April 17, 2009

The Case Against Thad: April 2009

Thad McCotter has became a darling of the extreme right in recent weeks.  Whether it be his participation in the Plymouth Township Tea Party or his consistent stops on Fox News, Thad McCotter is aligning himself with the most extreme elements of the Republican Party.  He has aligned himself with supply-side, trickle-down economics even as their disastrous effects come to light.  He joined a protest that saw venomous hate speech against the President, and, indeed, the whole government of the United States.

His latest slogan is "big government is chaos". That's right:  at this time of great economic crisis, Thad doesn't believe government is part of the solution, but of the problem.  I'm reminded of the old axiom:  "I don't want a conservative politician for the same reason I don't want a vegan butcher.  He doesn't want to do a good job."  He rejects the lessons of the Great Depression, and indeed of all American history, and instead supports a fundamentally laissez faire approach to the crisis.

The one place that Thad has rejected laissez faire and corporate Republicanism is his defense of the auto industry.  I must give credit where credit is due:  Thad has done a fine job fighting for the auto industry in Washington.  He had no choice to, politically, but he still deserves some credit for the way in which he has stood up.  What he fails to understand, though, is that the Republicans who opposed the auto-bailout are very consistent ideologically.  They oppose any sort of government help in jumpstarting the economy.  Thad was smart enough to oppose laissez faire when it came to Detroit, but he has no problem supporting it when it comes to other areas:  the stimulus package, the budget, et cetera.  That is the fundamental argument against Thad:  he is a Republican, who, other than his rhetoric regarding the auto industry, is willing to toe the party line and oppose economic recovery.  

Who Will Challenge Thad?

With neither State Senator Glenn Anderson and House Speaker Andy Dillon throwing their hat in the ring, the Democratic nomination for 2010 is wide open. In this district that Obama won, and that McCotter took with just 51% of the vote, it is clear that this race is low hanging fruit.  So who will step up?

While Anderson and Dillon were considered the most likely candidates, there are plenty of other good choices.  My State Representative, Marc Corriveau, is still a potential candidate, though I think he would be unlikely to run.  Wayne County Executive Robert Ficano lives in the district, as does Wayne County Commissioner Kevin McNamara.

If not one of them, who will step up?  In 2008, local attorney Joe Larkin was our nominee.  While I'm sure Mr. Larkin is a very nice man, he was a sub-par candidate.  In a district as competitive as this one, we can't afford to put up a candidate who raised less than $30,000.  Someone needs to step up.