The 10 Weirdest People in Congress?

City Pages, a very cool newspaper in Minnesota, offers a list of the ten weirdest members of Congress. And it’s a pretty good list. Number ten is Sen. Ted Cruz, which is quite an achievement for a guy who’s only been in Congress for a few weeks. But this sums him up pretty well:

But it’s Cruz’s Agenda 21 conspiracy theory that sets him apart.

Agenda 21 is the kind of feel-good plan that’s made the United Nations a model of ineffectiveness for nearly 70 years. It’s a vaguely worded, nonbinding, 300-page resolution that reads like a fifth-grader’s wish list for a better world. (Combat poverty! Prevent deforestation!)

The measure is so innocuous that known radical George H. W. Bush signed on in 1992, as did the heads of 178 other countries. Since then, it’s been largely forgotten. Except by Cruz.

As he sees it, Agenda 21 is actually a conspiracy led by liberal financier George Soros to rob honest Americans of their property rights — two words sure to induce Pavlovian terror in anyone living west of the Mississippi.

Cruz claims Agenda 21 is a “globalist” plan to forcibly relocate rural Americans into urban “hobbit homes,” which are too small for necessities like a still or a firing range. He also believes it will lead to the abolishment of paved roads and golf courses, threats scientifically proven to unbolt the wallets of Republican donors.

There are a few Democrats on the list too, and justifiably so. I know partisan Democrats love Alan Grayson because he’s a bombthrower. They think it’s good to have a brass knuckle-wielding brawler like him on the left. But that leaves him doing the same thing we criticize so many Republicans of doing, oversimplifying complex issues and engaging in personal attacks rather than substantive ones. And sometimes he behaves exactly like them, as when he called his 2010 Republican opponent a draft dodger and started calling him “Taliban Dan.”

The other Democrats on the list are Sheila Jackson Lee, who is nuttier than a Stuckey’s pecan log roll, and Tom Harkin, the leading advocate of medical woo we’ve ever had in Congress. Other than them, it’s the usual suspects. Louis Gohmert is number five, Trent Franks is number three and, to no one’s surprise, Michele Bachmann is the grand champion.

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  • http://motherwell.livejournal.com/ Raging Bee

    I can think of lots of Republicans for whom a nickname that includes the word “Taliban” would be perfectly appropriate. I certainly have no problem calling Rev. Robertson “Al Qaeda Pat.” If that’s all they have on Grayson, I’m inclined to suspect the makers of this list are going way too far to make themselves look “evenhanded” or “nonpartisan” or something.

  • Alverant

    I like Grayson for that reason. Gives the cons a taste of their own medicine.

  • http://www.facebook.com/den.wilson d.c.wilson

    An angry representative Steve King held a press conference demanding that he be included in the list.

    Other than the fact that the man who thinks kidnapping, raping, and forcing an abortion on a minor is legal got left out, I’d say this is a pretty good list.

    It’s a shame Anthony Weiner resigned.

  • Emptyell

    Yeah, I admit to being sympathetic to Grayson too. After all I am on the Republican Health Care Plan. Fortunately I am still in the “don’t get sick” part.

  • rabbitscribe

    Grayson was using the slogan, “My Congressman’s got guts!” Somebody set up a satirical website called “mycongressmanisnuts.com” Grayson determined the owner was not technically his constituent and attempted to have her prosecuted for election fraud and asked that the maximum sentence of five years in Federal prison be imposed. Um, no…

  • slc1

    I wasn’t aware that Shelia Jackson Lee was a nutcase. I have heard her interviewed several times and she did not appear to be deranged, in fact seemed quite level headed.

  • Brain Hertz

    …which are too small for necessities like a still or a firing range.

    Ok, that one actually made me laugh out loud.

  • Michael Heath

    City Pages:

    Since then, [Agenda 21] been largely forgotten. Except by [Sen. Ted] Cruz.

