Friday, September 18, 2009

The mob

I have a confession to make: I really don't care about the teabaggers. Are they ill-informed, overwrought and more than a little bigoted? Of course they are. Are they contributing anything useful to the discourse on health care, the economy or foreign policy? Of course they aren't. They're basically the Right's lunatic fringe, the crazy aunt in the attic of conservatism--which is why I think our side should calm down a little and stop worrying that they're going to stage a coup or something. The average teabagger (the political kind, I mean) couldn't find his ass with both hands.

As for the right wing blowhards and loser politicos who lead them, well, they're losers. Who's sitting in the Oval Office? Who controls Congress? If the people who actually hold power fail to make good on their promises, it will be due to their own cowardice and corruption, not the ravings of Rush Limbaugh and a few cranky geezers. The hateful old white folks contingent wields no real political clout, but it does give politicians a convenient bit of misdirection with which to hide their real reasons for not enacting reforms that a vast majority of us want.

As for the seriously deranged and heavily armed minority among the Obama-haters--yeah, they worry me. I'm still stunned that people were allowed to carry firearms at a protest anywhere near the President. I've been to a few lefty demos in my day, and I am absolutely certain that any protester with a gun would have been promptly tackled and arrested, if not simply shot dead. And the reason for that, of course, is that there always have been and always will be people who want to kill the President, whoever he or she is. I don't know why the Secret Service decided to allow that bit of street theater, but the whole incident reflects more on their competence than on some unique homicidal tendency among teabaggers.

All of which is not to say that I don't sympathize with the anger and revulsion the teabagger phenomenon inspires. They make me angry, too. I feel a little heartsick that we've come to the point that a Congressman thinks he can holler "You lie" at the President--but I feel even more heartsick that the President was reassuring us that undocumented immigrants would get no health care when the shout came. Obama was caving in to the Right's agenda, even as one of their yahoos screamed abuse at him.

Mobbing the Tories, from The Project Gutenberg EBook of History of the United States by Charles A. Beard and Mary R. Beard, via Wikimedia Commons


Julie H. Rose said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Julie H. Rose said...

Sorry to have cluttered up your comments section with "comments deleted"; it was merely for typos!

What I had written (without typos now, hopefully) is that I thank you for your most lucid post. I agree with you, and realize now that part of my discomfort has been something that I didn't want to look at - the near-queasiness I felt when I heard Obama say emphatically that we didn't have to fear we'd be helping those nasty illegals,and the bewilderment I have over why we're giving so much credence to such obvious ignorance. And, on a personal level, I do live in a rural backwater, where this mindset is the norm, and I should try to disengage from it (and turn off my radio).

Again, I thank you for your excellent post. Clear thinkers are needed right now!

BitterGrace said...

I kinda wrote this post for myself, Julie, because I have also been pretty upset by some of the videos, etc. Who wouldn't be? But we just can't let those people set the terms of debate for us. It's amazing, if you think about it, that it's 100% politically safe to say that we're going to deny health coverage to people with fuzzy immigration status, including children.

dissed said...

Many of my students (American citizens) have an "illegal" parent. Of these people, most work hard, contribute to our community, volunteer in our schools and do the jobs that others do not want, even in these hard times. Our choices seem to be to (a) deny health care to the entire family (because they can't afford insurance), or (b) ensure that the children receive health care benefits (as citizens), but refuse health care to the undocumented parents. These children will grow up and become voters. Do the right-wing nutcakes think these future voters will forget what happened when Mama got really, really sick and didn't receive care? We can always (c) ensure that everyone has access to health care without fear of losing their families.

We can foist this off on the next generation, or we can fix it now. It won't go away.

BitterGrace said...

Hi dissed--It will be interesting to see the long term political fallout for the anti-immigrant crowd. It's remarkable that career politicians would attach themselves to a "cause" that's so clearly doomed. As you point out, they're bound to pay for their bigotry in the long run.

Mary said...

The right is so flaccid politically right now - I think they're just pissed off.

Olfacta said...

Hear, hear.

So what happens when an "Illegal" shows up at an emergency room in danger of bleeding to death? Do they just ignore him and let him bleed out in the waiting room? Of course not.

These wingnuts are being taken far too seriously, even by the President. I also live in an area where they are thick as fleas. I agree that the river running through all this is racism. It's gotten too illogical for it to be anything else.

BitterGrace said...

Hi, Olfacta--You're right, the rhetoric of the right has become completely irrational. It's fear-fueled craziness.

"Flaccid" is just the word, Mary. ;-)