Craziest Republican of the Day: Pat Bertroche
This is the third CRD post in two days. Overkill? Hardly. Republicans are providing us with an astonishing amount of material, and it's not that there are too many of these posts, it's that there are too few. What can I say? It's tough to keep up.
Yesterday it was Leo Berman and Kristia Cavere. Today it's Pat Bertroche. To be fair, these three are hardly household names. Only Berman is a political officeholder, a state representative in Texas. Cavere, a Tea Party favorrite, is running for the GOP nomination in NY-19, and Bertroche is doing the same in Iowa's 3rd.
But even if they don't have the stature of, say, a Mitch McConnell or a John Boehner, they're still Republicans and they're still incredibly crazy.
Here's what Bertroche, a doctor, said recently at a Republican forum in Tama County, Iowa:
I think we should catch 'em, we should document 'em, make sure we know where they are and where they are going. I actually support microchipping them. I can microchip my dog so I can find it. Why can't I microchip an illegal? That's not a popular thing to say, but it's a lot cheaper than building a fence they can tunnel under.
Read that again, just you catch the full impact.
That's right, Bertroche is saying that illegal immigrants -- men, women, children -- should be microchipped like dogs. No, that's certainly not a popular thing to say, but it's something a Republican can get away with.
These days, as you know, the Party of (Hell) No likes to think of itself as the Party of Freedom, promoting unrestrained liberty (for the rich and privileged). What it is really, it would seem, is the Party of Fascism, the party of draconian anti-immigrant laws, the party of nativism, the party of freedom for the select few (like the guys who run Goldman Sachs) and obedience for the rest, the party of a sort of laissez faire capitalist police state.
No, Bertroche doesn't speak for the party, and I suspect that many Republicans would find his fascist-like extremism (even by their standards) unpalatable, if not downright offensive. But, again, this is the party of a law in Arizona, supported by the likes of Bill Kristol (a Jew who should know better, given what happened back in the '30s and '40s in Germany and elsewhere, and what has happened to Jews throughout history), that will allow police to target (even vaguely) suspected illegal immigrants through racial and ethnic profiling, that will require even legal immigrants (and even American citizens) to carry identification papers.
So it is really all that surprising that a Republican has called for microchipping human beings? It's a reductio ad absurdum approach to the Republican war on (illegal) immigration, but it can hardly seem absurd to the increasingly extremist, and increasingly crazy, Republican Party.