Tea Party Ignorance

Oklahoma Tea Party Candidate Supports Stoning Gay People to Death

scottpic

Would Scott Esk stone with a smile on his face? |

You can’t make this crap up.  The Tea Party faction of American politics is primarily batshit crazy.  They are often called the “American Taliban“.  The term seems quite appropos…

Slate

Given how savagely anti-gay the mainstream Oklahoma Republican party is, it’s no surprise that the state’s Tea Partiers are so rabidly hateful that they come across more as dark satire than as serious bigots. To wit: This week, an Oklahoma magazinediscovered that last summer, Tea Party state house candidate Scott Esk endorsed stoning gay people to death: “I think we would be totally in the right to do it,” he said in a Facebook post. Esk went on to add nuance to his position:

That [stoning gay people to death] goes against some parts of libertarianism, I realize, and I’m largely libertarian, but ignoring as a nation things that are worthy of death is very remiss.

When a Facebook user messaged Esk to clarify further, he responded:

I never said I would author legislation to put homosexuals to death, but I didn’t have a problem with it.

Understandably unnerved, the magazine called up Esk for clarification. Although Esk claimed he didn’t remember the comments, he fleshed out his views:

That was done in the Old Testament under a law that came directly from God and in that time there it was totally just. It came directly from God. I have no plans to reinstitute that in Oklahoma law. I do have some very huge moral misgivings about those kinds of sins.

Pressed one final time about his position on stoning gay human beings to death, Esk dug in his heels:

I know what was done in the Old Testament and what was done back then was what’s just. … And I do stand for Biblical morality.

I am impressed that Esk has some understanding of the concept of morality. But I am not quite certain that his views square with modern notions of the concept. I do suspect, however, that Esk’s beliefs aren’t all that far from the other state-level Republicans in the region, who recently attempted to push through the most extreme piece of anti-gay legislation America has ever witnessed. Perhaps our criticism of Esk, then, is really misguided: Rather than chastising him for his seemingly extremist views, we should be thanking him for saying what so many of his political associates are likely thinking.

David Brat, the Libertarian Who Beat Eric Cantor, Doesn’t Believe in the “Common” Good

AP/P. Kevin Morely

This Tea Party clown couldn’t even answer serious questions from Chuck Todd this morning…

Mother Jones

Brat has called for slashing Social Security, Medicare, and education spending and says “rich” nations don’t have to fear climate change.

When tea party challenger David Brat sent Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Va.), the House majority leader, to the ash heap on Tuesday night, vanquishing the incumbent by more than 10 points in the primary race, the politerati were stunned. Political journalists scrambled to answer a question: who is this guy? The political pros knew that Brat had mounted a campaign largely based on two issues: bashing Cantor on immigration (that is, excoriating the congressman, who was quite hesitant about immigration reform, for not killing the possibility of any immigration legislation) and denouncing Cantor for supporting a debt ceiling deal that averted possible financial crisis. But not much else was widely known about this local professor who dispatched a Washington power broker.

A quick review of his public statements reveals a fellow who is about as tea party as can be. He appears to endorse slashing Medicare and Social Security payouts to seniors by two-thirds. He wants to dissolve the IRS. And he has called for drastic cuts to education funding, explaining, “My hero Socrates trained in Plato on a rock. How much did that cost? So the greatest minds in history became the greatest minds in history without spending a lot of money.”

An economics professor at Randolph-Macon College in central Virginia, Brat frequently has repeated the conservative canard that Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae brought down the housing market by handling the vast majority of subprime mortgages. That is, he absolves Big Finance and the banks of responsibility for the financial crisis that triggered the recession, which hammered middle-class and low-income families across the country. (In fact, as the housing bubble grew, Freddie and Fannie shed their subprime holdings, while banks grabbed more.)

In his campaign speeches, Brat has pointed out that he isn’t worried about climate change because “rich countries solve their problems”:

If you let Americans do their thing, there is no scarcity, right?  They said we’re going to run out of food 200 years ago, that we’re goin’ to have a ice age. Now we’re heating up…Of course we care for the environment, but we’re not mad people. Over time, rich countries solve their problems. We get it right. It’s not all perfect, but we get it right.

Update: After Mother Jones published this piece, several videos referenced were set to private.

He did not say what might happen to not-so-rich countries due to climate change and the consequent rise in sea levels, droughts, and extreme weather.

