Monday, June 21, 2010

Hayworthian hypocrisy

Oh, how truly and utterly Republican J.D. Hayworth is. Like so many on the right, he's more than happy to take government money (think corporate welfare), or, for a lucrative fee, to show you how to take it (as below), and yet he persistently rails against government like the good conservative he is:

Republican Senate challenger J.D. Hayworth appeared in a 2007 television infomercial in which he helped convince viewers that they could rake in big bucks by attending seminars that would teach them how to apply for federal grants that they wouldn't have to pay back.

National Grants Conferences, the Florida-based company that hosted the classes and produced the infomercial, has faced criticism from multiple state attorneys general and Better Business Bureaus.

Hayworth, a former Arizona congressman who is running against incumbent Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., in the Aug. 24 GOP primary, made the infomercial after losing his U.S. House seat in the 2006 election. References to his TV appearance on behalf of National Grants Conferences appear in his Wikipedia entry, on the Internet Movie Database and other places on the Web. But the footage was unavailable. Highlights of Hayworth's appearance are now posted on at this link.

The infomercial promotes seminars that ostensibly instruct attendees how to get the "free money grants." Tucson TV station KVOA did an investigation of National Grants Conferences that you can watch here. The TV station's investigative team found that the workshops cost from $999 to $1,200 and federal government grants really aren't even available to individuals.

So he's not just a hypocrite, he's party to a big scam, and possibly an illegal one.

"Well I don't want to shock anybody's sensibilities, but I have to use a four-letter word: Real. This is real," Hayworth says in the infomercial (see damning clip below), according to TPM's Eric Kleefeld. "The money is out there, the opportunities are out there. And by the way, it's not something where it's the government's money -- it's really your money. You surrendered it in the form of taxation. Now's the time to take advantage of a situation where the government can invest in you. And in turn, you'll have a chance to build a business, or make a better life for yourself -- and in so doing, you'll help improve the country."

I suppose that would be his defence against the hypocrisy charge. It's just you getting your money back -- forget that taxation is legal and constitutional and that the government needs it for all sorts of things, including some that Hayworth no doubt supports, like the military. As Steve M. puts it, amusingly: "Isn't that what teabaggers think all government programs are? Don't they think all tax money is essentially poured down a rat hole, while elves and fairies maintain the Interstate highways and conduct FBI investigations and run the Pentagon and the national parks and the Centers for Disease Control for free?"

Even The Weekly Standard thinks this might be it for Hayworth. Then again, the pro-McCain forces at that neocon rag have every interest in seeing Hayworth beaten.

McCain should beat Hayworth, but it won't be because of this, however embarrassing. On the right, after all, taking money from the government, and dismissing the government as useless, is seen as an act of patriotic rebellion. Instead of being called a hypocrite and scam artist, he'll continue to be celebrated as a hero. This won't change anything.

Of course, what Hayworth is really doing is taking money not from the government but from the suckers who buy the bullshit he's selling. He may be an ideological extremist, even by Arizona standards, but ultimately he's all about making a quick buck, loads of quick bucks, off the stupidity and ignorance of others. I suppose that makes him truly and utter Republican, too.

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