The Democrats have received an unexpected gift in the guise of Alaska GOP Senate nominee Joe Miller. Miller is the Tea Party candidate who surprised the Conservative old guard by defeating incumbent Sen. Lisa Murkowski in Alaska’s tight GOP primary race. Traditionally, when a candidate wins a party primary by appealing to the base, he or she frequently “runs to the center” in the general election campaign in attempt to draw support from moderates. Not Joe Miller. He’s letting his freak flag fly.
Appearing on CNN’s “John King USA,” Miller was asked to describe the president “in a sentence or two.”
“Bad for America,” Miller responded.
Host John King then asked Miller what Obama has done to merit that statement. Miller answered the question in the vague language of Tea Party rhetoric.
“He’s one of the major forces moving this country toward socialism,” Miller said. “He’s expanding the entitlement state. It is the wrong direction for America. This is a bipartisan problem. But he’s at the front of it.”
“I think our president has actually put our country down,” he went on to say, “not advanced it in the standing of the nations. I would suggest to you again, the ‘bad for America’ is an apt description.”
While no one seriously expects them to, the Democrats should be thanking the political gods for Joe Miller. They should be praying that other Tea Party candidates rise to power in GOP races. Nothing could possibly benefit the Democrats like having nutjob Tea Party operatives like Joe Miller as their opponents in the upcoming election. People like Joe Miller will scare the bejeebers out of mainstream America. Unless, of course, someone calls him aside and explains to him that most Americans are moderates who won’t follow him out onto the long, thin branches where the Extreme Right like to play.
I think it’s long past time that the Democrats and Progressives start calling out these Tea Party operatives for the wackos that they are. Democrats are far too polite when it comes to dealing with these people. What the Democrats are lacking is the backbone to stand up and point a finger, and ask the nation “Are these insane minions of evil really the people you want governing this country?” The Democrats need to stop practicing nuance and tell it like it is. They need to stop using words like “mis-characterization” and stay instead “that’s a lie”. They need to stop saying “he’s willfully distorting the facts” and say instead “He pulled that one out of his ass!” And they need to stop saying “I respectfully disagree” and say instead “You’re out of your f**king mind!”
So far the Democrats have acted like the adults in a room full of unruly children. Even as the brats try to pull the tablecloth out from under the dishes, the Democrats have tried to have a civil supper and ignore the disruptions. But the end result has been that, to a lot of Americans, the Democrats have seemed aloof and disinterested. Somewhere in the Democratic party there has to be a candidate with a fire in his or her belly, who isn’t afraid to go toe-to-toe with the Tea Party nutjobs and rightfully call them the most dangerous, most un-democratic and anti-American force in this country that exists today. Only then will the Democrats get some traction.
Americans respect people who are willing fight for what they believe in. They don’t respect high-minded, but weak-willed leaders who are willing to sit quietly by while the barbarians assault American Democracy, and chip away at the foundations of our nation in the hopes that they might dismantle it and erect in its stead a Third Wave Christian theocracy that is interested only in subjugation. The barbarians are at the gate, and the Democrats are sleeping.
Joe Miller could be an invaluable gift to the Democratic Party. Hell, he might prove a wake-up call to the Republicans, who have pandered to the Far Right for decades, only to find themselves being consumed by the beast. The Tea Party has come to town, and they’re setting fire to the world. Sooner or later, someone is going to have to saddle-up and go give battle to these people. It’s really the only way we’re going to preserve American Democracy as we know it.