The New York Times used a controversial comment by Republican U.S. Senate candidate for Missouri Todd Akin to broadly smear Republican candidates in Tuesday's lead editorial, "New Definitions of Extremism – Representative Akin and other primary winners shift ever rightward with the Republican Party."
But the Times is seriously stretching the definition of "extremism" to call include Republican candidates Ted Cruz and Ted Yoho, based on the scanty evidence the Times provides.
As several recent Republican primaries demonstrated, the party continues to nominate Tea Party candidates who create increasingly ludicrous definitions of “far right.” Ted Cruz, who won the Senate primary in Texas and is all but certain to be elected, favors the closure of the Departments of Energy, Commerce and Education, along with the Transportation Security Administration and, naturally, the I.R.S. He says he is very worried that the United Nations is trying to ban golf courses and paved roads.
Ted Yoho, who won a Congressional primary in northern Florida, wants to abolish the income tax and replace it with a sales tax, believes life begins at conception and considers gun ownership a “birthright.”
Cruz's opposition to the United Nations is summarized in less hysterical fashion here, while his desire to shut down some government departments, and Yoho's beliefs on abortion and gun ownership (2nd amendment, anyone?) are mainstream conservatism. Yoho's idea of a national sales tax isn't universally accepted among conservatives, but it's hardly a wacky proposal.