Thursday, September 30, 2010
Frequently Wrong but Never in Doubt
History is being rewritten at warp speed. Teabaglicans would have us believe that Obama destroyed the entire US economy in less than 2 years. They’ve conveniently forgotten everything that happened in the preceding 8 years of the Bush administration, including the trillion or so we borrowed so that Dubya could work out his Oedipal issues in Iraq. It’s unfortunate that there can’t be rational dialogue about the mess we’re in, but the right is incapable of rational discussion. Last week, a columnist referred to Senators Snowe and Collins of Maine as RINOS. These women lean more toward being moderate than the new crazies like Palin, Bachman, Rand Paul, and O’Donnell – which is why the new, even more insane GOP wants to eliminate them. My father, the lifelong Republican, would recognize Snowe and Collins as members of the party he supported. He would be horrified to learn that a woman who claims scientists have created mice with human brains was walking around without a minder, never mind an actual candidate for the US Senate.
Here in NH, none of our GOP candidates are discussing rodent/human brains, but some of them are bringing the crazy and the extreme. Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter and her opponent, former Manchester mayor Frank Guinta faced off this week in their first televised debate. Guinta speaks fluent Sloganese, but behind the slogans there appears to be little substance. He is clever enough, however, to downplay his extremist positions.
Guinta, of course, proudly declares himself to be “pro-life.” What he doesn’t share when speaking in public is the extent of his pro-life position. Guinta told Fosters Daily Democrat that he would happily repeal Roe v. Wade, with no exceptions. That means that if Guinta’s wife were raped, he would force her to incubate the spawn of the criminal who attacked her. If that fetus jeopardized his wife’s life, he would let her die, rather than allow her to abort the fruit of the rapist. If that sounds extreme, it’s because it is. Deeply extreme. Guinta has said that women have abortions because they have no other options. He fails to note that he’s opposed to funding the kind of programs that would assist women and children.
Guinta has been chosen by the National Republican Congressional Committee as one of their “Young Guns.” The NRCC tells us that these are the young candidates, with new ideas, who will take us into the future. The average age of the “Young” Guns is 49. Half of them are over 50, and one is in his sixties. Of the first 23 Young Guns, only 2 are women. The Young Guns website is cleverly set up to avoid giving a list of the YG’s. One has to figure out who they are by clicking on a map. In that way, we can’t easily determine how many women there are. Or aren’t. Fewer than ten women have attained this exalted status. The other NH “Young” Gun is Charlie Bass, who at age 58 isn’t especially young. Charlie has already served 12 years in Congress, which guarantees he’s out of new ideas. The Young Guns Program is essentially a pageant, where new contestants can spew the same old stuff, and have it be called “new ideas.”
Frank Guinta, at age 39, is one of the younger Guns, but he’s not offering any new ideas. Just the usual, hackneyed “cut spending, cut big gummint, cut taxes” stuff the GOP has been spouting since time immemorial. Speaking fluent Sloganese, he tells us that he would eliminate the Departments of Education and Energy. All Republicans hate education, so the first is no surprise. No one seems to be questioning him as to the wisdom of closing down the agency that oversees nuclear programs, weapons, power plants, and waste. In the first televised debate, Guinta expressed his support for nuclear power, but seemed befuddled when Congresswoman Shea Porter pointed out that the nuclear industry is heavily subsidized by taxpayers. Guinta has also announced that he wants the US to pull out of the UN, but at an event in August, he was surprised to learn that the US is the largest financial supporter of the UN. Guinta skirts around the idea of privatizing Social Security, mostly to conceal his true position. He’s stated that his children should never know what Social Security is. He doesn’t want his kids to know about the most successful anti-poverty program in our nation’s history. We all know where our seniors would be if Bush had been allowed to turn Social Security over to Wall St. in 2005. They’d be living under bridges, eating cat food.
There are the financial issues. In the first debate, Shea-Porter asked Guinta if he had ever taken out a student loan. He said no. After some tap-dancing around about the specifics, the bottom line is that yes, he did take out student loans for his graduate studies at Franklin Pierce. Guinta also has a problem with financial disclosure. After loaning his campaign $245,000, Guinta filed forms showing a bank account previously unmentioned, that contained $250,000. Guinta claimed he’d forgotten about that account. How nice to be able to forget about a measly quarter of a million. I want an account at the bank of Frank!
There are more incidences of forgetting. Candidate Guinta is full of bluster about earmarks and stimulus funds – both of which he took advantage of as Mayor Guinta. As one of the few Guns who is actually Young, it’s a shame his memory is already so faulty. Of course that may not matter. It seems that all that is required in today’s GOP is the ability to speak fluent Sloganese.
“And he was easily riled, and likely to shout. Frequently wrong, but never in doubt.” Cheryl Wheeler
published as an op-ed in the October 1, 2010 Conway Daily Sun
© sbruce 2010
Posted by susanthe at 3:28 PM