13 August, 2009

Happy Hour Discurso

Today's opining on the public discourse.

America's right-wing nutjobs have been wound up to such a pitch of paranoia that they're faxing racist rants and death threats to Congressmen, bringing guns to town halls, sneaking guns into events featuring the President, ranting about "watering the tree of liberty," holding up "Death to Obama" signs, and going apeshit when 11 year-olds ask the President pertinent questions. Pretend patriots are preparing for war with the government. And all of this is just a small sample of the insanity. It's not a matter of if, but when, these delusional dumbfucks end up killing someone. Responsible politicians would be trying to dial back the crazy and calm the public.

The vast majority of Cons are not responsible politicians.

Here we have Grassley, the Great Negotiator of Bipartisan Health Reform, jumping on the Grannykiller bandwagon:
Ladies and gentlemen, I present you with the leading Republican lawmaker negotiating a "compromise" on health care reform.

One of the three Republican senators working on a bipartisan health care bill perpetuated a particularly outrageous untruth about the legislation on Wednesday.

Appearing at a town hall in his home state of Iowa, Sen. Chuck Grassley told a crowd of more than 300 that they were correct to fear that the government would "pull the plug on grandma."

"There is some fear because in the House bill, there is counseling for end-of-life," Grassley said. "And from that standpoint, you have every right to fear. You shouldn't have counseling at the end of life. You ought to have counseling 20 years before you're going to die. You ought to plan these things out. And I don't have any problem with things like living wills. But they ought to be done within the family. We should not have a government program that determines if you're going to pull the plug on grandma."


Joe Klein on Grassley's comments: "[H]e either (a) hasn't the vaguest notion of what's in the bill or (b) he is so intimidated by the ditto-head-brown-shirts that he is trying to fudge a response to keep them happy. Either way, he should be ashamed.
The saddest part is that the President is treating this fucktarded assclown as a legitimate lawmaker. He is not. He's a demagogue and a con man who doesn't care how many people he harms.

Rep. Mica is also a dangerous demagogue:

Rep. John Mica (R-FL) told a Florida radio station today that the health care legislation being considered by the House of Representatives will authorize the creation of “death counselors“:

“They create a whole new category,” Mica, a Winter Park Republican, said on WDBO. “There are death counselors. There is authorization for reimbursement for those counselors for Medicare. You have a whole new cottage industry.

Mica joins several other conservatives in promoting the conspiracy theory that health reform legislation is secretly designed to kill old people.
Michael Steele is a dangerous demagogue:

On Fox News today, RNC Chairman Michael Steele became the latest right-wing figure to endorse former Alaska governor Sarah Palin’s ludicrously false claim that health care reform will contain “death panels.” “I think that’s perfectly appropriate,” said Steele:

CAVUTO: Now obviously in this environment a lot of vitriol comes forth. Michael, I just wanted to get your reaction to some of your co-party members, former Alaska governor Palin, who calls these panels that are essentially going to be dispensing care or deciding it, death panels. That sort of thing — is that proper? Is that right?

STEELE: Well, I think it’s, I think it’s proper because its within the context of what people are seeing in some of the legislation that’s floating around out there. When you’re talking about panels that are going to be imposed, that will be making life and death decisions, that will be making decisions about whether or not you get health care or don’t receive health care. I think that’s perfectly appropriate.

Minnesota Cons are dangerous demagogues:

It's official: The GOP is officially taking the Dems-will-kill-seniors message to paid television advertising.

The Minnesota Republican Party, plus the support of the Republican National Committee, have been running TV ads version of the RNC's previous "Reforma" Web ad, a parody of pharmaceutical ads, only targeting "the Obama-Pelosi prescription for building a government takeover of health care."


One of the potential side effects: "The government can deny your health care based on patient age." That same line was in the original Web ad -- but now it's on paid TV.

Even those Cons who on the surface look sane are spineless pieces of shit:

The problem, from Isakson's perspective, is that he's now inadvertently defended reality, when his party is committed to doing the opposite. Republican senators aren't supposed to debunk nonsensical talking points; they're supposed to repeat nonsensical talking points.

So, Isakson is left with an awkward task: walking back honest support for his own proposal.

"Isakson vehemently opposes the House and Senate health care bills, and he played no role in drafting language added to the House bill by House Democrats calling for the government to incentivize doctors by offering them money to conduct end-of-life counseling," Isakson's office said in a statement.

But Isakson did sponsor a Senate health committee amendment in July, which would allow anyone who participates in a long-term health benefit to receive living will and power of attorney counseling. Isakson offices says the difference with his amendment is that it allows patients to ask for help on these issues instead of incentivizing doctors who take Medicare to provide this counseling.

Isakson is trying to emphasize a difference that hardly exists. As Marc Ambinder explained, "In reality, the Senate language and the House bill pretty much do the same thing. Both expand the information and choices made available to the terminally ill. Both would incentivize the same behavior by doctors. Neither would create a death panel. Neither mandates counseling."

Isakson defended reality for a few minutes, and Democrats appreciated it. As a result, Isakson now feels the need to backpedal, which in and of itself is a sign of the times.

And Rep. Broun shows that when it comes to outrageous fearmongering, the GOP sees no need to stop at health care reform lies:
Once in a while, I get the sense that prominent far-right officials make ridiculous and offensive comments precisely because they want to drive crazy followers into fits of rage. It is, in other words, a feature, not a bug.

Rep. Paul Broun (R) of Georgia, for example, told constituents yesterday that Democratic leaders may be moving towards declaring martial law. David Weigel reports:

[Broun] spoke of a "socialistic elite" -- Obama, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid -- who might use a pandemic disease or natural disaster as an excuse to declare martial law.

"They're trying to develop an environment where they can take over," he said. "We've seen that historically."

Now, as a factual matter, this is blisteringly stupid. But as a political matter, the only reason a right-wing lawmaker would say something like this is if he's deliberately trying to drive already-angry conservatives over the edge. Broun sees a simmering fire, and he's reaching for the kerosene. He realizes far-right activists are feeling paranoid and enraged, so he tells them the nation's political leaders are "trying" to impose some kind of fascistic martial law on the populace.

It's more than just irresponsible; it's the kind of rhetoric people offer when they want to encourage a furious mob to get even angrier. While we ponder when the "right-wing primal scream" might get out of hand, we have elected members of Congress holding trying to amplify that scream.

Their lies, hysteria and bullshit have led to death threats against their fellow lawmakers:

Another Democratic Congressman now says he has received threats over the health care bill: Dennis Moore of Kansas.

Moore told the Fox affiliate in Kansas City that he has received two separate threats in the last ten days. Moore also said that because of the threats, and because of the examples he's seen from other members' town halls, he won't be hold any town halls himself.


Rep. Brad Miller (D-NC) and Rep. Brian Baird (D-WA) have also announced that they've received threats.

It's bad enough when it's people like Limbaugh and Beck spreading the insanity. It's outrageous when the same myths, calculated to terrify the right wing footsoldiers into shutting down democracy and driving them to violence, are repeated by lawmakers who should know better.

Cons like to bluster about how they love America better than anyone else. That's another lie. Those who love America wouldn't work so hard to tear it apart to serve their own desire for power and money.

When the fires they're fueling finally explode, they will be responsible for the destruction.

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