Thursday, September 3, 2009

Party Of Lunatics

I was planning on writing about the now-certain death of the public option following Obama's statement that he wouldn't be addressing the issue in his upcoming speech to Congress, but Allison Kilkenny saved me the trouble. Her post is a must read, and I echo her sentiments fully, especially her final two paragraphs:

"Watered down bills, hybrids, triggers, and so-called “compromises” (tantamount to full surrender) are all window-dressing for a Democratic President and Democratically-controlled Congress capitulating to a fringe mob of radicals and coterie of corporate insurance and pharmaceutical companies by killing the public option.

Uygur argues that the Progressives should vote no on Obama’s healthcare bill if it doesn’t include a public option, and I agree. If Democrats buckle on the public option, not only will Republicans feel buoyed up by the surrender, but Democrats will lose all credibility with their base. They will permanently become the Party of Surrender, and the healthcare reform disaster will infect all future areas of contentious policy. The death of the public option will mean the death of the Democrats."

She's exactly right, and at this point little else has to be said.

So instead I'll pass along an example of full-blown hysteria, care of the GOP. From OnlineAthens (via Ed Murray):

"MADISON - U.S. Rep. Paul Broun is again raising the specter of Democrats turning the United States into a totalitarian state.

Broun, R-Athens, apparently has not changed his belief that President Obama may be a fascist since he made similar remarks in Augusta in November and then in an Associated Press interview.

He told a meeting of the Morgan County Republicans on Wednesday night that Obama already has or will have the three things he needs to make himself a dictator: a national police force, gun control and control over the press."


Broun's hypocrisy--that it is in fact the Democratic Party that's leading the fight in subverting the law and overstepping boundaries--would be surprising only to someone who hasn't lived in or read about America for the last decade. The GOP has shown itself to be a mob of morally and intellectually bankrupt thugs willing to do or say anything to retain power. That said, it is still disconcerting to learn how well received Broun's message has been.

"More than 1,000 people combined turned out to hear Broun speak mostly on the topic of health care at town hall meetings Wednesday in Madison and Greene County.

About 300 attended the Madison meeting. At Lake Oconee, the audience filled three 300-seat movie theaters, where Broun spoke on the invitation of three local doctors who have been giving presentations on Democrats' proposals for health care reform, said Bob Cowles, one of the organizers. Broun spoke live in one theater, while crowds in the other two listened in over a closed circuit."

Greene County has a population of about 15,600, and Madison County has a population of about 28,000. So, roughly between 2 and 3 percent of the population came out to hear Broun. While that's not a ton of people, it's not nothing. My guess is that the size of these crowds will continue to grow, as people who are naturally drawn to this fringe hysteria will see every new government program as further proof of their paranoia. That is one of the trademarks of the apocalyptic mindset, and we'll see it come up more and more.

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