CPAC i(the Conservative Political Action Conference) is always one of the most entertaining and hilarious times of the year, albeit in a scary sort of way. That's the time of year when the Extreme Radical Far Right celebrates its Extreme Radical Far Rightness and brings out their craziest big guns who feel comfortable in their protected warm womb -- surrounded safely by the craziest of the craziest -- that they know they can dig deep into their Big Bag of Crazy and drag out that majestic crazy which they would never dream of even touching in polite, let alone impolite society. Like Michelle Bachmann claiming last week that it's gay people who are bullying the American People. And rewriting history (or not understanding in), like Donald Trump referring to the still-very alive ex-president as "the late, great Jimmy Carter." Truly crazy, ignorant stuff like that, on and on and on. Deeper and much deeper. You almost expected them to name George Zimmerman their Conservative Man of the Year.
The problem is for the other 90% of the world (which includes not only sane liberals and sane moderates, but also sane conservatives) is that pretty much all you can do is shake your head while laughing and hope these people don't actually get their finger on the bomb, or on anything breakable. You can't really even argue with them because a) they're protected in the security of Crazy Town, and b) you really can't argue with crazy. There's always some crazy explanation that explains it away. That's why it's crazy in the first place. (Their default defense when all else fails is always, "That's because you read the Lame Street Media.")
But someone did the near-impossible, and actually came up with a response, one that was truly wonderful and hilarious. But the most remarkable thing is that the "someone" was -- are you ready" -- the freaking Department of Justice!
It seems that last Friday, one-time GOP presidential hopeful before he self-imploded Gov. Bobby Jindal (R-LA) gave a wildly inaccurate account of history and compared U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to former racist Alabama Gov. George Wallace, who had infamously tried to block black students from entering the University of Alabama. (Mr. Jindal's explanation had something to do with Justice Department action on school vouchers. Don't try to understand, it will only make your head explode.)
The thing is, among many other things, one of those actual black students who actually walked past the actual George Wallace and actually integrated the school was actually Vivian Malone -- and she (actually) was the late sister-in-law of...yes, Attorney General Eric Holder!! Actually. (This is not a secret. Holder proudly references this often in his speeches.)
Not only does Mr. Holder mention this often (even as recently as just two days before), but Rep. John Lewis (D-GA) wrote about Vivian Malone and her courageous action in his recent book about the civil rights movement and his own involvement in it.
What sharp, whimsical and no doubt pissed-off staffers at the Department of Department did, rather than stew in their angst at yet another conservative trying to rewrite actual history, was...mail Bobby Jindal a copy of John Lewis's book! And attach a Post-it note to the appropriate passage
"Worth a read," they wrote.
It's one thing to meet full-on crazy with in-your-face hilarity to shut it down. But when that hilarity comes from...the United States Department of Justice??!! Who knew they had it in them?!!
I guess if you annoy even the most staid, stuffed shirt enough, even they have a limit. And have a sense of humor, to boot.
Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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