The fanatical Tea-Party members and hard-core right wing activists are acting like reactionary rabble-rousers, and are being egged on with the consent and support of the Republican Party. Their anti-government agenda may even affect the re-election of some republicans whom they feel are not sufficiently conservative. One such senator is Robert F. Bennett, a conservative of Utah. This is causing some republicans in Washington to ask, If Bob Bennett is not conservative enough, who is?
As Eugene Robinson stated in today’s (3/26/2010) New York Times, “Let's not pretend anymore that the tea party movement is harmless. The right to protest is one of our cherished American freedoms. But there is no right to vandalism, no right to threaten our elected officials' lives. Someone is going to get hurt unless those who lead the movement -- and those who exploit it -- start acting like responsible adults.” He goes on to comment on how Sarah Palin is the Eva Peron of the tea party crowd with her Facebook targeting of Democrats with rifle scope symbols. “That anyone still listens to this person is one of the most unfortunate unintended consequences of social networking.”
Democrats may have hated George W. Bush, but there was none of the overt disrespect of the Office of the President as we have today. The Republicans, when they lose control of the white house, seem to display their hatred and detestation. The Republican party's stated objective is to destroy this president before the 2012 elections. Similar hatred existed while Bill Clinton was President, but not quite at the same volume as today. Perhaps this health-care madness is just what is needed. The voters can now see how childish their elected representatives really are. They will also begin to see that they were lied to by their representives who were trying to prevent this historic health-care overhaul.
The right-wing nut cases are being inspired by blogger, Mike Vanderboegh, a 57-year-old former militiaman from Alabama. Vanderboegh has been in the sights of the Anti-Defamation League and the Southern Poverty Law Center, which have documented the rise of right-wing militia and "patriot" groups. This statement, by a militia member, was found on TPM (Talking Points Memo) Blog. It describes their potential danger of these militias: “Obama is the worst president since FDR. Bush and Clinton and, evidently all of the presidents since FDR were fronts for the collectivists. John "I Support the Bailout" McCain is just as bad. Obama is better because he will act crazier and spur the citizen militia to action. But no one should assassinate Obama because that is what they did to Lincoln and that made Lincoln a Messiah and that is why we are in the trouble we are today. Obama must be arrested following the victory of the armed militia and properly tried before he is executed. If this is accomplished everything will work out fine and dandy.”
Rachel Maddow provided this sketchy history on her TV show: “There is a three percent solution. This is at least a double pun on Sherlock Holmes' Seven Percent Solution and Suskind's slam on Cheney called The One Percent Solution. It may seem that the Majority in any democracy can become authoritarian vis a vis the minority. But if Mike Vanderboegh can get just three percent of the population well trained and armed he will have an army approaching 10 million and as Bill Cosby liked to put it: LET THE BEATINGS BEGIN!!”
Here in the South, the Republicans make comments about how Obama is an idiot and doesn't know what he is doing. The "N" word is almost always woven into their statements. They listen to Rush Limbaugh and watch Fox News (unfair and unbalanced). They think the mainstream media isn't truthful like Fox is. Many of these republicans, who hang out in the coffee shops, spew the racial epitaphs and complain about how the government if going to socialize medicine. Hypocritically, many of them are on Medicare, receive Social Security checks, and some are even receiving Medicaid benefits.
The health care bill may not be all that the progressives wanted. It was challenged at every step of the way by the opponents. and the majority party has won this battle. From what I learned in elementary school math, 59 Democratic senators versus 41 Republican senators is a majority. Likewise, 220 Democrats versus 207 Republicans is also a majority in the House of Representatives. After over 50 years of trying to get universal health care for all Americans, which exists in all other industrial nations, it has now passed. The majority has won as it should have in a democracy.
Jimmy Carter was right. Much of the hostility toward this president is about race. It was one thing to lose to a Bubba, but losing to a black was too much for them. The black man is the President and his health-care bill is now the law of the land. Once people really begin to see that the health-care benefits for the poor and disenfranchised are an acceptable responsibility of our society, lets hope they can become more civil and end this madness.
Update - March 28, 2010: Read Frank Rich's column in today's New York Times, titled, "The Rage in Not About Health-care". He provides a history of previous congressional battles, which supports some of the opinions above and states that the madness is not about health-care.
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