Asked about cuts to Medicare, Brat replied that he supported drastic reductions in payouts:

I’ll give you my general answer. And my general answer is you have to do what’s fair. Right. So you put together a graph or a chart and you go out to the American people, you go to the podium, and you say, this is what you put in on average, this is what you get out on average. Currently, seniors are getting about three dollars out of all of the programs for every dollar they put in. So, in general, you’ve got to go to the American people and just be honest with them and say, “Here’s what fairness would look like.” Right. So, maybe the next ten years we have to grandfather some folks in, but basically we’re going to move them in a direct line toward fairness and we have to live within our means.

He frets about the state of morality in schools and about Beyoncé:

For the first 13 years of your kid’s life, we teach them no religion, no philosophy, and no ethics…Who is our great moral teachers these days? Every generation has always had great theologians or philosophers by the century that you can name. Who do we got right now? [Audience: Jay-Z] Right. Right. [Audience: Beyoncé] Right. Beyoncé. When you can’t name a serious philosopher, a national name, or a serious theologian, or a serious religious leader, at the national level, your culture’s got a major problem. We got a major problem.

Brat railed against Cantor for supporting a path to citizenship for some undocumented immigrants. Brat called this a policy of “amnesty” and accused Cantor of “getting big paychecks” from groups like the Chamber of Commerce for his position:

If I misspoke and said “secretly,” he’s been pretty out in the open. He’s been in favor of the KIDS Act, the DREAM Act, the ENLIST Act [which Cantor blocked in May]…On the amnesty card, it’s a matter of motivation. I teach third-world economic development for the past 20 years, I love all people, I went to seminary before I did my economics, and so you look at the motivation. Why is Eric pushing amnesty? It’s not a big issue in our district, everyone’s opposed to it, and so why is he doing it? And the answer is, ’cause he’s got his eye on the speakership. He wants to be speaker, and big business, right? The Business Roundtable and the US Chamber of Commerce wants cheap labor. So he actually is selling out the people in our district. He’s not representing the district, the will of the people, and he’s getting big paychecks by doing so. So he’s very clear on amnesty.

Brat is, not surprisingly, no fan of the United Nations:

“Common-” anything I’m against. United Nations. Common everything. If you say common, by definition you’re saying it’s top-down. I’m going to force this on you. That’s what dictators do.

His view of who deploys a top-down approach, naturally, includes President Barack Obama:

The left does not believe in diversity. They believe in top-down, I’m going to force my way onto you. Obama is forcing un-diversity onto everybody. It’s not diversity. It’s top down, central planning, on everything.

As Mother Jones’s Timothy Murphy noted, Brat identifies as a libertarian but not a full Randian, and he doesn’t buy the idea that there’s anything dangerous about playing chicken with the debt ceiling. Bring it on, he says.

In November, Brat will face Democrat Jack Trammell, a fellow Randolph-Macon professor, in the general election in this Republican district.

Noam Chomsky: The Tea Party is the ‘petite bourgeoisie’ face of corporate oligarchs

 

Noam Chomsky on Tea Party

The Rachel Maddow Show was one of the first to report the connections between the Tea Party and corporate interests back in 2010.  Rolling Stone Magazine  and Common Dreams also published early reports of the Tea Party’s connections during that same time period.

Now,  Noam Chomsky adds to the information largely ignored by those who should know…the people who attach themselves to Tea Party politics even while doing so against their own economic interests.

The Raw Story

The Tea Party is just the popular face of corporate power in the United States, says political philosopher Noam Chomsky.

“I wouldn’t call them revolutionary,” Chomsky said, dismissing a suggestion that the conservative political faction had anarchist characteristics.

He told Radio VR during an interview posted online last week that he agreed with the conservative political analyst Norman Ornstein’s characterization of the Tea Party.

“He just described them as a radical insurgency opposed to rationality, to political compromise, to participation to a parliamentary system — in fact, with no positive goals themselves,” Chomsky said.

He said traditional anarchists opposed the inherent inequality in the relationship between a government and its people or business owners and their workers, while Tea Party conservatives promote this imbalance.

“They’re in favor of having the population subordinated to concentrated private power, which should have no limits,” Chomsky said. “When they call themselves anti-government, that means they don’t want government to limit the capacity of concentrated private power to dominate the society. That’s very far from any anarchism.”

Tea Party conservatives present themselves as strict constitutionalist proponents of a limited government, a claim that Chomsky rejected.

