Tea Party Candidates: I promise not to govern like I live
It’s a conundrum when you are running as a DC outsider as you have no record to prove you walk your talk. How are voters supposed to know what you stand for? Well, they can always look at your life, right? Um, that is, unless your life is the opposite of the values you’re campaigning on. It is, after all, hard for the people to trust that you will somehow govern differently than you live. But for Tea Party candidates, proving their record isn’t an issue. The people who will vote for them aren’t interested in facts; they’re avid consumers of the Republican false narrative.
We have Joe Miller (R-AK) — Sarah Palin’s long lost love now estranged after her polls revealed Miller had best distance himself from the Great Divider – telling people he’s a small government conservative who doesn’t believe in things like unemployment. Unless……… it’s his wife getting it but only then after he has had to get rid of her because she was working for him as he worked as a part time magistrate for the state and it looked bad. No, honey, it doesn’t look bad at all, it just says that you are a true Palinista Grifter.
And then there’s the fact that the last time Joe Miller ran for office; he ran as a moderate but don’t you fear, another Alaskan Republican has assured us that Joe is a “good Christian” so that should put an end to all of your pesky questions. It’s not like any Christian elected officials have done us wrong. And then there’s the taxes Joe owes. My, my…no wonder he wants to disband the government.
The problem for Joe isn’t that the Tea Party will care- clearly they don’t give a hoot about reality; they love them a good anti-Obama jingle based on pure partisan team member enthusiasm. Come on now, if they were really about small government, Sarah Palin would not be their leader.
No, it isn’t the Tea Party. So long as the candidate is white and sounds militia oriented and angry and wants to take things away from OP, the Tea Party is cool. It’s the other people who vote who aren’t so easily fooled. Those moderate Republicans (RINOs!), civilized independents and centrists Dems. Those are the people who are being turned off in droves by the extremist rhetoric and the blatant hypocrisy of the Tea Party candidates.
Much like Joe, we have Christine O’Donnell (R-DE) who can’t pay her own bills, doesn’t like to work and who is being investigated by CREW for using her campaign funds to fund her personal life running as a fiscal conservative. She has oodles of debt, both personal and campaign debt from previous runs. It’s been suggested she received a tax lien from the IRS, making this a common thread among her, Joe Miller and Sarah Palin – all of whom would be the first to accuse Daschle of being a tax fraud for the same oversight.
O’Donnell has lied about her education background as well as making ludicrous claims of being harassed by political opponents (making her Palin adjacent in the paranoia department). Listening to O’Donnell (back in the good old days when she would take interviews), you can anticipate every duck, dodge and deflection. When asked on “The Early Show” whether voters could trust her with the nation’s finances when she’s appears to have had considerable financial difficulties herself, O’Donnell said, “Absolutely.” Just believe her. She’s a cute Christian conservative. Who are you to question her? Indeed, even her ad “I’m you” implies that we all have such lies, distortions and financial malfeasance in our backgrounds and that we would all think ourselves, if we did, worthy of being elected.
We have Sharron Angle (R-NV), a previous member of the fringy Independent American Party , trying to scare up white folks by demonizing brown skinned people. We have a video showing she supported a program to use tax dollars to provide prisoners with massages, with ties to Scientology which have since been cleansed from her ever self-purging website.
She is also a “Christian” so you’d better believe her. During the primary, Angle stated she wanted to eliminate Medicare and Social Security and privatize the Veterans Administration but now she’s also scrubbed her website of those extremist positions. Angle suggested that armed revolt may be in order if she doesn’t get elected with her “second amendment remedies” shocker. Angle has proven herself willing to say and do anything to get elected, the truth and facts need not apply.
All three are running as Washington “outsiders”, which is all fine and good, unless you look under the hood. One assumes that by outsider they mean one not corrupted by power, and yet each of them have shown a proclivity toward corruption and a heady, narcissistic rush of familiarity with the Republicans in Washington. All of them claim the mantle of Christian, and yet, evince absolutely no characteristics of Christianity as it’s known to most of us.
What else, pray tell, do they all have in common?
“He thinks the world of himself,” is how Rep. David Guttenberg, D-Fairbanks describes Joe Miller. I think we can apply that to all of these Teapublican extremist candidates.
Joe has already shown himself via twitter to be measuring the drapes of his soon to be senate office (later tweetnied; aka, he blamed the tweets on an office assistant). Angle was recorded trying to strong arm Tea Party candidate Scott Ashjian into dropping out of the race, suggesting she had this thing sewn up and Big Daddy supported her and only her. She dangled access to DC insiders in exchange for Scott’s dropping out of the race. This was rather shady behavior for a self-avowed Washington outsider. And O’Donnell is running ads proclaiming, “I am you.” As if. It takes a dangerous level of denial and self-regard to show your face after being outed as basically the opposite of everything you are running as, and yet with a perky smile, O’Donnell thinks she can dismiss all of the facts with a the siren call of populist oneness.
Pseudo certainty attracts a certain mindset, one that asks no questions and mindlessly parrots back the candidate’s self-description.
But these folks are clowns of the highest order. If they manage to get into office, they will only further derail the Republican Party, along with the country, if they actually try to live up to their naïve promises. But of course, they won’t. Not one of them actually cares about the issues they are campaigning on (as proven by their real life). For heaven’s sake, Joe Miller was for education before he was against it.
And two of the three have taken Sarah Palin’s endorsement, ridden it for all it was worth in the primary, and then not only distanced themselves from her but outright slapped her in the face with their refusal to say she was qualified to be President. While I am in agreement with them on this one, it gives me great pause to see a person so devoid of morality and integrity that they would present themselves as one thing during a primary and then run away from the crazy in the general. What kind of leader has so little regard for their own values?
And then, there’s always the issue of loyalty. They will not get anything done in Washington with that kind of attitude. Palin deserved a modicum of support from them and it would have been very easy to give a bland statement of support ala Karl Rove. Something like, “Sarah Palin has been a tremendous fund-raiser for the Republican Party and has a lot of support from conservatives. I believe she can help the party in many ways and support her in her efforts.” But they went out of their way to piss in her face.
It’s somewhat confusing watching this sideshow of clowns wrestle for power as they eat each other alive, as one is never sure who is worse.
Tea Party candidates are basically in this thing for their own enrichment, but what’s even more astonishing is the gullibility of their followers. Not one of these candidates walks their talk in their personal lives. Not one of them is what they purport to be. This has long been the Republican strategy, to run on a false but pretty narrative of “just like you-ism”, but never before has it been so transparent and insulting as it is this year.
We’re supposed to believe these clowns would govern better than they campaign and that they will suddenly become ethical, responsible, honest people if only we vote for them. If we don’t vote for them, we’re reminded that there may be an armed revolt. Listening to them dodge and deflect and parrot talking points verges on a parody of the absurd. Most days I’m not sure whether to laugh or cry.
Ms. Jones is the editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Sarah has won two Telly Awards and is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.