And what's the response among Democratic leftists and the mass media? Dig in further in demonizing concerned citizens as "Functionally Retarded Adults" and "hypocritical nihilists." Janeane Garofalo's at it again, for example. She attacked the "teabaggers" once more in a performance at D.C.'s 9:30 Club on Friday night:
Do you remember tea baggers?" Garofalo said. "It was just so much easier when we could just call them racists. I just don't know why we can't call them racists, or functionally retarded adults" ...Also, Kevin Drum attacked town hall protesters as "nihilists and hypocrities":
"The functionally retarded adults, the racists - with their cries of, ‘I want my country back,'" she said. "You know what they're really saying is, ‘I want my white guy back.' They apparently had no problem at all for the last eight years of habeas corpus being suspended, the Constitution being [expletive] on, illegal surveillance, lied to on a war or two, two stolen elections - yes, the John Kerry one was stolen too. That's not tin-foil hat time. That's just..."
Both parties have their extreme wings, but the GOP's is not only way deeper into crazy land ("death panels" for them vs a public option for the most liberal Dems), but it's virtually all they have left. Michele Bachman is pretty much the modal Republican now, not just a fringe nutball. Conversely, Dennis Kucinich, who's far to the left but perfectly sane and coherent, barely gets the time of day from the mainstream core of the Democratic Party.Right.
I don't actually mind if most or all Republicans vote against healthcare reform. They're Republicans! They're opposed to expanded government programs and private sector regulation and new entitlements. But the death panels and the home nursing inanity and the "healthcare racism" and the town hall screeching and all the rest are the mark of a party that's gone completely off the rails. They're doomed until they figure out a way to extricate themselves from the Beck/Limbaugh/Fox News axis of hysteria.
Drum really ought to check public opinion polls once in a while. Currenty, just one fourth of the American public "strongly approves" of President Obama, and a majority of 51 percent disapproves of the president's performance:
The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Sunday [August 23, 2009] shows that 27% of the nation's voters Strongly Approve of the way that Barack Obama is performing his role as President. Forty-one percent (41%) Strongly Disapprove giving Obama a Presidential Approval Index rating of -14. These figures mark the lowest Approval Index rating yet recorded for this President.Then we have the mainstream press, which is totally in the tank for socialized medicine. The Los Angeles Times has practically become a PR firm for ObamaCare. And yesterday's fawning story of radical Congresswoman Maxine Waters was over the top. And just this morning, the San Jose Mercury News pumps up the "angry white nihilist" line. See, "White Anger Fueling Health Care Debate":
Ex-Marine Jack Burke went toe-to-toe with his congresswoman at a street fair in San Carlos last week, convinced President Barack Obama's health care reform would mean politicians, not doctors, would make his medical decisions.So I guess that's a nice way for the paper to say town hall protesters "just want their white guy back."
It wasn't just health care making him angry, Burke said a few moments later. It was Obama's plan to limit global warming; it was the auto industry and all the other bailouts; AND it was health care. The retiree said it all felt so wrong, so contrary to how he was raised.
"I just feel the government is intruding in our lives," Burke said.
With the civic dialogue aflame with phrases like "death panels" and "the blood of tyrants," conversations with voters like Burke suggest more is brewing in the nation's troubled soul than a debate over the mechanics of health care reform. Many say the tempest over health care has its origin in the new administration's breathtaking pace of change and in the long-term social and demographic trends that helped put the nation's first African-American president in the White House.
But there is also a powerful social catalyst: The recession has savaged whites and middle-aged men to a degree unseen in most people's lifetimes. And that has helped make many in those groups desperately, angrily anxious about change.
In any case, you've got to love Larry the Homeless Guy up top, protesting yesterday at Senator Lisa Murkowski's office in Anchorage. The picture's from Liberty Belle's report:
It was a very calm group with few outbursts. Lucky me, I got to sit right in front of the most rude people there. Big surprise: lefties. When someone mentioned the drift towards socialism this country is experiencing, they booed loudly and yelled unintelligible things. When another woman expressed her concern about the illegal immigration problem, the woman behind me screamed, "RACIST!!" At first I thought she was joking, but no, she was dead serious.Democrats have now invented the "Obama racism corollary" to Godwin's Law (to paraphrase the Economist, leftists have already lost the debate if they're reduced to attacking town hall citizens as "racist").
See also, the Juneau Empire, "More Than 700 Attend Murkowski Town Hall."