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Five Newly Elected Leaders Who Should Really Stop Talking About Foreign Policy

Congrats, America


Now that the Republicans have seized control of both houses of Congress, political pundits are ruminating about the possible implications for US foreign policy.

It's too early to tell, of course, but to get some idea it's worth taking a look at the views expressed by members of the winning team.

Some of the things they have said are down right stupid. And a little scary.

Here are just five examples:

'There were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq'

If anyone knows the truth about whether or not there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, it’s the hog-castrating, gun-toting Republican Joni Ernst of Iowa, right?

The newly elected senator has had her boots on the ground there, after all.

"We don't know that there were weapons on the ground when we went in, however, I do have reason to believe there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq,” Ernst told the Des Moines Register in May.

“That was the intelligence that was operated on. I have reason to believe there was weapons of mass destruction."

Uganda’s anti-gay bill is ok

That was the message from Republican Glenn Grothman of Wisconsin, who has won the state's 6th Congressional District seat, when he condemned Secretary of State John Kerry’s decision to send "homosexuality experts" to Uganda to discuss the country’s new anti-gay bill.

“What must God think of our country? ... If now, rather than sending people to Uganda to explain better agricultural techniques ... we send scientists to Africa to say how wonderful the homosexual lifestyle is. It is just unbelievable what has become of our country.”

Christian missionaries, by the way, are acceptable.

Islam is not a religion

Given there are more than 1.5 billion Muslims living in more than 200 countries, the one person you don’t want meddling in foreign policy is Republican Jody Hice, who doesn’t believe Islam is a religion.

“Most people think Islam is a religion, it’s not. It’s a totalitarian way of life with a religious component,” the Baptist minister, who won the 10th Congressional District seat of Georgia, said in 2011.

“But it’s much larger. It’s a geo-political system that has governmental, financial, military, legal and religious components. And it’s a totalitarian system that encompasses every aspect of life and it should not be protected (under the law).”

No problem about going to war with Mexico

Republican Mark Walker, the newly elected representative for North Carolina’s 6th Congressional District, has a solution to stop people illegally entering the United States from Mexico: Start a war.

“My first answer is we’re going to utilize the National Guard as much as we can," Walker told a candidates forum hosted by Will of the People, a tea party group.

"But I will tell you, if you have foreigners who were sneaking in with drug cartels to me that is a national threat and if we’ve got to go laser or blitz somebody with a couple of fighter jets for a little while to make our point, I don’t have a problem with that either.”

“We did it before, if we need to do it again, I don’t have a qualm about it (going to war with Mexico).”

'Bring it down to a woman’s level'

Ok, so this isn't directly related to foreign policy, but it still deserves a mention.

Republican Renee Ellmers, who was re-elected the representative of North Carolina’s 2nd Congressional District, managed to offend every woman in the US earlier this year after she called on her male colleagues to bring policy discussion — foreign or otherwise — “down to a woman’s level” so they can make sense of it.

“Men do tend to talk about things on a much higher level," Ellmers was quoted as saying.

"You know, one of the things that has always been one of my frustrations and I speak about this all the time — many of my male colleagues, when they go to the House floor, you know, they’ve got some pie chart or graph behind them and they’re talking about trillions of dollars and, you know, how the debt is awful and, you know, we all agree with that.

“But by starting off that discussion that way, we’ve already turned people away. Because it’s like ‘that doesn’t affect my life, I don’t understand how that affects my life.’

“We need our male colleagues to understand that if you can bring it down to a woman’s level and what everything that she is balancing in her life – that’s the way to go."

Riiiiiiight. Maybe Ellmers is the only woman who doesn't get it.