Anyone else noticed that the right have lost their minds of late? Now, I'm diagnosed mentally ill, I'm allowed to call others crazy but the right's base, that roughly 25% of the country that stuck with Bush to the end seem to have collectively gone completely tonto.
Let's start with the Birthers. I've avoided talking about the Birthers because I was under the impression that they were a despised but extremely vocal minority but according to recent surveys, they may even constitute the majority of the base in the South.
Let's not mince words here, the Birthers are insane. Obama's birth certificate has been posted online and they complain that a Certificate of Live Birth isn't the same as a birth certificate (they're exactly the same thing). The Hawaii state department has confirmed that Obama was born there and that's not good enough. Two birth announcements were placed in Hawaiin newspapers at the time and that's not good enough. They complain that Obama's father was a British citizen (true) and therefore, Obama isn't an American citizen (false, as several of the Founders were in the same position). The Supreme Court has repeatedly refused to waste their time on this nonsense. One gets the impression that handwritten note from the Almighty wouldn't be enough proof for these people. They're crazy, utterly Dagenham (two stops up from Barking). The Birther movement appears to be a straight up split between racists convinced that a black man cannot possibly be a natural-born citizen (usually they will defend themselves with the bullshit argument that they haven't mentioned race); crazy conspiranoids who will believe absolutely frickin' anything if it complies with their pre-existing fantasies and rabid Obama-haters determined to destroy him by any means available.
That last group are interesting. Some deny their own hatreds under the banner of patriotism (the last refuge of the scoundrel, according to Johnson), others are blunt about their mission to destroy Obama. Sometimes they defend themselves with the usual false comparison to how Bush was treated. Naturally, they forget that Bush was given pretty much a free pass from the media for most of his first term (if you genuinely believe the US media has a liberal bias, you need to kill yourself and remove your stupidity from the gene pool), they forget that Dubya gave us a lot more valid reasons for complaint and they ignore that W's stint came directly after eight years of non-stop Clinton witch-hunting when every rumour and smear was treated as cause for charges of treason. In other words, if the atmosphere had become toxic, it was because the right had made it so. All of the accusations were bullshit of course and David Brock, who broke many of those stories (and has since apologised and tried to make amends) is refreshingly honest about their motives in his autobiography, Blinded By The Right. There was not so much a conspiracy as a generally understood aim on the right that the public had no right to vote in a Democrat and therefore, it was the duty of Republicans to destroy him by any means necessary. It's clear that if Clinton hadn't been impeached for misuse of presidential cigars, he would have been impeached for something, such was the Republican hatred of him.Reagan's administration committed crimes which warranted impeachment by any reasonable standard and nothing happened. Clinton's only crime was an entirely consensual affair with an adult woman and he gets impeached. W rapes the Constitution and deserved impeachment a dozen times over and yet, nothing happens. Obama is allegedly a socialist for saving America's collosal banks and you better damn well believe that the right are already looking for some way to impeach him.
There is a double standard here. A naked and blatant double standard. Democrats are expected to conduct themselves like saints in their private lives and paragons of statesmanship in their professional ones or they'll be impeached at a moment's notice. Republicans are free to conduct their personal and professional lives like the bastard offspring of Lex Luthor and Jack The Ripper but because they are Republicans, they are always right and can do no wrong. It's the refuge in audacity, a lesson that the previous administration learned far too well: You can get away with pretty much anything if you're brazen enough about it.
Then there's the health care crazies. Now, I'm not talking here of those who have reasonable concerns about cost, availability, government power or the technicalities of the bill. All of those are legitimate topics for discussion but euthanasia? Really? We're going to have a discussion about euthanasia? Well, actually, we're not. I'm going to have a discussion about it, the right are going to work themselves into spit-flecked madmen over it.
There are no "death panels". There never have been, the proposed legislation would not create them and the chances of this president creating them are slim to none. The proposed legislation simply proposes paying the cost for the discussion which you will someday have to have with your doctor about end-of-life care. Someday, everyone will need to have that discussion. If not for themselves, with regard to a spouse or loved one. That's an unfortunate fact of life and no reasonable person is going to judge the outcome of that discussion. But proposing to reimburse the doctor for that conversation (or encouraging people to take out living wills, which is also in the legislation) is not the same thing as a "death panel" (and incidently, that would make a great name for a thrash band). To enact the latter would take far more than a couple of lines in a proposed healthcare bill. It would take a sea change in public morality and feelings, a completely different set of legislators and, by the way, what are the chances of the courts holding it to be lawful anyway? Also by the way, I thought conservatives were meant to be pro-life? And yet, the right is coming very close to advocating actual treason over legislation which actually would extend life. Interesting. This isn't protecting the people from government, this is protecting insurance corporations from the people.
Likewise, there are no plans to cover illegal immigrants or sex changes. I don't know but I doubt that there are plans to cover abortions, given that the issue is radioactive in the States. But really, this just illustrates my point: The right's utter willingness to wholeheartedly believe (and say, even in Congress) things of Democrats that would have brought cries of treason if they had been said of Bush. If you think Obama wants to euthanise your granny, you're an idiot. If you believe Obama wants to sieze your guns, you're an armed idiot and if you think Obama wants to give your guns to an illegal immigrant to kill your god, you're Bill O'Lielly.
This is all horseshit. There is no plan to sieze your guns and, barring an outright insurrection, there won't be. There is no plan to kill your grandparents. Saving America's collosal (and politically powerful) banks and auto makers from collapse is not socialism. Obama isn't a socialist, communist, Marxist or fascist. He's not even especially liberal. He's a left-leaning moderate, same as Clinton was (and I'm aware that I'm talking to the people who think Bill Clinton was the devil). He hasn't moved on DADT, on civil unions (he's already come out against same-sex marriage), his SCOTUS pick was a wildly qualified and sensible moderate (and incidently, the right's ciriticism of her also used rampant racist tactics). Don't misunderstand, I can find a hundred things to ciriticise Obama for (two of which are above) but the right aren't criticising Obama, they're criticising an acid trip hallucination of Obama.
And while we're talking about this meaningless piffle, right-wing protesters (and I will do a favour they certainly won't return by pointing out that this is a small faction) are actively disrupting Democratic meetings with constituents. Glenn Beck can make jokes about poisoning Nancy Pelosi; Bill-O can talk about "Tiller the Baby Killer" a thousand times and yet, Keith Olbermann's carefully-phrased rants about policy issues are held to be equivelent? I'm sorry, I don't throw this word around much because I know too well what it actually means but the or threat of force, using intimidation to drown out the opposing side is fascist in the literal, academic meaning of that word. And so, we arrive at a position where a small but vocal minority of the right have embraced outright fascism. And they have constructed the situation very carefully to avoid any kind of restraint. You can't take away their weapons due to the 2nd Amendment (although I'm unclear if the 2nd covers taking a gun away from a would-be domestic terrorist). You can't even ask them or their corporate media enablers to dial it back a notch or they scream that their 1st Amendment rights are being surpressed and amp it up even further. Souting "FIRE!" in a crowded theatre isn't covered by the 1st but apparently, doing the same to a segment of the population that currently resembles a powderkeg is covered.
So where do we go from here?