Friday, August 14, 2009

The American Right Tries To Arrange For Obama's Murder

They want him dead. That's the only explanation left open to us. Not politically "dead" either but literally dead. Gunned down by some reactionary half-wit who, in his insanity-clogged brain, believes himself to be saving the U.S. from a new Hitler.

That's just about the only conclusion one can draw from the present right-wing campaign against health care reform. They aren't trying to beat back a policy they oppose--the policies they claim to oppose don't even exist. They began by dusting off the playbook used to defeat reform during the Clinton administration--the charge of "socialism" has become omnipresent, without regard to the fact that the "reform" plans in congress aren't socialist. If that was the whole of their "argument" though, they wouldn't have gotten very far--they've simply screamed "socialism" too often--so they switched gears into something much more hideous: They've spent weeks telling Americans the health care reform plan contains a provision to create "death panels," groups of bureaucrats who could decide to pull the plug on old people and the sick when they become too expensive to keep alive.

No such provision either exists or has ever existed in any version of any health plan in congress but they've told everyone it's there and even the "mainstream" elements of the Republican party have used it to rally the dimmer--and most unstable--elements of their base. The industry-funded astroturf groups behind the teabagger gatherings earlier this year have once again teamed with reactionary outlets like talk radio and Fox News to spread the misinformation and to tell everyone they should be afraid, be very afraid. The most visible project of these interests, who have said they oppose any health care reform, has been to use the "death panel" lie (among others) to send mobs of their brainwashed followers to townhall meetings held by members of congress on the subject of health care, where these mobs shout, scream, cry, threaten and rant as a means of shutting down any reasonable discussion of health care.[1]

America's conservative elite have banged these drums mercilessly and in a manner no amount of spin could portray as responsible. Comparisons of Obama to Hitler and Democrats to Nazis have abounded. The "birther" movement, which holds to the insane myth that Obama wasn't even born in the U.S., isn't a U.S. citizen and thus isn't legitimately president, is being mainstreamed. Even Republican members of congress who had previously behaved as "honest brokers" have openly adopted the insane lies of the kookiest of the kooks in the mix.[2] The crazed fanatics who make up the lunatic fringe right have now begun to turn up at the townhall meetings with weapons and carrying signs and banners calling for killing Obama and other supporters of health care reform.

It seems like only a matter of time before one of the right's many crackpots, worked to a fever pitch, finally decides to obey the voices in his head--coming from the American conservative elite, not from any self-originating hallucination--and act on this rhetoric. On that dark day, it will be the finger of everyone who has stoked this fire on the trigger alongside his own.



[1] And despite that fact that this is all being done more or less in the open, the corporate press has largely refused to cover the interests behind these "protests," choosing, instead, to present them as genuine spontaneous outpourings of anger. MSBNC's Rachel Maddow is one of the very few exceptions and deserves a great deal of praise for her work in trying to get out the word on the subject.

[2] Sen. Charles Grassley(R-Iowa) was praised by Obama for being such an honest broker. Only days ago, he turned around and went to a townhall meeting to tell the assembled that the health care plan contained the "death panels" and that they "have every right to fear" the proposal because of it.

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