Thursday, October 21, 2010

Wingnuts, oddballs and conservatives

By Don Klein

There is trouble brewing in the country, real trouble.

We have a mess of candidates all asserting they emanate from the grassroots who are accompanied by a raucous mob wrapped in strict interpretation of the Constitution. Oddly they have demonstrated by their actions they have little understanding of the meaning of American democracy.

Not only do they display ignorance of the Constitution, they seem to have no respect for it and appear to relish in defying its tenets.

I am talking about Tea Party candidates like Rand Paul in Kentucky, Sharron Angle in Nevada, Joe Miller in Alaska and Christie O’Donnell of Delaware. What a travesty it would be if all four of these oddballs were to actually serve in the US Senate.

Rand Paul is an ophthalmologist who is blind to reality. He wants to do away with all entitlements even though a good portion of his income is derived from patients who sustain his gravy train life with funds from Medicare, Social Security and soon from the newly passed Health Care Law. He calls it socialism but gladly deposits the government checks into his bank account.

Just imagine what would happen to today’s medical profession which greatly depends on government payouts to keep their private lives financially robust. If Paul succeeded in ending Medicare, doctors would soon feel the same economic pinch the rest of us feel today. Actually, most of them quietly campaign for increased payments, not an end of the program.

That is without taking into account the terrible hardship that would befall the elderly who without the safety net of Medicare would be in dire straits. That’s when the reality of Death Panels would come into effect, only the boards would be populated by doctors playing God and insurance companies playing misers, not bureaucrats as radicals contend.

Then there is Sharron Angle who is running against the pusillanimous Senate majority leader Harry Reid. If any Democrat deserved to loose this year it is Reid, yet his opponent is such a disgrace to earthly reason that even his worst critics are hoping he survives her.

Angle makes up her own facts as she rambles along the campaign trail, she spouts out racial insults and appears not to even realize it, she doesn’t want to reform the IRS she wants to vacate it, she wants to cut the federal budget but refuses to answer questions from the press on how. She will only appear on Fox News, as she nervily stated, to raise money for her campaign not to answer probing questions.

Joe Miller is the pet choice of former Alaska governor Sarah Palin. He espouses strict compliance with the Constitution yet he hires thugs, some of whom are active duty military types, and harasses reporters who in the course of doing their jobs have the effrontery to ask him questions on matters of public interest.
Recently goons working for Miller handcuffed a reporter covering his campaign, thus violating the newsman’s personal rights (holding an individual against his will, kidnaping, etc) and also desecrating the First Amendment of the Constitution guaranteeing freedom of the press. The journalist was released when police arrived. This matter might end up as an embarrassing federal court case.

Finally we have Christine O’Donnell, the Delaware whiz who thought she was being clever in suggesting to her opponent that the dictum of separation of church and state cannot be found in the Constitution. When she was informed that the Constitution denies Congress from making any law establishing a religion she appeared suddenly enlightened as a child would when first learning that the Earth rotates around the Sun, not the opposite.

No one should bother to spend time talking about Buffalo’s ruffian candidate for governor, Carl Paladino. He is the most colossal joke the Republicans ever played on New Yorkers.

All these “scholars” recognized, as we all do, that things in America are in terrible shape but not one of them have a clue on how to solve them. All they have is sound bites designed to incite the public, not to sort out the problems. They all believe Obama is a culprit and Speaker Nancy Pelosi is the wicked witch of the West, and they want to go back to the good ole days of Republican dominance in Washington.

Virtually all Americans would like answers to our mounting national problems. But is this the crew we should be looking to for answers? Reasonable people have to say no. There are trends afoot that indicates there might be sanity creeping back into the nation’s psyche.

Democrats are beginning to show improvements in the polls. Senator Reid has moved up to a tie with Angle in Nevada. Lisa Murkowski, Miller’s write-in GOP opponent in Alaska, surprisingly is sticking close to him in the polls. Joe Manchin is holding his own in West Virginia against carpet-bagger John Raese. Joe Sestak is pulling ahead of Pat Toomey in Pennsylvania and Christine O’Donnell supposedly has no chance against Chris Coons, the Democrat.

No question that the election two weeks hence will be a nail-biter but at the moment it doesn’t look all that bad for Democrats. It should serve as a wake-up call for them since they have not performed well enough during Obama’s first term to have earned anyone’s esteem. But as usual the GOP failed to capitalize on the circumstances. They shot themselves in the foot by allowing the wingnuts of the Tea Party to steal their thunder.

A handful of reasonable. solid conservatives could have guaranteed a Republican victory this year. That is no longer certain now that the Tea Party crowd is calling the shots for the GOP.