Paul Broun Running for a US Senate Seat

Everyone remembers Congressman Paul Broun, a Republican whose district includes Athens, Georgia, who said that evolution and the Big Bang theory are “lies straight from the pit of hell.”

Broun is not only a world-class ignoramus, he’s also a medical doctor, and in Congress he’s a member of the Committee on Science and Technology and the Committee on Homeland Security. He was just re-elected in a race in which he ran unopposed, except for a write-in campaign for the ineligible Charles Darwin.

Now we learn from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution: Broun to jump into U.S. Senate race; other may follow. Yes, dear reader, the wacko is trying to move on up to the Senate. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us:

U.S. Rep. Paul Broun, an Athens Republican, is the first out of the gate in the race to succeed retiring U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss. Broun has scheduled a news conference for Wednesday afternoon in Atlanta to announce his campaign for next year’s election.

Just what the Republicans need — a poster boy for creationism in the Senate. The story also says:

The state’s longest-serving Republican in Congress, Rep. Jack Kingston of Savannah, also is seriously considering a run. He met Monday with Gov. Nathan Deal to discuss the possibility, and in an interview he talked up his ties beyond South Georgia — from growing up in Athens to conducting business in Atlanta.

Aha — Broun won’t be unopposed. Let’s read on:

U.S. Rep. Phil Gingrey, a Marietta Republican, is polling and calling friends across the state as he ponders a bid. He said Monday that he is “very, very interested” in the possibility of a Senate run.

Oh goodie — there may be three of them in a primary. This could be an important race for Karl Rove. As reported at the website of NBC in Chicago: Karl Rove Wants To Stop The Tea Party. They say:

Rove, who was President George W. Bush’s political adviser, is now a Fox News analyst and affiliated with American Crossroads, a conservative political action committee. Some conservatives, though, are too conservative even for Karl Rove. He’s co-founded the Conservative Victory Project to prevent extreme right-wingers from winning Republican primaries, then blowing the general election.

It’s about time the GOP woke up and tried to keep the crazies off the ballot. We continue:

“There is a broad concern about having blown a significant number of races because the wrong candidates were selected,” Rove’s partner, Steven J. Law, the president of American Crossroads, told The New York Times. “We don’t view ourselves as being in the incumbent protection business, but we want to pick the most conservative candidate who can win.”

That’s the Buckley rule. Here’s an article about it by Charles Krauthammer: The Buckley rule. If that’s what Rove has in mind, that’s fine, but we need to see if he’s serious.

We’ll know if he backs someone other than Broun in the Georgia primary. But we just had a horrible thought — what if the others in the race are even crazier than Broun? No, that’s not possible. Anyway, we’ll have to keep an eye on this one.

Copyright © 2013. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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37 responses to “Paul Broun Running for a US Senate Seat

  1. Thankyou for another timely update Curmudgeoon. It is my very humble opinion that Mr Rove is off target. The GOP should look at its entire platform and not just blame extremists in the Tea Party for their woes regarding continued loss of seats.

  2. Why do Republicans always seem to find the worst among themselves to run for office?

  3. Charley Horse

    They have a half black President to thank for their
    gaining so many seats in the House. Absolutely had
    nothing to do with any other issue than the President’s
    skin color.
    That’s not an issue now. He won’t be running again.

    There may be just enough independent voters who
    voted for the Retalibans because of their racial bias
    that are very upset with them obstructing progress.
    A candidate such as Broun gives a lot of ammo for
    Democrats to use. So in a way, it may be a good thing
    for Broun or one of his ilk to win the primary.

    The most powerful weapon the crazed Retalibans have
    is their vote.

  4. doodlebugger says: “The GOP should look at its entire platform and not just blame extremists in the Tea Party”

    I’ve read a few stories about this, and I haven’t seen Rove specifically mention the Tea Party. I think that’s the press’ understanding of where the crazy Republicans are to be found. That’s probably true in a few states but I think in general it’s incorrect. I haven’t seen the Tea Party promoting creationism; it’s just not their issue. In most states the Tea Party people are the limited-government, fiscal conservatives. That’s not the crazy wing of the GOP.

