Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Bob Herbert on the Health Care Vote

The New York Times ran an editorial by Bob Herbert containing some of his reflections of the Health Care Vote. After recounting some of the ugly scenes that took place during the demonstrations leading up to the vote, he observes.

At some point, we have to decide as a country that we just can’t have this: We can’t allow ourselves to remain silent as foaming-at-the-mouth protesters scream the vilest of epithets at members of Congress — epithets that The Times will not allow me to repeat here.

It is 2010, which means it is way past time for decent Americans to rise up against this kind of garbage, to fight it aggressively wherever it appears. And it is time for every American of good will to hold the Republican Party accountable for its role in tolerating, shielding and encouraging foul, mean-spirited and bigoted behavior in its ranks and among its strongest supporters.

For decades the G.O.P. has been the party of fear, ignorance and divisiveness. All you have to do is look around to see what it has done to the country. The greatest economic inequality since the Gilded Age was followed by a near-total collapse of the overall economy. As a country, we have a monumental mess on our hands and still the Republicans have nothing to offer in the way of a remedy except more tax cuts for the rich.

I've been hearing quite often that these are isolated incidents, from which we cannot generalize. But as they become more frequent, they do in fact color the entire group, they do run through the entire movement. Outbursts like the ones Mr. Herbert refers to, people yelling out "nigger" and "faggot", and don't forget that nut from South Carolina who yelled out "liar" to the President himself. More telling still was the Bret Baier interview of Obama.

I agree it's not right to generalize. No rational person would extrapolate from these situations and seriously posit that ALL Republicans are like this. But, when the group is shot through with these influences, you have to ask yourself if Bob Herbert is right.

This is the party of trickle down and weapons of mass destruction, the party of birthers and death-panel lunatics. This is the party that genuflects at the altar of right-wing talk radio, with its insane, nauseating, nonstop commitment to hatred and bigotry.

Glenn Beck of Fox News has called President Obama a “racist” and asserted that he “has exposed himself as a guy, over and over and over again, who has a deep-seated hatred for white people or the white culture.”

Mike Huckabee, a former Republican presidential candidate, has said of Mr. Obama’s economic policies: “Lenin and Stalin would love this stuff.”

The G.O.P. poisons the political atmosphere and then has the gall to complain about an absence of bipartisanship.

A party that promotes ignorance (“Just say no to global warming”) and provides a safe house for bigotry cannot serve the best interests of our country.

What's your opinion? Please leave a comment.


  1. Well there are some strange ideas in the air...

  2. Thanks for that link, Rabbit. We've sure got the nuts, don't we?