Hey, how about them Dems, huh? Harry Caray would have been proud of some Chi-towners this week. The concept of reforming health care has been around almost as long as the Cubbies' last World Series win in the 19-aughts. Since we've raised the comparison to barrier-breaking Jackie Robinson before (conclusion: Obama's no Jackie), we were all set to analogize to America's pasttime yet again. But a funny thing happened on the way to the ballgame. Some crazy fans started brawling in the cheap seats, and the losing team came out of the dugout to toss a few more bats into the fray.
Seriously, what is up with all this violence and hate on the nutbar right? The process took more than a year; they had their August town halls; Obama wasn't on his game at the beginning, he took single payer off the table, there was no public option at the end... The bill they now call "reform" does some good things, sure, but still needs improvement. It is a moderate fix to a broken, unsustainable system; it was a Republican plan from 40 years ago; Romneycare from 4 years ago. So where is the socialism? Where is the government takeover?
And what is worse, where are 'opposition party' leaders to condemn the fringe? Why is the 2nd of only 2 major political parties in this country if not outright condoning then subliminally encouraging such a rise in right-wing extremism? There is no "Militia" in G-O-P (but there is the "M" in T-E-A...-M). We haven't been unconditional supporters of the Dems, but come on, this faux rage is ri-donk-u-lous! And it's faux, alright, as in Faux News. Check out Steven Benen's Political Animal blog, linked on the right. Or Bob Cesca. If you have the time, read some comments to that HuffPo piece. Some of these folks are just unhinged. [College hoops are not the only Madness this month, by the way. Zing! We're good at sports puns. And how cool is it that Steven Weber, yes the same, is writing on Bob's blog?]
So if there's that much anger at HCR, why aren't the Tea Partiers threatening Wall St. ??? Where are the calls for trying war criminals who committed or authorized torture, or lied the country into war? You know what would have paid for health care reform by now? Not invading and occupying Iraq. We're not shrinks here, and we didn't stay at a Holiday Inn Express recently, but if we had to speculate, the racists are really vocal right now. How else to account for it? There are almost zero-to-no people of color at Tea Party rallies; there is no Big Tent. These loons were never going to accept a black President, and thanks to the MSM's horse-race mentality, and to Republican batshades, their paranoid lunacy is being shoved right out onto the open field. The delegitimizing process began before the election in November 2008 and has kept on chugging right up to present day.
So, to the MSM: stop giving these whackjobs a platform; stop with the false equivalency. And to so-called Republicans: stop this cycle of hate, this Naomi Klein Shock Doctrine of a strategery has no place even in the game of politics. [By the way, Keith, your Special Comment was great on Monday night, but the target audience doesn't watch you]. We can only hope that government-run law enforcement is there in time; that government-run fire departments -- all paid for with Tea Party tax dollars -- can travel across public roads to help whenever called. When you bench the best you got, and you bring the crazies up from the minors, when all that's left is co-opted anger and fear, that is one losing team.
Here's a final question to ponder: how many wingnuts does it take to change the scoreboard at Wrigley Field? A>: we never want to find out.