  5. Calm down, Charley Horse.

  6. Curm,

    do you know if the Retaliba– I mean Republicans who may run against Broun are, like, sane?

    I haven’t seen the Tea Party promoting creationism; it’s just not their issue. In most states the Tea Party people are the limited-government, fiscal conservatives.

    I disagree. Based on what the Tea Party say amongst themselves, at their conferences, I think they are about 40% closeted atheist Ayn Rand libertarians and 60% Christian Taliban.

    But the 40% Ayn Rand libertarians in the Tea Party have a very strict rule: “Don’t say atheism, and whenever the pious say that Jesus wrote the Constitution, nod your head.”

    In other words, even the mere 40% in the Tea Party who might be called “sane”, are nevertheless cynical and dishonest, engaging in compromises with crazy people for political expedience. Does that sound familiar, Curm?

    The atheist libertarians may be the nurses in the Tea Party asylum, but the patients still run the asylum.

  7. The thing is, it’s the GOP themselves that created the monster that has gone out of control and is nominating Senate candidates that can’t win in general elections (not meaning Georgia, where they probably can).

    The GOP has fear-mongered for years as a political trategy: they are reaping the bitter fruits now, as well as the sweet.

  8. Curmudgeonly advice is showcased regarding the difference between wingnutters and the Tea Party.above. Now thatt SC mentions it, yes there likelyi is a press tendency to liump fiscal conservatives with the nutty butter’s. Ive fallen prey to that failure to distinguish between the two before.So then,rephrased, I wonder if the GOP might want to review theiir relationship with “the silent majority “,or whatever they ‘re calling conservatives with strong faith related views as not being sufficiently large to carry presidential elections and that they have to broaden their base by moving towards the ocenteir on suocial issues like education. And who is Broun trying to appeal to? Has he done the math on what % of state voters will recoil rather than embrace his creationoidism? What
    segment of the voters like his shtick on science enough to support him?
    Or are they just willing to let the creonoidism go because it confirms their hazy views on the interssiection of science and religion.

  9. Diogenes, I know nothing about Broun’s GOP primary opponents.

  10. Curm: I haven’t seen the Tea Party promoting creationism

    You’re not paying enough attention.

    Michelle Bachmann was selected by the Tea Party to give its response to Obama’s State of the Union address.

    What about Christine “I’m not a witch– I’m you” O’Donnell? She’s creationist, if I recall. Here she is on O’Reilly.

    O’DONNELL: … these groups admitted that the report that said, “Hey, yay, we cloned a monkey. Now we’re using this to start cloning humans”…

    O’REILLY: …But they won’t do that here in the United States unless all craziness is going on.

    O’DONNELL: They are — they are doing that here in the United States. American scientific companies are cross-breeding humans and animals and coming up with mice with fully functioning human brains. So they’re already into this experiment.

    [Source]

    As for creationist Paul Broun, he here is at a Tea Party meeting, this from the Walton County Tribune:

    Broun is running unopposed for re-election to the 10th congressional district, so he didn’t bother to make any last-second sales pitches for his own campaign at his appearance Thursday night before the Walton County Tea Party Patriots at First Baptist Church of Loganville
    “We are being destroyed by a lack of knowledge,” Broun said. “Too many don’t realize the amount of liberty we’ve lost in this country.”…

    “We need to repeal Obamacare,” Broun said. “It’s the greatest threat to liberty we’ve ever seen. It has to be stopped.”…

    “I’ve proposed very openly we get rid of the Department of Education,” Broun said. “We need to get rid of the Department of Labor, of the Environmental Protection Agency…”

    …Broun advocates repealing several amendments to the Constitution, including the 17th amendment…

    A devout Christian, Broun shared his conversion story with the crowd and argued the Bible was the true foundation of much of the nation’s principles.

