Friday, August 14, 2009

The crazies' days of August

Well, I did promise to post more but this last month has caught me flatfooted and jaw dropped.

By now, I'm sure you're all aware of the health care town hall shenanigans of the far right. Screaming inanities, shouting down members of Congress, carrying guns to these meetings, etc. - OK, I admit it, this is a new one on me. I know, I expected the sore loser/sour grapes Republican Party of Rural Areas and the South to take defeat badly. That the man who beat them was at least half black would make their whining even louder was a given. Bill Clinton nailed it back when he was the popular Democratic President. He was asked why the Republicans/cons hated him so. His answer was simple and devastating: "I won."

President Obama won too but at least he doesn't have to deal with an orchestrated hunt on him financed by Richard Mellon Scaife that goes back to his days in Illinois. With no sex scandal in the offing or the prospect of the Republicans taking control of Congress any time soon there won't be another phony, trumped-up impeachment circus for him to deal with either. All he has facing him is a shrinking, shrieking opposition party and the cranks, crackpots and nutters that make it up now.

However, as callers to talk shows like to say, that isn't what I wrote this about.

I'm retired, have a lot of time for emails and email groups (mostly political of course), and at least three of them are a mix of left and right. Fortunately for me, this makes it so I don't have to watch Fox Noise or listen to rightwing hate radio for even a second to get the day's line for the sheeple of the far right - all I have to do is read the posts from the righties in these groups and it's all right there, faithfully repeated for me.

Now that the "conservatives" are out of power (and even when they were in), there's always been weak defenses of the GOP when they get caught doing something bad. For years it was the "BUT...WHAT ABOUT CLINTON?!!" line which was supposed to let the Republicans off the hook by summoning up charges, real or imaginary, about the former President and extending out his flaws to the entire Democratic Party. After it became impossible to blame Clinton for everything the Republicans did, that line morphed into "BUT....THE DEMOCRATS DID IT TOO!!" - the idea being that if they found anything even remotely something similar to what they did being done before by any Democrat, anywhere it was supposed to protect them by invoking the correlary, "AND IT DIDN'T BOTHER YOU THEN!!"

The result of all that whining and crying from the right? A Democrat in the White House, Congress controlled by Democrats, more registered Democrats than Republicans, polls giving the Democratic Party around 56% approval and giving the Republican Party approval numbers in the 20s.

You'd think they'd figure out that their line didn't work and they should try something else. But, alas for them, this is not to be.

Now we have the birthers/deathers/crackpots and racists screaming their little lungs out and thinly-disguised threats of violence during this month's health care reform meetings by Representatives in their districts. This is getting pretty bad press for the Republicans and insurance companies who've urged the freaks on, told them where to go and even gave them a list of things to do once they're there. The latest Gallup poll says people are sypathetic to protestors going to the town halls and having their say (something I have no problem with either) but also say that the tactic of shouting people down at these meetings is an abuse of democracy by a good sized majority. Oh, and the President's approval number went back up to 63% in the Gallup poll too, and they say it's because of the town hall yellers.

Oh my, this isn't good for the righties at all. What to do, what to do.....

Wait, I know! Morph the old GOP defense one more time!!

Which they have, to wit: "BUT...THE LEFT DID IT TOO!!"

For this one, they're not only going for the Democrats. They're tossing in everything from the e-vil ACORN boogeyman, CODE PINK and SEIU "union thugs" to (mainly) the student radicals who protested the Vietnam War 40+ years ago to try to sell this version. There are some similarities - those student radicals were pretty rowdy back in their day. ACORN, CODE PINK, SEIU, etc.? Not so much.

As always, there is a big problem with this argument as well. Student radicals in the 60s may have been disruptive at meetings back then and did their own shouting down but they didn't do it with guns either concealed or strapped to their waists. They may have waved the North Vietnamese flag but they didn't carry little homemade signs saying death to anybody. They didn't attend a member of Congress' meet-and-greet and "drop" a gun at it. They also didn't stand 75 feet from where the President was about to enter a meeting place with a gun strapped to an ankle and a sign that referred to Jefferson's quote about the tree of liberty being fed by the blood of patriots and tyrants by saying it's time to do that again.

Do I sense another MAJOR FAIL for the latest version of the conservative pat excuse for what they are doing coming up?

I think I do.

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