The targeting of the president
In the past few months, we've witnessed the unleashing of the radical elements of the Republican Party base. The anti-tax economic conservatives, racist Obama-haters, gun-toting Second Amendment fanatics and birth certificate conspiracy theorists have two things in common: they're mostly white and they despise President Obama.
It doesn't matter if the administration rescues American journalists from North Korea, kills Somali pirates off the coast of Africa or ends the violence in Iraq, nothing will please this crowd.
And it doesn't matter that the president's domestic policies of providing universal health care, middle class tax cuts, and economic stability will benefit the very people who cry the loudest. This is not about policy. It's about politics. The politics of rage and race. "As tensions are inflamed at health care town hall meetings across the country, a dangerous trend of Hitler comparisons, Stalin comparisons, and all-around dictator comparisons to President Barack Obama is taking shape," writes Tolu Olurunda in his Daily Voice column today, "Do some conservatives secretly wish for the assassination of Barack Obama?"
Similarly, Daily Voice columnist Earl Ofari Hutchinson warns of the brewing battle ahead. "Gun and ammo sales have gun through the roof since Obama's election, with many openly bragging that they are ready for a war to win back the country," writes Hutchinson.
Winning back the country, of course, means taking America back to a time when we didn't have a black president, a wise Latina Supreme Court justice, or half a dozen states with gay marriage. It means a small group of angry white people in middle America, led by rich white media figures who exploit the angst of the masses, can hijack the national dialogue with the very unseemly behavior that they would decry when practiced by minorities.
When Harvard Professor Henry Louis Gates had the nerve to complain to a white police officer in his own home, white conservatives attacked his insolence. But when mobs of angry white people shouted down members of Congress or yelled back at a black police officer recently, Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck and Lou Dobbs applaud this as democracy in action.
This is not democracy; it's anarchy. The town hall meetings have been branded "town brawls" by the media, but they are really "town mauls" where angry mobsters silence dissent and discourse. And despite the denials from the right, race is a deciding factor here.
In the old world order that the mobsters hope to preserve, white people were never racists but people of color always were. Thus, Rush Limbaugh and Newt Gingrich can label Sonia Sotomayor a racist and Glenn Beck can call Barack Obama a racist, but Rush and Newt and Glenn are beyond reproach. A black scholar who complains about police abuse in his own home becomes a racist but a white cop who distributes an email calling Gates a "monkey" is just misunderstood.
The woman yelling "I want my country back" at a recent town hall meeting was not complaining about Obama's policies. She was complaining about his race. If she and her cohorts bothered even a cursory examination, they would see that Obama's policies are hardly radical, much to the chagrin of many progressives who demand more action from him.
When George W. Bush ran up the deficit and doubled the national debt with tax cuts to the wealthy and giveaway no-bid defense contracts to well-connected war profiteers, the same people who now complain about the debt didn't raise a peep. But when Obama tries to invest in infrastructure, health care and energy efficiency, suddenly the deficit is priority number one. It's not about honest debate, it's about disrupting progress.
Conservatives say they're following left-wing playbooks with the town hall disruptions, but when was the last time you saw Democrats leading or cheering a disruption of a congressional town hall meeting? Have you ever seen this? Even after the right-wing Supreme Court handed Bush the presidency in the disputed 2000 election after he lost the popular vote, liberals didn't rise up against their own government, the one time in my lifetime when the people arguably were justified to challenge the legitimacy of their elected leadership.
Now, just 6 1/2 months after Obama took office, the people who lost the election are trying to prevent the president from doing what he was elected to do. In the process, they will resurrect decades-old scare tactics to frighten Americans with words like "socialism."
Yet some of the same people who live off of government-provided Medicare have the audacity to stand up at town hall meetings and complain that government should not provide health care. If government-provided health care is socialism, then we have 80 million socialists in this country dependent on the very thing that some of them supposedly despise. Maybe they just don't want anyone else to have government-provided health care.
Was it socialism when Harry Truman and Richard Nixon tried to reform health care? Back in the day, the Republican Party had room for moderates and the Democrats had their fair share of racist southern segregationists. In fact, it was the southern segregationists, worried that universal health care would require them to integrate southern hospitals, who joined forces with the American Medical Association to stop health care reform 60 years ago.
But today's conservative critics are the same people who call themselves Christians and found themselves sporting "What Would Jesus Do" bracelets and bumper stickers not long ago. What would Jesus do?
Would Jesus provide health care to millions of people without it or would he yell and complain that his hard-earned money was being taken away to help the poor and the undeserving? It's a serious perversion of Christianity that some of these critics apparently believe God wants Americans to have lower taxes on the wealthy, no health care for the uninsured, plenty of guns and ammo, and white Republican presidents from here to eternity.
That's not Christian and it's not American. And it's not the America we live in anymore. Republicans lost Hispanics and young people 2-1 in the last election. That's the future. They can hold their ground and fight for the status quo, for now, but if they have any hope of becoming a relevant party in the years to come, they should start providing solutions instead of anger and opposition. Source
I think this article really hits it on the nose.