Wednesday, September 15, 2010

A GOOD EXAMPLE OF THE TEA PARTY'S LIBERTARIAN, POPULIST IDEALS. Last night's other nut, GOP New York gubernatorial candidate Carl Paladino, isn't getting as much coverage as Christine O'Donnell, which is unfair -- he's at least as crazy as she is, as his recent interview with Rick Sanchez at CNN shows:
SANCHEZ: How do you feel -- what is your position on abortion?


SANCHEZ: Should a woman have a right to have an abortion if she's -- if she's been raped?


SANCHEZ: She should not? She should have to have the baby?

PALADINO: And the baby can be adopted, yes.

SANCHEZ: What if it's -- what if it's a case of incest?

PALADINO: The baby can be adopted, yes.
Also, Mr. Limited Government wants to use eminent domain to stop the Burlington Coat Factory mosque. And he made this extraordinary statement:
I'm not -- I'm not a person looking for money. I have no political ambitions whatsoever. I don't seek power.
This is pretty much the polar opposite of the truth -- first, because he's fucking running for Governor. Also, his whole life has been a hunt for money and power -- as Joshua Holland points out, he's what the Buffalo News calls "the state government’s biggest landlord in Western New York, holding half of the 52 leases the state has taken out on offices in Erie and Niagara counties," with yearly rent receipts over $5 million-- swollen by humongous tax breaks he has received from the tyrannical, business-strangling state.

Holland also points out that Paladino uses the same pseudo-revolutionary rhetoric favored by the rest of the Tea Party guys, and specifically mentions the "ruling class" that was a big talking point among rightwingers a short while ago -- even though if anyone in America qualifies as ruling-class, it's Paladino.

Maybe he's not getting the media play because he's expected to lose badly in November. Or maybe he's been kept out of the spotlight because the insanely racist emails he got caught sending around don't make him the best poster boy for the tea people. In any case it's too bad, because the wealthy landlord who portrays himself as a tribune of the people -- whose interests he says he will support against those of the folks who've been making him rich for years -- is as perfect a symbol of the whole bullshit tea party movement as you'll ever see.

He puts me in mind of Tom Golisano, the perennial self-financed gubernatorial candidate who tried to manipulate New York's 2008 elections the old-fashioned way, with massive contributions -- and, when they didn't work out to his liking, backed Pedro Espada's coup in the state senate. He also announced he was leaving the state. Poor Golisano -- absurd as he is, he might have had a chance if he'd only hung in long enough to get with the tea party and let them portray him to the punters as Tom Joad.

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