“Flirting With Catastrope”: Nebraska GOP Senate Candidate, “Destroy The Constitution Or I’ll Destroy The Economy”
Yesterday, Nebraska GOP primary voters nominated dark horse candidate and state Sen. Deb Fischer as their candidate for an open U.S. Senate race this November. In choosing Fischer, the Nebraska GOP aligns itself with a candidate who recently called for a very high stakes game of chicken — flirting with economic catastrophe in order to force Congress to permanently enshrine Tea Party fiscal policy into the Constitution.
During last year’s debt ceiling crisis, which Speaker John Boehner has threatened to repeat next year, House and Senate Republicans threatened to force the United States to default on its debt — an outcome that would have caused “a bigger GDP drop than that experienced during the Great Recession of 2008″ — unless President Obama agreed to an increasingly escalating series of demands for austerity. Even after this campaign of extortion forced the White House to make significant concessions, Fischer indicated that she would have simply let the economy blow up because Congress didn’t also agree to a constitutional amendment:
Nebraska’s 2012 Republican Senate candidates turned thumbs down Monday on the compromise debt reduction plan agreed to by the White House and congressional leaders.
“I would vote no on this specific bill because Congress needs to pass a balanced budget (constitutional) amendment first,” said state Sen. Deb Fischer of Valentine.
It’s not clear which version of the balanced budget amendment Fischer is referring to here, but even the mildest forms of such an amendment are terrible ideas because they prevent the United States from responding to economic downturns or unexpected disasters, while simultaneously turning control of the nation’s budget over to unelected judges who are ill-equipped to handle it.
Moreover, at the time that Fischer endorsed blowing up the economy unless Congress votes to change the Constitution, the leading Republican proposal for such an amendment imposed such draconian spending cuts that it would “throw about 15 million more people out of work, double the unemployment rate from 9 percent to approximately 18 percent, and cause the economy to shrink by about 17 percent instead of growing by an expected 2 percent.” The lead sponsor of this plan to trigger a new Great Depression, Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT), also called for forcing a debt default unless Congress gives him everything he wants.
In other words, while little is known about the obscure state lawmaker who wants to join the United States Senate, her willingness to play chicken with America’s prosperity strongly suggests that she would line up with the most hardline members of the Republican caucus.
By: Ian Millhiser, Think Progress, May 16, 2012
Remember that bill in South Dakota a year ago that would have redefined “justifiable homicide” in a way that could have made killing abortion providers legally defensible? South Dakota had the good sense to shelve it, but then Nebraska brought it back. Now it appears the Cornhusker State is at it again.
RH Reality Check flagged the revival of the bill, which was debated in the Nebaska Senate judiciary committee this week:
Senator Mark Christensen introduced the legislation. He stated in committee that the bill would “make it clear that an individual may use force to protect an unborn child under the same circumstances that an individual may use force to protect any third person as currently provided under the law.”
The piece also quotes from the statement of state Sen. Brenda Council, a member of the committee. She noted that in the 2009 incident in which an anti-abortion extremist killed Kansas doctor George Tiller, the assassin attempted to use exactly this type of “justifiable homicide” argument:
Under your amendment, a person who believes that someone who was assisting a woman to obtain an abortion is threatening the life of the unborn child and would use that as a self-defense argument I am certainly aware of the case where that argument was made by an individual who shot and killed a doctor who was known to provide abortion services. And his self-defense argument was: I was protecting the unborn child, and I have a right if I believe that unborn child’s life is being threatened.
By: Kate Sheppard, Mother Jones, March 1, 2012
According to the Lincoln Journal Star, Senator Ben Nelson has not yet decided whether or not to run for reelection. Consider this my open letter to the distinguished Democrat from Nebraska: Please, please, I beg you, Senator Ben Nelson, do not run for reelection.
“I’ll sit down with my family to discuss the future,” Nelson said Tuesday during a telephone interview. “They are my sounding board. I value what they say.”
Nelson said he will weigh his family’s views along with a personal judgment on “whether I believe I have a role to play in dealing with a very divided Congress in a very divided country, whether I could be constructive in finding some solutions, whether I am convinced I can be a positive force for the following six years.”
Senator Nelson, you have never been a “positive force” during your time in office thus far, and it seems unlikely that you will become one at any point in the next six years.
Please, retire quietly, or even with an alternately self-righteous and self-pitying editorial about the death of “bipartisanship” and “civility” and”Senate decorum.” Promise to devote yourself to good deeds outside of office and then get rich lobbying for the corporate interests that currently sponsor you, I don’t care. Just get out of office, because you’ are horrible. You’re a miserable excuse for a senator. You have made millions of people’s lives worse in real and tangible ways, and you will continue to do so as long as you remain in the United States Senate.
You opposed capping ATM fees because you are so old and rich and stupid that you have never used an ATM. “I know about the holograms,” you said in your defense, because you’re a useless fool.
You joined the cadre of “centrist” Democrats who attempted to sabotage every major legislative priority of the Democratic Congressional majority, and you went back and forth on the public option before definitively coming out against it and the hugely popular “Medicare buy-in” compromise. Then you won a sweetheart Medicaid funding deal solely for Nebraska that almost killed the entire healthcare reform bill and led to everyone in the country calling you venal and corrupt.
And you opposed a measure to stop federally subsidizing usurious private student loan providers — calling a money-saving anti-corporate welfare proposal “a government takeover of student lending” — because you think representing the interests of usurious lending institutions that donate millions to your campaigns is actually an example “being constructive” and “finding solutions.”
You supported the Stupak Amendment, voted for the anti-gay marriage amendment, and supported the Iraq war. You supported both horrible, wasteful Bush tax cuts.
You have no major legislative accomplishments, either. Not one! I can’t name a single important bill you ever sponsored or co-sponsored and I suspect most other longtime Senate observers could, either. You are a failure as a Senator with no legacy to speak of beyond trolling your own party, repeatedly.
Consider this an official endorsement of your retirement from politics. Please go crawl into a hole.
By: Alex Pareene, Salon, November 2, 2011