Euthanasia… now where’d they get a crazy idea like that?

It all really started, as best as I can tell, on August 4, when former Republican Speaker of the House, Newt Gingrich, suggested that the Obama administration was seeking the power to “euthanize” American citizens, putting “Down Syndrome children at risk”.

Then, a few days later, in a statement made on Friday, August 7, Sarah Palin said the following:

…The America I know and love is not one in which my parents or my baby with Down Syndrome will have to stand in front of Obama’s “death panel” so his bureaucrats can decide, based on a subjective judgment of their “level of productivity in society,” whether they are worthy of health care. Such a system is downright evil…

It was a vile, calculated lie intended to subvert real discussion and reframe the debate (as good vs. evil). Some in the media, like Keith Olbermann called her on it. Others, however, smelling blood in the water, jumped in to echo the statement, hoping that it might serve to weaken the administration.

Here’s Rush Limbaugh, claiming that euthanasia is in House bill 3200 :

And, here’s Glenn Beck:

And it’s not just the talking heads on FOX News. Here, in a video released by the White House yesterday, you’ll see Republican Congresswoman Virginia Foxx talking about the possibility that senior citizens will be euthanized if the Democrats get their way on healthcare:

side note: How absolutely amazing is it that we live in a time when our President has to issue a statement to make it clear that he’s not intending to break the necks of the old and disabled? What’s next, an “I am not a vampire” press conference, where he holds a crucifix and shows us his reflection in a mirror?

So, with all that by the way of background, is it really any wonder that we have people like people Mike Sola showing up at town hall meetings accusing Democratic legislators of “sentencing people to death”? Here, by the way, is the whole exchange between Sola and Congressman Dingell, and not just the edited footage shown on FOX News:

So, where’s all of this heading? Some expect it might get bloody. Yesterday, an armed man showed up at a town hall meeting with Obama in New Hampshire, carrying a sign reading, “It is time to water the tree of liberty.” The quote, if you don’t recognize it, is a thinly-veiled reference to something once written by Thomas Jefferson. Jefferson wrote, “The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time, with the blood of patriots and tyrants.” The meaning, I think, is obvious.

There’s a clear progression here. There’s anger building. And soon it’s going to erupt. And, when it does, we need to remember all of those who played a part it creating this climate of fear and paranoia, and hold them accountable for their actions.

And, here, to end on a slightly lighter note, is last night’s Daily Show bit on death panels.

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c
Healther Skelter – Obama Death Panel Debate
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political Humor Spinal Tap Performance
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  1. Brackinald Achery
    Posted August 11, 2009 at 11:13 pm | Permalink

    On a positive note, I just realized I have never seen Obama and Spiderman in the same room at the same time.

  2. Posted August 11, 2009 at 11:15 pm | Permalink

    Or, for that matter…. HITLER!

  3. Posted August 11, 2009 at 11:20 pm | Permalink

    Come to think of it, I’ve also never seen him refuse a baby when one’s been offered for him to feed on?

  4. Brackinald Achery
    Posted August 11, 2009 at 11:21 pm | Permalink

    Hitler is Spiderman!

  5. EL
    Posted August 11, 2009 at 11:23 pm | Permalink

    I really have no answer for this, so I’m asking:

    If the progression of anger erupts–really erupts and not just the theater we’ve seen thus far–and, say, as a horrible for-instance, someone follows through on a thinly veiled reference from Jefferson, how, would “those who played a part in creating this climate of fear and paranoia” be held accountable for their actions? Is that possible?

  6. Brackinald Achery
    Posted August 11, 2009 at 11:30 pm | Permalink

    The guy open-carrying on private property he has permission to be on, holding the sign on the news, is not the guy who’s going to assassinate somebody. He’s the guy who’s afraid of getting in trouble for carrying his gun improperly, but wants to get his philosophic opponents to overreact in fear and outrage, so that more people will think to themselves, “holy crap, these liberals ARE tyrants who want to take away our guns!” Which is exactly what’s happening.

  7. Brackinald Achery
    Posted August 12, 2009 at 6:40 am | Permalink

    The neocons who haven’t yet realized that Palin, Beck, and Limbaugh are phony big government tools are being led on a merry ass parade. Lies can only serve to distract from the genuine reasons big government sucks — primarily financial, but also ethical. Making euthenasia shit up to get people riled is certainly not helping the cause of reality defense.

