on the Right
by Joe Conason
What do the tea party ideologues
mean when they speak of liberty and freedom and the Constitution
that they supposedly revere? Sometimes they are described as
libertarians, but the behavior of their
leading candidates betrays an authoritarian streak just beneath all the
The latest example is Joe Miller, the Republican Senate candidate from
Alaska, whose private guards
roughed up, handcuffed and detained an online journalist covering one
of his campaign events last week.
The Miller goons seized Alaska Dispatch blogger Tony Hopfinger as he
tried to ask the candidate a question
at a forum in a public school -- which they later described dishonestly
as a "private event" -- and pushed
around a couple of other reporters as they captured the incident on
Such hostility to the press was warranted on the part of Miller, who
turns out to have much to hide.
The mistreatment of the journalists in Alaska was part of a Miller
strategy that included refusing to
discuss his career as a judge and his personal background. That
strategy ultimately led to the brutalization
of Hopfinger, for insistent inquiries about the candidate's record as a
public employee in Fairbanks'
North Star Borough -- where he misused computers in partisan
politicking. Miller has also been loath
to explain why he accepted the kind of government assistance --
including farm subsidies, Medicaid
and unemployment insurance -- that he is so eager to deny to everyone
The Teabaggers have no idea what they stand for.
At their rallies, they say, "I want my country
back," which means nothing.
They say, "We
believe in freedom and the Constitution," implying what - that
They say, "We
want lower taxes," but Obama gave them that and they don't even
They also want smaller government and they want
the government to continue to borrow
money from China so we can further enrich the super-rich - which makes
no sense at all.
Their glue is the hope they can get
rid of that NitWH - but they can't say that on TV.
<>Too bad the Democrats don't know how to play politics.
While the Right plays hardball,
the best our limp Democrats can do is a lame-ass game of patty-cake.
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