The Sour 16

Vote on the Craziest Conservative Policies of This Political Season

The Center for American Progress compiled its own bracket for March Madness on the worst conservative legislation in the last year. Help us a pick a winner.

Update, April 3: As the University of Kentucky Wildcats, the NCAA men’s basketball champion, cut down the nets last night in New Orleans, the voting ended on CAP’s very own Sour Sixteen tournament, which highlighted the craziest conservative policy ideas of this political season. The winner: "Die, See If We Care," a Texas law denying preventative health care to poor women. According to a USA Today report, under new Texas state law, "eligible women won’t be able to get care at Planned Parenthood clinics, which treat about 44 percent of the program’s patients, or other facilities with ties to abortion providers, meaning those women will have to find new health-care providers."

"Die See If We Care" beat out heavily favored, top-seeded "Drive ‘Em Out," Alabama’s anti-immigrant law, in the final.

Thanks to everyone who voted on Facebook, and stay tuned on Facebook and Twitter for future events.


From a bill penalizing women for using contraception to a call by a Republican lawmaker to reinstate public hangings, it is clear that when it comes to conservative craziness, the madness, unlike college basketball, doesn’t occur only in March.

With a nod to the NCAA’s March Madness college hoops tournament, which pits the nation’s best college basketball teams against each other in a one-and-done elimination tourney, we at CAP are sponsoring our own NCAA (the Nation’s Conservatives’ Abominable Agenda) March Madness contest. With an assist from ThinkProgress, the blog of the Center for American Progress Action Fund, our tournament is matching up the most outlandish, zany, and often downright scary conservative-sponsored laws and policies.

We want your help in winnowing our Sour 16, to the Craziest Eight, and to the Fanatical Four until we crown our national champion—the most outlandish action taken by conservatives this political season.

First a few rules. We are seeding our contestants in four separate regions:

  • Region 1—Unwelcome Here, where the anti-immigration agenda reigns supreme
  • Region 2—To Hell with the Founding Fathers, where constitutional protections are ignored
  • Region 3—Get Back in the Kitchen, where the rights of women are trashed
  • Region 4—Rush Limbaugh Hot Air, where pure craziness holds sway

To vote, head to our Facebook page and look on our wall for the current matchups. New rounds will start at noon on the days scheduled below, and voting will run until 10 a.m. the next day. Once the results are in, we’ll update the chart here and on Facebook—and get ready for next round!

Voting schedule:

March 23: Sour 16 Regions 1 and 2

March 26: Sour 16 Regions 3 and 4

March 27: Craziest Eight Regions 1 and 2

March 28: Craziest Eight Regions 3 and 4

March 29: Fanatical Four Regions 1 and 2

March 30: Fanatical Four Regions 3 and 4

April 2: The Championship “Game”

We’ll announce our “champion” on April 3, so let’s get ready to grrrrrumble!

Log on to Facebook today and help us decide the most menacing conservative act of the past year!

The positions of American Progress, and our policy experts, are independent, and the findings and conclusions presented are those of American Progress alone. A full list of supporters is available here. American Progress would like to acknowledge the many generous supporters who make our work possible.