I was talking to a Virginia Democratic politico the other day, and he had an interesting suggestion: come up with a short list of really bad Republican/Tea Party “ideas,” including on the national level, that their Virginia Democratic opponents should demand they explain. I thought this was a great idea, as Virginia Teapublican’ts in the General Assembly, Governor’s mansion, and of course Attorney General’s office, appear to be largely if not totally onboard with the crazy “ideas” coming out of Eric Can’tor’s and John BONEr’s head. Given that almost every Teapublican policy is a bad one, clearly the challenge here is coming up with a discreet, manageable list of the WORST of the bad “ideas,” ones that can be posed as questions to Virginia Teapublican’t candidates. I’ve pondered it, and come up with my own Dirty Half Dozen. Please let us know in the comments section whether these are the ones you would have chosen, and if not, which ones you’d prefer. Thanks.
P.S. It’s important to emphasize that these federal-level Republican/Tea Party Bad Ideas have direct – and very harmful – effects on Virginia. For instance, they often directly affect our state budget and laws in a negative way. Republican State House and Senate Candidates should be made to answer whether they support or oppose these Republican Bad Ideas. No matter what, we shouldn’t allow them to duck, dodge, or run away from the enormous damage that their ideological soulmates at the national level are inflicting on our nation and our state.
1. Do you agree with Paul Ryan’s plan to destroy Medicare and ensure budget deficits for decades to come?
Correct answer: “I strongly oppose the Ryan plan to destroy Medicare and ensure budget deficits for decades to come.” The question is, will Virginia Teapublicans say that? Or, more likely, will they say that they agree with the Ryan Plan or waffle/punt on the question? Either way, they lose. Nail them!
2. Do you support repealing health care reform, thereby re-opening the “Doughnut Hole,” throwing children up to the age of 26 off their parents’ insurance plans, reinstating the ability of insurance companies to deny coverage for “pre-existing conditions” as well as to retroactively cancel health insurance policies?
Correct answer: “I would NOT support reopening the Doughnut Hole, bringing back pre-existing condition exclusions, etc.” Again, will Virginia Teapublicans give that answer? I doubt it. In which case, nail them!
3. Do you agree with national Republicans that budgets should only be balanced with ALL cuts to education, health care, Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, transportation, and other crucial programs?
Correct answer: “Of course I disagree with an ‘all-cuts’ approach. As the American people have said over and over again, they want a balanced approach, with both new revenues and targeted cuts.” Of course, Virginia Teapublicans will not say that. In which case, nail them!
#4-#7 on the “flip”
4. Do you agree with national Republicans that clean air and clean water protections should be severely curtailed or even eliminated, that we should take no action to deal with global warming, that we should eliminate plans to clean up the Chesapeake Bay, and that we should continue subsidizing oil companies while failing to kick start the clean energy revolution that is absolutely crucial for our country?
Correct answer: “Environmental protection and clean energy are absolutely crucial goals, whether we’re talking about national security, the economy, the Chesapeake Bay, etc. I strongly disagree with my national Republican brethren on this one.” Anything less than that answer? Nail them!
5. Do you agree with many national Republicans, including presidential candidates like Rick Perry and Michele Bachmann, that science – evolution, stem cells, climate, etc. – is something to be disregarded when it conflicts with the interests of power corporations, or with fundamentalist religious belief?
Correct answer: “Scientific evidence is absolutely crucial in determining public policy on the issues listed above, and many more. Personal religious beliefs are important, but should not supercede science in making sound public policy in America.” Unlikely they’ll say this. More likely they’ll parrot Rick Perry, deny evolution/climate science/embryonic stem cell research/etc. In which case, nail them for seriously harming our nation’s, and our state’s, future!
6. Do you agree with House Republicans Proposed Transportation Funding bill that would slash federal transportation funding – virtually eliminating funds to support transportation projects in NOVA?
Correct answer: “I absolutely disagree with slashing federal transportation funding for Virginia. Without that funding, the economic engine of this state will sputter out and die. We can’t let that happen.” Again, doubtful they’ll say this, more likely they’ll blather on about how important it is to “stop the spending!” If they do, then nail them for putting Virginia’s economic prosperity into severe danger.