Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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August 20, 2010

I GUESS SHE'S NOT A RAIDERS FAN.... It's easy to forget, but before Sharron Angle (R) said a lot of crazy things as a U.S. Senate candidate, she said a lot of crazy things at a local level. In 1992, for example, Angle ran for a county school board.

One of her big issues at the time? Angle opposed a local high school using black athletic jerseys, which she considered un-Christian and wicked. She won, and the jerseys changed to a different color. Asked about this the other day, Angle didn't quite deny it, but said it wasn't relevant to the Senate race.

Jon Chait's reaction was very much in line with my own.

One of the reasons I've been fascinated with Sharron Angle's Senate campaign is that she is not merely a candidate with extremely radical views, like Rand Paul, she inhabits an ideological grey area where radicalism starts to become indistinguishable with actual mental illness. [...]

I can see why conservatives would want to look the other way from Angle's looniness. Knocking off Harry Reid is a delicious opportunity for the GOP, and Angle would be a reliable party vote against President Obama's agenda. But isn't there some risk in identifying your party with such an obviously crazy person?

That need not be a rhetorical question. Republican hatred for Harry Reid is practically limitless, but exactly how many GOP leaders look at Sharron Angle and conclude that the nation will be well served by her service in the United States Senate? For that matter, how many of them believe Republicans' reputation will be improved by supporting someone who, by all appearances, is stark raving mad?

Ideally, one imagines responsible Republicans coming forward to announce their opposition to such extremism, much the same way then-Sen. John Warner (R) of Virginia said in 1994 that he didn't want to see Oliver North join the Senate.

Any chance we'll see anything similar this year? (Don't worry, that is a rhetorical question.)

Steve Benen 12:35 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (29)

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Comments

I don't want to sound like a broken record but...

I agree that Angle really is a loon. I think you will also agree that if Angle and Greene are both elected this year that Greene would be the worst embarrassment in the Senate.

Of course, the difference is that people are treating Angle seriously and no one is treating Greene seriously. BUT HE IS THE DEMOCRATIC NOMINEE!!!

Posted by: neil wilson on August 20, 2010 at 12:47 PM | PERMALINK

John Warner had far too much integrity and dignity to be welcome in today's GOP.

Posted by: Jon on August 20, 2010 at 12:48 PM | PERMALINK

Angle is nuts, that's for certain. However, I think it's interesting she almost lost her primary to a woman who thought Americans should pay their medical bills with livestock.

In retrospect, which would have been the better candidate for the GOP? Angle, who believes that black football jerseys encourage teens to dabble in the occult...or the Chicken Lady?

Posted by: Shrillhouse on August 20, 2010 at 12:49 PM | PERMALINK

Republicans don't care about service, just as they don't care about government. Somehow, we as a nation have nurtured a political party that openly and consistently treats public service as some sort of joke, or an opportunity to get rich.

Posted by: Qalice on August 20, 2010 at 12:51 PM | PERMALINK

I don't think she really believes in Sparkle Magic!

Posted by: Byrd on August 20, 2010 at 12:53 PM | PERMALINK

Don't forget my team; the Superbowl champ N.O. Saints! They wear black jerseys sometimes, too. I stopped being amazed & surprised long ago, about the silly, petty things that republicans get worked-up over.

Posted by: Keith frm louisiana on August 20, 2010 at 12:54 PM | PERMALINK

"For that matter, how many of them believe Republicans' reputation will be improved by supporting someone who, by all appearances, is stark raving mad?"

Are you kidding me? She'll fit right in.
Hell, in the House, she'd probably raise the Republican average sanity . . .

Posted by: retr2327 on August 20, 2010 at 12:56 PM | PERMALINK

-When you believe in talking snakes and see Jesus on grilled cheese sandwiches, Sharon Angle doesn't seem all THAT strange. . .

Posted by: DAY on August 20, 2010 at 12:59 PM | PERMALINK

There are two reasons why no responsible Republican will come forward. First, they've drummed them all out of the party. Second, as soon as someone does offer the possibility that Ms. Angle is, shall we say, not at her best, then it calls into question the rest of the party. If she's too extreme, then who isn't? Is Rand Paul more reasonable? Ken Buck in Colorado? Where do they draw the line? They've been encouraging the base to bring out these candidates for years. Now all of a sudden they have them.

