Via TPM, here's a new SEIU ad that proclaims just about everything negative you could say about Republican Nevada Senate candidate Sharron Angle short of how she misspells her own damn name! Well, that and her bold stances against involvement with the United Nations and fluoridated water.
Among the charges: If Angle gets her insidious, evil way, there will be no abortions, no college loans, and no jobs! The ad shows a woman aging from young kid to blinky-eyed senior as a voiceover intones:
Sharron Angle's dangerous ideas will make her life worse—at every stage… If she was raped—and got pregnant—Angle would force her to have the baby. Her college loans—ended. If she's looking for work—it's tough luck with Sharron Angle. At retirement her Social Security—phased out. Sharron Angle: too dangerous to have real power over real people.
That's pretty good work for a lady whose greatest political success so far is battling a zombie politician and Senate Majority Leader to what appears to be a dead heat this election cycle. That's a testament to the actual craptacular legislative resume of Harry Reid, not the Book of Revelation-style apocalypse Angle promises to bring if elected to the World's Lamest Deliberative Body.
I wouldn't vote for Angle (or Reid) if I lived in Nevada, but I find ads like this, which skip from one thing to another and pretend to be aimed at the womens annoying. I believe in abortion rights and I don't think anyone should be concerned that Angle's extreme (and, let's face it, totally logically consistent from a pro-life POV) position has any chance in hell of prevailing.
The implication in the ad is that Angle would gut public-sector college loans, which is also unlikely. Though unlike abortion, it's a question worth raising. If people agree that untold gobs of free and subsidized money helped to fuel the housing bubble and bust, certainly exactly the same thing is true in higher education, where the bubble is barely starting to be recognized (the first step to it bursting). Certainly, Angle would have no role in killing private-sector college loans, anymore than she would create a world in which "jobs" themselves would be against the law. If the SEIU, that incredible job-creating collective, is claiming that Angle would drive the economy into an iceberg and thus kill employment opportunities, well, she got to that party too late. Which is the only reason she's neck and neck (if he has one) with Harry Reid.
Which leaves us with Social Security, especially as it relates to women, the target of this particular spot. Women are more likely to depend on Social Security in retirement, especially if they are unmarried. Which is also one of the reasons they should be vociferously arguing for the end of the program:
Women depend on Social Security more than men. Based on Social Security data, almost 29 percent of women over age 65 rely on Social Security for 90 percent of their retirement income. That number increases to 46 percent for unmarried elderly women….
The expectation of a Social Security payment can make women worse off as it reduces their incentives to save and prepare for their own retirements.
Imagine if a woman could have saved and invested the 12.4 percent of her income she paid for years in payroll taxes (including the employer's share) for Social Security. She could have it available in case of emergency during her lifetime or pass it along to her children or grandchildren if she didn't need it anymore.
Depending on Social Security payments also makes women vulnerable to changes in government policies. At any time, Congress can reduce benefits even for people who paid their entire lives into the system. In a sense, it did that earlier this month by saying Social Security recipients won't get a cost-of-living increase this year.
That's from a column at Bloomberg by Reason columnist Veronique de Rugy, who runs through what a pro-woman political agenda would look like (sadly, neither party is offering much). What she says about women above obviously applies to men as well. And anybody who doesn't think that cuts to Social Security benefits are coming is way, way out to lunch (perhaps from too much fluoride in the water?).
As I noted above, I don't have a case to make for Sharron Angle, whom I wouldn't vote for. But what the SEIU ad, and so many other attacks on her and other Tea Party candidates, miss is that characters like Angle don't need a case to make. They're running against the abject failure of the idjits already in office, most of whom have been in office a very long time (Reid's been in the Senate since 1986!) and have little to nothing to show for it. It's a testament to incumbents' incompetence that we're facing a great tsunami of throw-the-bums-out fever (sorry for the mixed metaphor!) and that all you need to play is the ability to present, as Angle has done, a semi-credible alternative to the status quo. That's not dangerous, it's democracy.