Herbert bought off by coal? And more Tea Party loons

I keep trying to say that Utah’s politicians aren’t on the payroll of their donors, but they do seem to make it hard to keep up the argument.

Consider Gov. Gary Herbert and Alton Coal. As this letter to the SL Trib makes clear, it sure does look fishy. He get’s $10,000 and they get a permit to build a strip coal mine near Bryce National Park.

I am well aware that we need jobs in this state, and well aware that coal is what make electricity, but does Herbert have to make it look SO much as if he’s doing a donor a favor?

I mean, cripes, Gary, at least consider appearances.

Speaking of loons: The Huffington Post has a story today on a candidate the Tea Party picked, presumably because he said all the right angry things, for the Illinois Senate race. Turns out, now the guy is saying some pretty blatant wrong things– like that black men prefer selling drugs to getting an education and a job. The state’s GOP can’t get away from the guy fast enough now.

This is just another example of why you shouldn’t pick people who are happy to publically share your anger without first checking to see what they’re saying in private. Anyone can scream generalities about balancing the budget, after all.

It’s also a good example of the huge flaw in the GOP strategy of letting the Tea Party whackos be the attack dogs and help them win the election, confident that the dogs  can be brought to heel later.

Those dogs can get out of control way too easily.

What’s predictable is, I bet this guy uses the Joe Miller/Christine O’Donnell defense for his idiocy – that this just proves how he’s imperfect and “one of you.”

What’s sad is, I bet, at least among the really true believers,  it works.

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9 Responses to Herbert bought off by coal? And more Tea Party loons

  1. Doug Gibson says:

    Charlie, this pathetic guy is a state senate candidate. He’s not the oddball pick for the U.S. Senate, that would be Democrat Alvin Greene in South Carolina.

    Interesting column by David Harsanyi in the Denver Post at http://www.denverpost.com/opinion/ci_16440520?source=rsshomecol Money quote: “A new Rasmussen poll finds that 75 percent of likely voters believe a free market economy is better than an economy managed by the government. When further broken down, 90 percent of “mainstream” voters prefer free markets.”

  2. Charles Trentelman says:

    not sure what that last part means, doug. What is a “free market economy” in any context? Does this mean 75 percent of voters believe govnermnet has no role at all? 90 percent?

    If you say “do you believe in free markets even if it means you will lose your job when it goes to China,” I bet the answer would be different. Or, “do you believe in free markets even if it means your company can be put out of business by predatory pricing by a larger company?” might get a slightly different answer.

    In other words, wildly general poll questions like those are meaningless.

    Everyone loves the free market when they think they can use the free market to their advantage. When someone else uses it to their advantage but it bites others in the butt, the bitees scream for the government to do something. Look at all the Tea Party folk screaming at Obama for not providing jobs when, following true free market thinking, they should bepraising Obama for not interfering with the free market, and screaming at the CEOs of corporations.

    Or maybe they should also be praising the CEOs, After all, unemployment shows that the markets are working, just not to the advantage of those without jobs. But they are free, and they are working.

  3. Bob Becker says:

    Doug:

    I hope you noticed your own Editorial Board endorsed Cong. Bishop precisely because he is apparently not a free-market supporter. From your own editorial:

    Bishop has proven to be a skilled legislator in working his hardest to preserve those Top of Utah economic engines. Bishop is also not afraid to defend his stances. He secures earmarks for the Top of Utah, arguing that it’s an opportunity to help his district.

    Apparently Bishop’s stand, which the SE likes, is “free markets in everyone else’s Congressional district, but not in mine.”

  4. Doug Gibson says:

    The Obama administration has lost the confidence of most Americans, particularly independents, precisely because it’s no longer viewed as an administration that favors free markets. That shift occurred two summers ago when it launched an unpopular drive of trillion-plus comprehensive health care reform effort. There would not be anywhere this big of a Tea Party movement if the administration had chosen inexpensive health care reforms. Its reaction to the populist movement is chaotic. First they are sore losers, then they are bad for the GOP, then they are the rich, then they are bigots, then they are pawns for big business, then they are hypocrits, then they are loons. The Democrats have never figured out that they are people, many of whom voted for Obama, who are concerned about the growth of government and the effect it will have on themselves, their children and grandchildren. They see Democrats more concerned about upping public workers’ benefits with their tax dollars than reforming entitlements they spent a lifetime paying into.