  8. Leon
    Posted August 12, 2009 at 7:44 am | Permalink

    I’m a little curious as to how many hours that guy at the Dingell rally spent in jail. I suspect the answer is “none”. If he had reacted to the police in that manner on his own front porch, would he have been arrested? Or is it the replacement of a cane with a handicapped son that draws the line between disorderly conduct and…well…whatever the cops called this.

  9. Brackinald Achery
    Posted August 12, 2009 at 7:52 am | Permalink

    Youtube video of the guy with the gun at the rally talking about being the guy with the gun at the rally.

  10. Foggy Bottom
    Posted August 12, 2009 at 7:57 am | Permalink

    It’s legal for Fred Phelps to hold rallies outside the funerals of returning military members holding signs that say God Hates Fags, that doesn’t make it right. This asshole in NH knew exactly what he was doing. He was sending a message. And it was received.

  11. Kim
    Posted August 12, 2009 at 8:12 am | Permalink

    I don’t know, EL. What happened to Goebbels after the war?

    More on Goebbels-

  12. Salon Reader
    Posted August 12, 2009 at 8:59 am | Permalink

    Salon has an article this morning on the guy in New Hampshire with the gun. Here’s how it begins:

    One of Tuesday’s big mysteries was the motivation behind anti-Obama protester William Kostric, the man who brought a loaded gun to the town hall meeting and carried a sign referencing Thomas Jefferson’s famous credo, “The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of tyrants and patriots.”

    On Tuesday afternoon MSNBC’s Chris Matthews asked Kostric why he carried “a God-damned gun” to a meeting with the president, “given the violent history of this country with regard to presidents and assassinations,” and whether he supported the Birther movement. Kostric insisted his intentions were peaceful, and that he’s not affiliated with Birther groups.

    But at least one of those statements doesn’t seem to be true. A right-wing activist named “William Kostric,” who’s left a lot of footprints around the Web, is listed as a “team member” of the Arizona chapter of We the People, the far-right group best known for joining a lawsuit challenging Obama’s right to be president based on his not being a U.S. citizen. Kostric told MSNBC he recently moved from Arizona to New Hampshire. (Kostric did not reply to Salon’s e-mail request for an interview.)

    And on his MySpace page (h/t Lavender Newswire), Kostric also lists as one of his heroes Robert Schultz, the anti-tax activist and We the People founder who spent a ton of his own money on ads promoting the Birther movement. At a press conference in December, Schultz told reporters: “This nation is headed towards a vortex of a Constitutional crisis. While on the one hand, the Obama citizenship issue is so simple a schoolchild could grasp it, if left festering and unanswered, it possesses the potential to send our nation into a time of great peril.”

    Kostric’s MySpace profile also lists among his heroes Randy Weaver, the white supremacist and right-wing activist who survived the Ruby Ridge confrontation with federal agents, along with Ayn Rand’s John Galt, Thomas Jefferson, libertarian/GOP presidential candidate Ron Paul and William Wallace, the Scottish resistance leader portrayed in Mel Gibson’s “Braveheart.”

  13. Brackinald Achery
    Posted August 12, 2009 at 9:08 am | Permalink

    If guilt by association is the best Salon’s got, Salon’s got nothin’.

  14. Oliva
    Posted August 12, 2009 at 9:25 am | Permalink

    Not telling the truth about his affiliations and inclinations is definitely concerning, along with his past postings and associations. So glad Salon and Chris Matthews are checking him out.

  15. Brackinald Achery
    Posted August 12, 2009 at 9:48 am | Permalink

    It’s legal for Fred Phelps to hold rallies outside the funerals of returning military members holding signs that say God Hates Fags, that doesn’t make it right. This asshole in NH knew exactly what he was doing. He was sending a message. And it was received.

    What makes it wrong? He didn’t shoot anybody or brandish it threateningly. The guy carries a gun around on him all the time. What message is he sending all the time? Do the God Hates Fags people carry their signs with them all the time for personal defense? If he’s trying to expose the inherant fear tyrants have of people not afraid to exercise their rights and able to defend themselves from tyranny, his message is being heard loud and clear from your mouths.

  16. Meta
    Posted August 12, 2009 at 10:25 am | Permalink

    The Southern Poverty Law Center has released a new report on the resurgence of the militia movement. You can find it here.

