Column: Sam Parker on "Legitimate Rape" and Other Nutso Positions Held By Some GOP Members

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In coining the most odious and backwards catchphrase of the last half-century last Sunday, Rep. Todd Akin not only exposed his own idiocy, but also shined a light on the festering pool of lunacy from which the modern-day Republican party drinks. The Senate candidate told a Missouri news station that the female reproductive system magically girds itself against pregnancy in cases of "legitimate rape," and the video soon hit the web, with the obvious national outrage tailing just behind. He later issued a statement saying he "misspoke" -- what, exactly, could he have meant instead? -- and the Romney campaign said in a brief two sentence response that the candidate "disagreed" with Akin, as if the biological facts and moral hideousness of what he said was at all up for debate. That should come as no surprise, though; to the GOP, science and common sense are always up for debate (and the winner is often the highest bidder). The party of Lincoln has reached the point where half of its office-holders and candidates hold beliefs that would have 50 years ago earned them trips to sanitariums, or at least ballot positions that accurately reflect just how nutso-fringe they truly are. Here are, briefly, four more batshit nuts and remarkably commonly-held Republican positions to make a snug top five. 1. Intelligent Design The evangelical foot soldiers of the party grabbed hold in the mid-2000s, when the followers of Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson and Tony Perkins helped move one of their own, born-again George W. Bush, to the White House. Suddenly, school curriculums across the nation were under attack, with science the top target. Hundreds of years after Charles Darwin first advanced the theory of evolution -- during which time it was tested, proven, and harnessed in countless medical and biological advances -- it suddenly came into question. Instead, we're supposed to believe that humans and dinosaurs walked the earth together -- less than 6,000 years ago. There's even museums dedicated to it, with models that put shepherds and T-Rexs living in harmony. You'd really think you were being punked if you didn't know better, and the enterprise is so insane you still can't rule it out. 2. President Obama is a Kenyan Muslim Despite his releasing his birth certificate, writing two memoirs, and having countless friends, family members and colleagues that remember each step of his life, birthers are still certain that Barack Obama was born in Kenya and is a Muslim. They're really giving him too much credit, to think he'd have been able to concoct that deep an undercover infiltration from the moment he was born, now over 50 years ago. There's not much else to say about this other than the fact that it reflects a hardly-latent racism, and inability to cope with the diversification of the nation. 3. Global Warming isn't happening, and if it is, it's not man-made This is a whole thicket of moronic insistence. In the face of polar ice chunks breaking off and melting at record rates, many conservatives still claim climate change isn't real. It's just a normal point in cyclic temperatures, they say, even as the ozone layer rips ever wider. Nothing to do with our burning dirty coal and oil; as such, GOP support for carbon-based fuels is at a record high. After all, what did we just sacrifice ten years of treasure and lives for? 4. Megadeth Singer David Mustane Says Obama Planned Aurora, Sikh Temple Shootings For a guy whose metal band literally has the word death (as spelled by someone of his intelligence level) in his band's name, this is a pretty gutsy accusation. Mustane told an audience that the recent shooting tragedies were set up by the President so that he could use them as a springboard for his desire to take away Americans' God-given right to carry around murder machines. Beyond the sick insanity of his fantasy, Mustane doesn't even have the politics right: Obama has been criticized vociferously by gun control advocates for not making any moves to heighten gun control or re-apply the assault weapons ban that expired years ago.

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