Anyone who can read this story, and say, “yes, this is as it should be, this is right, and good for the country,” is fucking nuts.
To recap: Republican Congresswoman Diane Black — someone I would never in a million years support, let me add — is locked in a bitter primary fight with her longtime Republican nemesis, raging Islamophobe Lou Ann Zelenik. Normally for those of us on the left this would be a “grab the popcorn” moment, but today’s paper gave me pause. Here we learned who is funding the attack ads Zelenik is running against Black: one guy named Andrew Miller Jr. He’s a “healthcare investor,” who happens to be her former finance director, and who served on the board of Zelenik’s anti-Muslim group, the Tennessee Freedom Coalition (and yes, the fact that there’s an anti-Muslim group calling itself the “Tennesse Freedom Coalition” tells you these people have descended into self-parody). Miller apparently had $260,000 collecting dust in his bank account and decided to try to buy the Republican primary. I wonder, should Zelenik win, how he expects to recoup that investment? Maybe we shouldn’t ask.
Miller was last seen trying to unseat Rep. Jim Cooper by serving as finance director for “Constitutional Conservative” (i.e., Tea Party wackadoodle) Jeff Hartline in 2010. Miller makes his money through a healthcare venture capital and private equity firm called HealthMark Ventures. And this just tells me everything I need to know about what’s wrong with our country. We’ve got a healthcare system that leaves 40 million people without insurance and denies policyholders coverage for pre-existing conditions like being a battered spouse. But there is so much money swirling around the so-called “best healthcare system in the world” that vulture capitalists like Miller are drowning in cash. Any suggestion that they should pay the tiniest bit more in taxes so people don’t have to put a pickle jar by the Mapco cash register to get their kid chemo is the worst sort of un-American affrontery.
Miller isn’t the only fly crawling over this shitpile but he’s the perfect face of it: using his profits not to create jobs, but to buy an election on behalf of an anti-Muslim hatemonger. Ain’t America grand.