by Benn Ray & Cullen Enn
Maryland's 6th Congressional District is comprised of all of Allegany, Garrett and Washington counties along with portions of Frederick and Montgomery counties.
For twenty years, from 1993-2013, the district was represented by Republican Roscoe Bartlett. In 2012, Bartlett was handily unseated by Democrat Jack Delaney, mostly as a result of Bartlett saying a lot of crazy shit.
For example, he said this about rape and abortion (two subjects Republicans should never comment on publicly if they want to win elections):
“Oh, life of the mother – exception of life of the mother, rape and incest. Yeah, I’ve always — that’s a mantra, you know, I’ve said it so often it just spills out. If you really – there are very few pregnancies as a result of rape, fortunately, and incest — compared to the usual abortion, what is the percentage of abortions for rape? It is tiny. It is a tiny, tiny percentage. …. [I]n terms of the percentage of pregnancies, percentage of abortions for rape as compared to overall abortions, it’s a tiny, tiny percentage. ... Most abortions, most abortions are for what purpose? They just don’t want to have a baby! The second reason for abortion is you’d like a boy and it’s a girl, or vice versa. And I know a lot of people are opposed to abortion who are pro-choice.”
He also compared student loans to the Holocaust (conservatives have a hard time going more than five paragraphs before they bring up Hitler/Nazis/Holocaust/WWII):
"If you can ignore the Constitution to do something good today, tomorrow you will be ignoring the Constitution to do something bad. There are more people in our, in America today of German ancestry than any other [inaudible]. The Holocaust that occurred in Germany - how in the heck could that happen? And when you start down the wrong road, it can be a very slippery slope."
So this year, Rep. Delaney faces a new challenger, Republican Tea Party Libertarian Dan Bongino. So that begs the question, "Is Maryland's 6th District ready to go back to the crazy?"
Last week, candidate Bongino was on WYPR's Midday with Dan Rodricks. During the hour-long conversation, Bongino revealed himself to be little more than a Tea Party Libertarian caricature. Each sentence he uttered was more astounding than the previous. I found myself simultaneously pitying and being impressed with host Rodricks.
But my favorite line, when Rodricks was pressing him on his unrealistic view of Climate Change, was when Bongino claimed, "Climate changes all the time." Um, no. Not by definition, it doesn't.
Bongino, who has a fundraiser with Rand Paul coming up, also said that he doesn't agree with all of Republican Rep. Paul Ryan's policies either. This I found curious.
So, via Bmore Local, I took to Twitter to try to press Bongino to find out where he and Ryan disagree. This relatively simple task proved much more difficult to achieve than I'd have thought. At one point, I had an appointment and had to give up the questioning, which is when my friend Cullen Enn took over. And finally, at the end, some of Bongino's supporters came into it, illustrating his base of insanity.
Is this a serious candidate?
Hey, MD's 6th - is this who you want representing you? Imagine you have a question you need him to answer. Then read the following.
BMORE LOCAL: Heard you on @MiddayWYPR. Just curious, which of Paul Ryan's policies do you find deplorable?
DAN BONGINO (@dbongino): Which policies would you like to address? Let's not make it personal.
BMORE LOCAL: It's not personal. You made the statement on WYPR, I'm just curious which of his policies you dislike.
DAN BONGINO: I will gladly speak to policies I support,but I cannot speak to what's in another's mind.
BMORE LOCAL: On @MiddayWYPR today you said you disagree with some of Paul Ryan's policies. Can you name 3 you oppose?
DAN BONGINO: which policies do you want to discuss? Policies don't belong to anyone.
BMORE LOCAL: Whichever ones you were referring to on the radio.
DAN BONGINO: I am for and against a lot of policy prescriptions. We are limited with 140 characters. What are your concerns?
BMORE LOCAL: Can you name 3 of Ryan's policies you disagree with? I'm curious where you disagree.
DAN BONGINO: what policies would you like to discuss?
CULLEN ENN: Yr quite skilled at dodging "@dbongino: @bmoreloc I will gladly speak to policies I support,but I cannot speak to what's in another's mind."
DAN BONGINO: again, which policies do you have a question about? More than happy to discuss.
CULLEN ENN: you said a thing. Explain that thing
DAN BONGINO: do you have a policy question? Taxes, Obamacare, education?
CULLEN ENN: you said there were points of disagreement with Paul Ryan. They are..?
DAN BONGINO: are you interested in Mr. Ryan or me? I can only answer for myself.
CULLEN ENN: I am interested in how you distinguish yourself from society-denying wingnuts
DAN BONGINO: there we go. I knew it was only a matter of time before the hate language emerged. Have a good night.
CULLEN ENN: "hate language"? You are running for... national office?
DAN BONGINO: The sad result of an attempted dialogue “@cullenenn:@dbongino I am interested in how you distinguish yourself from society-denying wingnuts"
PAT FOSTER (@patfo49): Dan, this is proof that even when you go out of your way to answer a question some people just will not let you!
SCOTT BURDETT (@_ScottyFoundOut): prog libs claim to help society by stealing from society.
KATHERINE RUSS (@writerRuss): Not sad- means you r doing something right!!!
So there you have it.
What policies does Paul Ryan support that Bongino disavows? Who knows?!
All we know is that in the end, Bongino thinks he's a martyr for having to reply to tweets asking him about the things he claims while his partisan supporters cheer him on.
Good luck, MD-6th.
UPDATE: After posting this article, Dan Bongino and a follower of his restarted the convesation with my via The MobTown Shank's Twitter account.
DAN BONGINO: @mobtownshank still wondering which policies you would like to discuss. I've been patiently waiting.
NEXTINSTINCT (@nextinstinct): @mobtownshank You actually passed judgement - wrote a hit piece - on @dbongino, while partnered with a known fringe troll? The Irony burns.
DAN BONGINO: @nextinstinct @mobtownshank they prefer "civil" discourse using slurs such as "wingnut". Really unfortunate.
MOBTOWN SHANK: I didn't call you a "wingnut". I was simply trying to get you to explain your claim on @WYPR about Ryan's policies.
CULLEN ENN: @mobtownshank asking someone to distinguish himself from wingnuts != calling him one... Unless he refuses to distinguish himself @dbongino
MOBTOWN SHANK: @nextinstinct @dbongino If you call what I wrote a "hitpiece" & you think "wingnut" is a "slur" - y'all really have a lotta surprises ahead.