The Diddly Award

The Flightless Eagle Award is awarded to the right-wing congressional candidate least likely to soar. The nominees are…

Illustration: Peter Hoey

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Vernon Robinson (5th District, North Carolina), an African American Republican, is already legendary for his ads, such as the one in which he introduced himself this way: “Jesse Helms is back! And this time he’s black.” One pamphlet read: “Your vote could determine whether VERNON ROBINSON or my opponent — an admitted NUDIST — yep — like nekkid — like no clothes — represents the Republican Party.” Another ad reminded listeners how hard it is for liberals to admit that “black mothers need to stop having eight babies by seven different fathers, stop talking street-talk jive like ‘Yo, dawg, peep my bling-bling.’”

James Hart (8th District, Tennessee) is the GOP nominee who holds that “poverty genes of less ‘favored races’” will soon cause the U.S. to “look like one big Detroit.”

Alan Keyes (U.S. Senate, Illinois), who ran for the Senate in a state he’s never made his home, once railed against Hillary Clinton for doing the same: “I deeply resent the destruction of federalism represented by Hillary Clinton’s willingness to go into a state she doesn’t even live in and pretend to represent people there,” he said in 2000. “I certainly wouldn’t imitate it.” As the GOP’s candidate, Keyes quickly endeared himself to Illinois voters by advocating that their right to vote for their senators be revoked — and returned to the state legislature.

Tom Coburn (U.S. Senate, Oklahoma) had previously distinguished his hard-right positions by asserting: “If I wanted to buy a bazooka to use in a very restricted way, to do something, I ought to be able to do that.” This year he combined two hot-button issues into a surefire winner: “I favor the death penalty for abortionists and other people who take life.”

AND THE WINNER IS… Vernon Robinson, who also charged that gay marriage will lead to “civil unions for three men, then four or five, then two transvestites, a pedophile, a lesbian, and a partridge in a pear tree.”

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THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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