Sunday, September 19, 2010

Is Even FOX News Tiring of Joe the Teabagger?

Watching Chris Wallace's growing frustration in trying to get a straight answer out of Fairbanks divorce attorney Joe Miller this morning reminded me of Rep. David Guttenberg's statement about Miller's shallowness:

I beat this fool when he ran against me in 2004. Miller speaks drivel.

He clearly cares nothing about the lives of Alaskans just about this constitutional double talk. If I was a Tea Party supporter, I would worry about this guy being my champion. I believe he is a career wanna-be big high mucky muck, who wants to be in charge of your life.

Wallace kept on trying to get Miller outside of his arrogant little box, outside of his 10th Amendment "drivel," as Rep. Guttenberg, the last guy to beat Miller, so accurately described it.

It's almost refreshing to watch Wallace keep on going after Miller to get off of his 10th Amendment bullshit, and provide some clear answers. Or even one.

Last week I lamented that listening to Amanda Coyne and Tony Hopfinger, two excellent Alaska writers, fluff Miller for minute after minute on Dan Fagan's KFQD AM talk program was aggravating. And so too is most of the "lamestream" Alaska media coverage of Miller so far. Like their coverage of Sarah Palin before Miller, their refusal to write comprehensively about how Miller's evangelical religious beliefs limit how he could govern is a serious departure from reality.

With the revelations (no pun intended) of nutcase Christine O'Donnell's strange confessions on a decade-old episode of Bill Maher this Friday, that have now led to her backing away from any public forum, one can't help but wonder how many similar fragilities there are in Teabagger Joe's closet that a good reporter might uncover over the next few weeks.

The Alaska blogs have done far more to search Miller's past so far than have other media. By far the best expositions on Miller's fragility have been these:

Legal Eagle's four-part series (so far) at The Mudflats on the extremely high percentage of bullshit in Joe the Teabagger's legal arguments that are the main underpinning of Joe's rants:

1. Joe Miller - Liar or Idiot? A Legal Analysis:

"While it’s true that Yale Law is pass/fail, and while we can assume that Mr. Miller was grateful for that during his constitutional law classes, one would assume that he at least had given our founding document a quick skim."

2. Unemployment Benefits Unconstitutional? Time to Divorce Joe Miller:

"Yes, you heard that right: unemployment benefits, in existence since 1935, are UNCONSTITUTIONAL. It’s strange that Joe Miller is the first person to think of this….I never imagined that a divorce lawyer knew more than constitutional law scholars about the constitution. Go figure."

3. Joe Miller Thinks You're Not Very Smart:

[Miller] recently told his hometown paper that despite the inflammatory Teabagger rhetoric that he used during the primary, he’ll request money from the federal government until we get our land back from them. Given that this will never happen, I believe that it’s safe to call Joe Miller a flip-flopper." [Legal Eagle goes on to destroy Miller's stance on Federal lands in Alaska.]

4. A History Lesson for Joe Miller: The Tenth Amendment:

"You see, one of the fundamental bases for Mr. Miller’s political philosophy (if we can call “say whatever they want to hear, regardless of truth or accuracy” a political philosophy) is that the federal government must be stripped of its powers. The basis for this argument is the 10th Amendment. ( Yes, not only is ol’ Joe a Tea Bagger, and probably a Birther, but he’s also a 10th’er. Naturally.

"Because of the problems with the Articles, a group of “Founding Fathers” led the charge in repealing them in favor of a stronger central government. Who was one of the proponents of this? None other than George Washington, the subject of many a 10th’er, Tea Bagger and Birther’s wet dreams (over original intent, that is). You see, Joe, George Washington knew that your proposed system of government didn’t work over 200 years ago — and that was with a small country with an agriculture-based economy. Why are you trying to shove it down our throats now? Oh, that’s right – you’re a Palin protégée. You’ll say anything to get elected, no matter how absurd, untruthful or just plain wrong. (Seriously, I’m conflicted: is he really this stupid? Or does he know better, but lies just to get elected?)

"So there you have it, Alaska. Joe Miller doesn’t know history, the law, or the Constitution. You know what to do."

Another Alaska writer, dealing with getting facts out about Miller as a comprehensive series is the relatively new Interior Alaska blog, Wickersham's Conscience. Here's a listing of the most important articles so far, from older to newer:

Joe Miller, Tea Baggers and the Koch Brothers (August 31st)

Joe Miller Ignores the Law (August 31st):

"Joe Miller thinks the Social Security Act is unconstitutional. So did George P. Davis, a minority shareholder in Edison Electric Illuminating Company. Davis was so upset that in 1937 he fought the constitutionality of the Social Security Act all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. And lost."

