Thursday, March 25, 2010

Oh, And Yet Another Thumbs Up--With Reservations

How could I, in my listing of the benefits of the healthcare reform passed Sunday, neglect to mention yet another glowing benefit I see? It just fries the living hell out of the Republicans and all their slavering Tea Party allies. Who, by the way, I applaud. The Republicans can use all the daft and ignorant help they can get. And if they get enough of them to help, the Republicans will be running the Tea Party pinup heroine, Sarah Palin for president in 2012.  Which means the country will not have them running anything for another four years, the sweep would be so massive. And who knows, a massive sweep like that might just do them in as a party . . . and that would be a very good thing, indeed.

Sorry. Sometimes I let myself indulge in such flights of fancy. It would be nice if the country could count on something like that actually happening. But I seriously doubt the Republican party would be so self-destructive as to actually put up a candidate like Palin, or even a guy like Newt Gingrich, who, only God knows why, thinks he could be president.

In fact, although it's amusing to see the apoplexy on the right that's greeted passage of the healthcare bill, there are some aspects of this whole matter that are really not so amusing at all. A Washington Post columnist commented that the passage of the healthcare bill was "one of the ugliest and strangest periods the American legislative process has ever experienced." Last Sunday in the capitol in Washington, D.C. Two drunken hecklers were cheered by House Republicans from the floor when they were escorted out of the galleries. A black Democratic Congressman was spat upon, and some of his other black colleagues were called "niggers" by a raging crowd of tea party demonstrators on the Capitol steps. Dozens of Republican congressmen egged the crowd on with cheers, applause, and banners from the Capitol balcony and by leading chants of "Kill the Bill!" Of course, Oklahoma nitwit Republicans were represented on the balcony. Congresswoman Mary Fallin helped two of her colleagues drape a "Don't Tread on Me" flag over the banister.

Barney Franks was verbally assaulted two consecutive days by people screaming "faggot" and "queer" at him.The entire Democratic caucus walked through a gauntlet of protesters to screams of "You communists! You socialists! You hate America!" The tone was not any better inside. Read the piece. She names names of Republican congressmen who contributed to the acrimony on the floor. Apparently the tone remained acidic right up until the time the bill passed. GOP House leader John Boehner of Ohio, whom I must confess I heartily dislike, completely lost his composure, shouting at his Democratic colleagues, just as did many of his fellow Republicans.

Need we belabor the perfectly obvious point? This is just despicable, shameful behavior. To think that members of the U.S. congress would stoop to the kind of scurrilous antics that the crazy people out on the lawn were engaged in. It should be a scandal . . . but of course, it's not. Millions of people think this kind of behavior is just fine. Note also that not a single Republican has lifted his voice to protest the ranting lunacy of Glenn Beck, Limbaugh, Hannity, and other dangerous demagogues stirring up hatred and fear in millions of people.

A small footnote. My wife had lunch with a friend today, a college graduate, who was relating a story about talking to her daughter, who is visibly distraught about the socialism Obama is bringing to the country. She's greatly concerned that she won't be able to afford private schools for her little boy so he won't have to listen to socialist teachers saying it's OK to marry homosexuals. Can you believe this? The country is off its rocker.
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