Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The Tea Partying Gooper Girls

A few weeks ago, an evangelical Christian woman named Christine O'Donnell shook the political establishment when her unlikely campaign for the Republican nomination of Delaware's Senate seat beat out the favourite Congressman Mike Castle, who was seeking a promotion. In fact, so well known and well regarded was the Republican Congressman that he was expected by EVERYONE to have an easy win. The population of Delaware is so small that they only have one member of Congress, so that means everyone in Delaware was familiar with him. His stature was so high in that state that Attorney General Beau Biden (son of Vice President Biden, who vacated his Senate seat when he and Obama won the presidential and vice presidential election in 2008) decided not to run. Big mistake! Now, it looks like the Democratic nominee Chris Coons will win in a race he was not expected to win against Congressman Mike Castle.

Its a topsy-turvy world. This shock to the system is indicative of just how crazy the Tea Party movement has become. They seem to have no other motive than to get rid of what they call "RINOs" (Republicans In Name Only) from Congress, replacing them with the most extremely conservative candidates, many of whom lack experience in government. Intelligence doesn't seem to be a quality that is valued, either. All that matters is if the candidate hates taxes and plans on more tax cuts to solve our deficit problem. They are angry, but they seem incapable of holding accountable the very politicians who put our country's economy in the toilet. Nope. The person they blame happens to be the first African American president, who has come into office under the worst set of circumstances of any president since Franklin Delano Roosevelt in 1932.

I think its interesting that in the aftermath of Sarah Palin's disasterous public vetting process in the fall of 2008, more female candidates have thrown their hats into the political arena. Its like they all thought, "If this beautiful, but brainless idiot could be elected governor and chosen as the Vice Presidential candidate, then I can be elected to office, too!" So in this first national election cycle after the 2008 election when we were introduced to the Disasta from Alaska, we have more crazy Republican ladies to capture our attention.

First is Christine O'Donnell, the 41 year old evangelical Christian who appeared on Bill Maher's Politically Incorrect show 22 times in the late 1990s. She was part of an organization called S.A.L.T., which advocated for sexual abstinence in teenagers (which has worked out so well in the Palin family). When past footage of the show began surfacing, I was surprised because I used to watch that show religiously during my college years. I remember Christine O'Donnell on that show and while I rarely agreed with her views, I thought she always came across as likable, sincere, and sweet. She seems like the kind of person who can tolerate disagreements among friends. The most dangerous thing about her, though, is that she has the same quirky cuteness that Newsanchor woman Katie Couric has. Yikes, its deadly for any guy within range of her charm. Even Bill Maher is not immune. In fact, since her win, he has come out and said that Christine O'Donnell is nothing like Sarah Palin. Where Palin is mean and vindictive, O'Donnell is sweet and congenial.

That does not mean we should vote for her, though. While the media punditocracy are having a field day with her comments from well over a decade ago (such as her admission that she had "dabbled in witchcraft" as a teenager, which I find to be a non-issue), there are more important problems in her past that have surfaced, such as her personal financial messes; her belief that if evolution is true, then why aren't monkeys evolving in front of our eyes; and her very Victorian views on sex (she wants the whole world to abstain!). After her primary election night victory, even Karl Rove was criticizing her, until he strangely backtracked the following day and now praises her as though she's going to win.

The reality is that Delaware is a pretty Blue State, so it was foolish of the Teabaggers to vote for the most extreme candidate in the Republican primary. The Republicans had a sheer lock on picking up that Senate seat. Now, there's a snowball's chance in hell. The only way O'Donnell could win is by fraud (such as Diebold computer voting system). She'd have better luck winning a Senate seat in the Deep South, where her religious views would be considered an asset (in the South, religion matters more than intelligence; which is the opposite of the Blue State criteria for winning).

Bill Maher has asked her to appear on his weekly HBO show, threatening to release one video clip of her per week until she appears. Its unlikely, though, because she took the advice of "Mama Grizzly" Sarah Palin to only go to the sympathetic Fox Propaganda Network for media interviews, so they can ask fluffball questions like what her favourite colour is or what brand of tea she likes to drink. It should be an automatic disqualifier if a candidate does not want to face a real interview or debate an opponent. I always wonder what they are hiding, and in this case, its likely ignorance. Beyond her obsessive issue of sexual abstinence, I don't see much interest in deeper issues. Her financial situation alone disqualifies her (if she can't manage her own finances, how can she expect to handle the federal government's?).

My prediction is that she will have a Fox Propaganda Network show after she loses badly to Chris Coons. If she truly wants to be elected to office, she ought to consider moving to South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, or Mississippi where her views would be right at home in those Red States.

Up next is Sharron Angle, another Teabagger who defeated a more established Republican candidate in the Senate race to defeat the milquetoasty Senator Harry Reid. As a Democrat, I don't like Harry Reid because he's such a wimp. He reminds me of Alan Colmes, who basically played possum to Sean Hannity when they had a show together. I prefer my Democrats to be scrappy fighters like Howard Dean. Republicans play dirty and they play to win. The last thing we need is for a Democrat to roll over and play dead, like Tom Daschle, the Senate Minority Leader in the first couple of years of the Bush Administration.

