>A friend forwarded this video to me, it’s a “Little” tongue-in-cheek but worth watching before you vote on Tuesday.
Category Archives: Tea Party candidate
>By Michael Winship
Posted at Consortiumnews.com
October 20, 2010
ConsortiumNews Editor’s Note: Sadly but predictably, the two years of economic pain and the anger over the first African-American president are combining for a particularly nasty election as Tea Partiers see, within their grasp, their goal of “taking our country back.”
The 2009 phenomenon of armed protesters threatening to unleash violence against Washington over health-care reform has morphed into Tea Party candidates surrounding themselves with thugs determined to silence reporters and intimidate opposition voters, as Michael Winship notes in this guest essay:
One of the most memorable moments in television coverage of American politics came during the Democratic National Convention in Chicago in 1968.
Out on the streets, anti-Vietnam war demonstrations were attacked viciously by law enforcement officials in what later was described in an official report as “a police riot.”
Inside the convention hall, tightly controlled by the political machine of the city’s notorious Mayor Richard J. Daley, CBS correspondent Dan Rather was attempting to interview a delegate from Georgia who was being removed from the floor by men in suits without ID badges.
One of them slugged Rather in the stomach, knocking him to the ground. As the reporter struggled to get his breath back, from the anchor booth, Walter Cronkite exclaimed, “I think we’ve got a bunch of thugs here, Dan!”
It was an uncharacteristic outburst from America’s Most Respected Newsman, indicative of just how terrible the violence was both inside and out and how shocking it was for a journalist to be so blatantly attacked while on the air by operatives acting on behalf of politicians.
As appalling as that 1968 assault was, thuggery is nothing new in politics; it transcends time, ideology and party.
But what’s even more disturbing in 2010 is how much of the public, especially many of those who count themselves among the conservative adherents of the Tea Party, is willing to ignore bullying behavior – and even applaud it – as long as the candidate in question hews to their point of view.
Here in New York State, of course, we have Republican gubernatorial candidate Carl Paladino, who combines the boyish charm of J. Edgar Hoover with the sunny quirkiness of Pol Pot.
So extreme are Paladino’s views, so volatile his temper, that even Rupert Murdoch’s right wing New York Post has endorsed Democrat Andrew Cuomo, which is a bit like the Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano dissing the Pope and singing the praises of Lutherans.
Doubtless this is in part because Crazy Carl, as he is affectionately known to many, almost came to blows with the Post’s state political editor, the redoubtable Fred Dicker, shouting “I’ll take you out, buddy!” at Dicker.
The journalist had asked Paladino for evidence to back up allegations the candidate was making against Cuomo. Paladino claimed the paper was harassing his out-of-wedlock daughter.
The Post had to admit that Paladino is “long on anger and short on answers… undisciplined, unfocused and untrustworthy — that is, fundamentally unqualified for the office he seeks.”
Okay, Paladino will lose, but in other parts of the country, Tea Party-supported candidates with a similar bullying, threatening attitude, or who seem to surround themselves with such people, are more likely to win.
Republican Allen West, endorsed by Sarah Palin and John Boehner, is leading in his race against incumbent Democratic Representative Ron Klein in South Florida’s 22nd Congressional District.
A retired Army lieutenant colonel, West resigned from the military, according to the progressive Web site ThinkProgress.org, “while facing a court martial over the brutal interrogation of an Iraqi man. …
“According to his own testimony during a military hearing, West watched four of his men beat the suspect, and West said he personally threatened to kill the man. According to military prosecutors, West followed up on his threat by taking the man outside and firing a 9mm pistol near his head, in order to make the man believe he would be shot.”
You can’t make this stuff up: Last week, NBC News reported that West has been communing with a notorious Florida motorcycle gang, the Outlaws, which the Justice Department alleges has criminal ties to arson, prostitution, drug running, murder and robbery.
And on Monday, West could be heard at a rally urging some bikers – also with Outlaw connections – to “escort” out a Klein staffer who was video-recording the event.
“Threats can be heard on the videotape,” said a reporter from NBC’s Miami affiliate. “West supporters forced him to get back into his car.”
The West campaign responded that “the latest attacks aimed at associating … Allen West with a criminal and racist gang are completely baseless and nothing short of a hatchet job.”
So what’s with the photograph of him glad-handing bikers who according to NBC brag about their association with the Outlaws? And why did West tell a supporter to back off when concern was expressed about “criminal organization members in leather” appearing at West’s campaign rallies?
Which brings us to Joe Miller, the Republican and Tea Party candidate for the United States Senate from Alaska.
On Sunday, at a Miller town hall, private security guards hired by the campaign – two of whom were moonlighting, active-duty military – took it upon themselves to detain a reporter pursuing Miller with questions, placed the reporter under citizen’s arrest and handcuffed him – then threatened to detain two other reporters who were taking pictures and asking what was going on.
