The "fear-mongering lunatic fringe" and "the big lie"

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Two articles in today's Washington Post pretty much sum up where the GOP - the formerly serious, even great, party of Abraham Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, Dwight Eisenhower, even Barry Goldwater - is at these days.

First, with regard to the Republican National Committee fundraising document that portrayed President Obama as the psycopathic Joker from Batman, unabashadly pushed "fear" and "extreme negative feelings" as the fundraising tools of choice, and even parroted Glenn Beck crazy talk about "sav[ing] the country from trending toward Socialism!", we have these reactions:
Said Democratic National Committee spokesman Brad Woodhouse: "If you had any doubt, any doubt whatsoever, that the Republican Party has been taken over by the fear-mongering lunatic fringe, those doubts were erased today." He added, "Republicans across the country have cheered on crowds where these very images appeared."


Raynard Jackson, a GOP activist who has worked to attract blacks and other minority members to the party, was outraged by word of the presentation.

"This is just beyond the pale," he said. "And the best we can get is Michael Steele issuing a statement through a spokesman? And they wonder why they can't get minorities, especially black people, involved in the party?"
As if that's not bad enough - and it is! - we also have "The Republicans' big lie about reconciliation".
Republicans, however, don't want to talk much about the substance of health care. They want to discuss process, turn "reconciliation" into a four-letter word and maintain that Democrats are "ramming through" a health bill.

It is all, I am sorry to say, one big lie -- or, if you're sensitive, an astonishing exercise in hypocrisy.


No. The health-care bill passed the Senate in December with 60 votes under the normal process. The only thing that would pass under a simple majority vote would be a series of amendments that fit comfortably under the "reconciliation" rules established to deal with money issues. Near the end of his column, Hatch conceded that reconciliation would be used for "only parts" of the bill. But why didn't he say that in the first place?
Of course, the "big lie" is directly connected to wild-eyed fear mongering, as one feeds into (and reinforces) the other. In addition, we could list a whole series of lies and insanity coming out of Republican leaders' mouths over the past year.

Just a short list of Republican falsehoods in recent months would include: "government takeover of health care" (big lie - actually, this is being criticized from "the left" because it specifically does not move away from the "health care for profit" system), "death panels" (big lie - they aren't "death panels," and they actually were another Republican idea), "the stimulus isn't working" (big lie - nearly all economists agree, it's working as designed), "apology tour" (big lie - this one's just invented out of whole cloth, who even knows what they're blabbering about), "socialism" (big lie - not even worth discussing, it's so stupid), "Obama wasn't born in the United States" (big lie - actually, he was), "Republicans don't really want Obama and the Democrats to 'fail'" (big lie - they have voted no on just about everything and said point blank that they wanted Obama to fail, wanted to "break him," etc.), "reconciliation is unprecedented and would be the end of the Senate" (two big lies in one - actually, Republicans used reconciliation many times for big legislation, and the Senate survived), "the Senate health care bill doesn't include a lot of Republican ideas" (big lie - actually, this health care bill is very similar to the 1993 Republican alternative to "Hillarycare"), "global warming is a hoax" (big lie - actually, there is vast scientific evidence, collected over many decades by thousands of different scientists and research centers, that global warming is occurring), "Obama is not fighting the war on terror" (actually, Obama has referred to the "War on Terror" many times; also, we're doing great against the Taliban and Al Qaeda right now, arguably better than under Bush/Cheney), "the individual mandate is unconstitutional" (big lie - actually, this was the Republican alternative to the employer mandate).

We could go on and on all day with this, but why spoil the Republicans' fearmongering and "Big Lie?" After all, they're having so much fun with it, and after all it's so becoming of a national political party. I just wonder what Republicans Abraham Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, Dwight Eisenhower and Barry Goldwater would say...

UPDATE: Check out this video.