A RARE ENDORSEMENT OF EUGENICS…. So few politicians stick up for eugenics in the 21st century that incidents like these really stand out. (thanks to reader L.E. for the tip)

A 91-year-old state representative told a constituent that he believes in eugenics and that the world would be better off without “defective people.”

Barrington Republican Martin Harty told Sharon Omand, a Strafford resident who manages a community mental health program, that “the world is too populated” and there are “too many defective people,” according to an e-mail account of the conversation by Omand. Asked what he meant, she said Harty clarified, “You know the mentally ill, the retarded, people with physical disabilities and drug addictions – the defective people society would be better off without.”

Harty confirmed to the Monitor that he made the comments to Omand. Harty told the Monitor the world population has increased dramatically, and “it’s a very dangerous situation if it doubles again.” Asked about people who are mentally ill, he asked, apparently referring to a lack of financial resources, “Can we afford to bring them through?”

Harty said nature has a way of “getting rid of stupid people.”

His presence in the state legislature suggests otherwise.

The Republican lawmaker went on to say, apparently in reference to the disabled, “I wish we had a Siberia so we could ship them all off to freeze to death and die and clean up the population.”

Though he later denied it, Harty’s constituent claims he also told her, “Hitler did something right, and I agree with (it).”

Asked yesterday if he regrets his ridiculous remarks, the GOP member said, “As long as they spell my name right, I don’t give a damn.”

It’s quite a crop of Republican lawmakers voters swept into office in 2010, isn’t it?

Of course, this isn’t just about some crazy politician. Zaid Jilani noted that state policymakers are, with increasing frequency, looking to slash spending on mental health services, a move that’s likely to have drastic consequences.

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Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.