Posted by: Mustang Bobby on August 20, 2010 at 12:59 PM | PERMALINK

Look, the Republicans see her as a plus.
The more f***ing crazy she is, the more the rest of them look like statesmen in comparison.
Jim DeMint looks like a paragon of moderation compared to her. Inhofe and Coburn, too.
And if she's the engine driving the crazy train, Paul and those 3 are the next cars after her, but they look more normal than the 'Wicked and Crazy Witch of the West!"

Posted by: c u n d gulag on August 20, 2010 at 1:01 PM | PERMALINK

Years ago when I was in junior high (see, told you it was years ago), we had a female art teacher who hated the color red. In fact, she was practically phobic about it, and would flip out if anyone used that color in their art work. Truly unfortunate for her was that our school colors were red and white. I have no idea what her politics (or religious beliefs) were, but she was, indeed, a lunatic. If she were still alive today, she probably would be considered a viable GOP candidate in Colorado today. (Speaking of which, my home state has completely fallen over the crazy right-wing cliff now.)

Posted by: winddancer on August 20, 2010 at 1:06 PM | PERMALINK

Gimme a break. Sharon Angle is no loonier than Gohmert, Inhofe, Bunning, Burton, Bachman, and the list could go on... and on.

Posted by: Larry McD on August 20, 2010 at 1:07 PM | PERMALINK

How is it that these people are being taken seriously? What has happened to America?

Posted by: pol on August 20, 2010 at 1:10 PM | PERMALINK

John Warner had far too much integrity and dignity to be welcome in today's GOP.

Richard Nixon had far too much integrity and dignity to be welcome in today's GOP. Of course, he was far too moderate as well- a pinko by today's GOP standards.

-Z

Posted by: Zorro on August 20, 2010 at 1:17 PM | PERMALINK

Actually, consider more than the domestic repercussions - consider the foreign policy repercussions of having several people of dubious sanity and insane political beliefs in congress. What will these people say about foreign leaders, what impact will their words have on global media, and how will their actions affect the trust of the United States?

Posted by: Fang on August 20, 2010 at 1:31 PM | PERMALINK

One of her big issues at the time? Angle opposed a local high school using black athletic jerseys

you folks are so stooooopid. if any of you had one brain in your body you'd realize you can't win on the Sharon Angle black jersey issue with real Americans.

Is it wrong for Americans to hate the color black? Not when most villains throughout history have worn it while doing their villainous deeds. And the proliferation of horror films on Netflix has made your average joe keenly aware of what black is really about.

Bill Clinton was wearing black when he defeated Persian Gulf War hero Bush 41, and a certain White House Chief of Staff I used to eat sushi with regularly while dispensing advice to him told me that Hillary always wore black underwear or at least a black camisole when she was trying to force HillaryCare down the throats of the American people, so naturally there are strong feelings there.

Is it "crazy" or "anti-black" to want the color of jerseys changed when most scary things happen in the darkness -- which is black?!?!?!??!?

Now Catholic PRIESTS can wear black cuz eight hundred years ago they learned to finesse its evil tendencies and control them with a tiny white collar. Their interpretation of that color doesn't force them into rigid codes of violence like it does with cartoony, cardboard villains and high school football players. And Jimmy John Q. Public is okey-dokey with that.

Why aren't we supporting football players who wear hot pink jerseys??? If we were smart progressives we'd be doing that. I've seen gay touch football teams in Key West wearing hot pink jerseys with glitter speedos and hoop earrings and nobody is worried they're going to hurt anybody.

So to recap for the mentally challenged in my audience: this isn't an issue about First Amendment fashion rights or the legitimacy of the color itself, but about all the bad things the color is associated with, which people naturally loathe. EXCEPT when Catholics use it, then people don't have a problem with it because Catholics aren't associated with bad things. And SMART libs will support teams willing to give up their threatening colors for pink or lime green.

Of course you won't listen to me, which is why you guys are getting your asses kicked halfway around the color wheel.

