Republican Party: Hate That Hate Begat
Republicans have unleashed combustible forces. As they eye gaining seats in the November elections, it's unlikely that they will criticize the ugly rhetoric. After all, Sarah Palin said: "Don't Retreat, Instead - RELOAD!"
[Black Star News Editorial]
Hate speeches beget hate and the chickens are indeed coming home to roost.
For more than a year now the Republican establishment either embraced or ignored the hate speech and violent displays pretending that it was all "legitimate opposition."
Rush Limbaugh fired one of the early shots when he declared "I hope Obama fails" even before Barack Obama had been sworn in. Soon thereafter, when RNC chairman Michael Steele claimed Limbaugh was an "entertainer" who did not speak for the Republican Party, Limbaugh ordered him to "get to the back," and Steele humbly complied. Steele is no Rosa Parks.
Limbaugh and the other popular broadcast terrorist Glenn Beck then seized control of the Republican party. They encouraged other hate mongers --and people threatened by racial progress in this country-- to band into what's now called the Tea Party.
Far from being a social group that comes together to sip Lipton tea and eat cookies -- the group is dominated by hateful individuals. One Tea Party leader, Mark Williams, on the group's website, claimed President Obama was an Indonesian Muslim and a "welfare thug" and "racist in chief." He was disrobed on national television on Anderson Cooper's show on CNN after first pretending to be "celebrating this country."
The Tea Party --with some members armed-- then stormed the town hall meetings, and seized control, ending any meaningful debate over healthcare reform last summer. Ironically, many of the foot soldiers manipulated by Limbaugh, Beck and the Republican party leaders probably don't even have healthcare coverage. Limbaugh, Beck and the Republican leaders all have cadillac coverage and most of them are in fact multi-millionaires.
So rather than debate the merits, or lack thereof, of healthcare reform, rational discussion was drowned by ugly displays of racist attacks against the president that was comparable to the attacks Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. endured in the 1960s during the Civil Rights Movement.
Rather than target healthcare reform, the attacks were personalized --primarily against the president, under the guise of opposition to "big government". Obama was allegedly "Un American" and the Tea Party members started saying "I want my country back." Republican senators who had initially been willing to seriously discuss healthcare reform such as Senators
Charles Grassley and Olympia J. Snowe fled for the hills.
And of course Senator Jim DeMint, smelling blood like fellow Republican lawmakers, in wishing for an abortive attempt at reform, declared: "If we're able to stop Obama on this, it will be his Waterloo. It will break him." Regaining power and driving out a president whom they regard as a pretender --even though he's intellectually avenues ahead of most Americans and bested his opponents during the primaries and in the general election-- became the paramount desire for Republicans.
So what if racial tensions were inflamed along the way?
Not a single Republican was brave enough to stand up and demand an end to the ugly escalation of rhetoric and hatemongering which was clearly disproportional to any opposition to the proposed healthcare reforms.
On the contrary, the Republicans fuelled the hate speeches, with Sarah Palin, acting like an arsonist, asserting that the elderly or disabled would face an Obama "death panel" which would decide whether they received treatment or not.
This was a harmful big lie, coming from someone who was once actually on a presidential ticket as VP. Yet Katie Couric had already exposed her as a clueless ignoramus.
The reality is that all along it's the insurance companies that have been acting like death panels-- denying coverage for pre-existing conditions; dropping coverage when people get sick; and escalating premiums even while people have been losing jobs.
Dangerous columnists at so-called mainstream newspapers also encouraged the hateful opposition to President Obama as when The Wall Street Journal's Peggy Noonan compared Obama to Joseph Stalin, the genocidal dictator of the old Soviet Union.
So who could have been surprised when the debate came to a conclusion, as the final votes were cast, and the Tea Party showed up in Washington. A Black Congressman reported being spat on and racial slurs were reportedly yelled at Civil Rights icon Rep. John Lewis.
So where do we go from here? The Republicans have unleashed combustible forces. As they now eye gaining seats in the November midterm elections, it's unlikely that they will criticize the ugly rhetoric. After all, Sarah Palin has already urged those disappointed by passage of the healthcare bill: "Don't Retreat, Instead - RELOAD!"
Independent voters must pay careful election and decide whether reckless behavior should be rewarded at the polls.
"Speaking Truth To Power."
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