Clark has abandoned his professed beliefs for his own ambitions.

Jeff Clark, the far-right independent candidate in the 5 CD race, is considering filing a lawsuit to force his way into debates with Congressman Perriello and challenger Robert Hurt:

He has been working with the Rutherford Institute, a civil liberties organization headquartered in Albemarle County, to challenge his exclusion from the debates. Clark said the organization may file a legal challenge to force his access into the debates.

What we’re seeing here is Clark tossing his professed beliefs out the window in support of his own political ambitions. Like the rest of the Tea Party, Clark is all about the supremacy of private property…unless it’s somebody else’s private property that he wants. Next week, Perriello and Hurt will be debating on Roanoke’s WSLS, a TV station owned by Media General. This is not a public resource. WSLS is not government-run. The FCC does not require that media outlets provide equal time. Clark has no more legal right to appear on WSLS than he does to walk into my front door and have a seat at my kitchen table. (Whether it is right for Clark to be excluded from debates is another matter.) If he were a socialist candidate I’d figure, “hey, at least he’s consistent.” Kelo, anyone?

The Tea Party talks a good game, but when push comes to shove, these guys are just politicians, in the worst sense of the world. This has to be a tough lesson for the political newbies backing this guy. Here they thought they were overthrowing the established order with an idealistic guy who would stand up for what’s right, no matter what. But Clark’s just another hypocritical political hack. Welcome to politics, kids.

Published by Waldo Jaquith

Waldo Jaquith (JAKE-with) is an open government technologist who lives near Char­lottes­­ville, VA, USA. more »

10 replies on “Clark has abandoned his professed beliefs for his own ambitions.”

  1. While I agree that Clark is a hypocrite and wrong to invoke this remedy (if he does), it’s equally wrong to smear the entirety of the Tea Partiers with the actions of a single individual.

  2. James Young,

    You’d be right that it’s wrong to smear all the Tea Partiers for Clark’s actions if hypocrisy weren’t de rigueur in the Tea Parties. Take Rand Paul for example: .

    I just wish I could share Waldo’s optimism that this will be noticed by the base.

    It’s funny how welcoming I and a lot of progressives would be of a political movement of true fiscal responsibility, since right now we have a choice between tax-and-spend and don’t-tax-but-still-spend. Not that I believe now is the time for fiscal austerity, but I like checks and balances.

  3. But I think most Tea Party people are supporting Hurt in this race. Clark talks a good game for them, but he’s only going to draw about 3% on Nov. 2. I don’t think he actually has “a base.”

    Now don’t get me started on if supporting Hurt is hypocritical for Tea Party people…

  4. James Young,

    Ben C. provided a good example, but there are a lot more, so it’s clearly not a “single individual”. I don’t doubt that there are Tea Party members who are not hypocrites, but many, many people running for office under the Tea Party banner sure do seem to say and do things seemingly opposed to their political philosophies.

    Another example: Joe Miller, the Palin favorite in Alaska (well, maybe not any longer) said unemployment is probably Unconstitutional, but then it’s revealed his wife collected unemployment benefits (after she worked for him, which is a whole ‘nother story.)

    The Tea Party: Big government is bad, unless it benefits me, then it’s pretty good actually.

  5. The fact that they’re supporting Hurt illustrates my point, I think. There were all of these folks, all fired up about their half-dozen candidates, describing Hurt (the most conservative member of the state senate!) like some kind of communist infiltrator. They insisted they’d never support him, they all wanted their own guy to win, etc., etc. And then Hurt won. And what did many of them do? They backed him. And that idealism just evaporated. That was when those folks stopped being outsiders fighting for their ideals and started being regular ol’ politicos.

  6. Waldo, your last post is simply non-sensical. That happens in EVERY primary. Do you not remember the very bitter primary battle between Hillary and Obama? By your standard, every Democrat who supported Hillary, and ever sad a negative word about Obama, was a hypocrite if they supported Obama over McCain.

  7. Nope. That was a primary between Democrats who didn’t use other labels to describe themselves. There were no Socialists, Greens, etc., etc., but just a bunch of Democrats. The Republican primary pitted five to six Tea Party candidates—depending on who you count—against one straight-up Republican. You’ll recall the whole “the Tea Party isn’t Republican or Democratic—it’s nonpartisan” schtick. There’s no putting that genie back in the bottle.

  8. James, can you name what party other than the Democratic Party that Obama, Biden, Clinton, Dodd, Edwards, Gravel, Kucinich, Richardson, Bayh, or Vilsack professed to be a member of while running for the 2008 presidential nomination?

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