August 19, 2009

The Health Care Stupid

Natalie has a nice rant on the current dialogue, if you can call it that.

It is really amazing stuff out there. Some dozen people bringing guns to Town Meetings or Obama speeches, and it is good to remember that they are doing this about expanding healthcare. There does not appear to be some groundswell of support for gun control, but merely to expand healthcare and to make sure all of us have some basic care and are not kicked off when we are sick.

But the dialogue is even worse than that. I am not linking to it, because I found it disturbing, but Youtube has a woman shouting "heil hitler" at a Las Vegas meeting when he defends national healthcare. Healthcare! He takes umbrage, and rightfully so, but how in the hell did healthcare become a Nazi thing?

I know where it comes from, but still don't understand the thought process. Glen Beck and Rush Limbaugh have been flogging the Obama as Hitler meme for sometime. I think the problem is that socialism no longer scares people like it used to, so they are just calling him Hitler because that still works.

But I remember when MoveOn had a video that compared Bush to Hitler. Man, did people freak out over that! Including, a friend of mine, who still refers to Moveon as the organization that compared Bush to Hitler. Except they didn't. It was part of a contest and MoveOn yanked the video.

Jon Stewart had a funny bit about the wackaloons with guns which included a little sound clip from the Chris Matthews (I believe) show. Remember when a couple of anti-Bush people were turned away from a Bush rally for wearing anti-Bush t-shirts? T-shirts! Not guns. Fucking t-shirts. According to the clip, they were arrested when they refused to take the shirts off.

Hmm. Now public conservatives openly compare Obama to Hitler; over a dozen people brandish guns at rallies; and self-identified conservatives routinely compare Obama to Hitler and healthcare reform to the Nazi party. (I notice that my same friend has defended these town hall people as "legitimately angry" and has not expressed much outrage over the Hitler stuff.) Guns, evidently, are fine. T-shirts are dangerous. Shouting hate slogans is fine--now.

This is just insanity. Republicans are not responsible for all of this, make no mistake. But they are doing precious little to stop the misinformation and outright lies. A recent NBC poll shows that a shocking number of Americans believe the "death panel" nonsense. That is not good for our republic. As I have said repeatedly, there are legitimate points of disagreement, and very legitimate concerns about this reform package.

But conservatives are not talking about them. Town halls are filled with people who believe blatant falsehoods, and are willing to compare expanding healthcare with the Nazi regime.

The stupid. It burns so very much.

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