Its amusing to me that conservative Republicans demonize wimps like Reid and Daschle as sinister manipulators a la Dick Cheney or Karl Rove. Nothing could be further from the case. Reid and Daschle remind me more of Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain, naively believing that accomodation with "evil" (that would be the Republican agenda in our case, Adolf Hitler in Chamberlain's case) would "keep the peace (in our time!)." Yeah, right.

Harry Reid is so wimpy and ineffectual that I wouldn't mind seeing him tossed out of Congress. That is, until Sharron Angle arrived on the scene. She believes that rape victims should be forced to carry and give birth to the baby that results, claims that people use autism as an excuse to get more medical benefits, wants to cut out maternity leave (since she doesn't plan to have any more children and doesn't want to pay for anyone else to have that benefit), and most audacious of all: says that people who are unemployed are enjoying it too much because of the unemployment insurance that she would like to see done away with. Yikes, this woman sounds perfect for the Nazi Party! Where do the Republicans find these people? Additionally, there is concern that she is an agent of Scientology, since she introduced bills in the Nevada legislature that favoured using programs developed by Scientology (which is anti-psychiatry).

I feel sorry for the people of Nevada who have to choose between a wimp and a woman without compassion or good sense. If I was a resident, I'd hold my nose and vote for the wimp. He's unlikely to do as much damage as someone like Sharron Angle.

Next there's Jan Brewer, who became Governor of Arizona when Janet Napolitano vacated her office to join President Obama's cabinet as the Secretary of Homeland Security. She made national headlines when she signed into law earlier this year a bill that made it a requirement that anyone pulled over by the police had to show proof of citizenship or legal resident status. Some say that she did this to shore up support on her right flank, which is exactly what happened. She easily won her primary race.

That's not her only controversy, though. In a debate with an opponent, she had claimed that there were headless corpses in the Arizona desert. This comment was unfounded and she did not offer proof. The whole point was a scare tactic aimed at white suburban residents. She wanted people to believe that Mexican drug cartels were moving into Arizona and bringing their mode of execution with them.

If that weren't enough, she messed up in the opening statement of a debate and laughed it off. The video footage made it to the Huffington Post and itw as an embarrassment. She seems woefully inadequate for the job she was promoted into. When reporters after a debate had asked her about her "headless corpses in the desert" comment, she refused to respond and walked away. She's also not agreeing to do any more debates. I guess she can't hack it.

In California, there are two women running for high profile positions. The first one is Meg Whitman, formerly of eBay, who has already spent more than $100 million of her own money to become the next Governor of America's most populated state, which pays $200,000 a year. Why would anyone drop that much cash for a job that pays so little? Think of what you can do with all that money! It seems like such a vanity campaign and I would not be surprised if she has ulterior motives, such as being a trojan horse for corporations to continue to wreck havoc on the state's ongoing budget crisis.

Her opponent is a career politician who was already governor of California back in the 1970s. That's right. I'm talking about Governor Jerry "Moonbeam" Brown. Brown has had such an interesting career trajectory. After being governor, he naturally ran for the Democratic nomination for president in 1992 (I supported his candidacy after my chosen candidate, Bob Kerrey of Nebraska, had dropped out of the race and I still wasn't won over by Clinton). When he became mayor of Oakland, I was stunned. Usually, the political trajectory is the other way: Mayor, Governor, Senate, President. Brown is all over the map. Now, he wants to become Governor again. Why? Doesn't California have plenty of Democrats to choose from?

However, in this choice, even though I do not support retreads (I certainly don't in Oregon's gubernatorial race), if I were a voting resident of the great state of California, I most certainly would be voting for Jerry Brown. The reason he got the nickname "Moonbeam" is because his ideas were considered so "far out there" back in the 1970s (but I think its become the norm now). I believe that he is in politics for the right reasons, while Whitman is not. Besides, dropping that much cash for a political office is a huge red flag for me. If I was a friend or relative of Whitman's, I'd be pissed. It would be awesome if the voters of California made her "The Biggest Loser in the World." I will be celebrating if Jerry Brown wins on election day. It would send a message to the country that one can't just buy political office. She'll feel like the biggest idiot in the world if she loses after spending such a large fortune. Please, Californians, make her The Biggest Loser in the World!

Next, there's Carly Fiorina, who is running for the U.S. Senate against one of my favourite Senators, Barbara Boxer. Boxer always seems to have a tough reelection fight. This was the case in 1998 and 2004. In fact, I was at her campaign party in 2004 to watch the election returns during a vacation to San Francisco. I enjoyed the free food and big screen TVs. No one seemed to mind and no one checked my backpack. I was shocked by the lax security, especially since both Senators Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein showed up later to declare victory.

