THE LIMITS OF AN EXTREME IDEOLOGY, CONT’D…. Republicans in D.C. and Tennessee were “giddy” about recruiting Stephen Fincher to run against Rep. John Tanner (D-Tenn.) in the midterms. Fincher, a 37-year-old farmer, never went to college, but he’s a blue-eyed charmer with a knack for raising lots of money.
He’s also been the recipient of generous sums of money from the federal government.
But for one important detail, Stephen Fincher could be a perfect “tea party” candidate: a gospel-singing cotton farmer from this tiny hamlet in western Tennessee, seeking to right the listing ship of Washington with a commitment to lower taxes and smaller government.
The detail? Fincher accepts roughly $200,000 in farm subsidies each year.
While some right-wing activists see this as problematic, many Tea Party activists have pledged their support for Fincher’s campaign. David Nance, the founder of the Gibson County Patriots, said, “I don’t see the agricultural subsidy thing as an issue at all.”
No, of course not. Why would it be problematic for a right-wing candidate who rails against government spending and welfare to receive $200,000 in checks from the federal government in the form of agriculture subsidies?
For the right-wing crowd, subsidies for 32 million Americans with no health insurance is outrageous, but subsidies for conservative farmers is not an issue “at all.”
It seems as if stories like these are surprisingly common. Tom Grimes is active with Tea Party politics because he wants the government to spend less and get rid of public programs, but he loves Social Security, and when he lost his job, one of his first steps was contacting his congressman about available programs that might give him access to government health care
Diana Reimer, considered a “star” right-wing activist in her efforts against government programs, hates the Affordable Care Act, but she loves the socialized medicine that comes with Medicare.
Mike Vanderboegh considers himself a hard-line libertarian, but his main income is taxpayer-financed disability checks sent to him every month by the federal government.
And in Tennessee, Tea Party activists want leaders who’ll take a stand against federal government spending, and are rallying behind a congressional candidate who gets $200,000 in checks from the federal government.