    Here’s how it begins.

    The 1990s saw the rise and fall of the virulently antigovernment “Patriot” movement, made up of paramilitary militias, tax defiers and so-called “sovereign citizens.” Sparked by a combination of anger at the federal government and the deaths of political dissenters at Ruby Ridge, Idaho, and Waco, Texas, the movement took off in the middle of the decade and continued to grow even after 168 people were left dead by the 1995 bombing of Oklahoma City’s federal building — an attack, the deadliest ever by domestic U.S. terrorists, carried out by men steeped in the rhetoric and conspiracy theories of the militias. In the years that followed, a truly remarkable number of criminal plots came out of the movement. But by early this century, the Patriots had largely faded, weakened by systematic prosecutions, aversion to growing violence, and a new, highly conservative president.

    They’re back. Almost a decade after largely disappearing from public view, right-wing militias, ideologically driven tax defiers and sovereign citizens are appearing in large numbers around the country. “Paper terrorism” — the use of property liens and citizens’ “courts” to harass enemies — is on the rise. And once-popular militia conspiracy theories are making the rounds again, this time accompanied by nativist theories about secret Mexican plans to “reconquer” the American Southwest. One law enforcement agency has found 50 new militia training groups — one of them made up of present and former police officers and soldiers. Authorities around the country are reporting a worrying uptick in Patriot activities and propaganda. “This is the most significant growth we’ve seen in 10 to 12 years,” says one. “All it’s lacking is a spark. I think it’s only a matter of time before you see threats and violence.”

  17. Brackinald Achery
    Posted August 12, 2009 at 10:36 am | Permalink

    I dare you guys to go to Michigan Militia training days. You can probably find some pathetic nuts to bolster your preconceptions, but at least then you’ll have an opinion based on an experience of objective reality, instead of on ideologic prejudice and propaganda.

  18. Brackinald Achery
    Posted August 12, 2009 at 10:39 am | Permalink

    Before I forget, is quoting a founding father to be considered a threatening antigovernment gesture now?

    Are the founding fathers domestic terrorists, or just the folk’s who pay attention to them?

  19. James Madison
    Posted August 12, 2009 at 10:39 am | Permalink

    It is very odd indeed that someone who thinks he needs to carry a gun for self-protection would proceed to carry a firearm, however “legally” it may have done, into the area being visited by the Chief Magistrate of the United States, the President. Clearly that area is already secured by forces stronger and better organized than a single armed man, so there’s no threat to the man’s safety. So the man’s message seems to be that citizens need to carry firearms to protect themselves from….the President of the United States. That is an extremist and anti-American idea: In a democratic society, there’s no reason to fear that the president will take action that the People must resist with force. Only lunatics would think that way, and only delusional people would doubt the constitutional legitimacy of the present Administration. Further, given the experience of 4 presidents being shot dead, and others nearly killed (president-elect FDR, Ford and Reagan), along with one presidential candidate being shot while campaigning (Robert Kennedy), along with the murders of other public officials, reasonable people would question whether it’s wise to let anyone carrying a gun get near the President. Indeed, I believe Federal law is already clear on that point, and has been for decades. As for that New Hampshire gun carrying resident’s sign quoting my friend, Thomas Jefferson: it’s an appalling example of ill-informed semi-intellectual opportunism. And where does this delusional zealot get the idea that the American Revolution was fought for the individual citizen’s right to bear arms?

  20. Curt Waugh
    Posted August 12, 2009 at 10:42 am | Permalink

    “The guy carries a gun around on him all the time. What message is he sending all the time? ”

    The message he is sending is: Look at my gun! Fear me!

    As you yourself have told us, if you have a gun and you are trained then you are ready at any time to shoot to kill. That is a cold, hard fact. The is the single purpose of a handgun. The message is: “Be afraid of me. I can kill you (and I have a small penis).” It can be read no other way. It was a provocation. It should have provoked someone more sensible than him to smack him upside the head.

    YOU DO NOT BRING A WEAPON ANYWHERE NEAR THE PRESIDENT OF THE USA. As a citizen, I am horrified by this person’s actions. He’s a half-wit and I don’t give a shit what his political leanings are. As Matthews was trying to get him to admit, his “protest” had nothing to do with his rights and everything to do with provoking a reaction.

