These Ratchet Republicans Are Too Much To Handle

Republican ratchetness is a serious ailment that affects dozens of politicians each year. It’s currently hitting Gov. Mike Pence (Indiana) hard, given his state’s controversial religious freedom law that basically means business owners can turn away LGBT customers because the Bible tells them so. It’s also taking a toll on embattled Rep. Aaron Schock (Illinois) who resigned from his House seat over an ethics scandal. Texas Senator Ted Cruz recently announced his presidential bid, which means his ratchetness is just beginning — he did call climate change activists “flat-Earthers” after all. However, this stuff is just child’s play compared to what other right-winged suits have done in the past. (We’re looking at you, Mark Sanford.)

From sex scandals to homophobic comments, these politicians represent the essence of Republican ratchetry: ignorance, stupidity, and just a bad moral compass. Isn’t it ironic these conservatives are engaging in some very un-conservative behavior? Tsk-tsk. Browse through our picks for the best of the worst red-state politicos, and let us know what you think in the comments below. (We guarantee a self-esteem boost, because — let’s be real — none of you are this awful.)

Mark Sanford (South Carolina)

In June 2009, Sanford — who was governor of South Carolina at the time and now serves as a U.S. representative for the state’s first congressional district — disappeared without a trace for a few days, only to be confronted by a reporter in Atlanta. Turns out, he hadn’t been hiking in the Appalachian Trail, as his staff reported: he paid a trip to Argentina to visit María Belén, his mistress. Sanford’s extramarital affair began in 2008, but his wife Jenny actually became aware of it five months before the media explosion. (Which makes sense, given the couple began a trial separation two weeks before shit hit the fan.) As a result, Sanford resigned as Chairman of the Republican Governors Association. Surprisingly, he wasn’t impeached.

David Vitter (Louisiana) 

The senior United States senator has a problem with same-sex marriage and is 100 percent here for abstinence-only education. However, he’s super casual when it comes to high-class call girls. In 2007, his phone number somehow popped up on a list belonging to Pamela Martin and Associates, an escort service, owned by the late Deborah Jeane Palfrey (dubbed the “D.C. Madam” by media). Vitter released a statement asking the public to forgive him for his “very serious sin,” which worked for all intensive purposes. He kept his seat in the Senate.

Mike Pence (Indiana)

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