Asshats Of The Week: Bob Parsons, Rick Santorum, Montana’s Alan Hale

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Here’s a quick list of April Fools — though their shenanigans all took place in March, and sadly, none of them were fooling:

1. Bob Parsons made headlines yesterday for posting a video of himself with an elephant he’d killed in Zimbabwe. Today, Parsons provides some backstory:

“This farmer was desperate,” Parsons tells us of his most recent — and most controversial — trip to Africa. “He couldn’t get the herd out of his field. He asked us to come and deal with it.” [Mashable]

And that’s okay. Maybe.

I accept the fact that wild animals — both the ones we like (e.g. polar bears, elephants) and the ones we don’t (e.g. rats, spiders) — can be nuisances and endanger lives. I understand that when human communities and animal communities collide, humans will often win out.

What Parsons didn’t explain is what he’s done — apart from slaughter an animal and hand out GoDaddy baseball caps — to help those communities in Africa of which he seems so fond. Perhaps giving some of his dough for solar-powered electric fences would help? Or maybe building a school?

On his blog, Parsons claims that this kill was nothing out of the ordinary: “Each year I go to Zimbabwe and hunt problem elephant. It’s one of the most beneficial and rewarding things I do.” Now look, you can do what you like with your money — you can spend it on booze or videogames or assault rifles and safaris — but I have a hard time respecting blood-lusty people who travel halfway around the globe for sport killing on the pretense of helping impoverished communities.

2. On Tuesday, Rick Santorum blamed Social Security’s shrinking assets on the fact that there aren’t enough people contributing to the system — because they’ve been aborted.

“We have seven children so we’re doing our part to fund the Social Security system,” Santorum said. “I want children to be living in America and contributing. America’s greatest resource is our people and we’re denying America what it needs, which is more Americans.” [CNN]

Allow me to translate that seriously convoluted logic: Santorum is saying that if abortions were illegal, we’d have more people putting cash into Social Security. And because abortion is legal in the U.S. (despite the efforts of places like, say, Louisiana), the number of people funding Social Security is shrinking.

Of course, Santorum assumes that these children would all grow up to be gainfully employed and pay into the system — which may or may not be the case, given (a) the current economy, (b) the fact that people like Santorum keep defunding education, which weakens the available workforce and, in turn, job growth, and (c) the fact that many of the formerly aborted people would’ve come from low-income homes and would’ve faced an uphill battle in the job market. And never mind the fact that they’d eventually be drawing Social Security themselves.

3. Last but not least, there’s Montana state representative Alan Hale, who argued on the floor of the legislature that drunk driving is a necessary evil. In fact, he basically said that it’s the backbone of the community:

I’ve heard a lot of arguments against stricter DUI laws — heck, I live in one of the few place in the U.S. where you can order cocktails at drive-throughs — but insisting that drunk driving is an important cultural tradition? That’s a totally new one. Bravo.

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