Where do the Republicans find these people, and who votes for them?
By Lee Russ
Monday, August 28, 2006 at 05:29 PM
It is becoming ever more apparent that there is a substantial slice of Republican office-holders and Republican office-seekers who are not quite....sane.We've already covered Duke Cunningham, Zach Wamp, and, of course, Katherine Harris among others.
Now comes Katherine Harris again:
U.S. Rep. Katherine Harris told a religious journal that separation of church and state is "a lie" and God and the nation's founding fathers did not intend the country be "a nation of secular laws." The Republican candidate for U.S. Senate also said that if Christians are not elected, politicians will "legislate sin," including abortion and gay marriage.
Harris made the comments which she clarified Saturday in the Florida Baptist Witness, the weekly journal of the Florida Baptist State Convention, which interviewed political candidates and asked them about religion and their positions on issues.
Separation of church and state is "a lie we have been told," Harris said in the interview, published Thursday, saying separating religion and politics is "wrong because God is the one who chooses our rulers."
"If you're not electing Christians, then in essence you are going to legislate sin," Harris said.
Her comments drew criticism, including some from fellow Republicans who called them offensive and not representative of the party.
Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., who is Jewish, told the Orlando Sentinel that she was "disgusted" by the comments.
Harris' campaign released a statement Saturday saying she had been "speaking to a Christian audience, addressing a common misperception that people of faith should not be actively involved in government."
The comments reflected "her deep grounding in Judeo-Christian values," the statement said, adding that Harris had previously supported pro-Israel legislation and legislation recognizing the Holocaust.
Harris' opponents in the GOP primary also gave interviews to the Florida Baptist Witness but made more general statements on their faith.
This is the same delightful woman who demanded an apology from Howard Dean exactly a month ago today, for saying in reference to her performance in 2000, that she "didn't understand that it is ethically improper to be the chairman of a campaign and count the votes at the same time. This is not Russia and she is not Stalin."]
For God's sake, forget the fact that this woman is running for the United States Senate; how about the fact that someone with this level of mental instability was the Florida Secretary of State? Are you proud of that fact, Florida residents? Are you brimming with pride over the fact that an unstable human being held total control over your state's 2000 elections?
Then take Conrad Burns, please! Conrad could give the pugnacious, violent, and endlessly corrupt Duke Cunningham a real run for the institution. In addition to being prominently involved in taking Abramoff money, Burns also has a little habit of being remarkable racist and very insulting. For example:
A new video released this week by his Democratic challenger, Jon Tester, shows Burns, 71, joking to a crowd in June about how a "nice little Guatemalan man" fixing up his house might be an illegal immigrant. "Could I see your green card?" Burns tells the crowd he asked the man. "And Hugo, says, 'No.' I said, 'Oh, gosh.' "
A Burns spokesman said the senator never really doubted the legal status of the handyman, Hugo Reyes. But it wasn't the only time Burns -- a critic of illegal immigration -- has poked fun at the immigrants doing work around his house.
One week after the green-card crack, Burns recounted in a debate how after watching an interview on television of an illegal immigrant headed to Virginia for work, "I told my roofer, you better go out and get your help, or you won't get my house roofed."
In July, Burns told a group of firefighters they had done a "piss-poor job" fighting a wildfire east of Billings. Burns later told a public information officer that the firefighters, the Augusta Hot Shots, "didn't do a goddamned thing" to stop the fires, comments that grabbed headlines throughout the state. Shortly after, Burns apologized.
Seven years earlier, Burns apologized for calling Arabs "ragheads" in a speech about high oil prices. He won reelection a year later.
For Burns, it isn't just recent comments, either:
Burns' most recent comment adds to a list of verbal gaffes on race issues. In 1991 Burns was criticized by the Washington Post for making a comment about going to a slave auction following a floor vote on civil rights legislation in the Senate. In 1994 Burns found himself in the center of a controversy over an anecdote he relayed to the editorial board of the Bozeman Chronicle about how difficult it is to live in Washington, D.C., "with all those niggers." Shortly thereafter two attorneys from Butte came forward to reveal that Burns had told them "Mississippi Nigger" jokes on a flight back to Washington, D.C.
Burns defense against racism has been to cover it up:
Burns also ran into trouble during his 1994 campaign when the Billings Gazette reported that a racist activist had been working on his campaign staff using a false identity. Burns' staff pleaded ignorance but the employee, Roger Roots, maintained that Burns' staff was aware of his alias. In a sworn affidavit Roots claimed that he and campaign coordinator Jack Light struck a deal to put him on the payroll under an alias.
And this racism has real world results. Pakistan cancelled a "huge U.S. wheat shipment" after Burns referred to Arabs as "ragheads."
And then there's George Allen and his "Macaca" comment, and Jim Bunning, and Jean Schmidt, and Bob Ney, and James Inhofe, and Indiana's Doug Foy, and....you get the picture.
Gives a whole new meaning to the "party of ideas," doesn't it? Who knew they meant the kind of ideas you run across in courses on Abnormal Psych and Profiles of the Criminal Mind?
The next time you talk to a person who votes Republican, refresh their memory about these clowns and ask the $1,000,000 question: WHY?