    “Our founding fathers believed every aspect of life, including public policy, should be influenced by the Bible,” Broun said. “The Constitution is written on biblical messages, on God’s principles of freedom and liberty. The answers are there in God’s inerrant word.”
    [Walton County Tribune]

    I would bet dollars to donuts that suspect-torturin’, gun-huggin’, Anders Breivik-lovin’ Rep. Allen West (R-FL) is creationist, though I haven’t found a reference yet.

    I would also bet racist-lovin’, ethnic-cleansin’ Rep. Joe Walsh (R-Ill.) is creationist too, but I don’t have evidence yet.

  11. Kingston is a creationist plain and simple. Gingrey is pro-life which amounts to basically the same cognitive ability when it comes to understanding human rights.
    Karl Rove isn’t going to wave a magic policy wand and un-hijack the Republican party. Who seriously thinks the extremist factions within the party can simply be turned away at the door? Rove will disappear from the GOP roles first.
    To be fair a person has to wonder how long it will be until the Democratic party is being completely overrun by the same groups as well.
    Maybe 2016 isn’t that far off?

  12. Charley Horse

    SC…I’m as calm as can be after a pot of coffee laced
    with cinnamon. Cynthia Tucker, one of my favorite
    journalists, had pretty much the same to say about the Ga. pols
    as I did this morning.

    Diogenes…how could you not mention Palin? She and
    Dick Morris have been recently fired from Faux News. Faux
    is now seeking intelligent, rational and ultra right leaning
    spokespeople to replace them. Kind of like trying to find
    the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

  13. Charley Horse says: “Faux is now seeking intelligent, rational and ultra right leaning spokespeople to replace them. Kind of like trying to find the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.”

    They’re keeping Karl Rove.

  14. Socons have been in the GOP (many having their roots in the Democrat party, and lured to the GOP by Nixon’s “Southern Strategy”) long before there was a Tea Party, and the fundamental rallying point for all Tea Partiers is economic/fiscal issues, not social issues.

    Part of what is confusing is some Socons have attempted to coopt the Tea Party movement, so there are a few organizations with the Tea Party name that are just camouflage for the usual Socon authoritarianism, but it is by no means representative of the overall Tea Party movement, which ultimately is decentralized and has no single governing body.

    Ultimately, the defining characteristic of the Tea Party is that it’s adherents see the economic/fiscal issues as transcendent over all other issues, social and otherwise, regardless of how they may feel about those other issues.

    Pretending that the Tea Party is predominantly Socons in drag is just reading from the Left’s Talking Points memo.

  15. Charley Horse

    longshadow….don’t know what part of the country
    you reside in but if you had been in my part of the world
    or any other part of the South, you would of seen the
    church buses lined up at the racist Tea Party rallies. Lots
    of SBC buses.

    If President Obama had been all white there would not of
    been any Teabaggers. There is as much evidence
    supporting that as….evolution.

  16. My bad longshadow. Can you say more about socon and the basis of that acronym please? I am apparently nonconversant with that terminology.

  17. Charley Horse wrote:

    If President Obama had been all white there would not of been any Teabaggers. There is as much evidence
    supporting that as….evolution.

    Do you have any clue how delusional that statement is? The fact that the Socons may have coopted the Tea Party name in your area doesn’t mean it is true in the rest of the country. The idea that there is no principled opposition to a president whose policies span a over a government take-over of the nation’s health insurance system, a flaccid economic recovery, and trillion dollar deficits every year he has been in office — that the opposition *MUST* be based on his race — is utterly farcical. One may differ on support for such policies and a president who presided over them, but to attribute racism to those who oppose him and his polices is the last refuge of an internet scoundrel.

  18. Doodlebugger: “socon = “social conservative.”

  19. Charley Horse

    Just a gentle jog to your memory….the teabaggers
    started organizing within days of our president’s
    FIRST inauguration.

