For a brief time after Barack Obama was elected president, historically-minded pundits declared that America had entered a “post-racial” era. Hahahahahahaha, what a bunch of maroons! Here’s the latest proof that racism is alive and well in this great nation.
Lawrence Verga is one of seven potential GOP challengers to Democratic incumbant Tom Perriello for Virgina’s fifth congressional district’s seat. He was recently asked at a Tea Party-sponsored town hall debate what the greatest security threat facing America was. Here is his response [Waldo via Yglesias]:
Verga said the biggest threat is the Americans who voted the Obama administration into office. “That was political correctness gone awry,” Verga said. “There is a global jihad against the United States,” Verga said, “and we need to stand up to Iran with our allies and stop what they are doing.” [emphasis added.]
It’s worth repeating an alarming fact: voting for Verga is, theoretically, a legitimate option for Republicans in Virginia. He is a real live candidate, not just some guy in a park. Boy, this county. Ugh.
Jim McKelvey, another real live candidate (sigh), answered the same security-threat question this way:
[I]n response to a question about the No. 1 threat to national security, McKelvey got a round of cheers by saying, “The present administration is the biggest threat.”
And what is McKelvey’s nuanced approach to Foreign Policy?
McKelvey said, “At some point we are going to have to throw the U.N. aside, not only for the security of this country but the security of the world. We need to do what we have to do to protect the rest of the world from terrorist nations such as Iran. Hard decisions, folks, but they will have to be made.”
Obviously, any politician has the right to advocate positions that are repugnant as long as they don’t infringe on anyone else’s rights. McKelvey and Verga are perfect examples of that. But this kind of speech becomes dangerous when it feeds militant right-wing groups like the “oath keepers,” and, in a larger sense, defines a movement — and at least temporarily one of two major political parties — as nothing more than a confederacy of paranoid and tribalistic lunatics.
And, just to round out the rampant anti-intellectualism, here’s how the challengers responded to questions about climate change:
A question about “Climategate” produced agreement among the three candidates who answered it.
Hurt said Climategate is “scientists who have given us something that is not true. It is faulty information and it has real consequences in the 5th District, in the loss of jobs and in power bills from Appalachian Power Co.”
Ferrin got some laughter when he said, “Global warming has sure cost me a whole lot of money on heating the last couple of months.” He went on to say that the cap-and-trade energy bill passed last summer in the U.S. House “is all about promoting the socialist agenda of this administration.”
Boyd said, “There is nothing to prove we have man-made global warming.”
That’s what the right-wing agenda is in America. What’s the left-wing agenda? End the occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan, regulate the banks, provide universal affordable health care. The constant, false eqivocation of the right and left wing in this country is intellectually dishonest and incredibly destructive, and it allows these Virginia teabaggers to shift the entire discourse to the right.