The baby has reached another teen milestone: chuckling at the annual Darwin Awards. These are (sometimes) true stories of humans who die or sterilize themselves while attempting exceptionally reckless or careless acts: juggling live hand grenades, jumping with a camera but not a parachute to film other skydivers, or using a lighter to see if a fuel tank is empty. Those are actual examples.
The premise of the awards is that these people improved the human gene pool by leaving it. Some of the stories are funny – if you forget that each ‘winner’ had a family and friends who may not see the humor – and perhaps the awards serve as worthwhile object lessons. So when the baby chuckles at an entry, I remind him to consider what he might learn from it.
Wendy Northcutt, who created the awards, never claimed them as a political philosophy. For that, you have to go to Rep. Allen West (R-FL):
I must confess, when I see anyone with an Obama 2012 bumper sticker, I recognize them as a threat to the gene pool.
He might want to reconsider his implied support for political eugenics. It has a vile history, of which the Holocaust is just one example. The American Eugenics Society and Pioneer Fund were both founded on the premise that ‘lesser’ human beings – classes or individuals – should not be allowed to reproduce. Not surprisingly, the poor and vulnerable were common targets. Many states had compulsory sterilization laws for those diagnosed with mental illnesses including depression and bipolar disorder, and eugenicists’ advocated miscegenation laws to maintain racial purity.
Perhaps Rep. West didn’t intend to support political eugenics. Perhaps he wasn’t implicitly calling for the sterilization or elimination of Democrats. Perhaps he just has a simultaneous case of mental constipation coupled with verbal diarrhea.
Consider his comments after Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) noted on the House floor that the GOP ‘Cut, Cap, and Balance’ plan would increase Medicare costs for seniors, and questioned why “a Member from South Florida” would vote against his constituents’ interests. That prompted this vitriolic response from Rep. West:
Subject: Unprofessional and Inappropriate Sophomoric Behavior from Wasserman-Schultz
Look, Debbie, I understand that after I departed the House floor you directed your floor speech comments directly towards me. Let me make myself perfectly clear, you want a personal fight, I am happy to oblige. You are the most vile, unprofessional, and despicable member of the US House of Representatives. If you have something to say to me, stop being a coward and say it to my face, otherwise, shut the heck up. Focus on your own congressional district!
I am bringing your actions today to our Majority Leader and Majority Whip and from this time forward, understand that I shall defend myself forthright against your heinous characterless behavior……which dates back to the disgusting protest you ordered at my campaign hqs, October 2010 in Deerfield Beach.
You have proven repeatedly that you are not a Lady, therefore, shall not be afforded due respect from me!
For her part, Rep. Wasserman Schultz offered this response:
I don’t think that Congressman West is upset at the Congresswoman, but rather with the fact that she highlighted that he and other Republicans are once again trying to balance the budget on the backs of seniors, children and the middle class. As someone who lives in Congresswoman Wasserman Schultz’s Congressional district, Congressman West knows that we have hundreds of thousands of seniors in South Florida who have paid into Medicare throughout their lives and now rely on this program to keep them healthy and active. The truth hurts.
Representative West is not a threat to the human gene pool, but his attitude is a threat to the democratic process. Fortunately, two-term Palm Beach Mayor Lois Frankel will try to relieve that threat next year by running for that U.S. House seat.
Good day and good nuts.