    Principled opposition???? who can forget the “death
    panels” crap? My goodness, the racists even opposed
    his encouraging kids to study and stay in school. Actually
    blocked his speech in many schools. You can’t just
    make this stuff up…

  20. Charley Horse, Please try to grasp that not all opposition to Obama is racist. I’ve already asked you to calm down. If you persist, I’ll put you on moderation for a day. But I’d rather not.

  21. Charley Horse

    Remember the big Nashville Teabagger Rally? Do you know
    who attended that rally…spoke at the rally? I do. Palin was
    the highest paid. Then there was Orly Taitz of birther fame.
    The editor of World Net Daily spoke. Breitbart spoke at the
    rally. Yeah, the now dead Breitbart.
    It was a huge racist prayer/ revival meeting.

  22. Have it your way, Charley Horse. From now on, nothing gets through without being approved first.

  23. We are getting off topic, but since you threw the turd in the punch bowl, I’ll simply point out the Tea Party’s inception is traceable to Rick Santelli’s spontaneous rant on CNBC on 19 February 2012 2009:

    http://video.cnbc.com/gallery/?video=1039849853

    Charley, can you point a to single solitary Social Conservative/Fundie talking point in Santelli’s rant — the rant that launched the Tea Party movement? Can you point to single solitary racist comment in what Santelli said?

    Of course not, because there was no racist or Socon motivation to the inception of the Tea Party, and most of us who consider ourselves part of it do not have a socon or racist bone in our bodies, notwithstanding the Socon/fundies in your neighborhood who hopped on board the Tea Party movement.

  24. gnome de net

    “…on 19 February 2009

    FTFY

  25. Oops. Thank you.

  26. Oh, everybody calm down.

    1. Charley Horse overgeneralizes when he writes that the Tea Party is inherently racist. He needs to cool down. Sure, most Tea Partiers are not consciously racist and some are quite anti-racist.

    However: it is true that kooks of several types, including racists, have been drawn to the Tea Party and believe it is their natural consituency.

    2. Longshadow overgeneralizes when he writes that: One may differ on support for such policies and a president who presided over them, but to attribute racism to those who oppose him and his polices is the last refuge of an internet scoundrel.

    I am certainly not asserting that all, or even most, Tea Partiers are consciously racist. I am sure many are anti-racist. Sure, being against the federal deficit is not necessarily racist.

    But. In practice many Tea Partiers blame blacks for that deficit, on the grounds that they are “takers” not “makers.”

    The Tea Party needs someone to blame for the deficit. Have they ever, ever, mentioned huge agricultural subsidies? Tax breaks or free public land for oil drilling? No. It’s welfare, welfare, entitlements as the only “takers.” Hey, somebody’s got to be the “takers”, and it will never be farmers, agribusiness, or Big Oil.

    I recall very vividly after Obama got re-elected, the Right freaked out. The reaction of many right-wingers was to insinuate that either the blacks had taken over, or to transfer racist stereotypes of blacks (lazy, on welfare, moochers, unable to think or even speak coherently) and apply them to Democrats.

    On Sean Hannity’s radio show, immediately after Obama got re-elected, they ran “interviews” with “Obama voters” where some fellow stuck a microphone in front of ghetto blacks and edited out the smart ones, leaving only incoherent Ebonics drug-addled rambling, and Sean Hannity presents that as typical “the Obama voters.”

    In 2012, all Democrats became blacks to the GOP.

    Most Tea Partiers are not consciously racist, yes. But. Racist kooks are attracted to the Tea Party, and consider it their natural constituency. Can you see why that is? Why this language of “makers” vs. “takers”, unhinged from evidence or facts, will attract kooks?

    Criticism of Obama is not necessarily racist. True.

    But. Much criticism of Obama presupposes a racial double standard.

    Examples:

    A. Obama is accused of not being born in USA (despite a mountain of documentary evidence).

    Meanwhile, the candidate the GOP chose to run against him, McCain, was actually not born in the USA– he was born in Panama– and that before the law was passed so that children of military personnel are naturalized citizens.

