Washington Babylon — May 26, 2010, 7:03 am

J.D. Hayworth: Two-time nominee as dumb congressman

John McCain’s campaign has started running a web ad attacking his GOP primary opponent, J.D. Hayworth, ridiculing him for saying earlier this week that “we never formally declared war on Hitler’s Germany.”

The ad closes with an announcer saying, “J.D. Hayworth: Is it any wonder he was voted among the dumbest members of Congress?” This statement is followed by an image of a Radar Online story from 2006 that listed Hayworth as among “America’s 10 Dumbest Members of Congress.”

With all due modesty, I must say that I was well ahead of the competition on this pressing issue. Back in 1995, when Hayworth was serving his first term in the House, I had him as the sixth-ranked dumb member of congress. Here’s an excerpt:

Hayworth’s entire political philosophy can be boiled down to “Big government, bad; less government, good.” The Arizona Republic has said that “substance has never been a strong suit of Hayworth’s…and that he even has “to read his cliches from a script.”

Though decidedly dumb, Hayworth is also smooth and relentless. “You can’t have a real debate with Hayworth,” says one Democratic staffer. “He talks as passionately about his need to take a No. 1 as he does about the need to cut government spending.”

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(1) To need his glasses and be struck by an awareness that they are not at hand, an ordinary enough circumstance for Frederick Douglass, except sometimes it’s accompanied by a flash of extraordinary dread. If not quite panic, certainly an unease disproportionate to a simple recurring situation. Dread that may be immediately extinguished if he locates his horn-rimmed, owlish-eyed spectacles exactly where he anticipated they should be. He sees them and almost sighs. Nearly feels their slightly uncomfortable weight palpable on his nose. Finding the glasses enough to reassure him that he remains here among the living in this material …
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(1) To need his glasses and be struck by an awareness that they are not at hand, an ordinary enough circumstance for Frederick Douglass, except sometimes it’s accompanied by a flash of extraordinary dread. If not quite panic, certainly an unease disproportionate to a simple recurring situation. Dread that may be immediately extinguished if he locates his horn-rimmed, owlish-eyed spectacles exactly where he anticipated they should be. He sees them and almost sighs. Nearly feels their slightly uncomfortable weight palpable on his nose. Finding the glasses enough to reassure him that he remains here among the living in this material …
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