Sunday, August 16, 2009

They Have Become That Which They Used to Mock

Latest Newspaper Column:
Remember when former Gov. Sarah Palin implored the press, for the sake of the troops, to "stop makin' things up"?

Well, the Resigning Woman apparently has already forgotten, because when it came to the health-care debate, she has gone and made up a doozy.

"The America I know and love," she claimed, "is not one in which my parents or my baby with Down Syndrome will have to stand in front of Obama's 'death panel' so his bureaucrats can decide, based on a subjective judgment of their 'level of productivity in society,' whether they are worthy of health care. Such a system is downright evil."

Such a system is also a complete fabrication.

Nowhere, in any bill before Congress, or in any health-care proposal being seriously considered by anyone, is there any kind of proposal for any kind of panel that requires someone to prove their "level of productivity in society" to get medical care.

Palin also seems to have forgotten how much she hates her kids being brought into the spotlight, because she's sure not shy anymore about waving little Trig over her head like a bloody shirt to stir up people's emotions.

And stir them up she has, along with the noise machine comprising Fox News and the right-wing blogosphere. People have been showing up at town hall meetings on the health-care issue, not to debate, but to disrupt the meetings and shout down representatives and senators trying to talk about the proposal currently before Congress.

Some of them are sort of amusing, like the old dude who showed up loudly demanding that the federal government "keep its hands out of Medicare." Others, less amusing, have showed up armed. There have been at least three guns seized so far at meetings attended by President Obama, one taken from a man named William Kostric who showed up with a big pistol strapped to his hip and sign that said "It's Time to Water the Tree of Liberty."

If you're not familiar with the reference, it's a quote from Thomas Jefferson, and the "water" that Jefferson speaks of is "the blood of tyrants and patriots." But I'm sure Mr. Kostric just showed up to have an honest dialogue. I'm equally sure anyone who'd like to sit down and debate this column with me won't mind if I strap a big ol' hogleg revolver to my hip and carry a sign saying "Wingnut Tastes Just Like Chicken" to the meeting.

It's funny. I also seem to re-call a time when the worst thing you could say about a politician, or about anyone's politics in general, was that they were "angry." Howard Dean, they said, was "unelectable" because oh my stars, he was so angry!

All during the Bush years, the so-called "liberal" media tut-tutted over the "Angry Left," (with the "Left" being flexibly defined as anyone who deviated from the worship of the Dear Leader George W. Bush). Sean Hannity, in particular, is fond of piously denouncing that "angry left" and asserting that he "absorbs their hate" for you. What a guy.

I remember a lot of hand-wringing over leftist groups like Code Pink, whose members would show up at hearings and holler before they were hauled off by security. And yet red-faced, near-apoplectic screaming, when done by people who hate the current president, is just "ordinary Americans exercising their First Amendment rights."

From the "birthers" who assert, despite all evidence, that Barack Obama isn't an American citizen, to the "teabaggers" who assert that a 35.0 percent top tax rate under Bush is sound fiscal policy but a proposed bump to 39.5 percent in that rate is, literally, the greatest tyranny since Hitler, to the town hall protesters who strap guns to their hips and scream about mythical "death panels" at meetings on health-care reform, the American Right has apparently, decided to turn itself into exactly the kind of angry, strident, racial-identity-obsessed, hysterically paranoid fringe that they once accused the Left of being.

And it's OK for them to do it, they tell us, because some "leftist" did it once. But it's still not OK that a leftist did it. That's right-wing logic for you.


Leigh said...

Actually Dusty, the man in Vermont with the gun who you mentioned was not arrested, as I understand it (he was, however,understandably denied entry to the TH venue by the secret service). He had a valid carry permit and wore it openly. That's perfectly legal in VT.
He was not the problem. He was just trying to make a point (and get on TV). He succeeded.
You and I don't have to like or even understand the point he was trying to make, but he was not the problem you suggest he was, regardless of signage and apparently had no problem staying outside.