    So McCain really was ineligible to be US president, but nobody points this out. Because…. why? Maybe because he’s white?

    B. Obama is called a socialist, radical, extremist and out to destroy America because his health care policy mandates buying insurance.

    Meanwhile, the candidate the GOP chose to run against him, Romney, was actually the very same policy– and he is rewarded with the GOP nomination for presidency.

    So Romney should be called socialist, radical, extremist and being out to destroy America, but nobody says that. Because…. why? Maybe because he’s white?

    C. Obama goes to a coffee klatch with a 60’s bomber, and for a full year Fox News makes it the only story, 24/7/364, Fox News becomes the William Ayers network for a full year, to paint Obama as a wannabe terrorist.

    Meanwhile, the candidate the GOP chose to run against him, McCain, praised an actual terrorist ideologue, G. Gordon Liddy, when he went on LIddy’s radio show and praised the values of the Nixon hatchet man who taught his listeners to shoot federal ATF agents in the genitals. McCain chooses as his running mate a woman whose husband belongs to a party that wants Alaska to secede from the USA, and that aligned itself with the Islamic Republic of Iran.

    So McCain should be called a wannabe terrorist too, but nobody says that. Because…. why? Maybe because he’s white?

    Again, I am not saying that GOP or Tea Partiers are motivated by racism. But many arguments presuppose a racial double standard.

  27. Diogenes, I’m delighted to have you as a reader and commenter of this blog, but I really don’t want that “Republicans are a bunch of racists” stuff here. Okay?

  28. doodlebugger

    Diogenes :) If Fox represents typical GOP views(and I’m not sure it does at all), then it should be pretty clear how the GOP might want to move towards the center on a few issues. I like the fiscal conservative approach. It would be nice if someone actually came through on that instead of saying one thing and doing another.
    Anyway I’m going over to Panda to look at the comments on your petition idea.:) Also, i don’t know if I ever told you this, but some of your more particularly appropriate comments once ended up in the mailboxes of every SBOE member in Texas, including all of our favorites. Hee hee.
    They were forwarded to them by the SBOE secretary via, uh, me.:)
    Obviously, no joy on breaking through the cement wall around Cargill’s brain but hey, it was fun:)

  29. Curm,
    my Dad, who lives with me, sits on my sofa watching Fox News all day long and his car radio is set to Sean Hannity. I drive him in that car sometimes. My sister in Georgia is full evangelical and has two adopted Asian kids.

    Hence, I have never said and would never say what you said I said.

    Here is what Curm said I said:

    I really don’t want that “Republicans are a bunch of racists” stuff here.

    Here again is what I actually said:

    Sure, most Tea Partiers are not consciously racist and some are quite anti-racist…

    I am certainly not asserting that all, or even most, Tea Partiers are consciously racist. I am sure many are anti-racist. Sure, being against the federal deficit is not necessarily racist…

    Most Tea Partiers are not consciously racist, yes.

    …Criticism of Obama is not necessarily racist. True.

    … Again, I am not saying that GOP or Tea Partiers are motivated by racism. But many arguments presuppose a racial double standard.

    Y’know Curm, you often have excellent reading comprehension, but sometimes it just escapes you.

  30. Diogenes says: “sometimes it just escapes you.”

    Okay. Now let’s just drop it.

  31. Diogenes: well, you sure nailed us. Your arguments are so clever, so overwhelming, so convincing, there’s no point in denying it It’s all true: opposition to Obama and his policies is based on race, not principle.

    And the Tea Party just uses the secret racist “dog-whistle” code words to signal to each other that they are part of the vast conspiracy, and we all meet behind the saw mill on Tuesday nights to coordinate our plans to thwart the evil dark-skinned president. Yesiree. we even listen to minstrel music while we plot……

    OTOH, Diogenes. has it ever occurred to you that you are a paranoid, and are imagine most of the things you suspect are going on, that are motivating — “not consciously,” of course — opposition to Obama and his Big Government policies? Does it occur to yo that using your logic, there could NEVER be a principled opposition to Obama’s policies — because whatever reason is given, you will simply say it’s “code words” to attract (but not consciously, of course) the racists.

