“And You Know That It’s Right…”

by A. Jay Adler on March 25, 2010
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Following up on yesterday’s post on the untethering of the GOP from reality, we have

Timothy Egan, The New York Times – “House of Anger

Having welcomed Tea Party rage into their home, and vowing repeal, the Republicans have made a dangerous bargain. First, they are tying their fate to a fringe, one that includes a small faction of overt racists and unstable people. The Quinnipiac poll this week found only 13 percent of Americans say they are part of the Tea Party movement.

ABC News and new media everywhere – “House Democrats Face Violent Threats After Health Care Vote

Rachel Slajda, TPMDC -”It’s The Democrats Who Are Fanning The Flames of Violence” say House Minority Whip Eric Cantor

by talking about the threats against them.

No, what Democrats should do is try to cover up the political psychosis that has gripped elements of the GOP and conservative movements. There are two defining elements of political extremism. One is the loss of judgment, the broken mental scale by which phenomena are analyzed and evaluated, in themselves, in their analogical relation to other phenomena, and in their significance. The other is the self-justifying mechanism by which excessive behavior, the breaking of boundaries of behavior – even to the point of violence – finds its ground in the faulty judgment.  A war with which one disagrees and a level of social inequity that one, in one’s own mind, judges, literally, to be intolerable, justifies Weather Underground violence. Abortion justifies the murder of doctors. We’re killing the animals: we have to throw blood in people’s faces. We’re polluting the air with auto emissions: we have to blow up Hummers.  The extreme manifestations of anti-Obamaism (which have now displayed themselves far too long and in too many instances and varieties to be dismissed as the meaningless flotsam and jetsam of vigorous democratic debate) justify a whole lot of ugly and ignorant behavior, so far, that clearly has violent inclinations among some, and that is encouraged by conservative voices. All that macho verbal posturing: lock and load.

“Let’s beat the other side to a pulp!” Rep. Steve King, Republican of Iowa, shouted to the last stand of Tea Partiers on Sunday night. “Let’s chase them down! There’s going to be a reckoning.”

Yesterday on this blog, a commenter insisted, responding without embarrassment to the embarrassing Harris Poll, that Obama is like Hitler because – are your ready? – Hitler pursued health care reform too. And he was interested in – the environment. For which those fuel guzzling Panzers and the crematoria proved a healthful balm.

Of course, if one would, which one won’t, one would hardly know where to begin. But for now, here are two places to end.

If I thought the president of the United States was in any measure at all like Hitler (we don’t have anti-Christ’s in my world – might just as well call him a big doodie) – I mean, really – really – really, like Hitler – I know what I’d be doing, and it wouldn’t be attending tea parties or flaming on blogs.

And I wonder how many of those who flirt with insurrection through its rhetoric, or maybe just spit at heroes of the civil rights movement and call them nigger, or prove themselves faggots by calling Barney Frank a “faggot” before putting the bit back between their teeth – I wonder how many of them are just so, so upset because Obama “palled around with terrorists” that they’re ready to do something about it, by God.

Lock and load.

AJA


2 comments

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Maureen March 25, 2010 at 10:25 am

I was thinking about writing about this issue. You’ve written for me.

I’ve come to think it’s impossible to understand how even 13 percent, if indeed that is an accurate percentage, come to be where they are now.

Yesterday, on Rt. 95, not so far from where I live, in the middle of rush hour, with traffic going 30 mph, the drivers of a dump truck and a jaguar, the latter with a tiny child in his car, engaged in what’s called road rage. The dump truck driver “bumped” the jaguar twice; the jaguar’s driver pulled a car and fired 13 shots before the police were able to get both vehicles off the road.

Called it road rage; call it right to life; call it a Tea Party; call it fringe: call it a very sad day in America. The death threats, the violence, the extraordinary lack of care and responsibility for others, for life, for what it means to be human. If the label could stick, I’d call it criminal.

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A. Jay Adler March 25, 2010 at 11:08 am

Maureen, thanks for your comments, here and elsewhere. You do live in an interesting political border state. (I lived there myself, for a year, thirty plus years ago, and spent a month this past fall.) Back and forth it goes. What the GOP/conservative forces need is to hit an absolute bottom – hard to conceive there is that much farther to go – and then reimagine themselves as radically as England’s Labour had to do.

Copithorne, as usual, your comments the need for lengthier consideration than a comment, and since so much is developing on Israel, I’ll incorporate my thoughts into another post, perhaps tomorrow.

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