Take Them Out! To the ballgame, I mean.

From Mitchell Bard at THE HUFFINGTON POST:

Noted football coach Bill Parcells once said, “You are what your record says you are.”

Parcells’ quote jumped into my mind when I was thinking about the slate of Tea Party-influenced Republicans running in November. I feel like we’ve become immune to the stories about the extreme and, sometimes, downright delusional things they’ve said, since they’ve come in a steady stream over the past several months. But if you step back and look at the group as a whole (or at least some of the leading Tea Party favorites), you can get a real sense of what the Republican Party is offering voters in November.


Original image
(In the window, not allowed to participate: Michael Phathead Steele. Back row, l to r: Coach Rush Limbaugh, cheerleader Rich Iott (running for OH-Nein), Coach Glenn Beck, Marco Rubio. Middle-but not moderate-row, l to r: Linda McMahon, Joe Miller, Rand Paul, Ron Johnson, Carl Paladino. Front row, l to r: Christine O’Donnell, Ken Buck, Dan Maes, Sharron Angle, and Batboy David Vitter)

Establishment Republicans can call these folks outliers (although they rally around them, in most cases, once they have the GOP nomination in hand). But, as Parcells said, they are what their records say they are. This is the modern Tea Party-dominated Republican Party, like it or not.

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).

…snip…

[...] I present to you the starting lineup for the GOP Tea Party All-Star Team.

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).

…snip…

And, of course, there is O’Donnell’s record of financial irresponsibility, including defaulting on her mortgage and her alleged use of campaign funds to pay her rent.

With her lethal combination of ignorance, out-of-the-mainstream positions, and delusional beliefs, O’Donnell is a formidable lead-off hitter for the GOP Tea Party All-Stars.

2. For the number two position in the lineup, we turn to Wisconsin Republican U.S. Senate candidate Ron Johnson. Johnson has portrayed himself as a level-headed businessman who can create jobs, especially in the onslaught of television ads he has foisted on the state. But a scratch below the surface shows his worthiness for the GOP Tea Party All-Star squad.

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.

…snip…

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. With her numbers falling, Angle has had to reassure voters that she’s changed her mind and no longer favors privatizing Veterans Affairs and getting rid of Social Security, and no longer considers unemployment benefits akin to welfare.

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”).

…snip…

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.

…snip…

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.”

…snip…

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. [...] 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.

…snip…

6. Providing some pop towards the bottom of the order is Ken Buck, the GOP candidate for the U.S. Senate in Colorado. 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), as well as his support for a consumption tax to replace the income tax.

…snip…

7. Proving the GOP Tea Party All-Stars have a deep lineup of extreme wingnuts, the squad can roll out a potent platoon of governor candidates in the seventh position: Carl Paladino (New York) and Dan Maes (Colorado).

When he is not threatening New York Post editors (the Post!) or sending out shockingly offensive racist emails, Palladino, a Tea Party favorite, is almost as reliable a source for bizarre and out-of-the-mainstream behavior as O’Donnell and Angle. He bashes gays, recently saying he doesn’t want “to be brainwashed into thinking that homosexuality is an equally valid or successful option.¬† [...] He has called for welfare recipients to be forced into work camps¬† (housed in converted prisons), where they will be taught, among other things, personal hygiene (so much for small government). Similarly, he wants to send children in failing schools to state boarding schools, where they would be housed with kids removed from their homes by social services.

…snip…

He is such an out-of-the-mainstream candidate, the vice chairman of New York’s Conservative Party resigned over the decision to give the party’s line to Paladino.

You may think Paladino is as extreme and bizarre as a gubernatorial candidate can get, but I invite you to take a look at Dan Maes. In what may be the most fun of the many paranoid, delusional charges leveled by Tea Partiers, Maes accused his opponent, the current mayor of Denver, of “converting” the city “into a United Nations community” by … wait for it … encouraging citizens to ride their bicycles. [...] After bragging about his stint as a police officer in Kansas and claiming he was let go after battling corruption, Maes released documents to substantiate his claims, only they showed that he was fired for leaking information about an investigation to a relative of a suspect.

…snip…

8. Linda McMahon, the Republican running for Chris Dodd’s U.S. Senate seat in Connecticut, may not really be a Tea Party candidate (it’s hard to know what McMahon stands for, since she is especially good at evading specific policy positions), but some elements of her candidacy put her comfortably on the GOP Tea Party All-Stars.

McMahon sounded an awful lot like a Tea Party candidate when she had to backtrack from her position endorsing lowering the minimum wage.

…snip…

To be honest, the reason I included McMahon on the list isn’t her policy positions, which, as I noted, are hard to discern. Rather, she belongs here under the part of the equation related to her fitness for office. McMahon proudly campaigns that she is a successful businesswoman, so I think it’s fair to look at her business, the professional wrestling conglomerate the WWE. If Connecticut residents are looking for a senator who will help keep jobs in the state, they should be wary of the WWE’s policy of manufacturing many of its licensed toys in China and Pakistan.

But to me, the element of the WWE that renders McMahon unfit for office is that she presides over a business that is morally repugnant. The WWE’s wrestling scripts rely on misogyny, homophobia and damaging stereotypes to generate entertainment. Even worse, on her watch, she has, at best, turned a blind eye to rampant steroid use that, combined with the violent beatings the wrestlers sustain to their bodies, has left too many of them disabled and, in worst case scenarios, suicidal and/or homicidal when their WWE careers are over.

