What word would you use to describe a candidate for the U.S. Senate, who just happens to be a Tea Party favorite, that publically advocates repealing health care reform, opposes the regulation of health care insurers while at the same time benefits from health care provided by a federal government agency? If the word hypocrite comes to mind, you just hit the jackpot. Not necessarily intended to be a tongue in cheek quip, but our winner of the hypocrite of the day award goes to Nevada’s Sharron Angle, who just happens to hail from the land of slot machines and crap tables.
Yeah, you read me correctly, this morning’s “Politico’s Morning Score” blew the cover off of Ms. Angle’s dirty little secret and possibly a hole in her campaign to be the next U.S. Senator from Nevada. Needless to say, this isn’t exactly the kind of publicity that the Tea Party Movement is looking for either. Its one thing for the Tea Party Movement to be lampooned by the political highbrows on MSNBC and the Daily Show who can be dismissed as elitist by the party faithful. It’s quite yet another for one of its premier candidates to so seriously stumble just weeks before an election that is supposed to be the movement’s coming out party in the big leagues of electoral politics. Politico’s Morning Score reports: “Angle’s campaign acknowledged to Nevada journalist Jon Ralston Monday that both the candidate and her husband receive health care from the federal government. Spokeswoman Ciara Matthews said in a statement: “Mr. Ted Angle receives his pension through the (federal) Civil Service Retirement System. While it is not supplemented by the federal government, current civil servants pay into the program to pay the schedule of those already retired – much like how the Social Security Program works today.” But there’s more to it than just the machinations of the Angle family, another prominent mouthpiece of the Tea Party Movement, Michelle Bachmann, a regular critic of government health care is also a beneficiary of the very programs she rails against. According to MediaMatters.com:” Angle isn’t the only right-wing Republican to bash government involvement in health care while benefiting from it. Back in May, the Minnesota Independent reported that Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN), a frequent critic of “socialized medicine,” was profiting from a government-run health program in Minnesota through her husband’s Christian mental health clinic.” A Christian clinic?, What became of the values of honesty and truthfulness, or are they to be convienently ignored when politics is what’s on the menu?
So there you have it, some of the leading lights of the movement that is supposed to “take back our country” and bring us back to “the values and wisdom of our Founding Fathers”, have found it in their best interest to talk you out of the need for health care reform and insurance company oversight while they and their families are more than happy to benefit from programs they publically oppose. These Tea Party elites, who regularly blast the established Washington elites, have seen fit to insulate themselves and their families from life’s vicissitudes while admonishing the rest of us to” work hard, be frugal and trust in the markets and what made America great in the past.” The hypocrisy in all of this is obvious and undeniable. What is not immediately obvious is to what extent these revelations just weeks before the mid-term elections will give the independent voter cause for concern as it regards supporting candidates like Sharron Angle or re-electing a Michelle Bachmann. I doubt it will do much to dissuade the rank and file Tea Party foot soldier, but it may. That said, what the rank and file intend to do really is of secondary import, it’s the independent voter who holds the key to both this election and the next.
Steven J. Gulitti