Southern Goofs

This just in: Louisiana Republican Rep. John C. Fleming, M.D. is tossing his hat in the ring for Dumbest Member of Congress.

john flemingDino Grandoni at The Atlantic reports that “pro-life” Rep. Fleming M.D. posted a story from The Onion on his Facebook page, offering it as proof that Planned Parenthood offers “abortion by the wholesale.”

The satirical story from May 2011 “reported“:

Planned Parenthood announced Tuesday the grand opening of its long-planned $8 billion Abortionplex, a sprawling abortion facility that will allow the organization to terminate unborn lives with an efficiency never before thought possible. […]The 900,000-square-foot facility has more than 2,000 rooms dedicated to the abortion procedure. The abundance of surgical space, Richards said, will ensure that women visiting the facility can be quickly fitted into stirrups without pausing to second-guess their decision or consider alternatives such as adoption. Hundreds of on-site counselors are also available to meet with clients free of charge and go over the many ways that carrying a child to term will burden them and very likely ruin their lives.

The remaining space is dedicated to amenities such as coffee shops, bars, dozens of restaurants and retail outlets, a three-story nightclub, and a 10-screen multiplex theater—features intended not only to help clients relax, but to foster a sense of community and make abortion more of a social event.

It really takes a special kind of stupid to believe that (a) Planned Parenthood has $8 billion to spend on anything; (b) it would use the word “Abortionplex” to describe its health clinics where abortion only comprises 3 percent of its services (and some clinics don’t offer abortion at all); and (c) it would use its money to build, among other things, a movie theater, a nightclub and retail outlets. Oh yeah, and (d) that The Onion is an actual news source.

Apparently, Rep. Fleming M.D. possesses just that kind of special stupid.

What the story really demonstrates is just how much Republicans like Fleming hate Planned Parenthood. They hate it so much that they’re willing to believe anything, anything at all, to make the case that the nation’s largest provider of women’s health care should be put out of business. In fact, a Daily Kos-Public Policy Polling survey released Monday found that a majority of conservatives even oppose women receiving cancer screening at Planned Parenthood. Because the “pro-life” position that is a requirement for conservatives and Republicans is that all life is sacred—except for the lives of women who go to Planned Parenthood for their medical care. Those lives aren’t so sacred after all.

The Dumbest Member of Congress contest has a lot of stiff competition, but with his inability to distinguish between news and satire, it looks like Rep. Fleming M.D. is definitely a contender.

###
Editor's Note: This article was originally published February 6, 2012, at Daily Kos.  Photo of Rep. John C. Fleming from his official congressional website.
Kaili Joy Gray

Kaili Joy Gray

Kaili Joy Gray was born in 1978 in Santa Barbara. She worked on her first political campaign at six years old, as a doorknocker for her father’s City Council bid. Her first political act came in fifth grade when she successfully led a protest against the teacher for not calling on girls often enough. A graduate of UC Santa Cruz with a degree in women’s studies and a dean’s award in economics, her proudest academic achievement is that the state of California paid her to run her yap as the Opinion-Page Editor for City College. Kaili spent a year living in Virginia, where she learned that the most important issue in a gubernatorial race is who loves the death penalty more, and then lived in Washington, where she enjoyed the rain thirteen months a year. She now happily resides in the Bay Area, where the politics and the weather are pretty much perfect.