"All life should be cherished and protected," he declares on his website. Except when that life poses an inconvenience for Scott DesJarlais.

His problems began when he cheated on his first wife in an affair with a patient, and the patient got pregnant.

To save his marriage — and prove the affair was over — the Tennessee Tomcat devised the most misguided coverup since Watergate. He secretly recorded a conversation with his mistress in which he pressured her to get an abortion.

8. Scott DesJarlais (R-Tennessee): The Anti-Abortion Zealot With a Running Tab at Planned Parenthood
Illustration Tom Huck
8. Scott DesJarlais (R-Tennessee): The Anti-Abortion Zealot With a Running Tab at Planned Parenthood
7. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa): Burning Through Billions on Quack Science
Illustration Tom Huck
7. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa): Burning Through Billions on Quack Science

The cherished life of his child had become a "problem" that needed to be "fixed."

"You told me you'd have an abortion," DesJarlais says on the tape. "And now we're getting too far along without one."

As you might expect, his ham-fisted reconciliation plan backfired. As it turns out, DesJarlais wasn't just a serial philanderer; he'd also spent years compiling frequent-flier miles at Planned Parenthood.

Last November, the congressman's 700-page divorce-trial testimony went public. In it, he admitted to affairs with three co-workers, a drug rep, and two other patients. He also confessed to encouraging his wife to get two abortions before they were married.

But these revelations didn't move DesJarlais to a healthy round of soul-searching. Instead, he played the victim card, blaming a political opponent for "false personal attacks."

When that didn't work — he'd taped his own confession, after all — he took cover in religion, claiming that God had given him a mulligan.

"I know God's forgiven me," DesJarlais announced. "I simply ask my fellow Christians and constituents to do the same." In other words, if his constituents weren't up for "grace and redemption," they were rejecting direct orders from the Lord himself.

DesJarlais was abandoned by members of his own party. The Tennessee Conservative Union, the largest and oldest right-wing group in the state, demanded that he resign.

"The level of shamefulness was unprecedented," says Tennessee Democratic spokesman Brandon Puttbrese. "This is a doctor who had sex with patients and then tried to lecture people on healthcare policy, as if he gave a good damn about being an ethical physician."

Yet the cloak of God still trumps hypocrisy in the fundamentalist backwaters of middle Tennessee. DesJarlais was re-elected by a comfortable margin last fall, allowing him to carry on as Washington's official face of grace and redemption.

7. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa): Burning Through Billions on Quack Science

In January, Senator Tom Harkin announced that he would retire in 2015. Washington was soon to lose its biggest advocate for questionable science.

Harkin is most responsible for the creation and continued survival of a little-known office called the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine. If it sounds relatively harmless, that's the problem.

Harkin's interest in alternative medicine came from personal experience. After trying everything to rid himself of a hay fever allergy, the senator reportedly found relief through heavy dosing of bee pollen, taking up to 60 pills a day.

At the time, he happened to be the chairman of a subcommittee responsible for funding the National Institutes of Health. So in 1991, he introduced a law that would allow the agency to "investigate and validate . . . unconventional medical practices" — like his bee-pollen cure.

"This was the equivalent of a politician starting an organization to investigate UFOs, the Bermuda Triangle, and every other kooky conspiracy theory that's out there," says Alex Berezow, editor of online site RealClearScience and author of the book Science Left Behind. "This was the X-Files of medical research."

Investigating is certainly something the center has done. It's the validating part that has caused trouble, much to Harkin's dismay.

Though the agency's budget started at a paltry $2 million, like everything else in Washington, it has metastasized, to nearly $130 million annually. It has blown through billions testing dubious "cures" better left to late-night infomercials. The effect of distant prayer on AIDS. Harp music on stress levels. Therapeutic touch on bone cancer.

Unsurprisingly, not one of these methods has proved effective. In fact, in his attempt to legitimize alternative medicine, Harkin actually has accomplished the opposite: He's managed to nearly discredit it entirely.

Study after center study has shown that placebos are just as effective as Harkin's homeopathic miracles. In some cases, the "cures" were actually found to make things worse, as when the center discovered that St. John's wort rendered certain cancer drugs less effective.

That the scientific method is able to weed the good from the bad would seem to be the one positive outcome of Harkin's two-decade misadventure. Yet the senator sees it as "discrimination," lamenting that his agency has been "disproving things rather than seeking out and approving things."

Unfortunately for Harkin, that's how science works.

6. Dana Rohrabacher (R-California): When Tragedy Strikes, You Can Never Go Wrong by Blaming the Muslims

Dana Rohrabacher isn't a central-casting conservative. The Laguna Beach congressman surfs, wears Hawaiian shirts under his blazers, and has admitted to doing everything except slurp the bongwater when it comes to drugs.

But when it comes to seeing Muslims around every dark corner, Rohrabacher is the self-anointed flag-bearer of the Republican fringe.

Take the Oklahoma City bombing: Though all evidence points to a plot executed by homegrown goobers, Rohrabacher was certain the Muslims were to blame.

« Previous Page
 |
 
1
 
2
 
3
 
4
 
5
 
All
 
Next Page »
 
My Voice Nation Help
17 comments
nimh
nimh

So, right off the bat, this list says that being called the intellectual voice of the Tea Party is akin to "being the valedictorian of a carjacking ring" ... But then, right in its second point, blames Grayson for calling Republicans "knuckle-dragging Neanderthals" and generally contributing to "the partisan firefight disabling Washington". Um, ok. Hypocrisy much?

atlantis1star
atlantis1star

Why does Franks oppose the tribe’s Casino in Glendale? Simple, really. Trent Franks is a mentally unstable man with a history of psychological problems. He is putting a knife in the back of Glendale for "narrow special interests." Let’s guess who that is?

