Dodging a Bullet

Remember Allen Quist? He’s the fringe-right Minnesota politician who State Board of Education member Don McLeroy wanted to appoint to a panel of so-called “experts” helping revise social studies curriculum standards for Texas public schools. Like other absurdly unqualified ideologues who succeeded in getting appointments to the “expert” panel, Quist didn’t just lack academic credentials in the social sciences. He is an anti-abortion and anti-gay fanatic who also opposes the science of evolution, calls the International Baccalaureate program Marxist and un-American, and thinks animal behavior proves that women should be subservient to men.

Now in his campaign for a congressional seat, Quist offers more evidence of his extremism. Last month he told Minnesota Republicans that “radical liberals” like his opponent, incumbent Rep. Tim Walz, President Obama and other elected Democrats are a bigger threat to America than terrorism:

“Our country is being destroyed. Every generation has had to fight the fight for freedom… Terrorism? Yes. That’s not the big battle. The big battle is in D.C. with the radicals. They aren’t liberals. They are radicals. Obama, Pelosi, Walz: They’re not liberals, they’re radicals. They are destroying our country.”

So that’s the man Don McLeroy wanted to help decide what the next generation of Texas students will learn in their social studies classrooms. But TFN helped block what would have been an outrageously irresponsible appointment by exposing Quist’s extremism and persuading other board members to oppose his inclusion on the “expert” panel. Shortly afterward, the Texas Senate refused to approve McLeroy’s renomination by Gov. Rick Perry for a second term as SBOE chair.

10 thoughts on “Dodging a Bullet

  1. There you have it folks. A significant wing nut has declared that Obama, Pelosi, and Walz are NOT liberals. Somebody should take that to the bank and deposit it!!!!

    Radical? Wasn’t Jesus a dangerous radical? If he wasn’t a dangerous radical, some offended people sure went to a lot of trouble to shut him up. What do you get when you try to shut up a radical that’s a threat to your country? You get one-third of a literary masterpiece that lasts 2000 years, thoughts that helped shape civilization over much of the planet, and billions of worldwide supporters on all continents. Sounds to me like Obama, Pelosi, and Walz have a mighty fine future ahead of them!!! I’m glad Mr. Quist was able to point out that fact to all of us. Thank you Mr. Quist. Right neighborly of you!!!!

  2. Oddly, I kind of agree with Allen Quist. The aforementioned people are NOT liberals. They are corporatists. Mr. Obama, for one, dumped his history-making revolutionary Single Payer option and caved to the insurance companies and their thuggish lobbyists along with too many of his fellow Democrats. Thus, they are destroying our country in the sense that they are not liberal ENOUGH!

    Allen Quist too is a corporatist so he’s whacked-out in slamming those who share his values. Poor butt-head can’t even recognize his friends!

    I wouldn’t be surprised though if anyone who got very far up in government and who wasn’t a corporatist would eventually be put six-feet-under.

    Mr Quist also shares common beliefs with conservative Islam, interestingly enough, in the matters of evolution and women.

    Sorry but the Jewish prophets of the dreaded Old Testament predated Jesus by centuries in their reformist expressions.

  3. The semantics is the shallow end of the pool eg. we have radicals at either end of our two major political parties: those that would opt for a socialistic take over with government in charge of just about everything, and we have religous fundamentalists who are attempting to establish a theocracy in this country. Neither set of radicals is remotely acceptable and perhaps the middle ground of party members will recognize the neccessity of merging to save this union from the radicals. There comes a time when party loyalty is no longer adequte reason to sit by and let the extremists destroy this republic.

  4. To use an Ed Brayton line: “Can I have false equivalency for $1000, Alex?”

    The ‘dangerous radicals’ Donald M is speaking about want a single-payer system for health care, like those destroyed Republics, Canada, England, France, Belgium, and Germany. (And while they want this, almost every Democratic legislator has abandoned it as impractical, and is passing a system that doesn’t even have a fully-funded national public option.

