Can the torching of the national conversation and threats by the talk radio culture drive vital independents away from Republicans?
With Rush’s, “We need to defeat these bastards. We need to wipe them out,” ringing over their heads like a slaver’s lash, Stupid White People have bashed in the office windows and death threatened members of Congress over the legislative battle they lost over health care. They have calling for systematic breaking of congressional office windows, and threatened "a thousand little Wacos," on the shared anniversary of the Waco fire and the Murrow Building bombing April 19.
Many of these bashings are not merely “insensitive” or "thin-skinned" as the right usually claims, but blatantly racist: Congressman have been called wetbacks, faggots and nigger in the last week alone because they supported the reforms.
Any wonder these are the results after Republicans like Rep. Steve King, Republican of Iowa, shouted to tea-baggers on Sunday: “Let’s beat the other side to a pulp!” Let’s chase them down! There’s going to be a reckoning.”
Though substantiated in police reports, local newspapers, and recorded by live teevee cameras, the right simply denies it ever happened. Rush told his d-heads Thursday: the threats are “totally contrived,” and called them "a total diversion to criminalize dissent.”
Sean Hannity and Billo Reilly says none of the Sunday slurring shout-outs in front of Congress actually took place because Fox News cameras did not record them (CNN, NBC, CBS, and ABC cameras did!)
Glenn Beck claims he’s afraid the Obama administration will kill him to shut him up. "For those of you in the administration, who are coming after me ... remember, you've broken three [of the 10 Commandments], let's not make it four: Thou shalt not kill." Stupid White People can and will infer that they should kill the Obama administration in order to protect Glenn… it’s Biblical!
Extreme moderate Joe Gandelman writes:
“A whole industry (talk radio and cable political shows) and a new part of the media that is essentially op-ed writing, in many cases by outright partisans (cyberspace), has a vested interest in appealing to specific segments of society, in effect sawing them off, and trying to keep and expand upon getting their attention.”
Again it’s the spectacle of elite hambone blabblermeisters making millions a day by keeping the shit stirred with only the assurance their millions will keep pouring in if they keep stirring.
But what’s great show biz may not be such great politics. They appear to be reversing an obnoxious but effective anti-Obama/majority campaign. They were winning hearts, minds and, it appeared, the congressional battle despite the minority odds against them.
Tim Egan writes in the New York Times:
"Having welcomed Tea Party rage into their home, and vowing repeal, the Republicans have made a dangerous bargain. First, they are tying their fate to a fringe, one that includes a small faction of overt racists and unstable people. The Quinnipiac poll this week found only 13 percent of Americans say they are part of the Tea Party movement."
But teabaggers, and the militia types returning into the mainstream Republican fray can’t handle losing. Having painted themselves into a rhetorical corner, they found there was no temperate way out, so they reacted with "poutrage," if not violence and threats of violence.
The ability to lose with grace is important in politics. It grows empathy for politicians (not an easy feat) and allows heroic come-backs, (which Americans love). Those who survive defeat with dignity are usually the most successful and enduring.
There are other more subtle losers, and we believe these might prove all the GOP's strutting predictions about the 2010 congressional "tsunami" might be a little exaggerated and premature.
Mild-mannered, half-witted, 8th District congressman Dave Reichert is a so-called Republican moderate in a district that’s gone from light red to robin’s egg to pale azure in a short time. As always, he’ll have a fight on his hands in the Fall.
There was a time when he might have been given a pass by his party to vote for health care reform- the bill was very close to one that Republicans like Bob Dole proposed in 1993 and one Mitt Romney passed in Massachusetts in 2004. But Reichert, the magnificently coiffed wimp that he is, was forced into the strident position of the Southerners who dominate his party. We hope he pays the price for his lack of genitalia.
Another so-called "Mainstream Republican," AG Rod McKenna has pushed away from the real mainstream voters in WA by joining the futile but headline-grabbing lawsuit declaring the reform bill unconstitutional. Although it's appeared to back fire on him politically, McKenna pretty much had to do that to head off the teabagger (and long public office-less) base of his bedraggled party.
The 2010, and 2012 elections are far, far away, but we believe voters are turning away from the not-so-passive violence of the brick-throwing teabagger minority.