Resurgence of the Right
Republicans made gains nationally in the 2010 Midterm elections as the Democrats lost their majority in the House of Representatives but retained the Senate. The Democratic Party holds 188 seats in the House and 53 in the Senate, while the Republican Party now holds 239 seats in the House and 46 in the Senate. Tea Party Favorite Wins
Most alarming was the news that the Tea Party scored its first electoral victory by winning a seat in the Senate. This victory revives memories of the election of fellow hard-line right-winger Scott Brown to Ted Kennedy’s old Senate seat.
“I think you don’t have a right to happiness — you have the right to the pursuit of happiness … if you think you have the right to health care, you are saying basically that I am your slave.”
“The fundamental reason why Medicare is failing is why the Soviet Union failed — socialism doesn’t work. You have … no price fluctuation.”
These are the words of Rand Paul, the man named after Ayn Rand, the Tea Party’s hope and savior and the son of Texas Congressman Ron Paul. Although born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Rand is the current Senator-elect for the state of Kentucky. In the recent general election, Paul defeated Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway. His views on immigration, civil rights, LGBT progress, abortion and the economy were key talking points prior to the election. An advocate of monitoring immigration via satellites and electrified fences, Paul also supports a constitutional amendment to deny citizenship to children born to illegal immigrants in the United States.
On his agenda, no doubt, are further rollbacks and cuts to already-suffering education and social services. His most controversial moment came when Paul said publically he opposed the concept of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the law that ended segregation in the United States. His reason? It restricts the rights of business owners to racially discriminate. Speaking of racial discrimination, Paul is okay with it so long as it’s only in the workplace. He opposes all forms of abortion, including for rape and incest, and supports the addition of a Human Life Amendment to the Constitution that would overturn Roe v. Wade and bar individual states from legalizing abortion. Paul is a fan of the “flat tax” and the abolishment of income tax in favor of a universal 23% rate of sales tax. This would notably benefit the wealthy the most, since rich and poor alike purchase goods and thus pay sales tax, but by eliminating taxes on land, income and inheritance Paul’s ideas would effectively spare billionaires and target middle and low income people.
In reaction to what was perhaps the worst environmental disaster in human history in the Gulf thanks to the careless and indefensible safety regulations of British Petroleum (BP), Mr. Paul quipped, “Accidents happen.”
Aside from receiving endorsements from Concerned Women of America (a right-wing pro-life organization) and The National Right to Life as well as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and such notable figures such as Sarah Palin, Steve Forbes and Mike Huckabee have also thrown their lot in with Mr. Paul. By looking at the people and the class that this candidate represents, it becomes obvious that Rand Paul does, in no way, represent the working class or the disenfranchised people living in the country that he is supposedly so proud of.
White Supremacists Donate to Rand Paul’s Campaign
Possibly the only thing more dangerous than Mr. Paul’s political views are the people that support them. “The neo-nazi website Stormfront and its owner, Don Black have been actively raising funds for Rand Paul’s campaign [….] Rand’s father, Ron famously refused to return a donation from Don Black and Stormfront and even took a picture with Don Black and his son” (1).
Even liberal commentators were rightfully harsh: “It is their right to support candidates who they believe share their views, goals, and will represent them. Clearly, the expectation is for their guy to do right by them when he gets there, and frankly, there’s no reason for them to doubt that, based on the evidence. However, it is equally fair for candidates who receive those funds to come under scrutiny for accepting (and keeping) contributions from those groups, particularly when the candidate in question has plainly stated that he would support modifications to the Civil Rights Act which would exempt businesses from a requirement to treat everyone equally” (2).
Rand Paul Supporters Stomp & Grope Female Reporter; Demand Apology
Outside a hall where Senate candidate Rand Paul was participating in a debate, one of his most devoted campaigners, Tim Profitt, stomped on MoveOn.org volunteer Lauren Valle’s head after pushing her to the curb. Lauren made the claim that she has made appearances at other rallies and that the Tea Party campaigners knew who she was and what she looked like. While Lauren made the claim that the reaction to her appearance was premeditated, Profitt told WKYT (Lexington, Kentucky’s local new service) that he thought Valle was following a strict protocol with the intent of creating controversy.
“She’s a professional at what she does,” Profitt said, “and I think when all the facts come out, I think people will see that she was the one that initiated the whole thing” (3). “I don’t think it’s that big of a deal,” Profitt told WKYT. “I would like for her to apologize to me to be honest with you” (3). He then blamed the forceful downward motion of his foot on the head of Valle as a function of chronic back pain: “I put my foot on her, and I did push her down at the very end, and I told her to stay down. I actually put my foot on her to — I couldn’t bend over because I have issues with my back” (3). However, the disgust does not stop there. In the video (4), just after Valle is tackled and shoved to the ground, the tackler (identified as Mike Pezzano), reaches around under Valle’s arm and grabs her left breast in a violent manner. This act of sexual assault can be seen at and around the twenty second mark of the recorded video of the attack. The assailant may face charges of sexual assault towards Lauren Valle in the near future.