I’ve gotta agree with Virginia State Senate Democratic Majority Leader Dick Saslaw on this point.
Democrats, behind in recruiting and fundraising, think the conservative crop of Republican candidates selected last month to run in November gives them the edge they need to hold on to their thin majority in the Senate.
“A lot of them are nut jobs,” Senate Majority Leader Richard L. Saslaw (D-Fairfax) said. “They’ve nominated a group that makes the governor of Texas look sane.”
A few examples cited in the article demonstrate why Dick Saslaw is 100% correct in his comments.
1. “Adam Light, a Republican running for state Senate in southwest Virginia, has advocated ending Social Security and Medicare.” (What percentage of Americans agree with Light that we should ditch Social Security and Medicare? Let’s just say, this guy’s on the fringes…)
2. “Former Del. Jeffrey M. Frederick, a GOP candidate in Northern Virginia, said Darwin’s theory of evolution ‘was used by atheists to explain away the belief in God.'” (Don’t believe in evolution; yeah, you’re a nut job.)
3. “Dick Black, running in Loudoun and Prince William counties, was criticized by leaders of his own party in 2003, when as a delegate he sent fellow lawmakers pink plastic models of fetuses as they prepared to vote on an abortion bill.” (‘Nuff said on that one – Black’s completely bonkers in just about every way, obsessed with sex in general and homosexuality in particular, he should be in a shrink’s office getting therapy, not running for public office).
4. “Tom Garrett… has proposed mandatory drug testing for all welfare recipients and has advocated abolishing the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, which is charged with keeping air and water clean.” (Yes, brilliant, let’s totally trash Virginia’s air, water, forests, etc. Nut job.)
5. “Ben Loyola, a businessman and veteran who is running against freshman Democrat Ralph Northam in Norfolk, has said he wants to abolish the U.S. Department of Education and eliminate corporate taxes and the income tax.” (And without any corporate or income taxes, I guess we can just shut down the military, the roads, the schools, the police, the fire departments, the prisons, etc. Brilliant, huh? Or maybe just bonkers?)
6. “Del. Bill Carrico of Grayson, who is running against Democrat John Lamie in the race to replace retiring William Wampler in southwest Virginia, introduced a bill permitting prayer on public property, including schools.” (Yeah, let’s tear down the church-state separation wall, start turning America into a theocracy. Brilliant.)
Also, let’s not forget the certifiable Del. “Sideshow Bob” Marshall and many other Republican candidates this year whose platforms focus on dismantling government, bashing minorities (Muslims, gays and lesbians, immigrants, etc.) showering largesse on corporations (aka, “crony capitalism”), making assault weapons easier to acquire, trashing Virginia’ environment, escalating the war against working people, privatizing anything and everything, making abortion illegal, pushing for the 21st century version of nullification (an issue most of us were taught was settled in the Civil War), etc.
That, my friends, is the Republican Party of Virginia these days, with no moderate Republicans like the John Chicesters and Russ Potts’es of the world to be found. It’s not pretty, and it’s not even close to moderate or mainstream. Instead, it’s Tea Party extremist all the way. In stark contrast, Virginia Democrats are about as centrist – or even, in the cases of people like Phil Puckett, conservative – a bunch of politicians as you can get. As a progressive, that doesn’t thrill me, but if the choice is between “mainstream” and “nut jobs,” I’ll take “mainstream” any day.
UPDATE: Also see Goodbye to All That: Reflections of a GOP Operative Who Left the Cult, in which Mike Lofgren, who “served 16 years as a professional staff member on the Republican side of both the House and Senate Budget Committees,” argues that the Republicans Party is “full of lunatics,” that “the crackpot outliers of two decades ago have become the vital center today,” that “the Republican Party is becoming less and less like a traditional political party in a representative democracy and becoming more like an apocalyptic cult, or one of the intensely ideological authoritarian parties of 20th century Europe.” All true, certainly in the cases of the Virginia Teahadists mentioned above!