    No, my state representative submitted bill just last summer that requires Michigan to violate the U.S. Constitution and refuse to follow any federal laws having to do with Agenda 21. The wingnuts are on the case, in this case that’d be some of the global warming deniers. It’s ironic in this representative’s case because my legislator supports unregulated fracking in MI because he claims the science supports him where that’s always his frame of reference.

  • Michael Heath

    Ed asserts:

    Tom Harkin, the leading advocate of medical woo we’ve ever had in Congress.

    Huh, I would have guessed Sen. Orin Hatch. Utah is an oasis for food supplement manufacturers who are able to make false claims with hardly any ramifications.

  • Trebuchet

    Having read the list, I’m not sure whether to laugh or cry. How do these morons keep getting elected?

  • http://cheapsignals.blogspot.com Gretchen

    rabbitscribe said:

    Grayson was using the slogan, “My Congressman’s got guts!” Somebody set up a satirical website called “mycongressmanisnuts.com” Grayson determined the owner was not technically his constituent and attempted to have her prosecuted for election fraud and asked that the maximum sentence of five years in Federal prison be imposed. Um, no…

    That’s horrifying. This should be considered proof that the congressman is unfit to serve as such and constitute grounds for removal from office.

  • http://www.facebook.com/den.wilson d.c.wilson

    Michael Heath:

    A while back, Harkin pushed through an amendment that forced the FDA to create a program evaluate and approve alternative medicine quackery. A few years later, he expressed disappointment that the FDA hadn’t approved a single treatment. Apparently, he didn’t anticipate that they’d subject these quack remedies to the same scientific standards they use for other treatments.

    Harkin does a lot of good, but he just has this one blindspot.

  • Draken

    It seems to me that listing ridiculous politicians in the USSA is like shooting fish in a barrel. With a Gatling. But can anyone list 10 reps or senators who do a good job, use good argumentation, at least try to follow up on their promises and so on?

    I hope so please?

  • Cal

    but, when do we get our Hobbit Homes? Those sound awesome! :)

  • frog

    Hobbit homes in urban environments? Did he even read Tolkien?

    Likewise, abolishment of paved roads? Between the hobbit homes in those urban environments, I guess?

    Dude can’t tell his asphalt from a hole in the ground.

  • mobius

    What? No James Inhofe? It’s a sad statement on the quality of our Congress people when you can find 10 members even loonier than Inhofe.

  • slc1

    Re d.c.wilson @ #12

    David Gorski (akia Orac) has strongly criticized Harkin for his support of woo, but admits that he has alsobeen responsible for significant increases in funding for the other programs at NIH. Again, sort of a mixed bag.

  • dan4

    Maxine Waters should have made the list. I don’t agree much with Boehner and Cantor, but calling them “demons?” C’mon.

  • dan4

    @1: If you read the actual City Pages article that Ed provided a link to, the “Taliban Dan” comment is definitely NOT “all they’ve got” on crazy Alan Grayson.

  • martinc

    Trebuchet @ 10:

    How do these morons keep getting elected?

    Unfortunately, they’re representative.

  • martinc

    If Grayson is on the list for his insults, they sound rather tame compared to Australian parliamentary efforts. Mark Latham referred to the opposing party as “a conga line of suck-holes”. Paul Keating, master of insults, described John Hewson as “like a shiver waiting for a spine”, and John Howard as “the brain-damaged Leader of the Opposition”.

    Hansard also records this particular note-worthy effort from the 1970s:

    Country Party Member of Parliament, concluding long rousing speech about the importance of rural representation: “I am a COUNTRY MEMBER!”

    Gough Whitlam: “I remember.”

    Hansard records applause.

    But fruity language is just more acceptable in Australia. Janice Munt, the treasurer of the state of Victoria, ran for re-election with a slogan (for a short time) of:

    “Vote for Janice Munt –

    Because the other bloke’s a @#$%.”

  • donkensler

    it will lead to the abolishment of paved roads

    I never thought paved roads were a priority of modern Republicans. They sure don’t seem too willing to, y’know, raise the taxes necessary to pay for maintaining them. I figured that explained the popularity of 4×4 pickups with 2 feet of ground clearance – that way you don’t need no stinkin’ paved roads.