    They want a return to the Keynsian system of governmental spending to counteract the effect of recessional slowdown, such as the stimulus — as was praised just yesterday by that hotbed of leftism, the American Enterprise Institute (see today’s Steve Benen (I’m not going to give cites because there would be enough for my post to be blocked as spam) — and which was ratified by the crypto-Communist Richard M. Nixon.

    They want to use that spending to restore America’s infrastructure, highway system, bridges, and schools to where they were under the dangerous totalitarian, Dwight D. Eisenhower.

    They want to return to the days of Government regulation that prevented the sorts of scandals that began once they were weakened, a short list of which includes Penn Square, BCCI, the savings&loan catastrophe, Enron and AIG among many.

    And some of them would even like the tax rate on the highest incomes to br raised to a point halfway between where it is now and the rate applying during that time of economic stagnation and depression known as the Eisenhower Era — where innovation and prosperity were so pitiful that writers were arguing that we would have to learn to live in a permanently expanding non-scarcity economy.

    (And oh yes, some of them would also like to see gay people given the same rights as other groups are, would like to see abortion paid for by the same insurance plans that pay for viagra, would like to see paranoid conspiracy freaks like Ammerman and Klingenschmidt removed from their positions certifying chaplains for the military, would like to see textbooks written by professionals rather than preachers, and most of all would like to see statements about our positions even resembling ones that are sane and reality-grounded, something the Republican party and right-wing libertarians seem incapable of providing.)

  5. Charles: Not sure why the “?” Donald claimed “we have radicals at either end of our parties.” I was, perhaps too sarcastically, demonstrating what the left wing of the Democratic Party actually wants — single-payer, a return to Keynsian/Galbraith economic thinking, reregulation of important industries to stop the runaway laissez-faire of Grqamm/Reaganism, even a more progressive tax structure, and showing how those ideas, rather than representing ‘ a socialistic take over with government in charge of just about everything’ were solidly in the mainstream of the politics
    I grew up with, or ideas which have hardly — as with single-payer — represented a ‘socialist take-over’ in those countries — every advanced country but ours — which have adopted them.

    My final parenthetical comment included some other ideas of the Democratic left — admittedly including some of my pet peeves, like the Christianistization of the military — and again pointed out how unexceptional they are. Maybe the sad thing and what does deserve a “?” is that these aren’t policies of the Party as a whole.

  6. Prup (aka Jim Benton): you said it so much better than I ever could have. Bravo to your response to Donald M!

    Had to laugh at your description of “destroyed republics.” Ha ha. Yep, Canada has a first-rate health system. I have a good friend in Canada who has had to use it and was completely satisfied. She broke her arm two years ago and had to go to an emergent care facility. She was in and out of the place within 2 hours!! She received excellent after-care and therapy. In America, you’d be waiting at least 2 hours just to be seen. And Canada has NO housing crisis. Thanks to government regulation, their housing market is stable.

    Why oh why is it that we always hear how diabolical “socialism” is, yet we never hear of refugees streaming into America to escape their evil oppressive socialist systems, their butchering murderous socialistic governments. Yeah, all those gulags in Sweden. How do the Swedes STAND it?? Ha ha….

  7. I can go you one better on the Canadian health care system, because my wife’s sister lives there and developed a severe form of cancer. Her treatment was excellent, and she has already surpassed the normal survival time for that type of cancer. She has needed two rounds of chemo, got them, and is doing quite well, and it cost her nothing. She could have gotten no better treatment in America, but since she was/is a self-emploed artist/chef, she likely would have had no insurance here, and not only would her treatment bankrupted her, but her parents would have probably had to sell the house my wife and I live in, leaving us homeless.

    (Meanwhile, I had a necessary emergency operation when a long-standing foot problem became infected and, without the operation I would have lost the foot — and still, obviously, needed hospital care. The operation and the brief stay in the hospital would have cost me $30,000 which I did not have, and the only reason I am not spending the rest of my life as an undischarged bankrupt was because the hospital made so many serious errors — great doctors, incompetent staff — that we settled on a ‘we won’t sue you, you don’t sue us’ basis.)

    I found Donald M’s comments quite hilarious, and wonder if he is that best example of the ‘foolish consistency of little minds,’ a libertarian.