“They do oppose too much state power, but that’s a bit of a joke; they also support state power,” he said. “They support the powerful systems that sustain private power, concentration of power, as opposed to traditional anarchists.”

Chomsky agreed that the Tea Party was a genuine popular political movement who members were almost entirely white, “petite bourgeoisie” business owners who tend to be highly nationalistic and had racist elements.

The group’s power and significance comes not from its numbers, he said, but by the heavy funding it gets from corporate backers and the favorable coverage it receives from some media outlets.

The Tea Party’s popularity is essentially a symptom of the rigged political system, Chomsky argued.

“They have popular support and plenty of financial support, and a lot of their power comes from the radical gerrymandering, redesigning of electoral districts,” Chomsky said. “So for example, they’re powerful in the House of Representatives, where in fact, Republicans have the majority of the representatives but with a minority of the vote.”

He said that Democrats actually won significantly more of the popular vote in the last congressional election but were unable to gain a House majority.

“By virtue of rearranging of electoral districts and vast amounts of money, the right wing was able to take over the representation,” Chomsky said.

He cited a study by the political scientist Thomas Ferguson on campaign funding and its effect on electoral results.

“(He) showed there’s an almost linear relationship between the amount of money put into a campaign and electoral victory,” Chomsky said. “These are basically bought.”

Watch the video  here…

Tea Party Threatens Revenge Against Pennsylvania Justices For Not Upholding Voter ID Law

 

Someone please explain this to me:  How in the hell did the Tea Party turn into an intimidation , extortion and revenge organization?

They’re talking about “exacting revenge” on a group of State Supreme Court Justices who didn’t think that voter intimidation was just and decided to send the case back to the lower court and commented that the law should be suspended immediately.

Who are these people and what do they really want from us, in addition to getting the “black guy” out of office?

Think Progress

Earlier this week, every single sitting Pennsylvania Supreme Court justice rejecteda lower court decision allowing that state’s voter ID law to take effect. Four justices joined a majority opinion requiring the lower court judge to look at the case again due to concerns that voters were unable to obtain the IDs they were supposed to have easy access to as a matter of law, and two more justices joined a dissent arguing that the law should simply be suspended right away. Three of the justices in the majority were Republicans.

Nevertheless, a Tea Party group is now threatening to exact revenge upon the state supreme court for refusing to uphold a law that prevents many low-income, student and minority voters from casting a ballot:

A Philadelphia-area tea party group says it will work to defeat two state Supreme Court justices next year if the state’s new voter identification law isn’t in effect for the Nov. 6 election.

The Independence Hall Tea Party on Thursday also criticized the court’s decision to send a legal challenge to the law back for a lower court review.

It called the decision “a cowardly move” to “punt the ball.”

Chief Justice Ronald Castille, a Republican, and Justice Max Baer, a Democrat, are each finishing a 10-year term in January 2014.

These kinds of campaigns of vengeance against justices who place the law ahead of conservative’s policy preferences are increasingly common. Two years ago, a Florida Tea Party group launched a similar revenge campaign after the Florida Supreme Court kept an unconstitutional ballot initiative attempting to nullify the Affordable Care Act off the state ballot. Similarly, anti-gay groups poured hundreds of thousands of dollars into a successful effort to remove three Iowa supreme court justices because they had the audacity to recognize that the state’s constitution does not permit discrimination against gay couples.

As a recent Center for American Progress report explains, corporate interest groups have alsospent big money to stack state judiciaries with friendly judges and justices. In one of the most egregious cases, a West Virginia coal baron spent $3 million to buy a seat on the state supreme court for a justice who later went on to strike down a $50 million verdict against his company, although the U.S. Supreme Court ultimately ruled that the bought-and-paid-for justice should have recused himself.

 

Tea party headed to Wisconsin to defend Republican state senators

These people profess to love their country, yet support policies that are devastating for our country…

Raw Story

Two prominent tea party groups will begin their four-day “Restoring Common Sense” tour in Wisconsin on Friday to support the Republicans facing recall elections.

CNN reported that the Tea Party Nation and Tea Party Express will hold rallies across the state to defend six Republican state senators.

“The tea party stands for fiscal responsibility, and Republican Senators in Wisconsin stood firm for those principles,” Amy Kremer, chair of Tea Party Express, told CNN.

“Now they are under attack for doing the job they were elected to do. It is critical that we support and defend them from these undeserved attacks and in that effort we are proud to be joined by our friends at Tea Party Nation.”

