South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley announced today that Tea Party Representative Tim Scott will replace Senator Jim DeMint as he exits congress bound for the Heritage Foundation.
Scott’s legislative history, if you’re unfamiliar, leaves much to be desired if what you’re looking for in a senator is sanity and compassion. ThinkProgress has the highlights.
Proposed a bill to cut off food stamps for entire families if one member went on strike. One of the most anti-union members of Congress, Scott proposed a bill two months after entering Congress in 2011 to kick families off food stamps if one adult were participating in a strike. Scott’s legislation made no exception for children or other dependents.
Wanted to spend an unlimited amount of money to display Ten Commandments outside county building. When Scott was on the Charleston County Council, one of his primary issues was displaying the Ten Commandments outside the Council building. According to the Augusta Chronicle, Scott said the display “would remind council members and speakers the moral absolutes they should follow.” When he was sued for violating the Constitution and a Circuit Judge’s orders, Scott was nonplussed: “Whatever it costs in the pursuit of this goal (of displaying the Commandments) is worth it.”
Scott also reportedly backed a state proposal to cut the state’s HIV/AIDS budget, effecting over 2000 infected people, and threatened to impeach President Obama if he unilaterally raised the national debt ceiling.
Tim Scott also co-sponsored a House bill to ease restrictions on interstate gun sales.
Scott also has the endorsement of Michele Bachmann, Sarah Palin, former Governor Mark “Hiking the Appalachian Trail” Sanford, the Club for Growth, Freedomworks, and the Chamber of Commerce.
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Scott has the fervent anti-Obama record demanded by the far right. On Sean Hannity’s Fox News show, Scott said, “This president has consistently found himself on the wrong side of the concept of the rule of law.” He claimed, “It’s a liberal media bias that insulates this president from having to explain the truth to any American citizen about the things that go wrong in this government.”
Religious Right Cred
Scott espouses far-right positions on abortion and gay rights – he has a zero rating from the Human Rights Campaign – and he promotes the Religious Right’s absurd claim that Christians are somehow a persecuted minority in this country. During this year’s South Carolina primary, Scott was among the speakers at a pre-debate rally hosted by Ralph Reed’s Faith and Freedom Coalition. “The greatest minority under assault today are Christians,” Scott said. “No doubt about it.” He also said, “We need a revolution in this country.” “And we need a revival in this land.”
Tea Party Cred
Scott came to Congress on the 2010 Tea Party wave and talks like it. He takes a Tea Partier’s rhetorical approach to the Constitution, telling attendees at a town hall meeting, “I think states’ rights, state sovereignty, the 9th and 10th amendment, has to be protected against our federal government.” He says the immigration issue is “easy” — “We want to make sure the local law enforcement is empowered to enforce the laws of the country.” Congress is a “freak show.” The country needs to “drill baby, drill.” The Environmental Protection Agency is a “job-killing agency” that needs to be chopped off at the knees.
Scott will be the first black Republican senator from the south since reconstruction, which is, to say the least, a tragedy. He’ll also be the first black Republican senator in the country since 1979.