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Joni Ernst and Sarah Palin
Joni Ernst and Sarah Palin
Now that hog-castrator, soldier, mother Joni Ernst is the Republican nominee for Iowa's open Senate seat, the race is on for the GOP to define her as a friendly non-extremist swing state candidate. Witness a Politico article that repeatedly frames Ernst as a relatively electable, establishment-friendly Republican despite having taken "a host of positions that will give her opponents fodder in the fall." But despite Ernst's farmer-soldier-mom narrative about herself, that host of extremist right-wing positions is at the center of who she is as a candidate.

Joni Ernst not only opposes raising the minimum wage, she doesn't think there should be a federal minimum wage at all. In those words. "I do not support a federal minimum wage."

Ernst is a big fan of amending constitutions. She co-sponsored a personhood amendment to the Iowa constitution, putting her at the furthest extreme of opposition to abortion; voters rejected a personhood amendment in Mississippi in 2011. And at the final debate of the Republican Senate primary, she "volunteered that she would vote for a federal constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage." Marriage equality has been the law in Iowa since 2009.

And, as Markos wrote Wednesday morning:

But of all her assorted craziness, none is likely more damaging than her opposition of the farm bill. In Iowa. The Tea Party crowd is excited they got their new Sarah Palin. But this isn't Alaska.
Maybe Ernst was legitimately the great Republican hope for Iowa, but if so, that speaks more to the lunacy of her primary competitors than to Ernst actually agreeing with the majority of Iowans on big issues. So congratulations, Republicans. You got your Sarah Palin-endorsed, Social Security-privatizing, minimum wage-opposing dream candidate.

Originally posted to Laura Clawson on Wed Jun 04, 2014 at 01:28 PM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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