As Senator Michael Bennet and former state House Speaker Andrew Romanoff square off for the Democratic nomination, the Republican primary appears to be a battle over who can most appeal to the furthest right-wing elements of an already hyper-conservative Republican Party. While the Democrats are running largely centrist campaigns, despite being amid a Democratic primary, the Republican establishment pick and primary front-runner, former Lt. Gov. Jane Norton, is doing nothing to cater to a general election electorate. Rather, Norton is joining her primary competition in far-right-wing revelry, espousing radical rhetoric and featuring a right-wing background that would make any sensible moderate shudder. Here are some of Jane Norton's greatest hits.
First, Jane Norton would completely eliminate the Department of Education. Discussion of eliminating the Department of Education was a popular topic of far-right-wing conservatives during the Reagan 80's and Gingrich early-to-mid 90's. One of the key traits of teabaggers has been ignorance - ignorance at the Obama Administration's tax cuts for middle- and lower-income families, ignorance at President Obama's birthplace and religion, and so on. Since she's part of a movement marked by turning ignorance into a virtue, why not eliminate the federal department committed to improving the education of Americans.
Second, after we've all spent the last year watching the tumultuous health care reform debates, I think we can all agree that we're not big fans of health care lobbyists. Well, for five years, Jane Norton was a health care lobbyist. She lobbied for the Medical Group Management Association, first as Executive Director in their Office of Strategic Relationship, then as Director of their Office of State Government Relations. On top of that, she subsequently lied about having been a lobbyist, given that lobbyist is one of the dirtiest words in politics nowadays.
Third, going full Palin, Jane Norton chooses not to correct misinformation spouted by supporters at her events, misinformation designed to prey on individuals' basest instincts, fear and hate. At a small coffee shop visit, a Norton supporter repeatedly said of President Obama, "He's a Muslim!" Rather than politely correct the misinformed supporter about the President's religion (notwithstanding the fact that, to this individual, "Muslim" is tantamount to a hateful slur), Norton rather put a positive spin on it, praising the "passion around what is happening in our own country." Perhaps Norton doesn't realize the mistake and actually is under the impression that President Obama is a member of the Muslim faith. If that's the case, perhaps Norton also believes that President Obama was actually born in Kenya. It'd be swell if someone in the Colorado media maybe asked her.
Fourth, it sounds like Liz Cheney drafted her stump speech:
And what I believe is happening... is the fact that the rights of terrorists are more important in this administration that the lives of American citizens.
This is an ignorant and hypocritical response to the Obama Administration trying underwear bomber Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab in criminal court rather than military tribunal. Why is it ignorant and hypocritical? Because the George W. Bush Administration successfully tried shoe bomber Richard Reid in criminal court rather than military tribunal. Basically, according to Jane Norton, President Obama is siding with terrorists over Americans because he did something exactly the same as George W. Bush. Interesting. This ignorance and hypocrisy not too dissimilar from Norton calling on President Obama to balance the budget in his first term or not run for re-election, even though he was handed record deficits by George W. Bush (who, you might recall, was handed recorded surpluses by President Bill Clinton but squandered them).
Fifth, Jane Norton sounds like she"s supportive of either privatizing or abolishing Social Security:
With regard to Social Security, it has turned into a Ponzi scheme. The money that people pay into it should be there for when they are ready to retire.
Taken literally, that individuals' money "should be there" waiting for them specifically when they retire, Norton seems to clearly support privatizing Social Security into personal accounts. Taken more broadly, that Norton believes Social Security is best likened to a Ponzi scheme, an illegal and fraudulent financial structure, one could reasonably surmise that she'd be willing to rid the country of Social Security altogether. Again, it might be helpful for a member of the Colorado media to press her on the topic. If she wants to privatize or eliminate Social Security, perhaps Colorado's hundreds of thousands of seniors receiving Social Security ought to know.
When all of this is assembled, it paints a picture of Jane Norton that is so far out of the political mainstream, she can no longer see it from her house. Taken together, Jane Norton is a fear-mongering, misinformation-spreading, ignorance-championing, Social Security-privatizing former lobbyist who would be happy to weaken education, health care and the rule of law in America. So, yeah, Jane Norton is that radically right-wing.