When South Carolina Tea Party Senator Jim DeMint (Super-Duper ‘R’) resigned from the Senate to go head up an even crazier collection of right-wing nut jobs, there was instant speculation that when the state’s governor, Nikki Haley, named his replacement, things could maybe, just maybe, get a little better in the Senate. A number of names were bantered about, some seriously, others less so. A poll was conducted and thenumber two man on the list of people South Carolinians wanted to see fill the void (behind Stephen Colbert, of course) has now officially been tapped. Say hello to South Carolina Rep. Tim Scott (Ultra-Mega ‘R’). It would appear the Governor Haley recognized the enormous size of the giant, crazy, shoes left behind by DeMint and has gone out of her way to try to fill them.
Scott was among the many ultra-conservatives elected in the tea party tidal wave and it’s obvious from the get-go there aren’t many conservatives in South Carolina – or anywhere else for that matter – who won’t like his record.
A former Charleston City Council member, he was the first black Republican elected to any office in South Carolina since Reconstruction (he later declined to join the House Black Caucus when elected to federal office). He made waves in that post, a prelude of the crazy to come, when he said defending the display of the Ten Commandments outside the Council building was worth any cost.
Rampaging religious fundamentalist: Check.
Scott is also fundamentally against the Affordable Care Act, AKA Obamacare. He was the lead sponsor in South Carolina’s attempt to undo the health care reform act while also supporting a bill to eliminate all of the state’s HIV/AIDS funding. He also believes that Obamacare is a “government takeover” and that “the last thing anybody wants to see happen is the United States government take over health care and ruin the best health care system in the world today,” despite that we can really only claim the title of “most expensive.”
Nonsensical health care positions: Check
He’s also fervently anti-union, having proposed a bill shortly after entering Congress that would cut off food stamps to an entire family if one member went on strike, and has gone on the record in support of the ill-titled “right-to-work” laws in South Carolina.
Anti-labor AND anti-public assistance: Check.
While seemingly against public assistance, Scott has no qualms about lending a helping hand to big business, having voted to protect billions in handouts to oil companies (among others) while those companies were making near-record or record profits.
Ridiculously pro-business: Check.
Scott was just a handful of representatives to be given the failing grade of “F” by the Institute for Policy Studies – alongside South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham – for his unfailing support of corporate donors, neglecting his true constituency along the way. The IPS report noted that:
“Four corporations – ExxonMobil, Koch Industries, Goldman Sachs and Honeywell – made significant contributions to many of the F-grade recipients. Scott is one only of two congresspersons who received campaign donations from all four.”
Scott believes the nation’s money trouble are purely the result of over-spending and has taken a solid stance against raising tax rates on the wealthy, despite evidence that suggest those record-low rates are at least part of the problem.
Anti-tax reform: Check
It should also come as no surprise that Scott is not a fan of President Obama. The man BET once labeled “The Clarence Thomas of Congress” (it is not without irony that the name “Tom” is in this) floated the idea of impeaching Obama during last year’s debt ceiling debate, had the President used the 14th Amendment option to protect the nation’s credit rating.
Anti-Obama credentials: Check.
Last, but certainly not least, given that much of the next legislative session will undoubtedly focus on gun control and firearms legislations, Scott, a member of the National Rifle Association, is against any type of gun control, stating on his website:
The Constitution grants South Carolinians the right to defend themselves and their families, and I will continue fighting to ensure that right it is not weakened in anyway [sic].
I have supported more than half-a-dozen [sic] bills in Congress to protect our Second Amendment rights:
- Firearms Interstate Commerce Reform Act (HR 58)
- Veterans Heritage Firearms Act (HR 420)
- Second Amendment Enforcement Act (HR 645)
- National Right-to-Carry Reciprocity Act (HR 822)
- ATF Reform Act (HR 1093)
- Protecting Gun Owners in Bankruptcy Act (HR 1181)
- To prohibit DOJ from tracking and cataloguing [sic] the purchases of multiple rifles and guns (HR 3814)
Pro-gun extremist: Check
Thankfully, Scott’s appointment only lasts until a special election in 2014, but with Gov. Haley already expressing support for a re-election bid, it’s important that liberals everywhere – particularly in South Carolina – stay on top of this bag of crazy and make sure he doesn’t stand a chance in the next election.