The plainclothes rent-a-cops, complete with Secret Service-type earpieces and Men in Black-style neckties and business suits, come from an Anchorage-based outfit called DropZone Security, which also runs a bail bond service and an Army-Navy surplus store – with one of those anti-Obama “Joker” posters pasted to its window.
One-stop shopping for the vigilante militiaman in your life – kind of like that joke about the combination veterinarian-taxidermist: either way you get your dog back.
All of this would be funnier if not for the fact that this kind of hooliganism and casual trampling of First Amendment rights from people who claim to embrace the Constitution as holy writ is symptomatic of a deeper problem.
The anger of the electorate is understandable: politicians and politics as usual have given voters much about which to be mad; furious, in fact. But bullying is different. It comes from insecurity and fear, and lashes out with tactics of intimidation. To dismiss it as merely a secondary concern and say “I’ll take my chances” as long as the candidates in question agree with you is dangerous.
Scuffling with the press and others may seem minor, but it’s just the beginning. In states where there is early balloting, already there are allegations of voter harassment, primarily in minority neighborhoods.
The only way to fight back against bullies and thugs is to stand up and tell them to go to hell. To do otherwise is to give an inch and prepare to be taken for the proverbial mile. That way lies madness. And worse.
Michael Winship is senior writer at Public Affairs Television in New York City.
>Nice article written by John Nickles over at the Nation.com about the sudden turn of events that has now made Democratic prospect for the November elections and retaining control of the US Senate much more likely thanks to Republican voters that chose extreme right-wing TEA Party backed candidates in Alaska, Delaware, Nevada and elsewhere over more mainstream GOP candidates:
Did the Tea Party movement just snatch defeat from the jaws of victory in Delaware?
Just as wins by extreme right-wingers in Republican primaries in Nevada, Alaska and other states have renewed the hopes of Democrats in Senate races where they looked to be doomed, Delaware Republicans just ditched a seemingly certain November winner for a likely loser.
On a night when the Tea Party movement scored some big wins over candidates of the Republican establishment—in races for governor of New York and perhaps for New Hampshire’s open US Senate seat—the most dramatic victory for the frenzied right came in Delaware, where Tea Party heroine Christine O’Donnell upset Congressman Mike Castle for the party’s Senate nod.
Former White House political czar Karl Rove, who describes the Republican nominee for the US Senate from that state, Christine O’Donnell, as someone who “says a lot of nutty things,” was arguing that the GOP just lost a Senate race.
“We were looking at eight to nine seats in the Senate. We’re now looking at seven to eight in my opinion,” Rove said Tuesday night. “This is not a race we are going to be able to win.”
But consider those numbers: What Rove is saying is that, with the Delaware result, Republicans may have lost much more than the Senate race in a single state….
Not many people realize that Congressman Frank Pallone is also a blogger extraordinaire, he contributes regulary to the Daily Kos.
This morning he published the following piece that announces his campaign for re-election kick-off event in Long Branch on Sunday afternoon:
With yesterday’s primary election in the books, the journey to November’s general election starts right now.
While we still don’t know who our opponent will be, we do know she will either be a self-funding billionaire or the darling of the tea party. We also know that, no matter what, we will be facing a well-funded right-wing assault seeking to turn back the clock to the Bush/Cheney policies that have caused so many problems for our state and nation.
I treat every election the same, no matter who is on the ballot: run hard and let the voters know of the work we’ve done to make their lives better. I’ve been fighting hard every day to deliver real results for the 6th District. I’ve fought to create and protect jobs, while opposing trade agreements that destroy jobs and give tax breaks for companies that ship jobs overseas. I’ve safeguarded our beaches and am holding corporate polluters accountable by forcing them to foot the bill for cleaning up their toxic waste sites. And I’ve worked hard on health care reform that will help everyone across the nation.
But there is still much work to be done, and I simply can not continue my work without your support. So I hope you will join me at my hometown headquarters, as we kick-off my re-election campaign. It’s not going to be anything fancy – just some food and refreshments – but it will give us all a chance to get to work, making sure the 6th Congressional District stays blue.
Sunday, June 13th
2:30pm – 4:30pm
Pallone for Congress Campaign Headquarters
495 Broadway, Long Branch, NJ
Please RSVP on Facebook
or to firstname.lastname@example.org
Over the coming months, I am going to need help from all of you – the progressive activists who have always made up the backbone of my grassroots campaigns. Together, we will keep fighting to put people to work, make continued investment in renewable energy sources and our infrastructure, and make sure our most vulnerable citizens – children, the impoverished and our seniors – have access to quality, affordable healthcare.
Although it may almost be summer – when many of us are dreaming of days at the beach and barbecues with families and friends – we can not afford to be lackadaisical. Today is when the real fight begins.
So please stop by on Sunday, and be sure to bring your friends and family. As always, don’t forget to follow me on Twitter and Facebook for the latest updates on what I’m doing for New Jersey’s 6th District, both here at home and down in Washington.