Dan Coats is running for U.S. Senate against incumbent Democrat Brad Ellsworth, 8th District, Indiana. Coats claim is that he is for Hoosier values and this seems to be his clarion call.
By his own admission this means he is against
1) The Obama stimulus which, he says, “grew government not jobs”;
2) Against “Obamacare”
It is therefore not unreasonable to take from this that he is,
1) for the Bush recession; and
2) for an uninsured/underinsured America
Because it is the corporations and the wealthy who were the sole beneficiaries of Republican economic policies of the eight-year Bush administration, we have a right to ask, Are Hoosier values then pro-corporation?
Coats is a former follower (1976 to 1980) of the unlamented former U.S. Representative Dan Quayle (R) Indiana, 4th congressional district, acting as Quayle’s district representative. When Quayle ran against Democratic incumbent Senator Birch Bayh in 1980, Coats campaigned for and was elected to Quayle’s seat in the U.S. House. Quayle resigned from the Senate in 1988 to serve as Vice President, whereupon Coats was appointed to Quayle’s former seat. He served in the Senate until January 1999.
Coats is affiliated with the infamous fundamentalist Christian group known as the Fellowship (aka “the Family”) an organization founded in 1935 in opposition to Roosevelt’s New Deal.
Dan Coat’s website claims, “The contrast is clear: Dan Coats will work to reduce spending and lower taxes while Congressman Ellsworth rubberstamps the liberal Obama-Pelosi spending spree agenda.”
Coats offers some rather dubious reasons for running:
Over the past year-and-a-half, just like you, I have grown increasingly frustrated and concerned by the path Washington is taking us down. Our current situation is something I’ve never seen before and never felt would happen to America. President Obama, Congressman Ellsworth and their allies in Congress have priorities not in tune with you and me, but in tune with a left-leaning liberal agenda they’ve been trying to push for decades. In the face of an economic crisis rivaling the worst our country has ever seen, they thought it was best to use their majorities in the Senate and House to peddle their failed deficit-inflating, budget-busting, tax-raising policies.
Several points should be noted:
1) The left-wing’s policies are not in any way extraordinary in face of the GOP’s own record in “deficit-inflating”;
2) The Democrats are not raising taxes. They are letting Bush’s tax cuts expire only for the
wealthiest Americans. Most Americans will see a tax cut;
3) The last president to balance the budget was a Democrat, not a Republican – Clinton.
In fact, according to the Right’s own conservative print mouthpiece, Forbes Magazine, the top three presidents economy performance-wise were Democrats – Clinton, Johnson, and Kennedy – while the bottom three – Nixon, Eisenhower, and Bush the Elder – were all Republicans.
A recent Democratic ad takes a shot at Coats’ own cozy relationship with big corporations and special interests:
In point of fact, no Republican president since Eisenhower has balanced the budget (1956-57). The only two presidents to do it since are LBJ in 1969 and Clinton in 1998 through 2001 – both Democrats. In the last 40 years all budget surpluses (five of them) have come under Democratic administrations: 1969, 1998, 1999, 2000, and 2001.
Coats is sponsored by:
National Right to Life – a political action committee. According to Right Wing Watch, “In 1999, Fortune magazine placed NRLC number 8 on its “Power 25” list, which ranks the most influential lobbying groups in Washington, D.C..” Right Wing Watch says that “While NRLC defines itself as a “single-issue” organization, they are also active in other issues such as partial-birth abortion, euthanasia, stem cell research, in vitro fertilization, and cloning. NRCL opposes RU-486 and some forms of contraceptives, including “the pill.” We might therefore in part at least identify these people as anti-science.
BIPAC – Business Industry Political Action Committee. “BIPAC enables more effective business participation in the political process. It does not lobby. Instead, BIPAC offers a wide range of tools and strategies to help corporations and associations reach their public policy goals.”
The Susan B. Anthony List -A political action committee helping pro-life women gain election to Congress. “The Susan B. Anthony List is a nationwide network of over 280,000 Americans dedicated to advancing, mobilizing and representing pro-life women in the political process.”
Another endorsement comes from right-wing bigot and hate-monger James Dobson, who said, “I have long respected former Senator Dan Coats for his integrity and his legislative influence in the Congress. I also admire his personal commitment to his Christian faith in public life.”
Because of course, personal commitment to “Christian faith in public life” was seen as essential according to the framers of the Constitution, who showed their own enthusiasm by failing to mention it at all. In fact, the framers were so enthusiastic that they said that the candidate’s religion was completely irrelevant to holding office (Article VI section 3).
And of course, James Dobson is on the record as stating after 9/11:
Christians have made arguments on both sides of this question. I certainly believe that God is displeased with America for its pride and arrogance, for killing 40 million unborn babies, for the universality of profanity and for other forms of immorality. However, rather than trying to forge a direct cause-and-effect relationship between the terrorist attacks and America’s abandonment of biblical principles, which I think is wrong, we need to accept the truth that this nation will suffer in many ways for departing from the principles of righteousness. “The wages of sin is death,” as it says in Romans 6, both for individuals and for entire cultures.
Keep this in mind before casting a vote for Dan Coats. There is such a thing as guilt by association. After all, Coats’ response to Dobson’s endorsement was: “I am honored to have the support and friendship of Dr. Jim Dobson. His is known and respected by many, many Hoosiers.”
Clearly, culture warrior Coats is a fundamentalist Christian conservative, anti-LGBT and anti-choice, in many ways a prototypical Republican candidate, complete with connections to big business and more interested in promoting the interests of big business and disguising these as identical to the “average Joe’s” interests.
Hrafnkell Haraldsson, a social liberal with leanings toward centrist politics has degrees in history and philosophy. His interests include, besides history and philosophy, human rights issues, freedom of choice, religion, and the precarious dichotomy of freedom of speech and intolerance. He brings a slightly different perspective to his writing, being that he is neither a follower of an Abrahamic faith nor an atheist but a polytheist, a modern-day Heathen who follows the customs and traditions of his Norse ancestors. He maintains his own blog, A Heathen’s Day, which deals with Heathen and Pagan matters, and Mos Maiorum Foundation www.mosmaiorum.org, dedicated to ethnic religion. He has also contributed to NewsJunkiePost, GodsOwnParty and Pagan+Politics.
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