one term in the middle 1990s and returned to the House this year by annihilating his Democratic opponent by a margin of 71-27. Prior to his first term in Congress, Stockman was reportedly homeless until he became a born-again Christian. During his first term in Congress, a bomb threat was delivered to his office describing an attack on a federal building in Oklahoma City. As you can guess, the message was quite possibly a warning about what would turn out to be a catastrophic terrorist attack there. Stockman’s staff inexplicably sent a copy of the warning to, yes, the NRA. We don’t know why. Also, during that first term, Stockman claimed that the ATF’s attack upon the Branch Davidian compound in Waco, Texas was a conspiracy by the Clinton administration to gin up support for new gun control laws.

In January, Stockman threatened to somehow impeach the president due to Obama’s 23 executive orders on gun control. And you might recall Stockman’s guest of honor at this year’s State of the Union: Ted Nugent.

It turns out Stockman is also a prolific Twitter user and maintains two different feeds: @SteveWorks4You and @ReElectStockman. Both feeds are like a bottomless slagheap of conservative zealotry in bumper-sticker-slogan form. Literally. While reading his tweets, it was almost like I was tapping into the reptilian brain stem of the modern conservative movement. Case in point: the following tweet appeared in his @ReElectStockman feed on Friday:

This is just a taste of the incoherent extremism found in his Twitter account. Yes, there would be fewer abortions if the fetuses were armed. I’m not exactly sure what he means, other than to suggest that no one would dare to abort a fetus if the fetuses could defend themselves with guns. Clearly this is a statement about maintaining the right to bear arms for the purposes of crime prevention and self defense, but the first thing that popped into my head was that Stockman’s Twitter feed might be an elaborate meta-joke carried on by an Onion-style comedy troupe seeking to undermine a Republican congressman by making him sound like an unbalanced, self-satirical freakdog. The second thing that popped into my head wasn’t quite as fun to think about. It turns out that any random perusal of the news will produce countless reports about babies with guns. In recent news alone, and featuring children under the age of five:

December 5, 2012 – Minneapolis boy, 4, finds gun, shoots brother, 2, police say

December 25, 2012 – Father arrested after son, two, grabbed his gun from table and shot himself in Christmas Day tragedy

January 10, 2013 – Child playing with gun accidentally shoots self 

January 24, 2013 – Four-year-old Ohio boy shoots himself dead with father’s gun ‘he didn’t know was real’ 

February 5, 2013 – 3-year-old S.C. boy killed after mistaking pink handgun for toy

February 24, 2013 – 4-year-old killed himself with dad’s gun in N. Houston 

February 22, 2013 – Boy, 2, accidentally shoots self after finding gun in mother’s purse 

April 8, 2013 – Tennessee deputy’s wife killed by 4-year-old child handling gun 

April 9, 2013 – Boy, 4, shoots and kills playmate, 6

And these weren’t all of them. I stopped looking after nine, but I think you get the idea. Contrary to your disgusting bumper sticker, Mr. Stockman, babies do, in fact, have guns and the results aren’t what you predicted with your self-satisfied gibberish. I wonder how many of the parents were responsible gun owners (one of the parents is a police officer). How many of the guns were concealed-carry firearms? Stockman doesn’t care. He’s a creature of apoplectic outrage and isn’t concerned with the rational evaluation of issues or matters involving sensible policymaking. It turns out Stockman plans to use a procedural trick, a “blue slip resolution,” in order to block any and all new gun control bills that come up for a vote, including the Senate bill, which, as I wrote on Friday, is mostly a pro-gun measure with the words “Second Amendment Rights Protection” in the title, along with an expansion of concealed-carry laws and no firearm bans or magazine limitations in the text. But Stockman’s going to block it anyway.

 

Meanwhile, I’d be neglecting the full scope of Stockman’s zealotry if I didn’t include some other “greatest hits” from his Twitter feed, such as:

“The best thing about the Earth is if you poke holes in it oil and gas come out.”

“Will abortion be the only medical procedure not wait-listed and rationed under ObamaCare?”

“Over 12,000 people have moved into our Texas congressional district since November because fracking and Keystone create the jobs Obama can’t”

So what do we do about this guy? While too many otherwise smart people suggest we should ignore Stockman and others like him until they disappear, I believe that we should tenaciously hector and discredit these people, especially the ones who’ve been gifted with the privilege of being one of 535 Americans with a seat on the floor of Congress. But it’s not so much about discrediting one man, however unhinged he might be, it’s about continuing to discredit the modern Republican Party by calling attention to the fact that it’s inextricably linked to these unwavering, irrational, uncompromising wackaloons. And the more the Republicans are marginalized, the more they’ll be incapable of interfering in the universe of rational debate and lawmaking, leaving the matters of American government to cooler heads.

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  • Christopher Foxx

    Thanks. I’d disagree that the fact a caucus exists in the Democratic party means the caucus is doing consistently great work. Are there some folks working to to good things in some areas? Of course. I can certainly recognize when they move on the right track. But praising someone for when they get an A doesn’t mean you fail to notice that far more often they don’t.

    90% of the country in favor for background checks for all gun purchases, and the “greatest progressive voice” you’ve ever seen and Democrats in Congress can’t get more progress than a “we’ve agreed to discuss it”?

    The Democrats, including the current resident of the White House, have been far to quick to back down and far too slow to take the opportunities handed them. They’ve not been nearly as effective as they should have been at calling out wingnuts at treating them with the public scorn they deserve.

    (And receiving death threats is not necessarily a measure of of how well a person is going “good” things. It could equally be a measure of how crazy folks are these days.)

    • mrbrink

      Absurd. That whole comment. Poor use of a brain. And the fact that you vote shit down is childish.

      I gave you names. You gave me shit.

      • Christopher Foxx

        Not absurd. I respond to your posting and disagree with you. I explain why, and you resort to insults.

        (And just what am I supposedly voting down? You’re presumption that I’m responsible for any particular down vote is presumptuous.)

        • mrbrink

          There was nothing to disagree with. You don’t think the president has been providing leadership or standing up for policies that regulate the flow of guns and you’re 100% wrong. He’s been everywhere. Front and center. Consoling families, crafting policy, pushing both parties and making his plea to the American people to push the congress. Yawn. You don’t think Dianne Feinstein on the receiving end of mainstream-GOP-Ted-Nugent-death-threats for showing leadership on regulating the flow of guns is something worth considering when you’re making you’re flawed observations and you’re 100% wrong. But instead of acknowledging this very flawed perception that Democrats are whaaah, something something, frumpy face, frumpy face, you asked, “Really?” and “Who?” and I told you “really” and “who” and you go ahead and pull out pocket lint and call it two cents. Weak. So weak.

          • Christopher Foxx

            My bad. I forgot Democrats are flawless.

            That’s why they’ve already passed gun control.

  • http://www.politicalruminations.com/ nicole

    Really excellent piece, Bob!

  • Christopher Foxx

    I believe that we should tenaciously hector and discredit these people

    Absolutely. And it frustrates me no end that the Democrats steadfastly refuse to do that.

    Time and time again they get handed the opportunity to show how plain stupid wingnuts are, and let it go past each time.

    • mrbrink

      There are whole caucuses in the Democratic party who do really great work to move and maintain the line against this certifiably insane onslaught of right wing nutter-butter every single day.

      • Christopher Foxx

        Really? Which?

  • dbtheonly

    Are you sure this news isn’t from Onion?

  • http://www.osborneink.com OsborneInk

    If guns are outlawed for fetuses, only outlaw fetuses will have guns.

    • RilesSD

      Outlaw Fetuses. The name of my new band.