The Austin Chronicle

The Hightower Report: Fruitcake of the Year for 2012

By Jim Hightower, January 11, 2013, News

Looking back at 2012, who was the nuttiest political fruitcake of all?

Donald Trump, Rick Santorum, and Newt Gingrich instantly come to mind, but they're pros at the nutball game, so naming them is unfair to some of the amateur talent that burst on the scene at year's end.

For example, Wayne "The Insane" LaPierre. Honcho of the National Rifle Association, LaPierre came completely unwrapped during a December press conference. In a tremulous voice, the gun-industry lobbyist delivered a rambling, 25-minute tirade assailing anyone who suggests that the sickening, assault-weapon slaughter of 6-year-old school children in Connecticut should prompt us to ban those senseless weapons of mass killing. Rather, ranted LaPierre, the answer is more guns, turning American schools into armed fortresses. If that's crazy, Wayne concluded, "then call me crazy."

Yet, even Crazy Wayne wasn't 2012's top nut, for he was nipped at the last moment by a seven-man pod of nuts known as the Iowa Supreme Court. On Dec. 21, this all-male court voted 7-0 to decree that – get ready to be whopperjawed – a male boss may legally fire a female employee for no reason except that he finds her sexually irresistible.

Try to get your mind around that. Even if she was not flirtatious, had no interest in him, and had been a stellar worker, she was ruled to be at fault because the bossman can't control his lust. The learned men of the bench insisted that she was not fired because of her gender, but because of his feelings – so it was not discrimination, but merely an act by the boss to save his marriage. Another victory for family values!

Never mind that he was saving his marriage from himself, not from her! They say that justice is blind, but in Iowa, it's just plain nutty. For their supreme spasm of sublime nuttiness, we award seven fruitcakes to the Iowa court.

For more information on Jim Hightower's work – and to subscribe to his award-winning monthly newsletter, "The Hightower Lowdown" – visit You can hear his radio commentaries on KOOP Radio 91.7FM, weekdays at 10:58am and 12:58pm.

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