Posted by: theMohairicanist on August 20, 2010 at 1:39 PM | PERMALINK

Geee, North and David Duke were just victims of bad timing? Mahn, I' m just sayin!

Posted by: Darsan54 on August 20, 2010 at 1:55 PM | PERMALINK

Nature may abhor a vacuum, but apparently Republican voters find them a refreshing change in their candidates. If politicians like Angle and Palin get elected we'll never get to the substance of policy issues because we'll be stuck on appearances and superstition: is there a Bible in the room? How many flags are there? Have we said the Pledge of Allegiance with proper devotion? No one's wearing a turban, are they?

The Dark Ages: and here you thought they were gone for good.

Posted by: glitter on August 20, 2010 at 2:17 PM | PERMALINK

As theMohairicanist knows full well, mohair comes from goats. And we all know about THEM.

Wool, on the other hand, comes from sheep, so when anyone here tries to pull it over your eyes, you know who to blame.

Paging Rick 'man on dog' Santorum. "That was the marshal's girl!"

Posted by: DAY on August 20, 2010 at 2:43 PM | PERMALINK

maybe angle has a point. when was the last time the raiders won a super bowl? when was the last time they had a winning record? and isn't al davis the devil incarnate?

Posted by: mudwall jackson on August 20, 2010 at 3:01 PM | PERMALINK

This kind of stuff does not drive people to vote for Reid. It drives people away from voting at all. Nutty candidates don't scare people into voting they just reaffirm their belief that all politics is a game and that process is 'corrupt' or 'meaningless'. We're going to see a lot of states with turnout well below 30% in the midterms this year.

That kind of environment just empowers the 'Tea-Party' folks because, say whatever else you want about them, they do excersise their right to vote. And as long as they are the only ones showing up at the polls, they will wield an enormous amout of power.

Posted by: thorin-1 on August 20, 2010 at 3:25 PM | PERMALINK

@theMohairicanist: The Amish wear black. So do the Hasidim, the Quakers, as did Johnny Cash.

Not everyone can wear pink and carry it off, but, to quote Lanford Wilson, anything's possible with a little taste and charm

Posted by: Mustang Bobby on August 20, 2010 at 4:10 PM | PERMALINK

I'm just waiting for them to start going on about preserving our precious bodily fluids.

Posted by: Daniel KIm on August 20, 2010 at 4:36 PM | PERMALINK

Purity of Essence ...

Posted by: G.Kerby on August 20, 2010 at 5:33 PM | PERMALINK

Peace On Earth...

Posted by: cr on August 20, 2010 at 6:20 PM | PERMALINK

"the difference is that people are treating Angle seriously and no one is treating Greene seriously. BUT HE IS THE DEMOCRATIC NOMINEE!!!"

Only the difference is that the Republican leadership is fundraising millions for Angle, they are sending talent to work for her, they are committed to her campaign and helping her win.

The Democratic leadership, on the other hand, is not just doing nothing for Greene. They are publicly calling on him to get out of the race.

Do you really not see the difference here? Angle is being very aggressively supported from the top on down, and Greene is being iced at every level. It's like a drug dealer moves into the neighborhood and one group is arranging protests, while the other is rolling out the welcome wagon.

Posted by: Anon on August 20, 2010 at 8:34 PM | PERMALINK

For that matter, how many of them believe Republicans' reputation will be improved by supporting someone who, by all appearances, is stark raving mad?

When you put her in the context of the rest of the party, she doesn't look that looney, given that "looney" is the new "normal" over there in Republican LooneyWorld.

Posted by: TCinLA on August 20, 2010 at 8:41 PM | PERMALINK

Maybe she could appointed ambassador to New Zealand.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/All_Blacks

She'd be afraid to get off the plane.

(Mind you, like the Raiders, the New Zealand national rugby union team had been accused of collusion with the Dark Lord--by all the other teams.)

Posted by: Steve Paradis on August 20, 2010 at 9:34 PM | PERMALINK

I guess Sharon won't be attending any Nebraska football games.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blackshirts_(American_football)

Posted by: 2Manchu on August 21, 2010 at 10:41 AM | PERMALINK




 

 

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