Admittedly, there is plenty of "conservative" crazy to go around.
In Florida, the push is on to drug test, well, pretty much everybody who works for state government provided that they are not legislators.
In Michigan, I am not making this up, the Republican Governor has just signed a law which seems to have been designed for the sole purpose of absolving the brother of that state's GOP party chair from responsibility in a multi-million dollar real estate boondoggle.
From coast to coast, the war on women rages, arguments that the poor should be taxed more are regarded as reasonable and, as Andrew Sullivan has examined HERE, HERE, HERE and HERE, standard GOP talking points about the sitting President are so far removed from reality as to be the equivalent of fiction.
There's also the Ryan plan, a scheme so fantastical in its absurdity that it contains statements like this one on page 16:
"The U.S. military is threatened by an uncontrolled debt burden that weakens America - but defense spending is not the driver of that burden." EMPHASIS MINERemember, this a "serious" and "non-political" document.
Mitt Romney has called it "marvelous" to the delight of the President.
Yup, the right wing's whack-doodles are absolutely everywhere making their mischief like pooh-flinging monkeys on a coke binge.
But there really is no place like Arizona.
Sure, most GOP controlled state houses are trying to pass or have passed invasive new restrictions on a woman's right to choose. But none of them are like Arizona's H.B 2036. Not content to merely ape other transvaginal ultra sound mandates or impose new limits on when a pregnancy can be terminated, Arizona's GOP has inserted a provision which effectively alters the fabric of time.
Over at Mother Jones, Kate Sheppard explains:
"Like the proposals before it, Arizona's legislation is modeled on the "Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act" designed by the National Right to Life Committee. And like the other bills, it states that abortion would be banned 20 weeks into a pregnancy. But reproductive rights advocates point out that Arizona's law would actually be more restrictive than others, as the bill states that the gestational age of the fetus should be "calculated from the first day of the last menstrual period of the pregnant woman."
Not to go all middle-school health on you, but that's not exactly the same as the actual date the egg and the sperm hooked up. Figuring out that exact point one became pregnant can be tricky. Most women ovulate about 14 or 15 days after their period starts, and women can usually get pregnant from sexual intercourse that occured anywhere between five days before ovulation and a day after it. Arizona's law would start the clock at a woman's last period—which means, in practice, that the law prohibits abortion later than 18 weeks after a woman actually becomes pregnant."Got that?
You're pregnant when you're not, ladies. So there. Harlots.
Still, this is very nearly rational in comparison with any number of other initiatives the Arizona GOP has proposed.
Got employer covered health insurance? WELL, let's protect their right to fire you if you use birth control.
Let's link any environmental initiative, even one using private funds to cover governmental interests, to a vast conspiracy involving "one world government," the U.N., Bill Clinton and... whatever.
Let's force any woman who is struggling with the Constitutionally protected right to choose to view an abortive procedure first.
Just in time for the anniversary of the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr, let's propose rather severe new penalties on civil disobedience.
Don't get me started on Joe Arpaio. Or Russell Pearce. It goes on and on and on with exemplars that boggle in comparison to almost any other so-called "Red State."
The state of Arizona has come to not only define, but also to predict establishment GOP extremism. They are the micro to the macro. If it's nuts, and it's happening there, it's also probably on its way to your state.
For the record, I used to love Arizona.
I once rode a horse in Monument Valley. It's one of my most treasured memories. I hoped at that time to capture the feeling, to be frank, that I thought John Wayne must have had in any of the many films he made there with the great John Ford directing.
It is a place of tremendous natural splendor. I also really liked the people I met when I was there.
But, that seems a lifetime ago.
Would I go back now?
Not a fucking chance unless I have to. I would as soon go to Kazakhstan and start loudly declaring myself to be American.
This is because it seems very nearly as dangerous to be one in either place.