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Despite GOP Efforts, Some Extremists Win Political Campaigns

The New York Times titled its Nov. 5 postmortem on the midterm elections, “Republicans’ First Step Was to Handle Extremists in Party.” The GOP didn’t “handle” everyone, though. Here’s a look at some of the more radical figures elected on Nov. 4, 2014:

Joni Ernst, U.S. Senate, Iowa: Ernst won hearts with a commercial declaring that she grew up castrating hogs. She’s also called President Obama a “dictator,” supported unconstitutional state “nullification” of federal laws, and bought into a conspiracy theory suggesting that Agenda 21, a toothless U.N. environmental initiative, might be used to push Iowa farmers off their land.

Gary Glenn, Michigan state legislature, District 98: Glenn, who authored Michigan’s amendment banning same-sex marriage, dreams of recriminalizing homosexuality and thinks businesses should avoid hiring LGBT people because of the “severe medical consequences” of homosexuality. He is former director of AFA-Michigan, an affiliate of the American Family Association, an anti-LGBT hate group. 

Glenn Grothman, U.S. House of Representatives, Wisconsin, 6th District: A Christian Right hardliner, Grothman has defended a proposed Ugandan bill that would have made “aggravated homosexuality” a capital offense. He also proposed to make it a felony offense in the U.S. for doctors to perform abortions to save mothers’ lives. He once called Martin Luther King Jr. Day “an insult.”

Jody Hice, U.S. House of Representatives, Georgia, 10th District: This radio talk show host says that Islam is not protected by the First Amendment, believes that a woman may run for office only if she’s “within the authority of her husband,” and once said that “blood moons,” whatever those are, are a sign of world-changing events. 

Gordon Klingenschmitt, Colorado state legislature, District 15: Klingenschmitt, who claims the ability to cast demons out of LGBT people, heads the anti-LGBT hate group The Pray in Jesus Name Project. He was court martialed by the Navy in 2006 for disobeying an order and believes gay people should be discriminated against because they’re not going to heaven (and only people who go to heaven deserve equal treatment).

Michael Peroutka, Ann Arundel County Council, Maryland: This ardent Southern secessionist, former board member of the neo-Confederate hate group League of the South (LOS) and one-time presidential candidate for the theocratic Constitution Party, campaigned on local issues. Still, he maintains extreme positions such as his belief that proponents of the “gay deathstyle” plan to recruit America’s children to their cause. He also believes nondiscrimination laws are a plot to replace God with government “idolatry.”

Mark Walker, U.S. House of Representatives, North Carolina, 6th District: This immigrant-bashing preacher-turned-politician proposes to deploy the National Guard along the Mexican border and have the military shoot at unauthorized border-crossers. In response to a question about whether he wanted the U.S. to start a war with Mexico, Walker said, “Well, we did it before. If we need to do it again, I don’t have a qualm.”