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Thursday, September 16, 2010

A Spot of Tea

Well, I'm not in the Northeast Corridor anymore, Dorothy.

No, I'm in the First State of Delaware, which, except for Joe Biden, and being noted for having some fabulous restaurants and beaches that are "America's Favorite Playground," things here pretty much stay under the radar. And, for the most part, most folk here like it that way, thank you very much.

Until, of course, the Primary Elections the other day where Republicans nominated Christine O'Donnell as their candidate in the November elections for State Senator.

Mrs. O'Donnell has long been known as a certified wackadoodle, who didn't exactly need the endorsement of Mrs. Palin or the Tea Party Movement to earn those credentials. No, this woman has been earning that reputation all on her own for quite some time now.

She first made the scene back in 1995, as a spokesperson for Concerned Women for America, the group founded in the 1980s by Armageddon fantasist Tim LaHaye's wife Beverly to train conservative Christian women for political activism..

O'Donnell asserted that women serving in combat damages national security, and believed that sex discrimination by taxpayer-funded institutions was constitutional.

Here's what she said:
By integrating women into particularly military institutes, it cripples the readiness of our defense. Schools like The Citadel train young men to confidently lead other young men into a battlefield where one of them will die. And when you have women in that situation, it creates a whole new set of dynamics which are distracting to training these men to kill or be killed. And these dynamics between men and women are what make the relationship between men and women beautiful. So I don't think that we should try to desensitize men to the differences.
O'Donnell further claimed that women have a special role in society, just not in military combat, citing the special role of mothers. "When you remove the role of the mother, the family is left to crumble," she said, blaming even declining SAT scores on this alleged phenomenon.

That was 1995, but that's her story and she's sticking to it.

Oh, but wait. There's more!

In 1996, she also made an appearance on MTV's "Sex in the 90s" in her role as president and founder of The SALT - The Savior's Alliance for Lifting the Truth - where she waxed absolutely puritanical in opposition to masturbation. She also said she considers looking at pornography akin to adultery, adding,, and I quote (because you wouldn't believe it any other way): "The Bible says that lust in your heart is committing adultery. You can't masturbate without lust!"

I am not making this up.

Rachel Maddow found the video in some dusty vault somewhere and showed it on her program the other night. You can watch the whole thing here. But, do take a TUMS - or, if you prefer, your favorite alcoholic libation - before watching.

Her issues with sexuality and gender rolled into her now infamous statement to Senator Castle when she told him to "get you man-pants on" - either impugning his masculinity or insinuating that Castle is having an affair with a man while married - or, perhaps, both.

That may not be the way to "win friends and influence people" but apparently, it's a way to win primary elections.

Oh, but wait. There's even more! It's a veritable wackadoodle bonanza!

She doesn't believe in evolution.

I know. What a surprise, right?

On March 30 of 1996 (apparently, that was a Very Busy year for the poor dear), she was in a ... um . . . ."debate" . . . on the merits of evolution on CNN. She said,
". . . evolution is a theory and it's exactly that. There is not enough evidence, consistent evidence to make it as fact, and I say that because for theory to become a fact, it needs to consistently have the same results after it goes through a series of tests. The tests that they put — that they use to support evolution do not have consistent results. Now too many people are blindly accepting evolution as fact. But when you get down to the hard evidence, it's merely a theory. . . .

But creation . . . (wait for it) . . Well, creationism, in essence, is believing that the world began as the Bible in Genesis says, that God created the Earth in six days, six 24-hour periods. And there is just as much, if not more, evidence supporting that."
Is it any wonder that state Republican party chairman, Tom Ross, who backed incumbent Mike Castle, said in a telephone interview, "Unfortunately, the truth always seems to be an issue. Her version of reality doesn't jibe with any of the facts." Furthermore, Ross said, "She's not a viable candidate for any office in the state of Delaware. She could not be elected dog catcher."

Oopsie! That may be so, but, she did win her party's primary election to Congress, proving that all some Republican candidate wannabes need these days is a "spot of tea" along with Mrs. Palin to provide an infusion of energy, enthusiasm and, um, oh yes, cash.

O'Donnell wasn't Palin's only win on Tuesday. As the NY Daily News reported:
In Wisconsin, Palin-backed Sean Duffy - an ex-district attorney and castmate in MTV's "The Real World" - handily won the Republican primary Tuesday for a U.S. House seat.

And in New York, Michael Grimm defeated his opponent in the Republican primary for a House seat representing Staten Island. And in New Hampshire's Republican Senate primary, Kelly Ayotte, the state's attorney general (who is backed by Palin) narrowly won against Tea Party backed Ovide Lamontagne in a multi-candidate race.