    And what’s with the ear piece? Nobody asked him about the ear piece. In the strictest sense, he clearly conspired with someone here. Why doesn’t he talk about that? (Because he’s a disingenuous dick-head, that’s why. Just in case you were wondering.)

  21. Brackinald Achery
    Posted August 12, 2009 at 10:54 am | Permalink

    Thanks Higbee.

    Unfrozen Caveman Lawyer just told me evolution is bullshit. He should know.

    None of the past Presidents’ assassins were legally open-carrying on private property while peaceably assembled, to my knowledge. I wonder how many men with their private pistols were around George Washington and never shot him?

  22. Brackinald Achery
    Posted August 12, 2009 at 10:58 am | Permalink

    “And where does this delusional zealot get the idea that the American Revolution was fought for the individual citizen’s right to bear arms?”


  23. EOS
    Posted August 12, 2009 at 2:11 pm | Permalink

    “They that can give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.”

  24. Brackinald Achery
    Posted August 12, 2009 at 2:25 pm | Permalink

    Before this thread derails too badly, I would like to applaud Mark for sticking to reason by providing facts and evidence of who said what untruth and when, and which part of the Bill the untruth is alluding to so someone can check it out themselves. Mark’s approach is by far the most appropriate and least divisive one to counter this tactic… rather than crying racist, for example, and otherwise fighting hot air with hot air.

  25. Oliva
    Posted August 12, 2009 at 2:34 pm | Permalink

    “To be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.”
    — Nelson Mandela

  26. Oliva
    Posted August 12, 2009 at 3:12 pm | Permalink

    To quote my nephew a few years ago, “No one ever said middle school was gonna be this hard.” It’s hard to be a person with passions and ideas among all the other people with passions and ideas and know how to get along or, better yet, have it be good all around. But we can keep trying. Heaven knows, even for the scary gun stuff and meanness afoot, the stubborn will of a surprisingly big chunk of Americans, or so we’re to believe, to shun thoughtful dialogue and factual information, many of us enjoy numerous privileges in the grand scheme of things (imagining a tent city here or in Darfur for quick perspective).

    But there does come a point when apparent kookiness by a group that is resisting change in all forms with their whole might indeed be turning dangerous. And yet we are also just children of our age and in ways have to learn old things anew for ourselves, such as precisely where the line is, when racism is being fed directly and stoked, that mixed with militias growing and guns on leg standing there to shout at the president. How do we know for sure what the line is so we can know when people are about to cross it? The point when history looks back and says, “Why did they just sit there and not do anything?”

    A woman got escorted out of a town hall yesterday because some audacious (kind word for it) woman in the audience walked over to her and tore her sign of Rosa Parks (weren’t supposed to have signs, but the woman who tore it had no right to walk over, take it, and destroy it–sadly, she was applauded). Talk about a hurtful affront in so many ways, and the sudden racial mistrust, deep and hurtful, that has been unleashed (truthfully, the right word might be “revealed”) this past couple of weeks, set in motion by cynical corporate players and equally cynical congressional “leaders,” well . . .

    “No one said middle school [age!] was gonna be this hard.”

    Still, it is worth speaking up, and I hope a whole lot of people with inclinations toward the greater good will do so. (Quoting JFK, “We don’t do these things because they’re easy. We do them because they’re hard.”)

  27. Andy C
    Posted August 12, 2009 at 3:20 pm | Permalink

    “They that can give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.”

    Is a great quote. The Libertarians confused the hell out of me during the Bush/Cheney years. I can’t understand why guns are more important than our civil liberties and the Bill of Rights.

  28. Brackinald Achery
    Posted August 12, 2009 at 5:32 pm | Permalink

    The Libertarians hated Bush/Cheney. You’re thinking of the Republicans.

