The state of my birth and Missouri’s now radical neighbor to the west has officially become the property of Koch-sponsored fanaticism.*
And Missouri, with Rep. Todd Akin becoming the state’s GOP offering to unseat moderate Democrat Claire McCaskill, may soon join Kansas—which when I lived there actually could elect a Democratic governor!— as a place where teapartiers try to out-tea party each other in their efforts to destroy 21st-century government.
On Tuesday, Kansans settled the war in the Republican Party between moderates (yep, these days that’s what we call GOP conservatives who won’t quite put a full set of teabags on their hats) and the Brownbacks (as in Governor Sam), those hard-core Koch-heads who want to dismantle large parts of the government and ask some folks to live like 19th-century settlers.
Most prominent among the moderates defeated in the GOP primary was Senate President Steve Morris, who waged something of a resistance movement, in alliance with Democrats, to stop some of the draconian legislation—wild-eyed anti-abortion and anti-union and anti-education bills, for instance—that the extremists were otherwise very close to passing.
That’s not to say Morris was a left-winger. He and other “moderates” went along with tax cuts (read about that sordid tale here) that will end up crippling the state and enrich Koch-heads at the expense of working folks and kids, as well as a voter ID law that would have made it difficult for my late mother, a former poll worker, to vote.
But enough about Kansas. It’s too late to save that state. Missouri? There’s still time, and defeating Todd Akin would be a good place to start our comeback. Remember in April when President Obama said, as reported by HuffPo:
“I’m always interested in how folks talk about this issue,” he said. “You’ve got one member of Congress who compared student loans — I’m not kidding here — to a stage three cancer of socialism.”
Obama tried to repeat the phrase but broke up laughing.
“I don’t know where to start? What do you mean? What are you talking about? Come on!” he implored, eliciting loud applause. “Just when you think you’ve heard it all in Washington, somebody comes up with a new way to go off the deep end.”
Yep, that’s right. He was talking about—no laughing at—Todd Akin, a U.S. Congressman who once suggested Obama should be impeached and who said this about the President:
He is a complete menace to our civilization.
Obama is not just a menace, you see, but a complete menace.
In any case, as Claire McCaskill said before Akin was officially anointed as the state’s freakiest conservative (he’s always held that title in my book):
Missourians are going to have a really clear choice: Somebody who’s moderate and believes in compromise, or somebody who believes we need to turn out the lights on the federal government and go home.
Among the larger lights Akin wants to turn out are Medicare (voucherize it) and Social Security (privatize it). Go to truthaboutakin.com and read the details. Can’t wait to see those first McCaskill ads explaining to voters how Akin wants to flip the switch on those wildly popular government programs.
Finally, Democrats in Missouri should ignore the polls, especially this late faulty one that showed Akin with a slight lead in a match-up with McCaskill, but which also showed John Brunner beating Akin by 16 points!
Which leads me to say that Todd Akin did Democrats a favor by beating Brunner. Missourians were bombarded by Brunner ads—$8 million worth in our mailboxes, on our radios and constantly on our TVs—and he would have been a stronger general election candidate than Akin. But Akin will have plenty of money spent on his behalf, mostly to darken McCaskill’s complexion, if you know what I mean.
So, my progressive friends, let’s all cough up a little dough and send it Claire’s way. While she hasn’t been a force for liberalism in the U.S. Senate, the alternative is unthinkable.
* I suppose it is only fair that the Koch’s get first dibs on buying the state, since Koch Industries—the nation’s second largest privately held company— is headquartered in Wichita.