And then there are other winning candidates, particularly in the Tea Party, that Palin has endorsed this election season -- demonstrating her ability to catapult nobodies into virtual stardom. There's Joe Miller in Alaska, Rand Paul in Kentucky, and Nikki Haley in South Carolina.
Of course, a Palin endorsement isn't necessarily the golden ticket. According to The Washington Post's Palin endorsement tracker, as of Aug. 25, Palin endorsed 43 candidates (24 had Tea Party ties and 23 were women). Of the 43, 21 candidates won, 11 lost, and 11 were upcoming or had no primary.

Nevertheless, Democratic party leaders are rejoicing at O'Donnell's victory. She is not expected to do well in the general election against Democrat Chris Coons. And that could destroy the Republicans' chances of gaining a Senate majority.

"If Castle had won the nomination, the GOP almost certainly would have taken the seat," Mike Allen, of Politico, said. "Now, Republicans are unlikely to take the seat and therefore unlikely to take the majority on Nov. 2"

That's the same thinking about the dynamic that lost the McCain-Palin run for Presidency. I'd like to think it's true, but I fear there were too many factors in that election - on both sides of the political fence - to blame the Republican loss all on Sarah Palin.

Take, for example, the voter turnout in Delaware. According to the State of Delaware's official website, while O'Donnell won 53.1% of the vote to Castle's 46.9% (or, a mere 3,540 votes), the Democratic turnout was only 12% as compared with 32% turnout for Republicans.

Okay, okay, so more Democrats voting in the primary election would not have changed the Republican primary election, but if the Democrats don't/can't mobilize their voting base, this is O'Donnell's election to lose.

Make no mistake: The Tea Party movement is not just a secular movement. It is, in its core, a religious movement. These folks really believe that they are on a 'mission from God'.

No joke.

Sarah Posner at Religion Dispatchs reported that Ralph Reed emphasized at last weekend's 'Faith and Freedom Coalition Conference', Reed's attempt to reconstitute the Christian Coalition, that the Tea Party will triumph not just by
"one-on-one persuasion, but the collective (yes! socialism!) nature of the divine task of individuals. The mission, he told a group of about 50 activists assembled for a break-out session on Saturday afternoon, is "restoring America to the principles on which she was founded: limited constitutional government and faith in God." Their goals, he continued, are "electing certain people and passing certain legislation." That, he concluded, can't happen "if you and I aren’t willing to pay the price."
The particular brand of 'tea' they are brewing is a pungent, aromatic blend of modern social networking mixed with the dry leaves of good-old-fashioned religious evangelism, and served with a heaping dollop of traditional Protestant sacrificial work-ethic and Pentecostal/Evangelical apocalyptic theology.

Intelligent people of every political and religious persuasion ignore this at our own peril.

If the voter turnout for the primaries is any indication, Democrats as well as moderate Republicans are in deep trouble.

It's time to brew up a strong pot of coffee, wipe the astonishment off our faces, along with our bemused "above it all" grins at the admittedly comical manifestations of this unbelievable political reality show, roll up our sleeves, and get to work.

The November elections are right around the corner. If the primary elections prove nothing else, they clearly concretize Mrs. Palin's role as a major political power broker. Please, God, that's not enough to win her the Republican presidential nomination, but frankly, she doesn't need that. She's President of The Tea Bag Party - a movement that more and more people seem to be following.

The bottom line: We've got to stop believing that the bottom line of any election is a dollar sign. It takes more than hard cold cash to win an election. If you look at the currency in this country, it still says, "In God We Trust."

It may be time for some of the rest of us to start believing that and brew up a little religious movement of our own. You know, like the kind this country was founded on. One that has a vision of "liberty and justice for all."


Hilary said...

The photos at the top of your post reminded me of what Jon Stewart said of O'Donnell last night (in Yoda voice): "Mmmmmm - the Palin in strong in this one!" :-)

IT said...

I've just returned after 10 days away and as I sit in Newark Airport waiting for a connection, I'm finding a need for strong libation to believe this woman and her ilk.

Having spent 10 days with sane Europeans, teh crazy, it burns!

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

Hilary - I missed Jon Stewart b/c I was watching "America's Got Talent". I'm still inconsolable about Prince Poppycock's loss. I like my Wackadoodles all dressed up and, preferably, with lots of talent and intelligence.

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

IT - It goes without saying that O'Donnell is a rabid homophobe and is "pro-life".

"Teh crazy." It burns. Make it stop.

susankay said...

Umm -- and I think that some of Palin's endorsees who "won" had done so prior to her coming to their "aid".

WV= dintni -- O'Donnell and Palin are dintni's

Mary Beth said...

