Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Conservative Skepticism About America

The hearing began today before the New Jersey Supreme Court.

In an effort begun by RoseAnn Salanitri, a self-described housewife who is a co-founder of Creation Science Alive and edits an annual magazine for the New Jersey Family Policy Council

At issue is whether former Secretary of State Nina Wells was correct in January when she stopped recallers from going forward with a petition drive to oust Menendez. The secretary of state must certify a recall drive before signatures can be collected. Wells decided that the recall would violate the U.S. Constitution.

The New Jersey Recall Amendment to the state's constitution authorizes recall for elected officials- including federal officials. The U.S. Constitution neither explicitly authorizes nor prohibits but establishes six-year terms for Senators and specifies "each House shall be the Judge of the Elections, Returns and Qualifications of its own Members." No member of Congress has been recalled.

Salanitri contends that she initiated the recall drive when a letter, protesting health care legislation, she wrote New Jersey's senior Senator went unanswered. (Menendez's spokesman maintains a letter was in fact sent in response.) According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, the conservative activist states "To me, that was not acceptable. They're supposed to be our servants; they serve at our invitation.' Thus, "I got more involved with the tea party and patriots expressing displeasure with our country."

That quote- "I got more involved with the tea party and patriots expressing displeasure with our country"- appeared in Cynthia Burton's article appearing in Tuesday's Inquirer. By Wednesday, that quote was.... not in any way contested or denied.

Ms. Salanitri may be excused for not being outraged by the federal government, Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi, or the direction of her country. But no, she is "expressing displeasure with our country."

Occasionally, conservatives revert to wrapping themselves in the American flag, such as when Rush Limbaugh recently discovered a "disconnect between liberalism and Americanism." Increasingly, though, the far right has let down its guard and hinted at its real feelings toward average Americans. Ms. Salanitri, a layperson, is unhappy with our country. But what is Judd Gregg's excuse?

Monday, commenting on a bill to extend the enhanced unemployment insurance system, Pat Garofalo recounted on Think Progress a portion of an interview of that morning of Senator Judd Gregg (R-NH) on CNBC (emphasis mine):

Q: Senator Gregg, is there a point, you think, when the government has to sort of end these ever-continuing claims?

Gregg: Yeah, right now. This week, however, we’re going to extend it again. And this has become counterproductive. We’re basically undermining the cyclical event. Because you’re out of the recession, you’re starting to see growth and you’re clearly going to dampen the capacity of that growth if you basically keep an economy that encourages people to, rather than go out and look for work, to stay on unemployment. Yes, it’s important to do that up to a certain level, but at some point you’ve got to acknowledge that we’re not Europe.

Judd Gregg, who probably would have become Commerce Secretary had he not done the nation a favor and pulled out, does not blame "the country" for our ills. But he does believe that a lot of Americans don't want to work, not unlike an Arizona Senator and former presidential nominee who believes Americans would not work picking produce for $50 an hour. What do (some) conservatives have against Americans?

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