  8. Prup and Cytocop:

    Once upon a time in America, before the technical term “socialism” existed, we had a thing called “community.” If a family’s barn burned down in a rural area, the neighbors would come together bringing covered dishes filled with food, lumber, a bucket of nails, a bunch of tool boxes—and help the family rebuild their barn. It was called being neighborly. For those who did not attend a church or a synagogue, it was heartfelt altruism. For those who did, it was called loving your neighbor as yourself and demonstrating that love. At some point, our country became too large and too far flung to do that as well as it had been done on a local level, and it became necessary (and I do think it was necessary) to involve the government in getting needed help and resources in the right amounts to the right places and people. In my opinion, social security, unemployment insurance, medicare, medicaid, food stamps, and now health care reform grew out of that basic American, rural, neighborly tradition of “community.” This is American homegrown and has nothing to do with toting some German philosophical economist’s ideas over here and consciously applying them to our country. In my opinion, any resemblance is largely a matter of historical coincidence.

    The Tea Baggers believe that they and their hero Ronald Reagan (who would probably have little or nothing to do with these fruitcakes if he were alive today) believe that they personally rescued the United States from the worldwide plague of conscious philosophical socialism and communism. Those who actually study this sort of political phenomenon for a living will tell you that such socialism and communism collapsed instead under their own unworkable weight and that people like Reagan and Daddy Bush just created a political environment that made their internal collapse more of an assured one way street. This brings me to the subject of Tea Baggers and Thomas Paine.

    Thomas Paine was a rabble rouser with an eloquent pen. This is what he was really good at doing—using writing to motivate people in a particular political direction. It can be argued that his writings helped bring about the American Revolution. However, there is a problem with the rabble rouser. When the revolution is over and successful, they find themselves alone, without purpose, and with no job. What then does the lonely rabble rouser have to do then? This is what happened to Thomas Paine, and it drove him crazy. Unable to take it any longer, he decided to ship off to Europe and rabble rouse in some countries over there, particularly against the monarchy in France. He was so successful, and then so unsuccessful, that he was actually slated to have his head lopped off by the guillotine, barely escaping in the end by some near miracle.

    This is what happened to the John Birch Society and Tea Bagger types here in the United States. They wrongly persuaded themselves that they were personally responsible for bringing about the worldwide defeat of socialism and communism as conscious political movements. In their eyes, they had SAVED AMERICA. They relished their so-called success for a while. Then, just like with Thomas Paine, it began to dawn upon them that they no longer had a raison d’etre. Whatever would they do? By some spark of insanity and unoriginality, they would keep on doing what they had been doing before. They would take their cue from Joseph McCarthy and hunt down the internal American socialists and communists who posed a traitorous threat to the United States. Never mind that there were none, because if there were none, they would just create them out of ordinary men, women, and children. Suddenly, that great American rural tradition of “community” that I mentioned earlier and its later governmental manifestations (e.g., social security) was formally defined as conscious philosophical socialism and designated as a threat that would cause the downfall of our country. As a result, providing any form of government help to anyone in need became evil and wrong, and any person who tried to provide such help through a government entity was labeled as a socialist or communist, regardless of whether they had ever heard of Karl Marx or Eugene Debs.

    Moreover, any person who is poor, sick, or otherwise in need must be that way simply because they are lazy and fail to take “personal responsibility.” Jesus told us to take care of these people, and in the Bible he defines himself as being in oneness with these people. If a person fails to help them, then they fail to help Jesus. It is that simple. However, the Birchers, Tea Baggers, and other such fruitcakes have succeeded in formally defining these unfortunate people that Jesus loves as THE ENEMY. And you know what must happen to the enemy? The enemy and all of those who support him must be destroyed to make America safe—but safe for what? It must make America safe for UNBRIDLED SELFISHNESS and something called “FREEDOM” However, if you look closely at their definition of this so-called “freedom,” you will quickly find that we Christians have another word for it. That word is “licentiousness.” It is the freedom to do what you want, wherever you want, and whenever you want—no matter who gets hurt. As long as they are getting their jollies or a proper return on some investment, it is all that really matters.