  5. Charles Trentelman says:

    doug doug doug — so they’re angry about government not supporting free markets because it is promoting goverment regulated health care and angry that the government isn’t “reforming entitlements they spent a lifetime paying in to.”

    like medicare entitlement, which is government health care. And where do entitlements belong in a free market anyway?

    OK, Doug, I’m with you: Cut medicare. Not that reduction in growth that free market GOP politicians are calling a “$500 billion slash”, but actually cut it, stop it, end it, refuse to give people on Medicare now anything more than what they paid in plus a fair market return on their investment.

    See how far you get with your free market.

    I’m sure there will be plenty of old folk who can find wonderful insurers to take them on, especially after they get rid of the pesky new rule that requires insurers (gad, talk about a violation of the free market) to have to take people with preexisting conditions.

    And bob is right — if Bishop really believed in the free market he’d let ATK go enjoy all the opportunities the free market presents a maker of large rockets instead of demanding NASA load the dice in ATK’s favor by writing the rules to require buying from ATK.

    But, as I said, that’s where the free market hurts, especially 2000 people who can vote for Rob, so naturally we need the government to step in.

    needless to say, i’m not advocating that, not really. Bishop makes good arguments, and he may even be right.

    What drives me nuts is the political opportunism of all the hypocrisy — the astonishingly contradictory stands people take just because the sound bite is this week’s flavor of the week, or whatever.

    I bet you the price of lunch at the restaurant of your choice vs: lunch with me at St. Anne’s Soup Kitchen: Three months after the Republicans take over the House, and maybe even the Senate, you won’t hear another peep from any of them about how critical it is to bring down the deficit. Or if they do peep, that’s all they’ll do: Make loud peeping noises while they cut federal revenues (by continuing tax cuts) while increasing spending.

    We’ll be back to Dick “Deficits don’t matter” Cheney and Ronald Reagan’s “Morning in America” stuff, all highly financed by deficit spending, because that, not free markets, is how Ronald Reagan and his ilk make the good times roll.

    Bet?

  6. Michael Trujillo says:

    “Its reaction to the populist movement is chaotic. First they are sore losers, then they are bad for the GOP, then they are the rich, then they are bigots, then they are pawns for big business, then they are hypocrits, then they are loons. The Democrats have never figured out that they are people, ”

    Doug, you may be one of only a handful of reasonable people who sympathize with the Tea Party because of the broad definition that it’s a populist movement. But while you’re waxing poetic about the noble history of citizen activists, most of the actual Tea Partiers are behaving exactly as you described above. I can’t speak for Democrats, but I’ll tell you that I find most people who wrap themselves in the Tea Party mantel to be vacuous and motivated by selfish and anachronistic notions. Many are working to take us back to an America that never existed except in Leave it to Beaver reruns.

    I challenge you to listen to anyone who says they speak as a Tea Party supporter and then write down in your Blog a clear, concise recap of what they actually said. Don’t wander off into what YOU believe. Report what the speaker actually said.

    If you can find verifiable kernals of an actual plan, I’ll come to Utah and buy you lunch.

  7. Willbike says:

    “A new Rasmussen poll finds that 75 percent of likely voters believe a free market economy is better than an economy managed by the government. When further broken down, 90 percent of “mainstream” voters prefer free markets.”

    This is exactly why I have no confidence in the American public to make an informed decision. Lack of government regulation is what brought down wall street. I would much rather have some regulations than trusting my fellow man to do the right thing. I would suggest the Frontline documentary “The Warning” to anyone interested.

  8. ctrentelman says:

    Andrew Bacevich argues in his writing that americans define “freedom” as not having to pay for the wars that protect them, not having to deal with the foreign entanglements that keep the bad guys way over in Afghanistan, and not having to worry about anything at all — quite literally. They don’t want to sacrifice, a trait so ably factored into all of President Bush’s political exercises. In World War II Americans were told to sacrifice, but after 9-11 they were told to go shopping.

    So it figures that they would define a “free market” as an economy that functions with them not having to consider at all HOW it functions — they don’t want to be aware of the regulations that protect them and certainly don’t want to have to pay for them. They just expect it to work with no consideration by them as to how.

    Think I’m wrong? Explain the dichotomy of people who scream about how wall street fat cats have stolen all our money, but when President Obama calls them fat cats for doing that the same public criticizes him for hating the free market.

    In that context, yeah, a “free market” economy is best.

  9. Doug Gibson says:

    I’ll bet you Charlie although I’m hoping rather than sure you are wrong.

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