Pamela Powers Hannley, a progressive voice for Arizona
A few days ago, I posted links to a few of the stories of Tea Party candidates’ inappropriate violence against reporters, protesters, and opposition candidates.
In If the Tea Party Wins, America Loses, Keith Olbermann goes beyond the stories of Tea Party violence and offers dozens of quotes from Tea Party candidates that show how dangerous they really are. Tea Partiers– including the 3 running for Congressional seats in Arizona, Ruth McClung (CD7), Jesse Kelly (CD8) and David Schweikert (CD5)– want to end life as we know it. What do they stand for?
Elimination of Social Security. Jesse Kelly and several other Tea Partiers call a Ponzi Scheme. They want to “privatize” it. Their shtick is that people should be able to invest in the stock market to save for their retirement. Social Security would no longer exist if voters had allowed George Bush to privatize it before the market crash. Privatizing Social Security doesn’t help the people; it gives Wall Street gamblers more money to play with. Wake up.
Elimination of the minimum wage. Tea Partiers like Ruth McClung and Kelly call unconstitutional; others like Sharon Angle are more direct. She calls the minimum wage and employer-sponsored healthcare impediments to employment. In other words, paying someone a living wage (which minimum wage isn’t) lowers profits.
Elimination of public education. The Arizona Legislature has made strong inroads into the elimination of public education here by starving education and promoting vouchers for charter schools which are in the business of education. The Republican candidate for Superintendent of Public Education John Huppenthal has one of the worst public education voting records. He is NOT your children’s friend.
Elimination of the healthcare safety net and minimum healthcare services (AKA Obamacare). Kelly, McClung and others want to balance the federal budget but want to get rid of healthcare reform– which saves the country money AND provides healthcare coverage for millions of Americans that were not covered by market-based health insurance because they only want to cover healthy people who don’t make claims.
Elimination of a woman’s right to choose.Kelly and others are so extreme that they are against abortion for any reason– even in the case of rape, incest, or saving the life of the mother. That stance is anti-women’s health.
Elimination of the 14th amendment to the US Constitution. The 14th Amendment grants citizenship to anyone born in the US. This, of course, is the “anchor baby” (AKA “terrorist baby”) issue. To my knowledge, Arizona State Senator Russell Pearce was one of the first right-wing extremists to raise the anchor baby issue last spring. Recently he vowed to get to work on repeal of the 14th amendment soon after the legislature goes back into session in January 2011. (What about dealing with the state’s financial problems and a projected $1 Billion-dollar budget deficit? That’s obviously on the back burner; ideology takes precedence over real work.)
Elimination of the 16th amendment to the US Constitution.The 16th Amendment gives the government the right to levy income tax. Kelly and others support national sales tax and elimination of other taxes. This ideas sounds good as a rallying cry at Tea Party events, but Kelly’s 23% sales tax [AKA the “Fair Tax”] would push the tax burden down to consumers and lighten the tax burden for the rich and corporations. It is a seriously bad idea. The Fair Tax is only fair to the corportists and the richest 1%– not the rest of us.
Elimination of the 17th amendment to the US Constitution.The 17th Amendment gives US voters the right to elect US Senators. This is particularly insidious. If this amendment were eliminated, the Arizona Legislature would elect the state’s senators. I’m for giving those right-wing no-nothings less power– not more power! (Isn’t it ironic that a party that supports “strict constitutionalism” wants to repeal 3 amendments?)
Olberman points out that big money is backing the Tea Party candidates in an attempt to “elect a group of unqualified people who will do what they are told” once they are in office. This is an “attempted use of democracy to buy democracy.” (I couldn’t agree with him more. Tea Party candidates like McClung and Kelly have no original ideas; they spout the same fiery soundbites that their cronies are spouting nationwide. Who is writing the script?)
A vote for the Tea Party is a vote to “take America back as far as they are able”.