Daniel Webster (R-FL) is one of many in the mad rush to throw their hats in the ring to become the next Speaker of the House now that John Boehner took the coward's way out by fleeing before the crazy caucus could oust him.
Webster, who took part in a failed attempt to throw Boehner overboard once before, has little chance at becoming Speaker, but as anyone watching Congress these days knows, just about anything is possible.
Webster hasn't made much of a splash since his arrival in Washington during the 2010 Teabagistan election, but he's as extreme as the rest of them and warrants a look see as to why those who prefer a little reality based thinking in a House Speaker might want to take notice of him.
He's introduced 18 bills total since he arrived in the House, and with the exception of two in 2011, none have any cosponsors. None of Webster's 18 bills have gone anywhere.
He aspires to all the right cookie cutter Tea Party Conservative views. He claims to care deeply about fiscal responsibility and jobs, loathes Dodd-Frank but loves tax cuts for wealthy business owners, favors right-to-work laws but wants to do away with the estate tax, and wants to take away your health care. He also wants God everywhere, but government nowhere, with exceptions being his job, governing a woman's uterus, and governing end of life choices as he tried to do when he intervened in the Terri Schiavo case. He's got those "small government" issues covered and is just about as anti-choice as they come.
His official bio is a warm and fuzzy place, filled with mentions of his love of God and teaching Sunday School, and boasts of his six children and ten grandchildren. He also touches briefly on the fact that he and his wife homeschooled their children.
But here's what he doesn't mention in that bio: He homeschooled his children with the same method used by the Duggar family. That would be the same Duggar family whose son allegedly molested his own sisters.
The homeschooling method was designed by a minister who was also forced to leave the institute he founded because he was accused of sexually harassing and molesting several female employees. That same minister, Bill Gothard, vouched for Webster when he was labeled "Taliban Dan" by Alan Grayson, who he defeated in 2010. PolitiFact used Gothard's defense of Webster to rate the attack "False." The basis of Grayson's attack came from a speech Webster made for Gothard's organization, the Institute in Basic Life Principles, which believes a woman should submit to her husband.
Webster is also a firm climate change denier, so much so that he signed a pledge with the Koch group Americans For Prosperity, which has rated him at 100% on their scorecard. In that pledge, Webster agreed to "oppose legislation relating to climate change that includes a net increase in government revenue." (AFP also financed campaign ads for Webster against Grayson in 2010.) So his love of God doesn't apply to saving the planet when it comes to profits for big oil. Sorry Webster grandchildren, you lose. So would the rest of us if Webster's ilk were to gain any more power in the House than he already has.
Though his chances of becoming Speaker are low, if he somehow managed to win, it could be a short run. Back home in the Florida legislature, thanks to the GOP's adventures in map making, his district is in danger of being redrawn, and the bad news for him, that district would favor a Democrat.
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