Friday, October 22, 2010

Do We Really Want the Insane Right to Gain Control? (update)

In Tuesday’s post “Do We Really Want the Insane Right to Gain Control?” I managed to miss at least three other crazy candidates (and some additional crazy behavior). So here’s an update.

Candidates for the United States Senate:

  • Colorado: Ken Buck. This guy is not exactly what you might describe as woman friendly. Once, during the primary campaign, he famously responded to a question about his qualifications by noting: “I do not wear high heels.” Like many other Republican candidates, he would prohibit abortions, even in cases of rape or incest, and he’s so firm in that belief that he felt compelled to gratuitously offer that position during a Q&A session just in case nobody asked a follow-up to his standard “pro-life” response. But even more amazing is the fact that while serving as a prosecutor, Buck refused to prosecute a rape case in which the alleged perpetrator had acknowledged, on tape, to raping a drunk woman. Why? Because, according to Buck, a Colorado jury might conclude that the woman made the rape allegation because of “buyer’s remorse”. And, as if that isn’t enough, also while a prosecutor, Buck refused to prosecute a pawnshop for violating gun laws. Several years later, when Buck’s supervisor decided to bring the charges against the pawnshop, Buck told the pawnshop about the weaknesses in the government’s case. He was disciplined by the Justice Department. One might wonder why he wasn’t disbarred.

Candidates for the House of Representatives:

  • Indiana: Larry Bucshon. Mr. Bucshon failed to appear at a scheduled debate with his Democratic and Libertarian challengers on Wednesday night. The debate was sponsored by League of Women Voters of Vigo County, the Tribune-Star, WTHI TV, and Ivy Tech.
  • Texas: Stephen Broden. Despite the fact that Mr. Broden is a pastor, he told a TV station: “If the government is not producing the results or has become destructive to the ends of our liberties, we have a right to get rid of that government and to get rid of it by any means necessary.” When the TV reporter asked if violence was an option, Broden said, “The option is on the table. I don't think that we should remove anything from the table as it relates to our liberties and our freedoms” (though he did say that violence was not the first option). Just think about that one for a moment: A pastor seeking election to Congress has suggested that violence may be an acceptable response if Republicans don’t get their way. Wow. Just wow.

Candidates for Governor:

  • Hawaii: Duke Aiona. The current Lt. Governor of Hawaii, Aiona is a member (though he denies it now that he’s being called out, but the video of him proclaiming membership is hard to refute) of an evangelical organization that, among other things, wants to rid Hawaii (and the world) of witchcraft, idolatry, gay marriage, and other similar “evils”. The leader of the the Hawaiian branch of the movement (Transformation Hawai’i) has called for the burning of idols (including native art and statues of Catholic saints), witchcraft items, and idolatrous books, like the Book of Mormon. Others in the movement (including leaders of the international branch) offer prayers to cast out “gay demons”. And back during the primary, Jonah Kaauwai, the head of Hawaii’s Republican Party, claimed that Aiona was being supported by the church and would be Hawaii’s first “righteous” leader since 1917 (the current Governor of Hawaii is also a Republican, but she’s Jewish, which apparently doesn’t qualify for righteousness). Mr. Kaauwai urged Hawaiian pastors not to allow the Democratic candidate for Governor to visit churches because he advanced “unrighteousness”. Aiona hasn’t distanced himself from Kaauwai’s comments or from the positions of Transformation Hawai’i or the international parent organization. I bet you didn’t realize that Hawaii could soon be a theocracy, did you?

The recent actions of a candidate for state office here in Indiana is also worth mentioning:

  • State Treasurer: Richard Mourdock is seeking reelection to the office of State Treasurer. His opponent, Pete Buttigieg has repeatedly challenged Mourdock to debate the issues (in particular Mourdock’s Quixotic campaign to stop the Chrysler bankruptcy and the mountain of legal fees that Mourdock incurred on behalf of the State of Indiana, not to mention bad investments that Mourdock made with state pension funds). Mourdock hasn’t just refused; he’s refused to even respond to Buttigieg’s requests. However, that didn’t stop Mourdock and his entourage from showing up in front of Buttigieg’s house Wednesday evening for a little publicity stunt. Classy, huh? Buttigieg was travelling to talk to voters about the issues.

And a few updates to candidates that I mentioned in my original post:

  • Wisconsin: Ron Johnson sat down for an interview with a newspaper in Green Bay. The paper was so completely unimpressed with Johnson that, for the first time ever, it chose to endorse Russ Feingold (and in fact, issued its endorsement just hours after meeting with Johnson). Why was the paper so unimpressed? It might have something to do with Johnson’s complete inability (almost a disinterest) to offer any solutions to creating middle class jobs other than “cutting spending”. Johnson also said that the election isn’t about policies and that he’ll learn what needs to be done when he gets to Washington.
  • Delaware: Christine O’Donnell. Miss “I’m not a Witch” and “I didn’t really study at Oxford” isn’t much of a Constitutional expert either (though I often wonder if she stayed at a Holiday Inn Express last night…). By now I’m sure that you’ve seen the video of O’Donnell incredulously asking her Democratic opponent where the separation of church and state is found in the Constitution. When the law school audience laughs at her, she thinks they’re laughing at her opponent and even admitted that after the debate she and her staff thought that she’d really won that portion of the debate and were “high-fiving each other”. Now some have suggested that she was right in her query because the phrase “separation of church and state” doesn’t appear in the Constitution; however, later in the video, her opponent reads the First Amendment to her and she seems surprised by the text and again asks him about it. And this woman wants to serve in Congress.

Remember this: These are the people who want to be in charge of our nation and states.

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