…snip…

9. Marco Rubio, the Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate in Florida, bats in the ninth and final spot, demonstrating that even at the bottom of the lineup, there are still plenty of way-out-of-the-mainstream Tea Partiers to choose from. [...] Rubio’s positions fit neatly into the Tea Party fold. He signed a pledge supporting the privatization of Social Security, calling the program “generational theft.” He said he would have voted to oppose the extension of unemployment benefits enacted by Congress earlier this year. He had to backtrack on his earlier claim that extending the Bush tax cuts for the rich would pay for themselves (but he still supports extending them anyway). And he flip-flopped on the Arizona immigration bill, now supporting it and even backing deporting children who have grown up in the U.S. to countries that are completely alien to them.

…snip…

The GOP establishment might want you to believe that these candidates are wingnuts, not representative of the Republican Party. But they’re wrong. The way things are now, these candidates are the Republican Party. As Coach Parcells said, you are what your record says you are.

20 Comments

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20 responses to “Take Them Out! To the ballgame, I mean.

  1. sorry i’m late again, kids. no good excuse except i didn’t do my homework last night.

  2. Great lineup, er , I mean you did a great job, nonnie!
    The team from Hell. :)
    Must have been a lot of work. Thanks.

    • i wouldn’t be surprised if many of them wind up in a line-up of quite another sort one day.

      glad you liked the poster, apples. it took me a really long time, because i kept changing my mind. first, it was going to be sepia, then i changed my mind. the coaches were going to be yertle mcconnell and john easter island head cornyn. then i thought that limpdick and glenn blechh were more fitting for those positions. then, at the last minute, i decided that little davy vitter just had to be the bat boy.

  3. It’s almost like a bunch of crack-pot wanna-be-bloggers decided to run for office. Makes me wonder who picked these people and why. I’ll guarantee you they didn’t just wake up one morning and decide they were going to run for office. Oh, no, I’m sure that someone* approached them, flashed a bunch of money and made promises, and told them they ought to.

    *or some corporation

    ///”[Paladino] has called for welfare recipients to be forced into work camps (housed in converted prisons), where they will be taught, among other things, personal hygiene (so much for small government). Similarly, he wants to send children in failing schools to state boarding schools, where they would be housed with kids removed from their homes by social services.”///

    Um, Nazis anyone? Maybe he should get together with Iott. /snark

    • you have to wonder where these people came from, especially the ones who were not in politics before. in the cases of the ultra-rich ones, it’s a matter of them trying to protect their own wealth. heaven forbid they should have to pay a fair tax, because they just can’t be wealthy enough. in the case of little chrissie, she just wants to be famous and get paid for doing nothing but showing up and yakking about something.

  4. Great job, Nonnie. It’s good to have the nuts all pictured together. It’s a marvel that dems are in jeopardy. Batshit crazy is the new normal, I guess.

  5. So much crazy there, I feel like I need to go take a shower !

    You wrote:
    look at the group as a whole

    However, I look at the group as a hole!

  6. jeb

    I don’t know about the sports analogy but I felt like they were auditioning for the remake of “One flew over the cuckoo’s nest.”

  7. Kip

    Oh, this is AWESOME!
    You even have Diaper Boy!

  8. Pingback: Employment for Losers « HYSTERICAL RAISINS

  9. What a lineup! You should send a copy to Keith. Which one gets to play the position of designated asshole? The good news is the kookyest are in the showers and Rand will be a joker in the deck for the cc gopers. And, because of the bad economy, this blog is to be forced into…Chapter 11….finds our hero warming the cab and scarfing down the last two Little Debbie strawberry swirls and the last can of NoS. Gotta get to Californey and get more supplies. The altitude is affecting Tex’s brain, as he’s already in the Golden State and heads off to the little nub of Nevada to pick up 88. Wonderment is strong going down the mountain, seeing the clouds thousands of feet below. A pleasant morning drive through the valley bring the first climb of the day, straining but bearable, stoping a the viewing place and taking it all in. When Tex resumes down the other side, he will go 8 miles without touching the gas pedal! Two more passses, heat going up, cool going down, Stoping by a cool, clean, flowing mountain stream, Tex takes in the majesty of the trees and the little canyon, all the cool river rocks and thinks “I could just stop and live here” but deep down inside knows after a week, when the last cigarette was snuffed out, he’d have to drive at least 50 miles to find a can of tobacco. Besides, the deviled ham and bread ran out back in N.M. so he presses on to the great crossroad of towns crossing the Nevada line and stopping at Minden, the turn place. Making sure to get a full 34 gallons of fuel on board for extra traction and jamming down the last corn dog the station had, he pits a BBQ sandwich on the consol and heads west, flat road at first, then it gets steeper, and steeper and….(cut to shot of temp gauge)….join us tommorow for the exciting conclusion of Tex and his moggie menagiere’ in..Chapter 12: “Will the Angels help me get to Angels Camp?”….

    • it never occurred to me until just now that nevada is the silver state, and california is the golden state. if there was another state west of california, i suppose it would be the platinum state (it has to be contiguous, so hawaii doesn’t count. it’s not a state anyway, just ask orly taitz).

      the view sounds gorgeous, but the menu is not very tempting. did you take any pictures? i usually don’t take pictures when i go somewhere (which is seldom). the pictures never do the places justice, and you miss so much when you’re concentrating on the camera instead of taking everything in.

  10. No pictures taken. Having done much 35mm and VHS in past, didn’t want the hassel of toting the gear and ever present risk of theft. Taking it all in and burning the memory works fine for me. When at important place, I get a fisfull of postcard.

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