Meet Sydney Hay, Republican Lobbyist and Ideologue Seeking to Fill Tricky Dick Renzi’s Purloined Shoes

Mining industry lobbyist and candidate for Congress in CD 1, Sydney Hay put together a very nice introductory video for her campaign. It illustrates very clearly why the GOP won’t manage to hang on to CD 1: they are absolutely bereft of ideas.

Hay’s campaign looks like it was cobbled together out of most extreme rantings and wacky policies of the Right over the past 20 years, the dissicated corpses of Reagan and Goldwater, and the most disingenuous and empty rhetoric the Right has fallen back on in defense of the massive failures of the Bush years, all held together by a ‘values’ appeal that already passé among evangelicals and fundamentalists, let alone the general public.

You can always tell when a social movement is effectively dead by how nostalgic its members become about a claimed Golden Age. In the case of the Conservative Movement, their necromantic rites centering around Reagan and Goldwater are increasingly elaborate, central to their religion, and frankly pitiful.

Sure, we Democrats have our culture heroes—FDR, JRK, RFK, MLK—but we aren’t nearly so strident about hearkening back to their particular strain of liberalism as a lost Golden Age that we must return to, and to which our politicians must pay obsequious obescience.

That’s because Liberalism is alive and kicking and growing. Conservatism is a dead and discredited credo, destroyed by Bush and the Republican Congress of 1994-2006, now seeking a leader who can revivify it with a fresh perspective and newly invigorated values. That leader doesn’t seem to be Sydney Hay—she’s too ideologically rigid to acknowledge any new ideas.

I was really amused by the enthusiastic and detailed endorsement by Arizona Republican Congressman Trent Franks. Since the incumbent is in the dock, Renzi can’t exactly pass the establishment torch, so Trent from next door is pinch-hitting. It should prove amusing to watch the Republican candidates in CD 1 madly scramble to avoid any association with Renzi.

Trent credits Sydney with a number of key accomplishments. He indicates she lead the campaign to require a super-majority for any tax increase in Arizona. The result has been to ratchet down tax rates permanently, destroying the Arizona state government’s ability to fund essential services. Trent tells us that Sydney, a former teacher, also was largely responsible for the failed experiment of charter schools, and for diverting taxes to private and parochial schools.

Polices Sydney claims credit for have over the last two decades been largely responsible for Arizona’s free-fall to nearly the bottom among U.S. states in almost every educational metric. With accomplishments like these in her past, electing her to office is sure to result in policies that will make us even more backward, poor, and uncompetitive.

Let’s take a quick look at some of the ‘ideas’ Sydney wants to take to Congress…

Bush Sinks the SCHIP

President Bush has chosen political ideology and the corporate health insurance industry over the health and well-being of America’s most needy and vulnerable people, our children. In a stealthy and cowardly move to avoid the news cycle, at 7:30 PM last Friday the Bush Administration sent states new restrictions for the State Children’s Health Insurance … Read more

Tort Reform™ is an Attack on Constitutional Rights

I wrote yesterday
on damage compensation caps, marketed under the trade name Tort Reform™ by the
GOP, and the damage it does to those harmed by medical and other
negligence. But the ideas behind Tort Reform™ also raise serious
and fundamental challenges to the role of the jury in the
administration of justice and protecting American freedoms.

not alone in this opinion. James Madison said that trial by jury “is as
essential to secure the liberty of the people as any one of the
pre-eminent rights of nature.” Yet the right to have the facts of a
civil dispute, including compensation, decided by a lay jury, is so
offensive to corporate interests that they would have you believe that
our best and brightest are unable to design safe products, deliver
quality medical care, or perform a host of other activities unless we
gut one particular of our Bill of Rights – the Amendment VII, which

”In suits at common law, where the value in
controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury
shall be preserved…”

The right of access to jury to
determine the facts is a basic human right that goes back to the Magna
Carta in our own culture’s immediate history, and back to the Greeks
and the Romans during some of the earliest civilized periods of human
history. For all that time citizenship has included the unimpaired
right to have the facts of your plight, including the necessary
remedies, decided by a sample of your peers. “Juries represent the
layman’s common sense and thus keep the law in accord with the wishes
and feelings of the community,” said USSC Chief Justice Rehnquist (in
one of the few instances that I agree with him wholeheartedly).