Slide Show: The GOP's Worst Ideas | The Nation

Slide Show: The GOP's Worst Ideas

  • Montana Republican candidate Kristi Allen-Gailusha (1 of 9)

    Across the country, GOP candidates are pushing to eliminate Social Security, imprison welfare recipients and even annul the 14th Amendment in an apparent all-out effort to alienate moderate Republicans and shock Democrats. With the influx of Tea Partisans and extreme right-wing candidates, the 2010 midterm elections have produced some of the most divisive, even dangerous, policy proposals in recent memory.


    For example, the official platform of the Montana Republican Party outlines the party’s staunch opposition to the “concept of ‘gun free zones’ in any form or in any place except detention facilities….We oppose any restrictions on the type or number of firearms any law-abiding citizen may own or possess.” To promote the GOP’s pro-gun platform, Republican candidate for the Montana House Kristi Allen-Gailusha posted a photo on her Facebook page of her holding a gun and wearing a shirt that reads, “Jihad This.”


    Another Montana Republican candidate for state legislature, Jason Priest, has at least apologized for calling economist John Maynard Keynes a “big homo” and suggesting that President Barack Obama was sodomizing America with the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

  • Screenshot of candidate Kristi Allen-Gailusha's Facebook page (2 of 9)

    Montana’s GOP is also calling for the outlawing of homosexuality—supporting the arrest and incarceration of people whose only “crime” is their sexual orientation. In a recent blog post, The Nation’s John Nichols points out that “persistent bigotry among state-level Republicans parties...continues to be the case...despite the fact that a number of openly gay and lesbian officials have been elected to public office as Republicans.”


    Last week, Republican candidate for the Montana House Kristi Allen-Gailusha announced on Facebook, “The Gay community wants a war...they’ve got one!!” She later clarified, “I didn’t mean a literal gun war, but a war of the truth and the hypocrisy they espouse. Is espouse a word? lol.”

  • Alaska Republican Senate nominee Joe Miller in Anchorage (3 of 9)

    During the worst jobs crisis in over a generation, with unemployment soaring to more than 400 percent above 2007 levels, Alaska’s Republican candidate for Senate, Joe Miller, offers nightmarish proposals for the millions of Americans who are unemployed. In recent interviews with ABC News and CNN, Joe Miller stated that unemployment compensation benefits and the minimum wage are “not constitutionally authorized” and that if elected, he plans to phase out Social Security in favor of a privatized system.


    Credit: AP Images

  • Jim DeMint at the Values Voter Summit in Washington, DC (4 of 9)

    South Carolina Senator Jim DeMint continues to push for banning gay people and unmarried mothers from working as teachers, after he infamously promoted the same ideas in his 2004 campaign. In his speech at the Greater Freedom Rally on October 1, DeMint defended his right to promote his Christian beliefs, implying that allowing gay people and unmarried mothers to teach would be disrespectful to Christian citizens: South Carolinians, DeMint says, “don't want government purging their rights and their freedom to religion." As Talking Points Memo points out, DeMint did not specify whether sexually active unmarried male teachers should also be removed from classrooms. DeMint is favored to defeat Democratic candidate Alvin Greene in November.  


    Credit: AP Images

  • Kris Kobach at a Senate subcommittee hearing on immigration and terrorism (5 of 9)

    Kris Kobach, the Republican candidate for Kansas’s Secretary of State, has joined Arizona State Senator Russell Pearce’s push to deny American citizenship to children born in the US of undocumented parents. Republicans are divided on this issue, but candidates such as Kobach think that targeting “anchor babies” will stymie the “immigrant invasion” far-right candidates have been decrying throughout this election season. The problem is, as Robin Templeton points out in “Baby Baiting,” Section One of the Fourteenth Amendment clearly states that "all persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States.”


    Credit: AP Images

  • Carl Paladino at a rally in Buffalo, New York (6 of 9)

    Carl Paladino, currently vying to become the next governor of New York, has introduced a clever proposal to deal with poverty in the empire state: put welfare recipients in state prisons. In an interview with the Associated Press, Paladino described how he would convert state prisons into housing centers and outlined what he expects welfare recepients to do while living in the prisons: “There, they would do work for the state—military service, in some cases park service, in other cases public works service." Adding insult to injury Paladino also said that the prison guards-turned-counselors would “teach [welfare recipients] personal hygiene…the personal things they don’t get when they come from dysfunctional homes.”


    Credit: AP Images

  • Paul LePage at a news conference in Augusta, Maine (7 of 9)

    Tea party activists successfully convinced the Maine GOP to adopt an alternative party platform on October 2, which includes such highlights as rejecting the UN Treaty on Rights of the Child. The platform “oppose[s] any and all treaties with the UN or any other organization or country which surrenders US sovereignty. Specifically…the UN Treaty on Rights of the Child.”


    Another intriguing section of the new platform calls for the elimination of the Department of Education in order to “restore schools to local control as specified in the Constitution.” While it is tempting to dismiss the document as nonsense, Tea Party-backed Maine candidate Paul Lepage could push the GOP’s new platform as Maine’s next governor.


    Credit: AP Images

  • Sharron Angle at a rally in Carson City, Nevada (8 of 9)

    Five Republican Senate nominees, including Nevada’s Sharron Angle, recently announced that they do not support a woman's right to an abortion even in cases of rape or incest. When asked what women should do if they become pregnant with their rapists' children, Angle, said, "I believe that God has a plan and a purpose for each one of our lives and that he can intercede in all kinds of situations."


    "The point of government," says The Nation's Melissa Harris-Lacewell, "is not to make life so hard for half our citizens that the only force there to help them is God." According to Harris-Lacewell, these candidate's "extreme positions on abortion are without any question a war on American girls and women."


    Credit: AP Images

  • Ken Buck at a Republican event in Loveland, Colorado (9 of 9)

    Colorado's proposed Amendment 62 (known as the "Personhood Amendment") is so extreme that even hard-line pro-lifer GOP Senate nominee Ken Buck has unendorsed the measure, and he even tried to claim that he never had.


    While Buck won’t risk losing voters by officially endorsing the “Personhood Amendment,” he has stated that he still supports the “concept” of personhood, which means that he thinks that a fertilized egg is a person and opposes letting rape victims take the morning after pill. Other GOP candidates such as Colorado House candidate Edgar Antillon have followed Buck’s lead in removing their endorsement of Amendment 62, while at least 30 Colorado candidates (all GOP except for American Constitution Party governor candidate Tom Tancredo) still support the amendment.


    Research for this slide show provided by Joanna Chiu


    Credit: AP Images

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