The biggest reason why Carly Fiorina should not win this race is because she was fired as the CEO of Hewlett-Packard after a disasterous tenure, which included a spying scandal at that company and a $20 million golden parachute. Other vital information about her is that she has not voted in many elections. How will she take her job as Senator, which requires a lot of votes? Why does she even want to be Senator? You would think that California has plenty of well-qualified Republicans. Perhaps the biggest shock is that Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger decided not to run for the Senate seat this time. He would have made this race a lot more exciting to watch. Hopefully Senator Barbara Boxer will defeat Carly Fiorina and continue to serve my favourite of U.S. states.

Speculation continues to increase that Sarah Palin is likely to mount a presidential bid in 2012. Her endorsements of several "Tea Party candidates" has Republican establishment figures running scared. As long as she continues to destroy the Republican party, I say, "more power to ya!" However, the choices she makes in her endorsements are so bizarre. They come off without rhyme or reason. She seems to have no consistent standard, other than to shoot RINOs. She wants an even more rightwing conservative Republican party than the one George W. Bush managed to destroy.

I'd love to see her get the Republican nomination for president in 2012, just so President Obama would likely be reelected, allowing him enough time to set our country back on track. However, there is risk involved, because many people thought that Nixon could never get elected, nor Reagan, nor George W. Bush. Palin might carry on that tradition, which would prove disasterous for our country were she to become president. However, in 1964, Barry Goldwater was the candidate that both JFK and LBJ had wanted as their opponent, thinking that he was way too conservative to ever get elected. LBJ had a huge landslide victory because of the extremist views of Goldwater (though in today's climate, he would be considered moderate compared to the likes of Bush, Gingrich and Palin).

I don't see Palin winning as president simply because she's a quitter. Its the one thing she'll never be able to live down: after serving two and a half years as Governor of Alaska, she quit without giving a good reason for her decision. All we have is a rambling announcement speech where she quotes statements on refrigerator magnets. The glass ceiling is pretty strong, so it would take a strong woman to shatter that glass. I personally believe that Americans aren't going to vote for just any woman to become the first Female Chief Executive of the United States. Hillary Clinton had the best shot, but even she came up short. Perhaps this is why the Republican party is running so many female candidates in high profile races this year. They want to set the stage for 2016 or 2020. However, I believe after Obama, it will be back to a white male president. None of the women running in this year's races have the quality Americans are looking for in a first Female President.

Congresswoman Michelle Bachmann of Minnesota is a darling of the Teabagger set. I'll admit that she is physically attractive, but that's about it. Her views are as toxic as Sarah Palin's. Before I was banned from the Sarah Palin fan Facebook group, the Palinistas were salivating at the prospect of a Palin / Bachmann Administration!! Nothing sounded more moronic to me than that. That's a guaranteed ticket to failure.

Bachmann makes the press for idiotic statements. I haven't read any lately, but in the past, I've scratched my heads wondering why people elected her into office anyway. She's little on the substance and she uses religion more than anything else. If she's so enamoured of religion, why didn't she become a member of the clergy, rather than the government? It doesn't make sense to me at all.

Finally, who can forget Florida's scary Secretary of State, Katherine Harris? She became famous in the 2000 election battle when Florida's electoral votes were "too close to call" and the world waited with baited breath for 36 days until the Supreme Court made its unConstitutional decision. Katherine Harris was nicknamed "Cruella de Vil" by Democrats, which I thought was unfair, but her photo above certainly did not help her cause. In reality, she saw herself as Esther, from the Bible. Palin, as well, loves the story of Esther. I'm not familiar with that story, so I won't attempt to explain it here. I'm just tired of these conservative, evangelical women using religion to make the case why they should be elected into political office. No! If you are into your religion, you should become a member of your church's clergy. Perhaps they don't because they belong to churches that don't recognize the right of women to hold the priesthood. That's their problem, though.

Given the choice between the two parties, I love the women in the Democratic Party, especially Hillary Clinton, Barbara Boxer, Dianne Feinstein, and Patty Murray (Senator in Washington state who is in the fight of her life as well for a fourth term). Democrats value substance and knowledge over beauty. Republicans just want their women beautiful and brainless. Or religiously kooky. That's why I call them "Gooper Girls." Let 'em drink all the tea they want. Just don't vote for them.

1 comment:

Julie said...

i'm not big on abortion BUT my gosh, cut maternity leave?? what about girls/women with crisis pregnancies??? for any anti-abortion people to be against helping out women with crisis pregnancies (who are in cases where they'd be more likely to consider abortion) is absurd and...self-defeating in terms of preventing abortions. How godly is it to screw over women having babies???
I don't usually vote for anti-abortion candidates, mainly b/c i disagree with them on other issues, but i try to monetarily support crisis pregnancy centers and such (sometimes anyway; i don't have a ton of moola). Meeting the needs of women and girls in crisis pregnancies (and their babies) will probably prevent more abortions than any politician who is against abortions and also against helping out the needy.