Run Tea Party Candidate, Run!
You would think we are in the silly season of journalism at the moment with the forthcoming mid-term elections in the USA. I mean if I were to say to you, there’s a candidate who refuses to talk to the journalists and runs when confronted, you’d laugh. If I told you there’s one that was a witch, who thinks masterbation should be outlawed as it is equal to adultery, who implied they had a degree at Princeton, but later admitted she didn’t, and owes $11,000 in back taxes but wants to be taken seriously as a “fiscally responsible conservative” – that too would have you laughing. If I told you about a candidate who hires goons at a public event and has a journalist arrested because that journalist had asked candidate about his dodgy background – again I would expect you to laugh – well I did, but then I worried because these are just THREE of the people running SERIOUSLY for office in their states.
This is just an example of the Sarah Palin cut candidates, the people who are going to “take the country back” from the so-called socialist/nazi/marxist/facist/kenyan usurper Barack Obama – did I miss one of the smears out by the way?!
These are people who claim to be against big government and rally against the so called tyranny of the current administration yet if we look at Sharron Angle for example – she believes women should be forced to have the baby of a rapist (or for girls to bear the child concieved through child abuse or incest) – she believes in a government that has a right to tell someone what to do with their own bodies, but damn’s a government that tries to make healthcare affordable for all. And at the same time, has refused to do interviews with the media, running off on more than one occasion and even this week, using a decoy in her efforts to avoid answering questions from the Fourth Estate – you know expanding on her policies to the media and answering criticism that EVERY candidate has to answer. Oh and in case you’re worried, when she wins office then she’ll talk to the media – apparently! (HuffPo: I’ll start talking to the media when I’m elected)
These are the people who will put out campaign ad’s attacking their opponents but when asked simple questions about exactly what they will do in office, run, batton down the hatches and start mumbling about the damned liberal media!
I mean seriously – are these people really, really qualified.
Just look at Christine O’Donnell. She has been caught in so many gaffes, it makes amateur night look like a show off broadway!
Let me list:
O’ Donnell said “Where in the constitution is the separation of church and state?”
Here dear: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,”
When asked to name one recent Supreme Court decision to which she disagreed she said: “Oh, gosh. Give me a specific one.” When the moderator explained that it was not her job to throw the candidate a lifeline, O’Donnell came back and said “I’m very sorry, right off the top of my head, I know that there are a lot, but, uh, I’ll put it up on my website, I promise you” (Politico)
And then there are the questions about her background.
Did she pay off a Federal Tax Lien? Why did she stop paying her mortgage which saw her home foreclosed? (Delaware Tomorrow) Did she use $20,000 of her campaign fund to supplement her own personal spending? Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, filed a complaint on September 20, 2010 with the Federal Elections Commission and asked the U.S. Attorney in Delaware to investigate. O’Donnell has yet to answer satisfactorally to these allegations.
And then there are the questions regarding her education.
O’Donnell has claimed that she had been to Oxford:
Miss O’Donnell, one of the high-profile figures to emerge from the Tea Party movement, included the University of Oxford on the “education” section of her CV on the business networking website LinkedIn.
She gave no other details other than that she had studied “Post Modernism in the New Millennium” at the prestigious British institution.
It has emerged that the course, in 2001, was not run by Oxford but by the Phoenix Institute, an educational group that runs summer courses in rooms at universities, including Oxford.
Chris Fletcher, an assistant professor of religious studies at Benedictine University, Illinois, who oversaw the 2001 programme at Oxford, said Miss O’Donnell’s characterisation of it was “misleading”. (Telegraph)
And then she claimed to have been Claremount Graduate University, but they claim other wise:
“Claremont Graduate University has no student or education record for an individual named Christine O’Donnell,” a school spokesman told Christina Bellantoni of Talking Points Memo, who confirmed Gary Scott’s blog report. (Yahoo)
Oh and here is a screenshot from her LinkedIn account – which of course now she claims has nothing to do with her:
Oh and as I mentioned earlier, she also claimed Princeton. In 2005, O’Donnell sued her then employers the Intercollegiate Studies Institute, for £6.9 Million claiming mental anguish in a gender discrimination lawsuit. During this lawsuit, she claimed: “Miss O’Donnell has lost the increased earning power that a Master’s degree from Princeton would have created,” and this loss of “earning power” cost her “up to $50,000 per year, for three lost years at $150,000.”
