"All life should be cherished and protected," he declares on his website. Except when that life poses an inconvenience for Scott DesJarlais.

His problems began when he cheated on his first wife in an affair with a patient, and the patient got pregnant.

To save his marriage — and prove the affair was over — the Tennessee Tomcat devised the most misguided coverup since Watergate. He secretly recorded a conversation with his mistress in which he pressured her to get an abortion.

The cherished life of his child had become a "problem" that needed to be "fixed."

"You told me you'd have an abortion," DesJarlais says on the tape. "And now we're getting too far along without one."

As you might expect, his ham-fisted reconciliation plan backfired. As it turns out, DesJarlais wasn't just a serial philanderer; he'd also spent years compiling frequent-flier miles at Planned Parenthood.

Last November, the congressman's 700-page divorce-trial testimony went public. In it, he admitted to affairs with three co-workers, a drug rep and two other patients. He also confessed to encouraging his wife to get two abortions before they were married.

But these revelations didn't move DesJarlais to a healthy round of soul-searching. Instead, he played the victim card, blaming a political opponent for "false, personal attacks."

When that didn't work — he'd taped his own confession, after all — he took cover in religion, claiming that God had given him a mulligan.

"I know God's forgiven me," DesJarlais announced. "I simply ask my fellow Christians and constituents to do the same." In other words, if his constituents weren't up for "grace and redemption," they were rejecting direct orders from the Lord himself.

DesJarlais was abandoned by members of his own party. The Tennessee Conservative Union, the largest and oldest right-wing group in the state, demanded that he resign.

"The level of shamefulness was unprecedented," says Tennessee Democratic spokesman Brandon Puttbrese. "This is a doctor who had sex with patients and then tried to lecture people on health-care policy, as if he gave a good damn about being an ethical physician."

Yet the cloak of God still trumps hypocrisy in the fundamentalist backwaters of middle Tennessee. DesJarlais was reelected by a comfortable margin last fall, allowing him to carry on as Washington's official face of grace and redemption.



7. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa)
Burning Through Billions on Quack Science

In January, Senator Tom Harkin announced that he would retire in 2015. Washington was soon to lose its biggest advocate for questionable science.

Harkin is most responsible for the creation and continued survival of a little-known office called the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine. If it sounds relatively harmless, that's the problem.

Harkin's interest in alternative medicine came from personal experience. After trying everything to rid himself of a hay fever allergy, the senator reportedly found relief through heavy dosing of bee pollen, taking up to 60 pills a day.

At the time, he happened to be the chairman of a subcommittee responsible for funding the National Institutes of Health. So in 1991, he introduced a law that would allow the agency to "investigate and validate...unconventional medical practices" — like his bee pollen cure.

"This was the equivalent of a politician starting an organization to investigate UFOs, the Bermuda Triangle and every other kooky conspiracy theory that's out there," says Alex Berezow, editor of online site RealClearScience and author of the book Science Left Behind. "This was the X-Files of medical research."

Investigating is certainly something the center has done. It's the validating part that has caused trouble, much to Harkin's dismay.

Though the agency's budget started at a paltry $2 million, like everything else in Washington, it has metastasized, to nearly $130 million annually. It has blown through billions testing dubious "cures" better left to late-night infomercials. The effect of distant prayer on AIDS. Harp music on stress levels. Therapeutic touch on bone cancer.

Unsurprising, not one of these methods has proven effective. In fact, in his attempt to legitimize alternative medicine, Harkin has actually accomplished the opposite: He's managed to nearly discredit it entirely.

Study after center study has shown that placebos are just as effective as Harkin's homeopathic miracles. In some cases, the "cures" were actually found to make things worse, as when the center discovered that St. John's wort rendered certain cancer drugs less effective.

That the scientific method is able to weed the good from the bad would seem to be the one positive outcome of Harkin's two-decade misadventure. Yet the senator sees it as "discrimination," lamenting that his agency has been "disproving things rather than seeking out and approving things."

Unfortunately for Harkin, that's how science works.



