Monday, October 11, 2010

The Tea Bagger Candidates: the Worst of the Worst

Mitchell Bard at HuffPo serves up the damning evidence here.  Bard likens them to the batting line-up of a particularly noxious baseball team. This line-up is probably the most appallingly bad the Radical Right has ever served up, and for the sake of our beloved country, MUST be stopped.. Highlights:

To be clear, I'm not talking about one-off scandals here. This has nothing to do with David Vitter consorting with prostitutes or Ohio Republican House of Representatives candidate Rich Iott glorifying Nazi S.S. officers by engaging in reenactments. And I'm not talking about innuendo or gossip. What I am arguing is that if you look at the words and positions associated with many members of this year's GOP slate, they are either far out of the American mainstream or patently unqualified for office (or both).

1. Leading off is the GOP nominee for the U.S. Senate from Delaware, Christine O'Donnell. We know she confessed to dabbling in witchcraft and only decided not to become a Hare Krishna because she didn't want to give up meatballs, but these silly (and entertaining) stories are the least of it. Far more important are her delusions (like that the Chinese government was plotting to take over the United States or that scientists are developing "mice with fully functioning human brains"), as well as her far-out-of-the-mainstream policies and beliefs (ranging from the near comical, like her idea that masturbation is adultery, to the deadly dangerous, like her statements that homosexuals engage in an "unhealthy life style" and that AIDS education is "a platform for the homosexual community to recruit adolescents," to the extreme, like her lies about the president's student loan program and her opposition to abortion even in the case of rape).

2. For the number two position in the lineup, we turn to Wisconsin Republican U.S. Senate candidate Ron Johnson...

Johnson has called Social Security a "Ponzi scheme," blamed climate change on sunspots, called dismantling Social Security and Medicare a "starting point," and is "open" to abolishing the Federal Reserve.

Johnson's extreme business-first, the-people-last approach to the world was on display in his decision to testify against a state child abuse protection bill in January. Why would anyone have a problem with legislation that would eliminate the statute of limitations for civil actions related to child abuse? Well, Johnson wasn't happy with the provision that included corporations. Johnson's first concern wasn't the victims of abuse, but how it would affect businesses. He testified, "I think it is extremely important to consider the economic havoc." Johnson proposes massive federal spending cuts, but he refuses to identify which programs he would cut: "I'm not going to get in the game here and, you know, start naming specific things to be attacked about, quite honestly." And if you want some good old-fashioned hypocrisy to go with his extreme, out-of-the-mainstream policy positions, how about this: Johnson has campaigned against subsidies for businesses, but he has used prison labor at his factories, with the state picking up the health care costs of the prisoners.

3. A team's best hitter usually hits third, so for the GOP Tea Party All-Stars, that position has to be filled by Nevada Republican U.S. senate candidate Sharron Angle.

Like the best number-three hitters, Angle is consistent and dependable, in that you know another out-of-the-mainstream and possibly-crazy pronouncement is just around the corner. Sometimes, she appears truly delusional, like when she said Muslim law is taking hold in American cities, or that there are "domestic enemies" in Congress, or that Harry Reid helped child molesters get Viagra, or when she campaigned against black football jerseys (because the color was "evil"). Other times, she is heartless, like when she made fun of health coverage for autism (using air quotes to describe the condition), or when she said she would have voted against federal aid for those affected by Hurrican Katrina (a measure that unanimously passed the Senate).

Angle is so extreme that a Nevada Republican, Bill Raggio, who has served 38 years in the state senate, endorsed Harry Reid over Angle, the first time he has ever supported a Democrat. 

4. The clean-up hitter is Rand Paul, the Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate in Kentucky. Paul got in the game early when he had to backtrack after criticizing the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Like many Tea Partiers, he supports the elimination of the Department of Education. He called Medicare "intergenerational welfare," and even after high-profile mining accidents, he accused President Obama of "forcing the EPA down our throats." Paul polished his rich-focused bona fides by defending the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy, saying you can't "punish the rich."

5. Giving solid protection to Paul in the GOP Tea Party All-Stars lineup is Alaska extremist and (former?) friend of Sarah Palin Joe Miller, the Republican U.S. Senate candidate. Miller's views are far out of the American mainstream, and his lack of understanding of the U.S. Constitution (he seems to think that virtually everything is unconstitutional, contrary to well-settled law in these areas) must, I can only guess, leave his former professors at Yale Law School shaking their heads in disbelief. He thinks that unemployment benefits are unconstitutional (but that didn't stop his wife from collecting them several years ago), and he also believes that the minimum wage, hate crime laws, and the health care reform legislation (even as he admits benefiting from Medicaid and other state programs ... see a trend here?) are unconstitutional, too. He wants to shut down the Department of Education and "transition" out of Social Security, and he doesn't believe in man-made global warming. He is also so rabidly anti-choice, he doesn't even support a woman's right to an abortion in cases of rape and incest.

6. [T]he GOP candidate for the U.S. Senate in Colorado, [Ken Buck]. Buck's specialty is taking out-of-the-mainstream positions, and then backtracking on them in an effort to look less extreme to his state's voters. Since securing the Republican nomination, he flip-flopped on his support of repealing the 17th Amendment (which allows citizens to elect U.S. senators, rather than have them appointed by state legislatures), as well as on his promise to introduce anti-abortion legislation and vote against confirming pro-choice judges. Buck has also done a 180-degree turn on his support of privatizing Social Security and Medicare (as well as questioning Social Security's constitutionality), banning IUDs and birth control pills, and shutting down the Department of Education (a Tea Party favorite).

Read the rest, and in the last three weeks--





We have to strike out this line-up. Our nation's future depends on it.

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