Monday, May 11, 2009

Governor Perdue -- "Left Wing" Republican?

As ThinkProgress writes, Governor Sonny Perdue (R-GA) recently spoke out against using supply-side economics for Georgia:

“Georgia’s a balanced budget state. And it’s very difficult to do the stimulus-type bills in a state that’s starved for revenue and cash at the same time. So that kind of destroys a supply-side theory within a state government.”

This puts Perdue at odds with many Republicans on the far right. Despite the fact that, as I noted in my Fall 2008 piece on the economy for Stand Up Magazine, under Perdue's tenure we have banned cities from establishing their own wage laws (to prevent living wages), restricted the rights of people to sue for asbestos (protecting big developers), and cut over a billion dollars from public education (to undermine the system and move towards privatization) -- all part of the far-right agenda of the American Legislative Exchange Council.

Additionally, Perdue's social agenda has been no less right-wing. Under his tenure we wrote bigotry into the state constitution with a gay marriage ban and passed a bill declaring embryos to be people.

Yet to many right-wing Republicans, Perdue has just never been extreme enough. Georgia's most influential right-wing blog, PeachPundit, decried Perdue's common sense remarks about the futility of high-income tax cuts during a recession as nothing more than "left-wing rhetoric."

These comments echo those of leading GOP candidate for Governor Insurance Commissioner John Oxendine, who condemned both the US Congress and right-leaning GA Legislature in a statement in February: " "If they truly understood sound economic principles as did Ronald Reagan and even Democrat John Kennedy, they would stumble over each other to significantly cut taxes. That's how you turn around an economy." Of course, Oxendine's stance may just be more about protecting the interests of big money -- like the insurance companies that were just found to be paying him ten times the legal limit in campaign funds -- than sound economics.

The approach by the far-right seems to be a simple one: if you ever oppose tax cuts, even at a time where they make the least sense, even if you have shown your entire legislatorial career that you're well to the right of center, you're a left-wing Democrat. It's almost as if the parody at GOP Problem Solver has become reality.