6. Dana Rohrabacher (R-California)
When Tragedy Strikes, You Can Never Go Wrong by Blaming the Muslims

Dana Rohrabacher isn't a central-casting conservative. The Laguna Beach congressman surfs, wears Hawaiian shirts under his blazers and has admitted to doing everything except slurp the bong water when it comes to drugs.

But when it comes to seeing Muslims around every dark corner, Rohrabacher is the self-anointed flag-bearer of the Republican fringe.

Take the Oklahoma City bombing: Though all evidence points to a plot executed by homegrown goobers, Rohrabacher was certain the Muslims were to blame.

« Previous Page
 |
 
1
 
2
 
3
 
4
 
5
 
All
 
Next Page »
 
My Voice Nation Help
12 comments
kalutoganiq
kalutoganiq

I'm not sure how you compile a list of "crazy congressmen" without Hank Johnson (he of "islands can capsize" fame) and Peter King (the man who holds hearings on domestic support for terror while repeatedly refusing to recant decades of support for the Provisional IRA).

locomotivebreath1901
locomotivebreath1901

I would have thought whack-a-doodle Hank Johnson(D-Ga.), who believes too many Marines on Guam would cause the island to 'tip over,' would at least be number 5 on this list. Cynthia McKinney(D-Ga.) served in that state's whack-a-doodle capacity before Hank got his turn.

And botox San Fran Nan Pelosi should be number two on this list with moron statements like 'Food Stamps and Unemployment Give ‘Biggest Bang for Our Buck,’ in reference to revving up our economic engine.

Or panty wearing pederast Harry Reid's(D-NV) demagogic diarrhea spews on the Senate floor proclaiming 'he knows a guy' that knows a guy that thinks Mitt Romney cheats on his taxes.

Yet, the author of this fluff believes Congress critters who think murdering the unborn is wrong are 'weird?'

Take another bong hit, Caleb.

JamesMadison
JamesMadison topcommenter

I nominate Rep. Major Owens (D-NY)- sharks still following the old slave traders voyage routes.

JamesMadison
JamesMadison topcommenter

"She's claimed that hundreds of scientists and Nobel Prize winners support intelligent design"

Can you prove her wrong? Out of the billions of people on the Earth, and millions who are scientists, don't you think a few hundred might be religious? Bigotry comes in all colors and creeds. To deny billions who are believers is foolish. As far as Nobel Prize winners go... REVEREND Tutu comes to mind. Mother Teresa seemed to be a believer as well as a Nobel Prize winner. Does the RFT need a listing of all the Nobel prize winners? Sadat, Arafat were believers.

Apparently, some crazy journalists work at the RFT commenting on their padded cell roommates.

citizen
citizen

I like how you threw in a couple Democrats to make the intent and content of this article appear non-partisan.

RAMESSES
RAMESSES

There should be more sleaze bag congressmen add to his list starting with the #1 scum bag of all time, Alycee Hastings, D FL - disgraced judge who served time in prison for bribery. He's a disgusting piece of shit. Then there is that god awful excuse of a human being, Bobby Rush, D IL. He's not only more goofy and stupid than our past piece of shit congressman Russ Carnahan, D MO, he's a former Black Panther, a fascist group the Nixon Justice Department should have exterminated. Then there is the most obxnoxious fat Jew pig, Sen. Schumer, D NY. He gives Jews a bad name. He's so fat that pork chops would come flying out of his ass is someone hugged him.  He gives liberals a bad name. And last but not least is Debbie Wasserman-Cunt, D FL. She gives cunts a bad name. There are many others that could have made this list but these are the worst of the worst. With these people running things there should be little wonder why things are so fucked up in Washington.

smdrpepper
smdrpepper

So happy that Florida has finally rid itself of Alan West, the one person possibly crazier than Bachmann.

JamesMadison
JamesMadison topcommenter

Never underestimate Maxine Waters to open her mouth. How many jobs? Once again? Come on, please tell us, again.

JamesMadison
JamesMadison topcommenter

@citizen , "appear" is the only thing they attempted to do with their token democrats. Let's face it, there are crazy people on both sides the aisle, and some real loonies on the extreme left and right.

Katydid52
Katydid52

@RAMESSES OMG, thank you. I almost spit out my dinner over Debbie Wasserman - etc. That was awesome.

 
Loading...