30 September 2010
On Tuesday the teabaggers again showed they have virtually taken over the Republican Party. In Delaware the teabagger candidate, Christine O'Donnell, beat the candidate preferred by Republican Party leaders (and who had a much better chance of defeating the Democratic candidate). She joins Joe Miller of Alaska, Sharron Angle of Nevada, Rand Paul of Kentucky, and Marco Rubio of Florida as candidates backed by the teabaggers who beat mainstream Republicans to get the party's nomination for the Senate.
These candidates are well out on the fringes of mainstream conservative belief (in territory once inhabited by the John Birch Society -- whose members considered President Eisenhower to be a communist). Bill Clinton pointed out that these candidates make right-wing fundamentalist President George W. Bush look good by comparison, saying, "A lot of their candidates today, they make him look like a liberal."
And Wall Street is loving it. Both guests and hosts on CNBC (NBC's corporate and market slanted business channel) agreed yesterday that the nomination of these teabagger candidates is good for Wall Street because it shows that there is a movement in the country toward "business-friendly and market-friendly policies" and could result in a Congress that has "pro-growth, pro-business, anti-spend, anti-tax views."
They are right. These candidates are not just right-wing -- they are far to the right-wing fringe. It amazes me that the teabagger movement, which claims to be opposed to opposed to greed and mismanagement and was outraged over the TARP bailout proposed and signed by President Bush, could think that electing candidates such as these would be any kind of solution. All I can think is that they bought the lies funded and sold by the fringe right-wing billionaire Koch brothers (who have funded many of the teabagger groups through various organizations).
As far as I can tell from looking at pictures of teabagger gatherings, many of them are older Americans -- who are on Medicare or getting close to it. Don't they know most of these candidates would like to abolish Medicare (and throw the elderly to the wolves -- the private insurance companies)?
Don't they know that all of these candidates (except Rubio, who recently said he's changed his mind) is opposed to Social Security and would like to abolish the current program and privatize it?
Don't they know these candidates are against regulating Wall Street and the giant financial institutions and corporations (thus letting them unleash their greed on Main Street)?
Don't they know these candidates are climate change deniers and would vote to unleash the big oil and gas companies on our already fragile environment?
Don't they know these candidates are in favor of massive tax cuts for millionaires (thus shoving a huge tax burden on our children)?
Don't they know these candidates approve of corporate execs getting multi-million dollar salaries while depressing the wages of ordinary Americans (and would even eliminate the minimum wage)?
In addition, these candidates are just plain nutty. Sharron Angle is opposed to the color black (because it is the devil's color). Christine O'Donnell has campaigned against masturbation. Joe Miller thinks Social Security and unemployment insurance is unconstitutional. Rand Paul thinks the civil rights acts of the 1960s and the law making businesses and buildings more disabled-friendly are unconstitutional.
I am amazed that the teabaggers have been deluded into voting against their own financial and environmental interests. They have let their hatred for an African-American president blind them to what these candidates stand for and the destruction they would cause to this country.
The only saving grace is that these teabaggers only have power within the Republican Party. The country in general is much more moderate and middle-of-the-road, and doesn't like candidates from either political extreme -- the right or the left. In fact, in an off-year election that was looking very good for Republicans, the teabaggers may have tossed Democrats a lifeline by nominating such fringe candidates as these.
Republican Lisa Murkowski was virtually a shoo-in for re-election in Alaska. But Miller's nomination gives the Democratic candidate a real chance of getting elected (especially if Murkowski runs as a write-in candidate as she seems inclined to do).
It looked like this election would be curtains for Democrat Harry Reid. The polls showed most establishment Republicans could beat him. But the nomination of Angle has changed that, and for the first time in months Reid actually has a lead in most polls.
In Kentucky the Democrat was given no chance of winning -- until Paul was nominated, and now the race is very close.
O'Donnell's opponent in the Republican primary was polling well ahead of the Democrat their, but now that she's won O'Donnell trails that same Democrat badly in the polls (and many mainstream Republicans say they will support the Democrat).
Even Florida has turned out to be a mess with the teabagger candidate winning the nomination. It is now a three-way race that could be won by anybody.
Conventional wisdom says the teabaggers have blown the Republican's chances of winning the Senate in 2010. I think that's probably true. Even if some of these teabagger candidates can get elected, it won't be good for Republicans. It will show America just how far to the right the Republican Party has been pushed, and that will hurt them in 2012.
Posted by Ted McLaughlin