This post first appeared on Daily Kos.
At the risk of sounding too shrill about the extremism of the Republicans nominated to run for Senate this year, let's take a look at Alaska's Joe Miller
Washington (CNN) - Joe Miller calls President Obama "bad for America" and suggests he is leading the nation on a path to socialism. But the newly minted GOP Senate nominee from Alaska also has a message for the Republican Leadership. Not to mention unapologetic views on cutting federal spending and even possibly phasing out Social Security....
"There is an opportunity to lead this country out of the crisis its in and I believe the Republican Party is well suited to take up that mantle," Miller said in an interview for Wednesday's "John King, USA." which will air at 7pm. "The question is whether or not there's the courage and leadership in that party to seize the moment and to recognize that the only way out of this is to get out of the age of the entitlement state to return power back to the states and recognize that central government is broken and see what we can do about fixing things and getting the government focused on those areas the enumerated powers that it should be doing. And the Republican Party can do it but it does require courage."
KING: "It is an issue that you well know can be easily demagogued, so I want to deliver a statement. You tell me if it's fair or not: That anybody in the [Social Security] system or close to the system is fine. We won't do anything significant to change your benefits. But how about an American born tomorrow or born the day after Joe Miller was sworn in in Washington? Would that person perhaps grow up in an America where there is not a federal Social Security program if you got your way?
KING: "That's a fair statement?"
MILLER: "No demagoguery there at all."
Miller, like Rand Paul before he was advised to keep his mouth shut
, is saying out loud what the Republican ethos is. Returning "power back to the states" and limiting the "central" government (with that hint of creeping socialism) to its "enumerated powers" is the quiet fight in which the Republicans have been engaged since the New Deal. When I wrote that post about Paul, I included this from a 2004 post by DavidNYC
I'm hardly the first person to make this point, but it's one that bears repeating: While conservatives are preparing to pack the Supreme Court and the rest of the federal judiciary with right-wing judges who will seek to overturn Roe v. Wade, their real aim is a stealth campaign against the New Deal interpretation of the Interstate Commerce Clause (ICC).
Don't get me wrong: Roe and other hot-button social issues matter a great deal. But the power to destroy the ICC has much more far-reaching consequences....
Every time someone like this comes up for a nomination, we need to say that they want to make Social Security illegal. Not get rid of it - make it illegal. They want to make the minimum wage illegal. They want to make clean water laws illegal. This is not a mis-statement or exaggeration of their position. This is exactly what they propose.
That was in the context of Supreme Court nominations, but it's what Joe Miller is articulating as the conservative governing philosophy.