    And has it ever occurred to you that your insinuations that opponents of Obama policies are “not consciously racist” is an insult to tens of millions of people in this country who simply want less intrusive, less expensive government, regardless of the race of the president, and are founded on Enlightenment principles that may not have anything at all to do with raging religious fundamentalism or social conservatism?

    Did you bother to read what I wrote about Christopher Hitchens the other day on this very blog? I defended him against a scurrilous attack by some nitwit Creationoid dork, because I respected Hitchens — not because I agreed with him on most or even many things (I didn’t) — but because I recognized him as a man of principle, and someone who at least made a rational case for his conclusions. Is there some reason you can’t do the same for Fiscal Conservatives and the members of the Tea Party who cleave to those principles?

  32. doodlebugger

    Dio and longy; creationoids like Broun definitely tend to be disharmonious little suckers eh? He has fired up everyone, which is what those statements he makes about evolution are calculated to do.
    But your buds are right here.
    And its a friendly place to be cause we got Neon Noodles and docbills and retiered sci guys and Plesitocene ground sloths and gary’s and tomatos and ,,blah blah blah, friends.:)
    Plus the black helicopters can hear everything you’re saying according to some of my creationist acquaintances so,,,,
    shh be vewy vewy quiet, we’re hunting WABBITS!(creationists)

  33. Imagine! All of these comments were engendered simply because Paul Broun decided to run for the senate!

    These political flame wars will change no one’s mind. All they will do is p*ss people off, quite likely driving some away from the Curmudgeon’s excellent blog.

    If you continue, you will put SC in the uncomfortable position of having to moderate or ban a regular contributor in order to protect his blog. I hope it doesn’t come to that — I enjoy reading all your thoughtful comments related to science and evolution.

  34. Thanks, doodlebugger. We were typing at the same time. You said it with more humor than I could muster.

  35. doodlebugger

    u bet sci guy, wish I wouldn’t make so many typos on The Curmudginators most excellent and marvelous blogspot type place for the thoughtful.
    Or to say it a different way, I think Diogenes and everyone on this site is the cats meow. Hope they all know that..A most excellent blog to discuss on.
    Nutters, they smell everything up.:) Which of course, is the intent.

  36. Ceteris Paribus

    As for me and my house, I really don’t care who throws their hat in the ring. All I ask is that all state primaries be open primaries, rather than closed according to party label.

    Let’s face reality – the turn out for primary elections or caucuses is only a subset, usually the most rabid, of party activists. The party is itself a subset of the total electorate, and the winner of a closed party primary only needs to get a plurality of the votes actually cast.

    Mere emotional party self identity (as evidenced by simple name calling as in use of the term “Democrat” party) has now replaced reason and discourse in election campaigns. Leaving little hope that we will ever again have a chance to find enlightened leaders of the class of Washington, Jefferson, or Madison.

    Those three made their way to leadership in a country of just three million people. The population has now increased 100 fold, and we should expect to have 100 Washingtons, 100 Jeffersons, and 100 Madisons available for the political arena, regardless of their political labels. Let’s make all primaries open, as some states have, and then let the general election sort out a Paul Broun from a modern day Jefferson. We need a system that values reasoned self interest over party label.

  37. Nice essay there, All Things Being Equal (Ceteris Paribus). However, since virtually all state legislators are either R or D, don’t look for the states to change the voting laws any time soon.

    It would sure make sense, though. Have all elections take place in two stages. The primary would be open to all who can meet a reasonable petition requirement, with the top three vote getters moving on to the general election. Why the top three, rather than the top two? To put the brakes on negative advertising. Maybe it should be the top four. It certainly wouldn’t eliminate the party system, but it would open things up a bit.