Another group associated with the tea party movement, Americans for Prosperity, has been accused of trying to suppress Democratic votes in the upcoming elections.

Democratic Wisconsin Senate candidates overwhelmingly defeated their fake rivals in the Democratic primary election in July. Republicans entered the fake candidates into the race to force Democratic primary elections and delay the general election.

The six Republican state senators were recalled after supporting Republican Gov. Scott Walker’s controversial “budget repair bill,” which stripped nearly all collective bargaining rights from public employees.

The state Government Accountability Board also approved recall elections for three Democratic state senators. The general election will take place on August 9.

Democrats need to pick up three additional seats to have a majority in the state Senate.

Related articles

Tea Party Absurdities In The News

 

TPM:  South Carolina Tea Party leader who says President Obama’s selling the country a phony birth certificate gets busted for selling pirated software.

TPM:  Tea Party Leaders: If Default Hurts The Tea Party, So Be It

U.S. News:  Tea Party Wants Boehner, Obama Fired

NY Daily News:  GOP’s Tea Party wing bungles Ronald Reagan legacy, dashes hopes for end to debt crisis

NBC:   Florida Tea Party hates manatees, declares them ‘dangerous’

NY Times:  John McCain mocked Tea Party-allied Republicans in the House for believing — wrongly, he said — that President Obama and Democrats will get the blame for a default if Republicans refuse to increase the nation’s debt ceiling.

CNBC:   If Tea Party Likes a Debt Deal, It Can’t Pass: Economist

Examiner:   Will the Tea Party’s antics spark a revolt in America?

Related articles

Wake Up, Huck: Obama Didn’t Grow Up in Kenya

I’m not sure what Mike Huckabee’s personal motives are, but in general it’s easy to see that the GOP  is listening to their pollsters who say that 51% of voting Republicans believe that Barack Obama was not born in this country.

Essentially one can deduce that the Republican party has now embraced “birtherism”.

The Daily Beast

Mike Huckabee supposedly “misspoke” when he said Barack Obama grew up in Kenya. The potential 2012 candidate and other Obama bashers need to accept that the president was born in the U.S. and is Christian—and try to beat him with ideas, argues Mark McKinnon.

Mike Huckabee has really stepped in it. I only wish I could believe it was entirely accidental. But, boy, there sure is a lot on his shoes. People like Mike Huckabee. I like Mike Huckabee. Or, I did anyway. But just because he can be charming and self-effacing doesn’t mean we should excuse him from appropriate standards of conduct and character assassination.

Huckabee said in an interview this week that President Obama grew up in Kenya. His spokesman tried to mop up by suggesting he misspoke and meant to say he grew up in Indonesia, which in itself is a vast overstatement and misleading. The problem is that Huckabee talked in the same breath about the Mau Mau Revolution, which happened in Kenya.

Here’s what I think. I doubt most Americans have a clue about the Mau Mau Revolution, including me. But, I’m pretty sure for most folks it sounds like something extremely foreign, vaguely socialist, anti-Christian or at the very least un-American. And unfortunately, whether it was overt or not, I think that Huckabee’s intent was to further sow the seeds that Obama is somehow “not really one of us…he’s one of them.” Take your pick and use your imagination about who “them” might be.    Continue reading…

Matthews Yells At Tea Party Leader: Why Is ‘Balloon-Head’ Bachmann Speaking For You

I saw this segment on Chris Matthews’ Hardball last night and found Matthews’ heightened frustration with the Tea Party leader Sal Russo, amusing and justifiable.

Mediaite

Chris Matthews was nearly apoplectic in his questioning of Tea Party Express co-founder Sal Russo on the topic of Congresswoman Michele Bachmann and her controversial re-imagining of history where the founding fathers found a way to end slavery in their lifetime. Repeatedly calling Bachmann a “balloon head,” Matthews demanded to know why Russo and the Tea Party wanted Bachmann to give a response to the State of the Union address or, more generally, why they ever wanted her to open her mouth in the first place?

Given that Russo was eager to steer the topic away from what Bachmann does or does not know about slavery, the “interview” ended up being just Matthews berating Russo with questions like “do you know how little this woman knows about American history” and “what is she talking about?” Joan Walsh was also a guest for the segment, but there was a little time for her, since it was clearly much more entertaining watching Matthews scream at Russo “are you hypnotized – can you answer a question,” whenever Russo struggled to defend Bachmann.

Watch: