State House 48: Tea Party Camping. With Fluoride.

August 12, 2010

Marg Baker is a Tea Party Republican candidate for Florida State House District 48, which covers parts of Northern Pinellas and Hillsborough Counties, near Tampa. She’s been running a pretty standard issue Tea Party campaign. But lately she’s achieved another level.

Marg hits all the right notes – she is a divorced, single pro-family, anti-government semi-retiree. She’s likely on Medicare and she derives all her income from her monthly Social Security check. She knows that we can only increase state revenue by lowering taxes and doing away with regulations, and she hates the sorry state of her local water supply, which makes her sick when she drinks it.

In fact, she says that water is the most “pressing” issue for the people of her district, the essence of her campaign, if you will.

General Jack D. Ripper: Mandrake, do you realize that in addition to fluoridating water, why, there are studies underway to fluoridate salt, flour, fruit juices, soup, sugar, milk… ice cream. Ice cream, Mandrake, children’s ice cream.
Group Capt. Lionel Mandrake: Lord, Jack.
General Jack D. Ripper: You know when fluoridation first began?
Group Capt. Lionel Mandrake: I… no, no. I don’t, Jack.
General Jack D. Ripper: Nineteen hundred and forty-six. Nineteen forty-six, Mandrake. How does that coincide with your post-war Commie conspiracy, huh? It’s incredibly obvious, isn’t it? A foreign substance is introduced into our precious bodily fluids without the knowledge of the individual. Certainly without any choice. That’s the way your hard-core Commie works.
Group Capt. Lionel Mandrake: Uh, Jack, Jack, listen, tell me, tell me, Jack. When did you first… become… well, develop this theory?
General Jack D. Ripper: Well, I, uh… I… I… first became aware of it, Mandrake, during the physical act of love.
Group Capt. Lionel Mandrake: Hmm.
General Jack D. Ripper: Yes, a uh, a profound sense of fatigue… a feeling of emptiness followed. Luckily I… I was able to interpret these feelings correctly. Loss of essence.
Group Capt. Lionel Mandrake: Hmm.
General Jack D. Ripper: I can assure you it has not recurred, Mandrake. Women uh… women sense my power and they seek the life essence. I, uh… I do not avoid women, Mandrake.
Group Capt. Lionel Mandrake: No.
General Jack D. Ripper: But I… I do deny them my essence.

At the same time, she likes to emphasize that her “most serious issue” is her one person quest to do away with early voting in Florida because early voting costs too much and leads to “corruption like ACORN.”

Oh, and she has just thoughtfully proposed solving our immigration problem with Internment Camps!

Yes. Internment Camps.

“We can follow what happened back in the ’40s or ’50s.”

“I was just a little girl in Miami, and they built camps for the people that snuck into the country because they were illegal,” Baker said. “They put them in the camps and they shipped them back. We can do that. We can do E-Verify. We must stop them.”

Baker could not be reached Wednesday to clarify what camps she means. But in World War II, the U.S. government forced about 110,000 Japanese-Americans and Japanese into internment camps after Japan attacked Pearl Harbor. Presidents have apologized to those who were interned, and Congress voted for compensation.

“We’ve got to get them off the street, and they have to live and sleep somewhere,” Baker said. “Not in prison, but they should be held until we ship them out and they should not mingle among the people.

“Who knows what diseases they are carrying or if they are criminals? They snuck in here and are walking among us. This is wrong.

Wait a minute. Camps in the nineteen-forties? Do you know what this means? The diseased criminal immigrants must have been in cahoots with the Reds! They were all part of a vast conspiracy, along with ACORN, to poison our water supply and sap and impurify our fluids during periods of early voting!

I need a blackboard.

Now, she made these remarks in front of a friendly 9-12 Project meetup on August 2, and they were warmly received by the audience, but no one else really noticed until the YouTube video started circulating.

Her campaign has not clarified her remarks about Miami camps in the 1940′s or ’50′s, and there is some speculation that the model she had in mind was the Japanese internment camps of WWII, but there is another possibility.

There were camps in the Miami area for migrants in the ’40′s – migrant labor camps. Camps set up to house a workforce so desperate for employment that entire families were literally walking into the state hoping for a chance to work backbreaking agricultural jobs for subsistence wages. Luckily for the workers, generous area landowners stood ready to provide exactly that!

A lot of these families hailed from nearby Southern states – that is, they were American citizens, but migrant labor camps did not discriminate – they were quite happy to take in workers of all races regardless of immigration status, and to a wide-eyed pale-skinned little girl, all of those dirt encrusted farm laborers must have looked quite brown and foreign and deportable.

Most of the diverse people who comprised the influx of workers into Florida in the later years of the Great Depression came from other southern states.

These migrant laborers made their way south from Georgia and from throughout the Upper and Mid South (from Eastern North Carolina and Kentucky to Arkansas and Eastern Oklahoma) after the loss of tenant positions on leased farm land, foreclosure, falling farm yields, or the closure of textile factories and other industries forced them away from their homes.

Some Sense of Security

Migrants took whatever little possessions they could carry and traveled, often with their entire families, to the warmth and agricultural abundance of Florida in search of sustenance, shelter, and some measure of economic security.

Of course, without those handy camps, the migrants would have been walking among Marg’s friends and family, spreading disease and fluoride and ACORN propaganda.

So, maybe Marg was thinking of the Japanese-American citizens who were interned by our government, or maybe she was referencing the American migrant workers who were employed by generous landowners in order that she be provided with a refreshing glass of Florida orange juice every morning.

Regardless, it is obvious that her motives are pure – lily white, actually – and that she is a woman of great vision – a woman we can trust with our bodily fluids without fear of losing our essence.

I’ll give Marg the last word (from the video):

“We gotta have guns!”

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