Friday, August 07, 2009

Tahoe Ticker Column 9: Whom the Gods Would Destroy

"Whom the gods would destroy, they first make mad" is an adage the origin of which is lost in antiquity. For a saying to be around as long as this one has, there must be some truth in it, and the antics of today's right wing hopefully will bear it out.

That there is plenty of madness is indisputable; and with any luck at all it is a precursor to the destruction of the far right in this country.

To begin with we have the "birther" non-controversy, complete with a (badly) forged Kenyan birth certificate. WTF? I haven't seen people so impervious to reality since I worked in a state psychiatric hospital in the 1970's.

Then we have the pathological denial that anything about Obama's stimulus plan is working –economic growth, while not yet positive, has reversed and is headed in the right direction. Ditto for unemployment. The "cash for clunkers" program was so wildly successful in stimulating car sales, taking gas guzzlers off the road and putting more fuel-efficient cars on that it ran out of money and had to be re-funded. For the Right Wingnuts this is evidence of the program's failure!

They can't beat health care reform on the merits of their case so they are now invoking boogey men (boogey persons?) – reform will kill your grandmother! It will force you to have abortions! You'll wait in lines! It's the first step toward Communism! Obama is a Nazi (Rush Limbaugh)! And so to combat this spectre of home-grown naziism, let's use Nazi tactics and take over town hall meetings and don't let anyone speak but us. Kind of like the Beer Hall Putsch in Munich.

Oh, and let's call everyone racists – Sonia Sotomayor, Henry Louis Gates, and especially Barack Obama. And let's invoke integrity, "family values" and "what would Jesus do" while (a) resigning a public trust and getting divorced (Palin), (b) carrying on extramarital affairs (Ensign, Sanford, et al), (c) putting a mistress's son on the party payroll (Ensign), (d) lying through your teeth (RNCC staffers who claimed not to have known of Ensign's doings when they were discussing them in emails at the time; Limbaugh making up parallels between Hitler and Obama)

So the evidence of madness, whether from the gods or otherwise, abounds. Now let's see if this means that the far right is on the road to destruction. One can only hope.

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