Right-wing nut bags in Sun City who hate everything?

Religious nuts who oppose gambling and anything slightly fun?

The chamber of commerce who will not have influence over the tribe?

1)Glendale would not have any say on how the property is developed.

2)Glendale would not capture any tax revenue from the property, including property tax and sales tax.

3)Glendale is afraid that a casino on the property would take away revenue from the Westgate Center.

4)Only the Gila River Nation opposes the project which is ABSOLUTELY no surprise, because they are the only nation near the area (in Laveen) and therefore have monopoly on casinos in the area.

Trent Franks knows the deal is legal and approved by the BIA, so he sneaks laws into congress to stop the deal. Scottsdale has no problem with casinos and they have plenty of jobs

ReggieVV
ReggieVV

Trent Franks, absolutely useless to Arizona or his constituents. Not one bill helping Arizona. And obsessed with one subject.

eric.nelson745
eric.nelson745 topcommenter

I've said it before and i'll say it again: Trent Franks, my illustrious Member of Congress, should have been aborted. Short of that, it's a cryin' shame that he survived childhood.

MaskedMagician1967
MaskedMagician1967 topcommenter

Why the hell am I paying Trent Franks to be a congressman?

Franks needs to be booted from office. Now. He's too mentally sick to be a congressman.

Cozz
Cozz

Sure is obvious why this county in going down the toilet fast with idiots like this in office, even worse is the idiot voters that actually vote for these slimeballs.

marcy
marcy

While this story is about the PCSO, the real story is that cops, for the most part, are barely civilized thugs.

pszymeczek
pszymeczek

The scariest one to me is Paul Broun.  This anti-science nut is a PHYSICIAN.

bob_lablaw96
bob_lablaw96

A well balanced list, I think.  I had expected you to have all 10 nominees be from the Right side of the aisle. Thanks for not doing that.

Why was Joe Biden not on the list?  That has to be the craziest guy we have seen in years.  Even worse than Bush, when it comes to saying the wrong thing, Joe usually seems to wait for the teleprompter before asking for morning coffee.


All in all, though, a good list

getmeouttahere
getmeouttahere

@eric.nelson745 Franks has such a one-track mind about abortion that one wonders if his own mother repeatedly told him that she wished she had aborted him, giving him a psychological complex that Freud would have a field day with. It would certainly explain his obsession with the topic and his obvious mental and emotional  problems (talk to anyone who has met the man; there is something VERY wrong with him.) Either that, or like that horndog hypocrite  from Tennessee, Franks has dragged a few knocked-up girlfriends and mistresses to the abortion clinic himself.

It's an all-to-common phenomenon; those who yell the loudest about something are often the most guilty of what they despise and condemn. So the anti-abortion zealot forces his own wife and/or girlfriend to have an abortion; the anti-pornography crusader has a huge stash of the most depraved porn available on his computer or, if he's old-school, under the bed; the guy ranting the loudest against homosexuality is himself a self-loathing closet case, trolling airport bathrooms and rentboy websites for hookups; and the guy preaching against divorce and adultery and demanding a return to "Christian family values" is himself a serial philanderer who repeatedly screws women whhis wife and could not be faithful

getmeouttahere
getmeouttahere

@@eric.nelson745 Franks has such a one-track mind about abortion that one wonders if his own mother repeatedly told him that she wished she had aborted him, giving him a psychological complex that Freud would have a field day with. It would certainly explain his obsession with the topic and his obvious mental and emotional  problems (talk to anyone who has met the man; there is something VERY wrong with him.) Either that, or like that horndog hypocrite  from Tennessee, Franks has dragged a few knocked-up girlfriends and mistresses to the abortion clinic himself.

It's an all-to-common phenomenon; those who yell the loudest about something are often the most guilty of what they despise and condemn. So the anti-abortion zealot forces his own wife and/or girlfriend to have an abortion; the anti-pornography crusader has a huge stash of the most depraved porn available on his computer or, if he's old-school, under the bed (just for "research purposes," of course); the guy ranting the loudest against homosexuality is himself a self-loathing closet case, trolling airport bathrooms and rentboy websites for hookups; and the guy preaching against divorce and adultery and demanding a return to "Christian family values" is himself a serial cheater who repeatedly hires hookers and/or screws women who aren't his wife and could not be monogamous if you paid him to be (or, if you're Newt Gingrich, unless your wife is with you at all times; honestly, does anyone really think that plastic fembot he's married to, travels with him all of the time because she just can't be without him? She has to know damn well that if she lets Newty out of her sight, he'll mount the first thing with boobs that he sees, and she'll be on her way to being the next ex-Mrs. Gingrich.) 

Alas, it is hard to say if such revolting hypocrisy, or the rank idiocy of the human failures listed above, is a new phenomenon, or just one we're more aware of it now in our era of internet transparency and 24-hour news cycles. But it does make one suspect that perhaps democracy as practiced in the US has reached its "jump the shark"point and it is time for a new system. Perhaps it is also time that we admit that the stupid should not be permitted to breed, much less vote.

azcumsquelcher
azcumsquelcher

@bob_lablaw96 Even the liberals that they picked weren't really crazy, just kind of mean-spirited. The purpose of this article is to paint the GOP as having the most bat-shit crazy or "weird," as the author kindly puts it, representatives in the country. I couldn't be less surprised that they picked on Michelle Bachman to lead the list, she's kind of quirky and liberals love to hate her. I definitely agree with you that Joe Biden is a lunatic

 
Phoenix Concert Tickets

Around The Web

Loading...