Even her campaign manager had to admit “O’Donnell did not have her bachelor’s degree at the time and only audited one undergraduate class at Princeton” (weekly standard).
And these are the serious questions surrounding O’Donnell without me making major references to her witchcraft dabbling and her masterbation is adultery claims.
To tell you the truth it’s no wonder she took mentor Sarah Palin’s advice to “speak through Fox” and has found a champion in Schill-In-Chief Sean Hannity!
But any sane person would acknowledge, these are questions that must me answered and when someone runs from the press or will only speak to an outlet that shines a halo on them, this is the time when voters MUST step away and ask is this the candidate they want running for them and acting on their behalf in the Denate?
Let’s look at one of the winners of the “We don’t talk to the media” camp, a woman who has taken what Palin started and now made herself an almost world class athlete in the event of “Run From the Media Dash”.
Sharron Angle, currently running for Senate against House Majority Leader Harry Reid.
She has some pretty confrontational stances too – one of her most famous being her “Second Amendment Rights” speech:
“They’re afraid they’ll have to fight for their liberty in more Second Amendment kinds of ways?” and “That’s why I look at this as almost an imperative. If we don’t win at the ballot box, what will be the next step?””
This from a woman who has had close ties to militia who are seen as anti-Government and comes in light of many instances on the campaign trail of people talking up violent rhetoric when someone says something that does not fit with them. You only have to look at the recent Lauren Valle incident to understand that a comment such as Angle’s has more sisnister connotations when you look at it with the actions of some of the Tea Party that follow her and her ilk.
Angle has also made allegations that Canada was allowing terrorists through it’s borders – this came after she had to backtrack on statements made against Hispanic Americans, but her assertion that Canada is the “most porous border we have” and “what we know is our northern border is where the terrorists came through” is very dangerous and very false. As the Candadian Ambassador to the US said, her allegations that the 9/11 Terrorists entered the US through Canada are baseless – he is demanding a retraction, Angle remains silent, much like most of the candidates from the Tea Party who when caught in a “misspeak” tend to do.
She told Latino students that they look “Asian” (video on Vopod with Angle on camera stating this)
She stated that the money from BP to repay businesses who lost earnings during this years Gulf Oil Spill was a “slush fund”. She advised a 13 year old rape/incest victim to not have an abortion and instead make “a lemon situation into lemonade. She also criticized Reid for saving a Las Vegas Resort Project that could create 22,000 jobs.
And this from a candidate that could have won, but is now fighting against Reid who is seen as much more viable than Angle.
And of course now, she runs from the media, because the media as she sees it:
Well certainly it will be, because as you know, the lamestream media or the left-leaning progressive press are really very much in Harry Reid’s camp. They promote him as much as they can, and certainly that’s not their intent when they come to interview me. (HuffPo)
As Michael B.Keegan said in a piece on the Huffington Post:
The ability of citizens to ask questions of those in power is the centerpiece of a functioning democracy — and any candidate hoping to serve in such a democracy should be ready to deal with tough questions. Miller, who prides himself on his knowledge of the Constitution, should know that when the founders chose to guarantee the freedom of the press, they recognized that a robust press corps is key to citizens holding those in power accountable. At a minimum, one can imagine they sought to limit the handcuffing of reporters.
But with the rise of the Tea Party and in the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United, right-wing candidates have been promoting a curious inversion of the right of free speech in a democracy. While they refuse to be held accountable by an independent press corps, they enthusiastically defend the newly declared right of corporate special interests to spend extraordinary sums of money from vast treasuries to help them get elected — all while avoiding accountability from the public. We’re living in a world where candidates don’t speak, but corporations do.