    About 20 years ago, a nice man wrote a book. He claimed everything that is really important in life was learned in kindergarten. It was a simple concept, and I believe it was one with merit. In kindergarten, we were all taught that it is right to share what we had with others. Our teachers new this:

    “Johnny, do you have chewing gum in your mouth? I hope you brought enough for everyone, or you will have to spit it out.”

    Well, I have a kindergarten theory about Birchers, Tea Baggers, and other rabidly conservative types. Put 15 kids in a sandbox, each with two toys. Most of the kids are ready and willing to share their toys with the other kids during play. However, you will often have two or three kids who absolutely refuse to share. They will say: “This is my toy and my toy alone—no one ever touches it but me because it’s all mine.” They go off to a corner in the sandbox and sulk, indignant to even the idea that sharing might somehow be a good thing. In my opinion, these are the selfish and self-absorbed children who grow up to be Birchers, Tea Baggers, and the ultra-conservatives among us. They were unwilling to share what they had with others when they were children, and by golly they are sure not going to do it now. And doggone it, sharing is so inherently wrong that they are going to fix the world so no one will ever be able to share anything again—not even those who want to do it.

    How do I feel about that? Well, all I know is this. When I was growing up, there was still such a thing as a spanking. Mothers got switches after their children. Some parents would “slap the snot” out of their child if they refused to share their toys in the sandbox, because refusing to share was regarded as just plain wrong. I think the Birchers, Tea Baggers, and other ultra-conservatives who did not get that correction in their early years need someone to be a good latter-day mommy or daddy and just plain “slap the snot out of them” (figuratively speaking of course). And I just did that. What do you think?

  9. Charles, I agree with everything you wrote. Remember the incident with Tom Coburn (R-OK) and the woman who asked him about her cancer-stricken husband? How she * her husband were having difficulty getting treatment for him and/or had no insurance? Mr Coburn moronically said that people should help each other. So he does understand the point you made above. However, how the hell is someone supposed to help a cancer patient unless they have a medical degree, is an oncologist & surgeon, and has access to all kinds of treatment, therapies, and facilities? My neighbor across the street suffered a bout with breast cancer (in both breasts!) two years ago. How was I supposed to help her? In what cereal box should I have looked for a medical degree? And at what pawn shop should I have shopped for surgical instruments? She did get care because she’s a Wal-Mart employee and had some insurance. But what if she had none? What could anyone have done to “help” her? This is what Mr. Coburn doesn’t get and HE EVEN A PHYSICIAN!!! What a total a..hole*!! And so characteristic of conservative thinking.

    *Sorry for my English but I call it as it is.

    Prup, I was watching a special on TV several months ago. The show was following two MS patients, one American and the other English. Well, you can guess what the outcome was. A couple of years post-diagnosis, the American had lost his job, lost his insurance, and was about to lose his home. His therapy and treatment were sporadic at best and about to be discontinued. The English patient (not the movie!) was pretty much status quo: unemployed but still living in her home and receiving adequate care, her national health status intact.

    This is the sort of thing the teabaggers want to see continue in America. (Of course, as long as the suffering involves OTHER people, not THEM!) Being fear-based and living fearful lives, they fear government “takeover” as Donald M expressed above. They’d rather see people abandoned to suffer and die horribly than for them to get help. I figure this is basically because they are Calvinists at heart. Calvinism, from what I understand, says that if you’re healthy and doing well financially, God favors you. If not, then God does not favor you; therefore, if you’re sick and poor, you’re getting what you deserve. Furthermore, since your fate has been decreed by God, then it would be sinful and blasphemous for anyone to step in and help that person which would interfere with what God has decreed.

    Being heavily vested in the for-profit health “system,” they demand the status quo continue. They like it that the U.S. government has been “taken over” by Corporateamerica and the multinational corporations. They want to see more of that; in fact, they want government to disappear entirely so that we can just have allegiance to The Company and call The Company America. I could give you dozens of cases in point but I’ll spare you. 🙂

    So yes, Charles and Prup, you’re right about everything you wrote.