It appears also that she has told a fib about being an alumna of Oxford University. Uh oh.

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

Truth? Even her fellow Republicans know the truth has very little to do with O'Donnell's reality. It's now being reported that she's raising buckets of money for her campaign. Amazing!

Jim Meredith said...

You got your Christine O'Donnell, West Virginia has John Raese, I got me a David Vitter. Someone, anyone please say "Be Not Afraid"

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

Jim - You're going to have to wait to hear the angels say that. That's their line.

As for me, my line is: Get involved. Get organized. Vote.

Bateau Master said...

Oh my .... resume inflation, is that like being dean of a non-existent school of theology?

Remember, few of us would want to be saddled with who we were in our twenties as we survive into our forties and beyond. AND, we're all wackadoodles to someone else.

For me, I'd vote for an armadillo in lederhosen if it could figure our how to balance the budget by 2016.

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

That's very generous of you, Bateau, but she's very clear that her views haven't changed since her 20s - indeed, she's gotten even more entrenched.

If you find that armadillo, let me know. I'll vote for it, too.

Caminante said...

I may just walk again to the US/Canadian border and keep on going if these people win senate and house seats.

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

I remember seeing a documentary of the McCain-Palin supporters who said the same thing. They didn't. They stayed and organized. We've got to do the same thing. Before November.

VTcrone said...

When I saw the tape with O'Donnell's comments about masturbation, the song "Sodomy" from the musical "HAIR" came to mind. I went on YouTube and there are several videos of it being performed, including the scene from the movie. However, I'm posting a link to the video I liked the best-and you'll never guess who sings it!

JCF said...

It goes without saying that O'Donnell is a rabid homophobe and is "pro-life".

...but it IS worth saying that O'Donnell is one of at least *5* Republican Senate candidates this year who [fie on that euphemism "pro-life"] endorse arresting women&doctors for abortion, EVEN when the pregnancy is produced by rape and/or incest. [Ya wanna provide us the clip of Rachel Maddow, with (my pretend girlfriend ;-)) Melissa Harris-Lacewell, that RM had on tonight on this topic?]

This isn't the "pro-life" FRINGE anymore, people.

Women compelled to be their rapists' incubator: this is coming LAW . . . *unless* we take action to STOP it!!! >:-0

Lisa Fox said...

The fact that an idiot like her can win tells me that the U.S.A. has fallen miserably into illiteracy and ignorance. I begin to despair of our republic ... which -- as you may recall -- was never established as a "democracy." If "democracy" wins, then the idiots will rule.

I'd better shut up now, before my utter despair rises.

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

I had forgotten that gem. Meryl Streep! OMG!! Thanks, Marcia.

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

JCF - And this is the woman of whom the Republican Party Chairman said, "She couldn't get elected dog catcher." I'm thinking he was being generous. She's flat-out dangerous.

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

Lisa - the fact that she has won a primary election says less about the intellectual status of some Americans and more about the apathy of most Americans.

Organize! Vote!


It may be "for just such a time as this" that you're in Delaware full time, my dear!


Elizabeth Kaeton said...

Oh, Lord have mercy! I had hoped to catch a break, ya know? Not so, I fear. Not so. (Especially not with Mark Harris up the road a piece.)

VTcrone said...

Check out Margaret & Helen's latest blog piece. Helen is on a roll.

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

I LOVE this part:

"When exactly will common sense return to America? Just how far can the Republican Party - now called the Tea Party - throw the bullshit before someone calls them on it? You just have to pay attention to Sarah Palin for all of ten minutes before you realize just how deep it gets. And now this Christine O’Donnell has waded into the mess.

Margaret, it just makes me want to cry sometimes. But you know me. When faced with idiots and jackasses, I don’t cry. I bake a pie.

So have some pie and a little coffee. I know you prefer tea, dear, but skip the tea and have some coffee for me until after November. I mean it . Really."


VTcrone said...

It's me again.
This just off of TPM's blog;

If you watch the video be sure to have a bucket handy so that you can throw up in it!
Off to feed your fish...

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

OMG. Thanks for the warning. Good thing I heeded it. YUCK. And, how embarrassing.

Andy said...

Its not my State so its not my dog in the fight, but this is what happens when you monkey around with the Constitution. Back when that Document actually meant something, Senators were elected by state Legislatures, not by the unwashed hoi-polloi.

Just the same, I am finding a humorous moment, reveling in the polite micro-oppression here this morning.

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

See, Andy, it IS your dog and it IS your fight. We are the UNITED States of America. That's why our constitution is based on a system of checks and balances.

I thoroughly admit and celebrate my bias, but "Micro-oppression"? How can anyone be oppressed when they are in control?