Friday, October 11, 2013

#747: Vicky Hartzler


We are, to an extent, of two minds regarding Thom Hartmann. Yes, he has demonstrated a commitment to New Age idiocy and – it seems – expressed sympathy to various forms of pseudoscience. These views are rarely expressed on the show, admittedly, but the fact that he has them is something listeners should probably keep in mind.

Still, it pales in comparison to the mind and beliefs of Vicky Jo Hartzler. Hartzler is the U.S. Representative for Missouri's 4th congressional district. Already from the start her track record reveals a rabid opposition to gay rights – in 2004 she served as state spokeswoman for the anti-gay organization Coalition to Protect Marriage (who successfully campaigned to ban gay marriage in Missouri), and although she was a fierce opponent of the Equal Rights Amendment (“I don't want women used to pass a liberal agenda”), she was appointed Chair of the Missouri Women's Council in 2005. Her campaigns against gays continued into her term as US representative (she was elected in 2010, and was in that connection profiled here), and at the Eagle Forum Collegians Summit in 2011, she said that if same-sex marriages were allowed, it would lead to pedophiles and polygamists also being allowed to marry (which reveals a rather astounding lack of understanding of the issue). She has also said that “arguing that allowing gays to marry is just like giving a three year old a driver’s license,” which is not a particularly good analogy but definitely an offensive one. After Missouri passed the constitutional amendment banning gay marriage, Hartzler told gays that they “shouldn’t feel bad” about the constitutional amendment because gays were already banned from marrying by statute.

To truly affirm her inclusion in our Encyclopedia, Hartzler is also a birther. In 2012 she “expressed doubts” regarding Obama's birth certificate, saying that “I have doubts that it is really his real birth certificate, and I think a lot of Americans do, but they claim it is, so we are just going to go with that.”

At the same time she also said that she has “a lot of concerns about China. They are actually building up their military on the money we are giving them,” being – like the true conspiracy theorist she is – concerned that the Chinese are embedding microchips with detection or tracking capabilities in products sold in the United States. Her solution? “We need to have a new 007 James Bond movie with China as the bad guys.” Almost as good as prayer, then, I suppose.

Hartzler is also on the record saying that the government should only support (or facilitate) Christianity, “and certainly not [be] facilitating or accommodating fringe religions, it’s crazy,” which reveals a rather poor understanding of some central principles. Of course, she is a staunch evangelical herself, and has written a book for Christian activists running for office called Running God’s Way: Step by Step to a Successful Political Campaign, which “discusses how to run a political campaign by using events and stories in the bible as a guide.”

Always a sucker for evidence, Hartzler is a staunch climate change denier, since she read “some articles that [said] it’s actually decreasing, that we have climates getting colder … and certainly, I don’t believe that if there is a climate change that man has a very significant role in that.” Complete fail, in other words.

Diagnosis: Completely, rabidly insane. Michele Bachmann-land. She is also, rather obviously, quite powerful – and an uncannily large number of inhabitants of Missouri actually voted for her.Shame on you, Missouri.

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