Republican Wisconsin State Senator Glenn Grothman waves as he walks through the Wisconsin State Capitol.
Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty

Passing the torch to a new generation of fringe lawmakers

Updated
When this Congress ends in January, it will mark the end of an era for some truly remarkable members of Congress. Reps. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.), Steve Stockman (R-Texas), and Paul Broun (R-Ga.) have given voice to some bizarre and twisted ideas in recent years, but each will be absent when the next Congress takes the oath of office in early 2015.
 
But before anyone gets too optimistic about a more reasonable House of Representatives, it’s worth appreciating an unnerving fact: the far-right torch is being passed to a new generation of extremists.
 
In Wisconsin’s 6th congressional district, for example, state Sen. Glenn Grothman was originally declared the winner of last week’s Republican primary, but that announcement was rescinded when the tallies turned out to be closer than expected. Late Friday, however, Grothman was named the primary victor after all.
After the 11 counties in the district verified their vote counts Wednesday, Grothman maintained his lead by 219 votes, or 0.47 percent, but it was unclear whether the second place finisher, state Sen. Joe Leibham, would call for a recount.
 
Leibham announced Friday that he would not request a recount, despite the small margin. […] Grothman will face Democrat and Winnebago County Executive Mark Harris in the fall.  The Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call rates the race as Safe Republican.
At first blush, this may seem like a fairly obscure race, but it’s worth appreciating just how far to the right Glenn Grothman really is.
 
Revisiting a piece from April, this is the next congressman from Wisconsin.
Grothman has made a name for himself championing conservative causes. He sponsored legislation that repealed the state’s Equal Pay Enforcement Act, fought for a seven-day work week, proposed a bill that would have considered single parenthood “a contributing factor to child abuse and neglect” and argued that public employees should have to work on MLK Day
 
Last year, he said Kwanzaa is a fake holiday that “almost no black people today care about
Right Wing Watch put together a list of Grothman’s “most outrageous moments,” and it’s a jarring greatest-hits package. The guy justifies the pay gap, for example, by arguing that “money is more important for men” than women and has expressed concern that gay people will use sex-ed classes to recruit teenagers.

Just a few months ago, he went so far as to argue that Secretary of State John Kerry upset God by trying to stop Uganda’s anti-LGBT measure.

Meet the new House Republican fringe. It’s eerily similar to the old House Republican fringe.
 

House Republicans and Wisconsin

Passing the torch to a new generation of fringe lawmakers

Updated