The man who was actually arrested got into the venue (middle or high school IIRC) and had a pocket knife concealed in his pants pocket. As I understand it there were big signs up by the screeners and he could have walked out and stuck it in his truck, or handed it over, but he did not. After his arrest they searched his truck and found an unlicensed gun. No word whether or not he actually planned to do anything, but that's what he was arrested for.

pattinase (abbott) said...

It is sickening that a country as rich as ours cannot provide health care for every citizen. If Obama lets this go, they will merely look for another issue to try and bring him down.

Fran said...

I had to put a link to this blog post up on my blog, because it's absolutely accurate and well said.

Did you see the story about the man holding up a sign that said "Death to Obama Death to Michelle and her two stupid kids"? Somehow I thought death threats to the President would be taken more seriously than a scolding and taking away his sign.

But what do I know? Hey, I mean if it's okay to take a gun to a potentially explosive meeting with the President, what's the harm in a little sign, right?

Charlieopera said...

JD: Isn’t this a bit like beating a dead horse? They’ve become what they once mocked … they’re lunatics … wingnuts … they don’t play fair … they’re despicable … they speak with forked tongue … I agree, but what does that (or do they) have to do with the Democrats in the Senate blocking Obama’s Health Reform?

JD Rhoades said...

Leigh, I didn't actually say he was arrested, but I did say he got his gun taken away, which was incorrect.

Charlie: I'm as pissed at the Blue Dog Democrats as anyone, especially since they seem to be killing the public option. But on the other hand, no Blue Dog ever called me a traitor and said I wanted soldiers to die for political gain. I think the Blue Dogs are a pack of weak-ass appeasers, but they never accused me of wanting to kill Down's syndrome babies. So I will beat whatever goddamn horses it pleases me to beat, capisce?

Tom said...

It's time to stop wasting pixels by repeating the screeds of the lying liars, and spend a few more ergs on counteracting them.

The Making Light OMG! TRUEST TRUTH EVER THEY DON'T WANT U 2 C!! has the makings of a good country song, if a certain North Carolina guitar owner where to have a cut at it . . .

Charlieopera said...


Wow, you sound angry.

I just shit my pants.

JD Rhoades said...

Wow, you sound angry.


Charlieopera said...

Vent it where it belongs, my brother ... at the Blue Dogs ... and should Obama not be able to reign in his party, then vent it at him for not getting it done ... because lunatics on the right saying crazy shit right now has nothing to do with the health care fiasco. Unjustly scared senior citizens, believe it or not, don't make a difference as long as 60 Senate Democrats vote for reform. Blowing steam at right wing whackjobs is a perfect distraction for the health industry. While the so-called left screams at wingnuts (lunatics who clearly can't be reasoned with), the only people who can CHANGE things are the Democratics blocking it. Saying you're pissed at Blue Dogs as an aside while constantly trumpeting what lunatics the lunatics are accomplishes what exactly?

I know, I know ... it's your blog ... io capisco but io does what io wants (aint liberty grand?).

The horse that needs to be beaten into submission (if that's at all possible) is the Blue Dog contingent. You really want change, go after it ... but your aim is way off and I suspect the health industry couldn't be more pleased seeing all that wasted energy dilute itself in emotional finger pointing.

The fact of the matter today is Democrats are holding up health care reform. Blue dogs, yellow dogs, whatever ... they're Democrats.

Obama needs to hang them out to dry or find a new line of shit to sell because it's been 8 months and the only change I've seen is an escalation in one war (for God knows what anymore) while we're still in the wrong war in the wrong place at the wrong time.

I know it upsets you when I keep pointing this stuff out, but the point is to hammer home just how little difference there is (has been) between the two parties.

I guess one being useless (Democrats) as opposed to criminal (Republican) is a difference, but the net affect is pretty much the same (workers getting screwed at every turn).

There are other choices. Maybe the time has come to take them seriously. Sorry, but that would require people start looking at what the party of your choice actually does for its constituents rather than what wingnuts on the other side of the aisle say about them.

David Terrenoire said...

And now Mike Huckabee is in Israel criticizing our government on foreign soil!


I never did get that "on foreign soil" crap. Like CNN stops at the border. Gimme a fucking break.