Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Crazy Never Goes Out of Style in Some Circles

In 1961 when Ronald Reagan was campaigning against Medicare he said, "[I]f you don't [stop Medicare] and I don't do it, one of these days you and I are going to spend our sunset years telling our children and our children's children what it once was like in America when men were free." That's pretty much the jist of the message the GOP has been hammering non-stop since Health Care reform passed in the house. According to them, we are now one black-booted goosestep away from becoming a totalitarian, socialist country. On April 19th (the anniversery of Wako and the Oklahoma City bombing) there is a march being planned in Washington D.C. - and the organizers are encouraging its participants to come armed. Meanwhile, Sarah Palin is tweeting "Commonsense Conservatives & lovers of America: 'Don't Retreat, Instead - RELOAD!' Pls see my Facebook page." Bricks have been tosesed through the windows of local Democratic Headquarters and the office of Representatives Louise Slaughter and Gabrielle Giffords in reaction the HCR becoming law. Some Tea Party leaders gave out (what they thought was) the address of a Virgina congressman who had voted for reform so that they could "drop by and say hi and express their thanks regarding his vote for health care." They slashed the propane line leading to the home. And just a few weeks ago a batshit insane, anti-tax reactionary flew his fully-fueled plane into a federal building.

...and they accused President Obama of palling around with terrorists?

For me, the G.O.P. lost all relevance and any claim to the moral higher ground when they courted disaffected southern Democrats who felt betrayed when the party turned their backs on them and enacted civil rights legislation for black Americans. From that point on they have been on the wrong side of history with very few exceptions. H. W. Bush's showing restraint during the first Gulf War and leaving Saddam Hussein in power is good example. An infinitely unpopular decision at the time but one that the last eight years on the ground in Iraq have show to be a prudent one. Many, many conservative consider dear, old Ronnie not just one of the best presidents in recent history, but in the entire history of the United States - more than Lincoln and Washington combined. To them, he is the very epitome of what the president should be. According to them, He should be added to Mount Rushmore and replace Grant on the $50 bill. Reagan was an amazing politician and an horrific president. Decried "tax and spend" Democrats while burying us in a huge deficit with runaway military spending. He liked to talk tough about America protecting and defending democracy while selling weapons to the sandinistas and secretly empowering Iran and the mujahideen in Afghanistan (who eventually morphed into the Taliban.)

And not much has changed since the days of the Gipper. least not for the GOP. And they want to keep it that way. The bad news for them is that the world has changed around them, the country's values are and have been shifting without them even noticing. Why else would they call natural progress toward a more pratical (and universal) healthcare system treasonous and socialist? Is it any surprise that they're still the using the bogeyman of the shadow of the red menace of Communism (thank you Sen. McCarthy) to try and scare people into opposing issues?

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