These wingnuts must be stopped

Let’s say you’re an independent voter who wants to send Obama a message on Nov. 2. Have the media told you what that would say? Here’s a clue: moderate Republicans are extinct. With big wins, the Tea Party will transform itself from an insurgency into the driving force within the GOP. Gains in statehouses and legislatures will allow right-wingers to use the 2010 census to redraw district lines that will entrench them in power until 2020. Back in charge in Washington, they will likely block even centrist choices for courts. Extremist senators like Jim DeMint and Tom Coburn will move from being irritants on the fringe to players at the center of our politics.

A question for Democrats disinclined to work on congressional campaigns: do you know the GOP agenda? In brief: repeal health-care reform, so if you lose your job and your kid gets sick, you may have to sell the house; repeal financial reform, so Wall Street scammers and predatory lenders can return to doing everything they did before they wrecked the economy; maintain corporate-welfare subsidies that move jobs overseas; reduce spending by slashing education funding; and ending all clean-energy projects aimed at curbing our dependence on Mideast oil. Of course, these policies won’t cut the deficit. Republicans insist on extending $700 billion in tax cuts for the wealthy and leaving the $500 billion defense budget un-touched. Entitlements would merely be “reviewed regularly,” the GOP leadership says, which is code for doing nothing…

If Democrats lose control anyway, maybe nothing too bad will happen. Obama will veto GOP bills, and politics will be paralyzed for two years as the parties jostle for 2012. But a right-wing Republican takeover of Congress and state capitals isn’t something to accept with indifference. Midterms matter, and voters tempted to skip this election should have their heads examined.