Wednesday, April 28, 2010

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.

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  • Michael;

    Yes, crazy, indeed ... Someone should ask him, to prove its safety and effectiveness, would he microchip himself?

    By Blogger 13909 Antiques, at 1:08 PM  

  • Here is my official response.

    First, I want to say that I was quoted accurately in The Gazette Online. However, due to time, I was not able to complete my statement, which would have made it clear it was a critical social commentary on how inane and radical the discussion has become regarding the immigration issue. Ideas ranging from fences to shooting everyone as they cross the border have been proposed. The Soviets, Chinese, and Nazis all built walls to try to control the flow of the population. They all failed. Right now, the Mexicans simply dig underneath our walls and fences. In fact, one rancher in Arizona put a gate into the fence with signs pointing the way so he wouldn't have to repair it so often.

    In India and Africa, they brand and mark the undesirables. That approach does not work either. Amnesty has already been tried by Pres. Reagan, and that has failed.

    In India, they have a caste of people called the Untouchables. We are creating the same kind of caste here with illegal immigrants. At what point do we stop with the political ideologies, and start discussing common sense solutions? How many more boxcars full of dead immigrants do we need before we start addressing, in realistic terms, this tsunami of human slavery? How many more torn and broken families do we need before we agree to address, in practical terms, the magnitude of human misery created by illegal immigration?

    I do not support micro-chipping humans. And I did not mean to compare illegal immigrants to dogs. I am listening to people's ideas on this issue. I have a internet radio show every Friday from 2-4pm, “The Reasonable Republican”, on, where we discuss timely issues. You can find my official stance on immigration issues at

    And, in addition, you are not factually correct about the law in Arizona. It seems you have drunk the kool-aid, sir, and simply jumped on the hysteria bandwagon. Look at my website, read my statement, and stop being a part of the problem.

    By Anonymous Pat Bertroche, at 4:00 PM  

  • Yeah, um, Pat ... if that's who you really are ... you sound reasonable until you accuse Michael of "drinking the kool-aid," and thereby depart into the usual defensive stance of someone being caught in "being taken out of context."

    You and Sue Lowden both suffer from that complex.

    By Blogger Mustang Bobby, at 4:51 AM  

  • Well, I'm bound to mention that an RFID is not a "microchip" despite the prevalence of the term amongst the technological ignorati and if by "Kool Aid" you're referring to the Reverend Jones Massacre, I have to mention that he used Flavor Aid - a cheaper alternative brand.

    This may sound like a cynical comment, but of course I'm not able to compete the part where I agree with what you said as well as the part where you said you didn't say it and affirm that indeed, you are not fomenting public hysteria for personal gain.

    By Blogger Capt. Fogg, at 10:21 AM  

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