When some said they’d shake things up…they most certainly are. The question then has an answer that depends on your political outlook:
If the tree is shaken will it help it grow? (If you are a Tea Party movement fan).
Or if the tree is shaken will some nuts fall to the ground? (If you’re not).
One thing is for sure: political junkies, the news media, bloggers and talk sholw hosts are being given many hours of material by Republican candidates for the Senate Sharon Angle (Nevada) and Joe Miller (Alaska). They are both pitchforked in the news today by their latest assertions, overt and covert.
In an interview we aired on ABC’s “Top Line” today – conducted for a special Webcast, “The Scoop” with Jonathan Karl and Politico’s Mike Allen — Miller said there should not be a federal minimum wage, since it’s not a power given to the federal government in the Constitution.
“It’s not an enumerated power,” said Miller, R-Alaska. “That is clearly up to the states. We believe — the state of Alaska has a minimum wage which is higher than the federal level because our state leaders have made that determination. The minimum level again should be the state’s decision.”
He added: “We’ve said this many times: If you like big government, move to Massachusetts. I mean, I’m not trying to attack [Sen.] Scott Brown here — they like, you know, health care at the state level, and those are the choices that can be made at the state level.”
This pits Miller against what has been a “given” — a bipartisan consensus in this country for years that the national minimum wage is part of American society and one of the most basic protections afford to workers. Will there be a larger number of voters in Alaska who feel they are now getting too much money if they’re getting minimum wage?
Angle: “The Republicans have lost their standards, they’ve lost their principles…..Really that’s why the machine in the Republican Party is fighting against me…..They have never really gone along with lower taxes and less government.”
Angle: “The one thing you said about the machinery that has endorsed me, they have no choice… …it’s me or Reid…that’s what they got…. also this is such a national race…so really we have them in a box…they are coming to us and saying, ‘We know we got to support you.’ ….In some ways, it’s exactly where we wanted that good old boy thing is in the box…(She then begins using an analogy about David and Goliath, and David shedding his armor.) ‘You gotta get my armor off and let me pick up this slingshot’…..that’s where I am right now, get them to leave me alone for long enough so I can…. go after this guy…. you (Ashjian) have tapped into it, the essence of America….and the essence of America is we are tired of politics as usual… only thing that’s different between you and I is I guess I was pragmatic enough to know…that third parties can’t get traction….so I said all right, I’ll work with it. just show me what the rules are and I’ll work with it…the rules are there are Democrats and Republicans…so I moved myself up within the Republican ranks….they have no choice, I’m the only game in town…. There was no one more shocked than they were when I won that primary, when I went back to Washington DC, they were still moaning and groaning and weeping and gnashing teeth over Sue Lowden…And I said I am what ya got, this is it.”
Angle: “(The Republicans in DC) don’t want me back there…because they know I’ll shake this mess up….…..I shook it up in Carson City, they hated me there…41-Angle was not a compliment……..When I go back, there may be five or six of us….maybe Joe Miller (Alaska), Ken Buck (Colorado), Christine O’Donnell (Delaware).
Ashjian: “She (O’Donnell) doesn’t have a chance.”
Angle: “Well I think she’s real.” She then skeptically mentions the Florida GOP Senate nominee as one of the group: “Marco Rubio, but that’s a stretch for me.”
Go to the link to read it all.
This underscores the tensions between some Tea Party movement activists and the GOP’s party establishment. It has gone beyond the onogoing (successful) war again RHINOS as a shift occurs: some Tea Party activists are no longer just hunting for RINO but for bigger party estabishment game.
Although it could be aruged that Angle’s comments could help her with some voters, neither her nor Miller’s are the kinds of comments that political pros would point to as comments that would help a campaign advance.
Joe Gandelman is a former fulltime journalist who freelanced in India, Spain, Bangladesh and Cypress writing for publications such as the Christian Science Monitor and Newsweek. He also did radio reports from Madrid for NPR’s All Things Considered. He has worked on two U.S. newspapers and quit the news biz in 1990 to go into entertainment. He also has written for The Week and several online publications, did a column for Cagle Cartoons Syndicate and has appeared on CNN.