1. State Sen. Jim Summerville: In a display of mean-spiritedness that made him something of a folk hero in the Republican Party, Summerville writes in an email what everyone already knows: He doesn’t give a rat’s ass what black lawmakers think. As an exclamation point, he refuses to apologize and flips off a TV news crew. Summerville may not survive much longer as a politician, but he’s got a bright future as a media relations consultant or contestant in Sir Cecil Creape lookalike competitions.
2. State Rep. Judd Matheny: In announcing he’s thinking about challenging Rep. Beth Harwell for House speaker, Matheny says the stakes are high — very high. If he loses, it’s the end of the world! “We have to alter the trajectory that we’re on or we will not be able to survive,” he warns direly. He goes on to tar Harwell as an untrustworthy moderate because she’s a little squeamish about letting state-licensed gunmen go armed wherever they please.
3. State Sen. Stacey Campfield: Adding to his stunning, record-shattering number of appearances in the Kook rankings, Campfield this time scores for (1) defending Missouri Senate candidate Todd Akin for saying “legitimate rape” victims can stop pregnancy; (2) patting Summerville on the back for disrespecting black lawmakers; and (3) scoffing at Gulf Coast concerns about Hurricane Isaac — and he did it all in consecutive rapid-fire blog posts from the Republican National Convention!
4. Rep. Joe Carr: Also in Tampa, Carr steals the show — topping even the Tennessee delegation’s trip to Hooters — with a bizarre back-and-forth with the media over the female reproductive system. Unfurling a diabolical, if seldom-used, strategy apparently aimed at befuddling reporters into submission, Carr first says he agrees that raped women possess a magical power to ward off pregnancy, then denies that he said it, then says it again but claims he didn’t really mean it — at least not at that moment as the words were crossing his lips.
5. Mark Clayton: Calling his anti-gay outfit “a love group,” Clayton laughs off Democratic disavowals of his Senate candidacy and proceeds to bash gay people as sexual predators drooling after our schoolchildren. Campfield then makes a surprise appearance at a press conference to embrace the weird Democratic nominee against Bob Corker. In the World of Kooks, it’s a Ruth-and-DiMaggio moment.