Friday, August 06, 2004

The greatest of Satans

Muqtada al-Sadr issues a sermon calling the US "the greatest of Satans." Aw shucks, now we’ll just get a swelled head.

To answer my question of yesterday, the NM Republicans did indeed demand driver’s licenses from the people they required to sign the loyalty oath.

The wingnuts are entering the electoral process in all their glory. First up, James Hart has won the Republican primary for Tennessee’s 8th district congressional seat. Wasn’t James Hart the main character in "The Paper Chase"? "Mister Hart, here is a dime, call your mother, tell her you will never be a wacky United States congressman." Hart is running on a platform of "Stop Welfare and Immigration Replace it with a War on Poverty Genes." His website has to be seen to be believed.
I especially liked the "Socrates Vs. Jesus" link (a dialogue, not a cage wrestling match), which, fortunately, I read before going back and seeing all the eugenics stuff about black people having low IQs, after which it became harder to laugh. I know it’s a very safe D seat, and I once lived in a safe D seat where the R candidacy for Congress went to a guy running against the Trilateral Commission conspiracy to take over the world, but that’s not the same thing as an open racist running for Congress in the South.

And the R’s in Illinois offered the US Senate candidacy to dotty right-wing talk show host Alan Keyes, who does not live in Illinois. There might be justification for the very occasional carpetbagger--Hillary Clinton and Bobby Kennedy as senators for NY--but if we (especially those of us who live in under-represented California) have to put up with the Electoral College and the Senate as violations of the principle of one-person-one-vote, then we have a right to demand that it is actually the states themselves that are being represented, and not political parties. In most other representative democracies (France, the UK, etc etc), the national parties drop candidates into districts chosen by the parties (parachutists, they’re called in France), so that senior members of the parties get the safe seats and the interests of local voters don’t get heard at all. So Keyes was not wrong in 2000 when he decried Hillary’s candidacy as a violation of the principle of federalism.
A system in which local interests are overridden by those of the national parties is entirely different than the system we have known up till now, and we shouldn’t just back into it without considering the consequences. The constant interventions of Tom DeLay in Texas give some sign of where that leads.

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