What WC is Reading: Joe Miller (September 9th):

"WC has gotten a couple of harsh comments for his criticisms of Joe Miller. So, in fairness and in response, WC offers a simple test for Joe Miller to show he understands constitutional rights and citizen responsibilities. Some fundamentalist preacher in Gainesville, Florida wants to burn a bunch of Qurans – the Islamic Bible – on September 11. Generals, the President, the Secretary of State and the Pope have all condemned the idea. Politicians running for office have been disappointingly silent. So Mr. Miller, how about a public condemnation of the preacher’s plans? Can you show us a smidgeon of moral, or at least political, courage?" [that same day: Joe Miller called the warnings that a Florida pastor’s plan to burn some 200 copies of the Koran could endanger Americans “kind of a red herring.]

Questions for Candidate Miller (September 11th)

Miller's Waffling and Flopping (September 13th):

"So what’s Candidate Miller talking about when he waffles? Which specific “land and resources” haven’t been turned over to “the people of Alaska”? What specific “promises made at statehood” have been broken? And if there are such broken promises, how do they justify earmarks? Flip. Flop.

"Or is it possible – and even likely – that Candidate Miller doesn’t have the faintest idea what he is talking about?

"WC has landed salmon that didn’t flop around as much as Joe Miller. But Joe Miller and WC’s salmon have this much in common: they’d stay out of trouble if they kept their mouths shut."

Correcting Miller's "Misstakes," - Part 1 (September 17th update)

Other articles by Alaska bloggers also shed far more light on Miller than our media:

Club for Growth, Clubbing Alaska? - by Zach Roberts [The Club for Growth loves Joe the Teabagger]:

"The Club for Growth has endorsed Joe ‘the beard’ Miller. Who, or What is “The Club for Growth?”

"Personally, when I first heard about “The Club for Growth” years ago, I pictured a sunny country club where rich people went to grow their inner feelings – maybe gain respect for the little people. Maybe get a soul.

"Sadly, the truth is nothing so kumbaya.

"To put it bluntly, The Club for Growth is a corporate front group run by the former CEOs of some of the largest companies in the world. wrote this in 2006 “The Club for Growth, which shares an office with Americans for Limited Government, is an offshoot of the Cato Institute… which was founded by the Kochs. We’ve heard that name before haven’t we.

Yes, the same Kochs, the same astro-turfing billionaires from Joe Miller’s home state, Kansas. Linda Kellen-Biegel has already written up all the details and the Alaskan connections."

$how Me the Money - The Alaska $enate Race
- by Jeanne Devon:

"His experience? The only public office he’s ever run for was State House, and he lost. To a Democrat. In Fairbanks.

"His platform? Tell the federal government to keep their stinkin’ money (also known as one third of the Alaskan economy).

"His primary campaign strategy? Distorting the record of, and disrespecting a well-loved sitting Senator who by all reasonable assumptions would have trounced him in a head to head general election, and making her many loyal supporters hate his guts.

"His past history with the party? He tried to overthrow the Alaska Republican Party two years ago by staging a coup and ousting Party Chair Randy Ruedrich. He failed."

More needs to be done locally on Joe's religious beliefs and the way they limit his thinking. His belief that a woman raped by her father, no matter how young, must bear the child, is no doubt deeply rooted in the same kind of superstition and male supremacism that brought us Papa Pilgrim.

A few Outside (outside of Alaska) writers have done stellar work on Joe the Teabagger. Perhaps foremost so far, has been Amanda Terkel, from her new perch at the Huffington Post. Amanda had the first great takedown up on Miller's FOX News Sunday appearance. And her post-primary rundown on Miller stood out at the time as astute.

I've written a few articles on Miller for firedoglake's The Seminal. Daily Kos has many Miller diaries of varying quality.

I'll be quite surprised if our Alaska media really does reality or depth justice in their Joe Miller coverage between now and the first Tuesday in November. Too many reporters out there thinking a job in his press office would provide more job security than what they're doing now.

If there are articles of top quality about Miller's vast shortcomings you know about out there that I missed, please let us know about them in the comments.


HistoryGoddess said...

Phil, I put a link to this nice summary of articles out on my Twitter. Hopefully many will see these as they apply not only to Joe Miller, but also any of the TP candidates.

Philip Munger said...


TP = toilet paper