This week Joe Conason did a perceptive post for the National Journal on why the GOP breeds politicians like Todd Akin. "The embarrassing fall of Todd Akin," he writes, "should induce Republicans to confront their own responsibility for the low quality of politicians they are inflicting on us (and themselves). Having developed an extremist culture that encourages figures such as Akin to seek legislative office, GOP leaders should hardly be surprised when idiotic and reprehensible remarks spill from the mouths of their candidates. (Candidates who insist, by the way, that English should be our official language when their own diction is often incomprehensible.) He goes on to talk about other GOP cretins like Christine O?Donnell (DE), Sharron Angle (NV), Rand Paul (KY), Sarah Palin (AK), Carl Paladino (NY) Ken Buck (CO) and Ron Johnson (WI). But, aside from mentioning that Michele Bachmann tops any such list, left out the whole House Republican caucus (which, of course, is where Akin became Akin). No Paul Broun (GA), Steve King (IA), Lynn Westmoreland (GA), Jim Jordan (OH), Virginia Foxx (NC), Joe Wilson (SC), Allen West (FL), Louie Gohmert (TX)...? The list is virtually endless.
This morning I was reminded of one of the most cracked of the crackpot, little Patrick McHenry, when I got an e-mail from a local writer wondering why I had tweeted that I would pay $5,000 to anyone who could send me a video of McHenry, a notorious and hypocritical Republican closet case, having sex with a gay prostitute in Tampa next week. ($5,000 cash on the barrel... same for Miss McConnell but only $1,000 for Aaron Schock, since there will probably be so many videos that it could bankrupt me.) I called the earnest writer and we had a very pleasant conversation which began with him telling me that he had called McHenry's office and that a staffer told him that I had a vendetta against the congressman. Moi? Here's the e-mail that got this started:
Dear Mr. Klein,
My name is Jack. I am a staff writer for Oh My Gov, Inc. (www.ohmygov.com), a media analytics and intelligence company focused on the intersection of social media, government and media. Recently, it has come to our attention that you've made some comments on Twitter regarding a possible cash-for-sex tape offer regarding Representatives Patrick McHenry (R-NC) and Aaron Schock (R-IL). We're wondering if we could ask a few questions about what prompted you to make those comments, and why you singled out those two Congressmen in particular. Please find them enclosed below...
1) On August 21, you tweeted a message that says in part, "I'm offering $5,000 cash for a video of a hooker doing it with [Representative] Patrick McHenry or Miss McConnell; $1,000 for Aaron Schock". What was the purpose of the comment? Were you venting or blowing off steam, being facetious, or are you really interested in obtaining video of these individuals?
2) Why are/were you interested in McHenry and Schock? Neither men have a history of any sexual improprieties. Did you single them out for shock value, or are do you genuinely suspect something?
3) Your message was retweeted several times on the same day, including by @crooksandliars and several admirers and fans. Do you consider yourself the 21st Century Larry Flynt?
4) Our inquiries aside, are you worried that your comments will be taken out of context? What do you say to others who may take them a little more seriously than you intended?
5) Final Q: Now that you've made a splash on social media, is there a possibility that your writings will extend to exposing sexual hypocrisy in Congress and state legislatures as well?