Sunday, March 28, 2010

Everything is racist right now (Part 1)

I had assumed that Democrats had some magic messaging bullets to unfurl after Obamacare's passage. Maybe they would play up the prescription drug coverage components of the bill, or talk about deficit reduction. Apparently, I have nothing to worry about.

Let's all remind ourselves of this. Millions and millions of people read this crap, internalize it, and incorporate it into their worldview. I know Frank Rich is a doltish hack, writing for a newspaper whose daily corrections outnumber the clues in their famous crossword puzzle, but for millions of people, this dude spins gold.

Let's roll.

Title: The Rage Is Not About Health Care

In a moment, my rage is going to be about Frank Rich.

THERE were times when last Sunday’s great G.O.P. health care implosion threatened to bring the thrill back to reality television.

Oh good. A reference to reality television in the opening sentence. This should be hacktacular.

On ABC’s “This Week,” a frothing and filibustering Karl Rove all but lost it in a debate with the Obama strategist David Plouffe.

I should note that this particular bit of alliteration is hyperlinked. There are 40 hyperlinks in this op-ed. That's ridiculous. If someone must click on 40 different websites to make sense of what you have written, then you have not written.

A few hours later, the perennially copper-faced Republican leader John Boehner revved up his “Hell no, you can’t!” incantation in the House chamber.

Perennially copper-faced? Would it be better if he were sometimes copper-faced, but other times took on a more pale hue? Why is this being hurled as an epithet?

instant fodder for a new viral video remixing his rap with’s “Yes, we can!” classic from the campaign. and "classic" do not belong in the same sentence. That said, I think Rahm and the administration are partial to another Black Eyed Peas "classic".

Boehner, having previously likened the health care bill to Armageddon, was now so apoplectic you had to wonder if he had just discovered one of its more obscure revenue-generating provisions, a tax on indoor tanning salons.


There’s nothing entertaining about watching goons hurl venomous slurs at congressmen like the civil rights hero John Lewis and the openly gay Barney Frank.

Whereas tanning salon jokes will get goons into the New York Times op-ed section.

And as the week dragged on, and reports of death threats and vandalism stretched from Arizona to Kansas to upstate New York, the F.B.I. and the local police had to get into the act to protect members of Congress and their families.

I'm certain there are "goons" on the right wielding threats at congressmen. I am equally certain that there are left-wing activists perpetrating hoaxes in an attempt to discredit conservative opposition. I am entirely certain that Frank Rich does not care which is which.

How curious that a mob fond of likening President Obama to Hitler knows so little about history that it doesn’t recognize its own small-scale mimicry of Kristallnacht.

This is eminently reasonable. If only the tea partiers knew that the SS once sent 30,000 jews to concentration camps in a single night, they would never again hurl epithets at, um, members of congress. Good point, Frank.

The weapon of choice for vigilante violence at Congressional offices has been a brick hurled through a window.

Does Frank know that the whole "night of broken glass" thing was symbolic? Like, Kristallnacht is remembered more as a turning point in the final solution than for property destruction. I mean, don't get me wrong, there was broken glass, but... What is this piece about again?

The historic Obama-Pelosi health care victory is a big deal, all right, so much so it doesn’t need Joe Biden’s adjective to hype it.

Yeah, that was weird. The Vice President of the United States whispers the f-word into the president's ear for no real reason at all, but Rep. Boehner is out of bounds for being tan.

But the bill does not erect a huge New Deal-Great Society-style government program.

Though it costs more than the New Deal-Great Society combined.

(Frank cuts and pastes talking points about how great the bill is... Yawn...)

It’s this bill that prompted a congressman to shout “baby killer” at Bart Stupak, a staunch anti-abortion Democrat.

Which, of course, is really racist.

And it’s this “middle-of-the-road” bill,

For the record, the same people who internalize Frank Rich's BS also think a multi-trillion dollar health package is "middle-of-the-road".

20 political targets Palin marks with rifle crosshairs on a map on her Facebook page.

Which, literally, can be interpreted as a call to violence. Also, the CNN show Crossfire featured Robert Novak and Michael Kinsley summarily executing guests in attempt to persuade audiences to their ideological ends. In retrospect, I can't believe that went on for 15 years without the FCC saying something.

(Democrats can only pray that the G.O.P. will “go for it” again in 2010, as Obama goaded them on Thursday, and keep demanding repeal of a bill that by September will shower benefits on the elderly and children alike.)

Wait, I thought this wasn't about health care. But Rich hopes it will become about health care, because his party wins this issue? So why is he trying to make it about racism?

To find a prototype for the overheated reaction to the health care bill,

Look to just about every single thing George W. Bush proposed. Remember how people wrote books about killing him? Literally, killing him? That happened.

you have to look a year before Medicare, to the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Or Kristallnacht.

Both laws passed by similar majorities in Congress;

And so were pretty much the same.

Barry Goldwater... characterize(d) the bill as a “threat to the very essence of our basic system” and a “usurpation” of states’ rights that “would force you to admit drunks, a known murderer or an insane person into your place of business.”

This, of course, was naive. Ted Kennedy had been elected to the Senate two years prior.

That a tsunami of anger is gathering today is illogical,

The man who compared health care protests to Kristallnacht is now lecturing leaders on the merits of logic.

given that what the right calls “Obamacare” is less provocative than either the Civil Rights Act of 1964 or Medicare,

Why, it's downright jejune!

(it appears I have put my fist through my computer screen. Stay tuned for part 2 tomorrow)

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