The little lie

by fp on March 26, 2010

in Propaganda

A spent bullet rests on the floor of an office in Richmond, Virginia, the answer to the prayers of Glen Beck and the radical right. The office belongs to House Minority Whip Eric Cantor, a Republican who must have thought that god dropped that bullet out of the sky and through his office window. The Richmond, Virginia police suggest it was more likely a bullet that was fired into the air and fell into Cantor’s office on a trajectory too steep to have been anything but random gunfire.

Radical right wing protesters have been on a tear during the debate and passage of Health Care Reform legislation, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (Public law 111-148). The Republican agitators who riled them up only recently became aware that a mob is easy to put in motion but hard to stop. The spitting, the slurs, the obscenities shouted by the protesters at the Capitol were simply choreographed dissent, political kabuki. But while the performance in Washington played out, something darker emerged. William Pitt reports:

Mike Troxel, head of the Lynchburg, Virginia, Tea Party, published the home address of Democratic Rep. Tom Perriello, and invited fellow ‘Baggers to drop by and express themselves.Sadly, Troxel published the address of Perriello’s brother, whose household includes a wife and four children under the age of eight. On Wednesday afternoon, reported the gas line to Perriello’s brother’s house was cut. “An aide to the congressman confirmed to Politico that a line to a propane tank behind his brother’s home near Charlottesville had been sliced. The FBI would not disclose the details of the incident but said that they have been to the home.”

The glass door of Arizona Democratic Rep. Gabrielle Gifford’s office was smashed out after she voted in favor of the bill.

A rock was thrown through the window of a Democratic office in Knox County, Ohio.

Windows were smashed at a Democratic office in Kansas.

In New York Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-New York) had a brick thrown through her office window, and another brick shattered the glass doors of a Democratic Party office in Rochester. According to Slaughter, the attacks came with a phone message in which someone threatened to assassinate the children of any officials who vote in favor of the health care bill.

Are the teabaggers building up to a little Kristallnachmittag or is it all an exercise in free speech and somehow justified or offset by a broken window in Richmond, Virginia?

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don harvey March 27, 2010 at 7:34 am

Well said Frank. Krystalnacht it is. This bullshit has already gone so far that I will honestly be surprised if there is not some serious act of senseless violence in the next couple of weeks. I’d like to believe that a few level headed leaders on the right could still tug us back from the precipice but I’m afraid that kind of leadership has already been purged. The entire Republican hierarchy is racing to command this new army of fools. Brownshirts? Not quite yet but it’s no longer beyond the realm of possibility.
This is the Rove legacy. He built a political machine on a base of lunatics, ignoramuses and religious fanatics and this motley crowd has broken out of it’s cage and become the party. And instead of trying to coax the thing back to the sad dark place it came from, the party leaders are falling over one another to get a hand on the leash. If there is a leash.

fp March 27, 2010 at 10:51 pm

Thanks Don. The radical right has a choke hold on the Republican party. Have you followed David Frum/American Enterprise Institute clash? Frum, a seriously conservative Republican, said (and the AEI fired him for it):

No illusions please: This bill will not be repealed. Even if Republicans scored a 1994 style landslide in November, how many votes could we muster to re-open the “doughnut hole” and charge seniors more for prescription drugs? How many votes to re-allow insurers to rescind policies when they discover a pre-existing condition? How many votes to banish 25 year olds from their parents’ insurance coverage? And even if the votes were there – would President Obama sign such a repeal?

We followed the most radical voices in the party and the movement, and they led us to abject and irreversible defeat.

There were leaders who knew better, who would have liked to deal. But they were trapped. Conservative talkers on Fox and talk radio had whipped the Republican voting base into such a frenzy that deal-making was rendered impossible. How do you negotiate with somebody who wants to murder your grandmother? Or – more exactly – with somebody whom your voters have been persuaded to believe wants to murder their grandmother?

don harvey March 28, 2010 at 9:02 am

Once again, check out Frank Rich in the sunday “Times.” You seem to have an uncanny knack for anticipating his contributions.
Also , for fun, read Maureen Dowd on page 11 (the mostly Catholic page) which I find interesting in the sense that even she, who occasionally appears to have a reasonably functional mind, simply cannot rise to the level of revulsion required by the revelations surrounding the Church. Witness the continued effects of the Vulcan mind meld she got as a kid. I’m certain she, like the rest of us, knows that so far we have only seen the teeny tiny tip of this enormous iceberg of horror and yet her radical solution is…maybe the nuns should have more power? If this is the upper limit of her outrage it’s little wonder this shit has gone on, virtually unchecked, for 2000 years. Shame Maureen. Shame.

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