And this is where running from the press or only talking to Fox takes a much more sinister turn. And this is where we arrive at Joe Miller.
A couple of weeks ago, journalist Tony Hopfinger approached Miller at a public event in Alaska to ask Miller about allegations of wrongdoings, specifically whether he had been disciplined while working as a lawyer for the Fairbanks North Star Borough. Hopfinger, whom the right wing blog tired to paint as a no body two bit sitting in his bedroom blogger, was then surrounded and arrested by a private security team, of it turned out off duty soldiers, and detained until police came. Hopfinger was immediatley released and no charges brought, as Hopfinger had been doing what is expected of the Fourth Estate – ask a question. But Miller had stated previously that he would not answer any more questions about his personal background:
“We’ve drawn a line in the sand. You can ask me about background, you can ask me about personal issues — I’m not going to answer,” Miller said.
Miller made the statement to reporters following Monday’s Anchorage Chamber of Commerce candidate forum at the Dena’ina Center. Standing with his wife, Kathleen, Miller delivered a seven-minute address in which he complained he had been mistreated by the Alaska news media and announced he would no longer be answering personal questions. He took no questions, then quickly left down a nearby stairwell.
Miller said he has been the victim of “journalistic impropriety.”
The statement came as new questions were being raised about Miller’s time as an attorney for the Fairbanks North Star Borough. Miller spent seven years as a part-time borough attorney before leaving in September last year. (Anchorage Daily News)
This was more than a comical Benny Hill moment where a candidate skids off into the sunset to avoid the press – this was a blatant attempt to stiffle the press using facist actions. There are serious questions to be asked of Miller regarding his integrity – he has admitted lying in a computer tampering scandal. These are allegations he SHOULD be answering – both from the media and the electorate and the law if needs be.
As Keegan said in his piece:
In a world where the right to “free speech” doesn’t protect the rights of citizens to ask questions, find accurate information, and hold those in power accountable, what we get instead is the kind of free-for-all where Joe Miller’s hired goons can restrain a reporter and where big corporations can fund attack ads without ever being held accountable by voters. What we get is free speech for the wealthy and powerful and tough luck for the rest of us. It’s the First Amendment turned on its head, and democracy gone dangerously awry.
I ask you, with all seriousness, when did silly season become the norm for candidates? Why are these people being allowed a free pass yet Barack Obama can’t do diddly without column inches being written about him. Not that column inches shouldn;t be written but when you have for example Glenn Beck doing a rally and no one in the mainstream media bats an eyelid but colummist after columnist bats Jon Stewart for his Rally To Restore Sanity, one has to ask, are the Fourth Estate being neutered and allowing themselves to be neutered as they were during the Bush Admin.
This is not the America people want to see after November 2nd – is it?
- The GOP’s coming Tea Party hangover | Niall Stanage (guardian.co.uk)
- Is the Tea Party a Movement or a Moment? (politicsdaily.com)
- America Is Waking Up to the Real Tea Party Threat (politics.usnews.com)
- Joe Sestak’s Witching Hour (themoderatevoice.com)
- O’Donnell threatens to sue station over video (salon.com)
- Christine O’Donnell’s church and state gaffe makes voters laugh (guardian.co.uk)
- The Caucus: Witch’s Shrieks Urge Vote Against O’Donnell (thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com)
- Christine O’Donnell: Jezebel Website Wants to Do a ‘Santorum’ on Her Name (politicsdaily.com)
- O’Donnell: God “Called Me” To Run for Office (cbsnews.com)
- Sharron Angle Campaign Reacts To Criticism Of Press-Shy Media Strategy: That’s How She ‘Wins’ (huffingtonpost.com)
- Dodges, decoys flummox those seeking Sharron (sfgate.com)
- Campaign craziness (bbc.co.uk)
- Murdering A Political Theory With A Brutal Gang Of Facts (bigthink.com)