Wednesday, August 22, 2012

The Ugly Politics of 2012 Illustrated in Arizona Republican House Primary Race

Astounding – Dan Quayle’s Son Is Not Even the Most Objectionable Candidate

For some reason or other redistricting in Arizona has tossed two incumbent Republican House members into the same district, and they will square off in a primary to decide which one will represent some parts of Arizona in the House.  One of the candidates is Ben Quayle, of Dan Quayle fame.  Dan Quayle moved to Arizona to play golf after his stint as VP, and apparently son Ben joined him.

The other candidate is a hard line, and we do mean hard line right wing Republican named David Schwiekert, and to use a phrase associated with Joan Rivers, he is a piece of work.

Putting folksiness to one side, Mr Schweikert casts the Arizona primary as a proxy for a wider battle between “the establishment and the reformers”. Voting records tell only part of the story, he says. A true conservative rejects the very idea that bipartisan agreement is needed to keep the government working. It was deal-making that brought about the debt crisis, he says.

True patriots are willing to “save the Republic” by rejecting business as usual. Mr Schweikert points to his rebellion over calls to pass a farm bill amidst a drought that is hurting livestock producers. America’s bloated farm spending is mostly welfare, via food stamps, he says. He wants farm spending split in two, into an agricultural bill and one explicitly about welfare, to expose the unholy alliance between farm-state Republicans and free-spending Democrats.

That’s right, no compromising for him.  Better to bring down the country,eliminate nutrition programs for low income people than to even acknowledge that the opponents may have something in their favor in their arguments, or to accept idea you have to take provisions you don’t like to get provisions you do like.  The idea of splitting the farm bill into agricultural aid and food stamps is, of course, a step on the way of eliminating food stamps.  In Mr. Schweikert’s world if a person doesn’t have enough food to eat, well too bad, and if they are children, well they should have chosen better parents.

Mr. Quayle is of course an almost equally vicious destroyer of effective government. 

When running in 2010 Mr Quayle said his mission was to “knock the hell out of the place”. Today, he notes that he is one of the few to shun the health and pension benefits offered to members.

Oh, and don’t let that shunning of health care benefits fool you.  Mr. Quayle is very wealthy, the result of getting his money the traditional Conservative American way, from his family.

As proof of the disgust regular people would harbor for Mr. Schweikert is this item.

Mr Schweikert, the older and folksier of the pair, likes it to be known that he left the House Republican whips’ team rather than compromise his principles. At a “meet and greet” in a supporter’s kitchen, he relates how his dog Charlie—a local celebrity with his own Twitter account—marked a first visit to Washington by peeing on the Capitol.

Yes, Conservatives seem to think a dog urinating on the nation’s Capitol is great fun stuff.  For ourselves we just hope the next time the dog urinates on something it is someone close to him, like the Congressman who is holding his leash.

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