In a stunning display of bigotry and viciousness, powerful Republicans are raising millions of dollars to support an extreme crop of GOP candidates for the mid-term elections. They are called "Tea Party Candidates," and they are being funded by the Super Rich who have been promised $4 Trillion Dollars in tax cuts for their support by the GOP. These Tea Party Republicans are directly attacking Blacks, Latinos, women and gays--and they are winning votes in the process.
"The Republicans are pandering to the most primitive elements of their base," said Rev. Eric Lee of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. "The pedigrees of their candidates prove it. The GOP is running Saboteurs, Satanists, Scientologists, and Survivalists. This is just like the Nazis in Depression Era Germany attacking the Jews," he said.
At first, many pundits thought that the GOP was simply disorganized, and actually hurting their chances in November by supporting the Tea Party Candidates. Who would possibly support people like Jim Miller in Alaska, who defends hate crimes as "free speech," or Christina O'Donnell in Delaware, who practices witchcraft and wants to ban masturbation?
But then suddenly, the method to the Republican madness became clear in a new GOP document ominously called... "The Pledge to America."
In this document, the GOP calls for tax cuts for the wealthiest 2 percent in the country. This is the same 2 percent that now controls more than 50 percent of the nation's income, thanks largely to eight years of tax cuts given to the wealthy under President George Bush's Administration. These tax cuts, according to leading economists, will add $4 trillion dollars to the national debt.
Clearly the cuts are meant to serve as a powerful inducement for the rich to fund these extremist Tea Party candidates, especially now since the Bush Supreme Court recently allowed unlimited corporate spending on elections.
Thus, the mid-term election strategy of the GOP is patently obvious: Reward the Super Rich for financing the Tea Party and have the Tea Party turn out the "Joe Six Packs" and the "Hockey Moms" in November.
"Mid-term elections are base elections," said a republican strategist who asked to remain unnamed. "The party that gets its traditional supporters out to vote is more likely to carry the day. And, the Republicans' base, even the parts of it that are insurgent, unpredictable, and kooky, is highly motivated right now to topple the Democrats in November."
Lee is not alone in his assessment of the Republicans running not only for the Congress but also for the U.S. Senate. Ron Brownstein of the well respected National Journal Magazine said on ABC's 'This Week,' "This is an Extreme Makeover of the Republican Party. It is the most militantly conservative class ...of candidates... in the past half-century."
To give the Tea Party extremist credibility, mainstream Republicans are working hard to support them and camouflage the more unsavory characteristics of their new would-be freshmen. For example, Republican Senate Leader Mitch McConnell has raised thousands of dollars for Nevada Tea Party candidate Sharron Angle, a Scientologist who has called for an "armed revolt' against the Obama Administration.
"I would be happy to appear at any Washington appearance that she had," McConnell said of Angle in an interview with Politico.Com, a popular online political magazine.
"Breathtaking," is how Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi described the GOP strategy. "...The Republicans...are raising taxes on the middle class, attacking social security, and shipping more jobs overseas. Instead of a pledge to the American people, Congressional Republicans made a pledge to the big special interests...at the expense of the middle class."
Can the Democrats recover and defend their House and the Senate majorities? That depends.
In New York City, Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele is urging voters to oust Democratic Rep. Charles Rangel.
Steele appeared at a campaign rally in Harlem on Tuesday with Rangel's GOP opponent, Michel Faulkner. Faulkner is a minister and former professional football player. Steele calls him a strong representative of the "new" Republican Party. Steele told supporters it's time for the Grand Old Party to become the Great Opportunity Party to attract black voters in Harlem and elsewhere. Steele is the RNC's first black chairman.
Rangel won a contested Democratic primary last month even though he's fighting ethics charges in the House. He has acknowledged some ethical lapses but is heavily favored to win re-election in the Democratic district.
Nancy Pelosi and Democratic Majority Whip James Clyburn are visibly in the trenches, making the calls and knocking on the doors.
"Pelosi and Clyburn are vigorously and vigilantly campaigning," said Danny Bakewell Sr., Chairman of the National Newspapers Publishers Association, which represents 200 minority papers and 19.8 million readers. "They know a Jim Crow when they see one flying and are sounding the alarm."
On the other hand, Former Governor Tim Kaine of Virginia--who is also the current Chairman of the Democratic National Committee--has been slow to call for Black and minority communities to advertise, advertise, advertise to energize the base. "Given the current climate, an anti-abortionist, clinging to a slim margin in a swing state like Virginia, may not be the best general for this war," said Bakewell. "The man won't heed a call or spare a dime when it comes to us."
Meanwhile, Black leaders are doing what they can to survive the Tea Party onslaught.
"Everybody knows the Tea Party Candidates are a danger to themselves and others," said Bakewell.
"But if the Democrats don't put some serious money into the Black and minority press and other GOTV minority groups nationwide, this is going to be a lynching. The Democrats will lose both the House and the Senate. It's not as if labor and the poor have much to cheer about right now. They didn't get the Employee Free Choice Act passed, they're way behind on immigration reform, and Black unemployment is stratospheric. These groups are loyal to the Democrats in spirit, but their spirits are low," said Bakewell. "I hope Democratic Committee Chairman Kaine wakes up and helps Speaker Nancy Pelosi and House Whip James Clyburn keep our party (Democrats) in control of the Congress."