I’m not sure why the Columbus Dispatch decided to do an end-of-the-year profile on state Rep. John Becker. In the world of newspapering, it is a difficult time of year to find decent copy to feed the beast. But why so many other interesting, or even sane, people were foregone in favor of Becker, I can’t venture to guess.
Nevertheless, I’m glad they were, because for yrs. truly the career of John Becker has become a nearly metaphysical exercise in comical absurdity. And the Dispatch piece is a treasure trove of glimmering Becker crankery.
Among other things, the piece recalls the time Becker wanted to impeach a southwestern Ohio federal judge who ruled against the state on equal marriage rights.
Or when in August, his contribution to the Michael Brown case in Ferguson, Mo., was to say, ““At this point, I’m not sure which one was the victim.”
Or in November, when he expanded—as much as one with his limited worldview can expand on anything—by adding, “Had either man’s race been reversed, the entire incident would have never gotten news coverage outside of the immediate area. Just who are the racists?”
Or his reaction to the John Crawford and Tamir Rice cases: “So why did these deaths occur? Was it drugs? Mental-health issues? Suicide by cop?”
Some of Becker’s greatest hits include suggesting Massachusetts be expelled from the Union for allowing equal marriage rights in 2003.
He’s also suggested “allowing” Alaska to leave the union, establishing condom-free zones around school buildings, and cried (yes, he said he actually cried) at the thought of police departments destroying confiscated firearms instead of giving them back to gun dealers.
He has a conspicuous penchant for concerning himself with how others go around using their genitals. And he especially enjoys comparing it to sleeping with the house pets and livestock.
Politically, this translates to him having fits of hysteria in opposition to the legal rights of anybody enjoying bedtime activities of which he does not approve. He also fervently wishes everybody else would just agree already to label Planned Parenthood a hate group.
And at this record of his, John Becker beams with pride, often boasting of himself as Ohio’s most conservative legislator.
His next project is to “teach respect for authority” to school children by testing them with questions such as:
Let’s say you’re walking down the middle of the street high on dope after committing a strong-arm robbery. When stopped by a police officer, the best way to start the conversation is:
a. Shout “FU_ _ you, pig” and punch the cop in the face.
b. Grab for his gun and then charge at him.
c. Carefully follow all instructions and submit to the pending arrest.
He’s also got his Voter ID law bills out there, and is expecting a heartbeat bill to be passed, as well as Common Core to be eliminated, and “right-t0-work,”—or, more accurately, right-to-freeload—to pass. But priority Numero Uno for Becker, he says, is eliminating the state’s income tax.
“I’m willing to put some of these other taxes on the table if we’re willing to abolish the income tax,” he said.
Conveniently Becker doesn’t define success in government in terms of actually accomplishing anything at all.
“It’s not going to be on a list of bills I got passed,” he said. “It is: Did I effectively articulate conservative positions? If the answer to that is yes, then I accomplished what I came here to do.”
Oh you’ve effectively articulated conservative positions all right, John, in all the glory of their wicked ignorance. Mission accomplished.
David DeWitt is a writer and man of sport and leisure based out of Athens, Ohio. He has also written for Government Executive online, the National Journal’s Hotline, and The New York Observer’s Politicker.com. He can be found on Twitter @TheRevDeWitt.