  29. James Madison
    Posted August 12, 2009 at 5:36 pm | Permalink

    Prof. Higbee has been to Lexington, he knows the history, and he is absolutely correct in saying that the American Revolution was NOT fought over the right of individual citizens’ to keep or bear arms. The British marched on Lexington, you may recall, to seize weapons stock piled there for a militia of Americans who supported the rising resistance to the British. These were the weapons of an armed force, a citizens’ militia; the weapons were in an arsenal, not in the hands of private individuals. Weapons in the homes of private individuals were thought to be useless for the goals of the militia. And the attempt to seize the weapons, while surely a serious escalation (up to and including war) in the conflict between British officials and American patriots, seizing the weapons was NOT the cause of the conflict. The militia was created because of the mounting conflict, and the British sought to sezie the weapons to reduce the patriots’ ability to pursue armed resistance: But the militia was NOT the cause of the conflict. Perhaps you’d like to read one of Edmund Morgan’s books on the Revolutionary era? Great writer! And I join Prof. Higbee in regretting that you don’t find any humor in the use of my ghost of Madison as a voice in this blog’s debate on various constitutional and historical matters; others do.

    As the ghost of James Madison, I am very glad to have any thoughtful representation of my thoughts voiced in your era — especially since people who think Obama’s goal of health insurance is a threat to constitutional freedom, but who have no clue about the actual constitutional system, so often invoke my name or my writings or those of Mr. Jefferson to support their ideas. Still, I’d have to agree with anyone who says, in civil tones, that Higbee is a pedantic and wordy fellow who says too much, and repeats himself a lot. Well informed, but verbose and annoying!

  30. Brackinald Achery
    Posted August 12, 2009 at 5:40 pm | Permalink

    Oliva — most people don’t think it’s for the greater good. That’s why they’re resisting it.

    Again, I think it’s a better long-term strategy to let it and every other horrible piece of legislation pass, at this point. The bailouts/stimulus put us past the point of no return, financially, in my opinion. If I’m right, increased spending, taxation, and inflation will cripple the government, destroy the economy, and teach the American people a lesson in free market economics and the value of liberty they won’t forget for a generation, and we can finally end this malarky. And if I’m wrong, I’ll mooch off the socialist utopia and learn to wryly hide stuff like Han muthafukkin Solo.

  31. James Madison
    Posted August 12, 2009 at 5:48 pm | Permalink

    These were the weapons of an armed force, a citizens’ militia; the weapons were in an arsenal, not in the hands of private individuals. Weapons in the homes of private individuals were thought to be useless for the goals of the militia.

    I, James Madison’s Ka, fear yon Brackinald will have to teach this arrogant charlatan buffoon another lesson in the use of original sources regarding private firearms ownership and the militia. If Master Achery would be so kind to provide a link to the original thread, I will forgive him for not bothering to recopy/paste all that shit. Perhaps this time, we will bother to fucking read it.

  32. Dirtgrain
    Posted August 12, 2009 at 8:27 pm | Permalink

    “. . . and teach the American people a lesson in free market economics and the value of liberty they won’t forget for a generation . . .”

    The lesson being that we need more regulation?

  33. WSJ reader
    Posted August 13, 2009 at 7:56 am | Permalink

    The Wall Street Journal’s James Taranto on the “ObamaCare” town hall:

    If you’re not creeped out by ObamaCare yet, you will be after you’ve read this passage from the New York Times transcript of the president’s “town hall” meeting in Portsmouth, N.H., yesterday: “The rumor that’s been circulating a lot lately is this idea that somehow the House of Representatives voted for ‘death panels’ that will basically pull the plug on grandma because we’ve decided that we don’t–it’s too expensive to let her live anymore. (Laughter.)”

    Laughter? Way to knock ’em dead, Mr. President!

    You can hear the “joke,” and the laughter, on NPR’s Web site.

    Now, this column certainly is not above finding humor in grim subject matter. That is one of many reasons we’d make a lousy politician. But President Obama is attempting to transmogrify America’s entire medical system. It is literally a matter of life and death. If Obama and his supporters find mirth in the thought of “pulling the plug on grandma,” do you trust them anywhere near your health care?

    So, the fact that he points out that the idea is ridiculous is now reason to suspect him of something. What was he supposed to do? Go out on stage, deadly serious, and say, “seniors, I will not have you killed”? What kind of response would the Wall Street Journal have accepted?

  34. Brackinald Achery
    Posted August 13, 2009 at 7:57 am | Permalink

    The lesson is that we need to eliminate fiat currencies and central banks, because inflationary spending and artficially low interest rates lead to speculative bubbles (which burst eventually), unsustainable government growth, and currency devaluation.

    Even if most people get the message wrong and come to the conclusion you have, Dirtgrain, the means of enforcing greater regulations won’t be there if the currency collapses.

    And if I’m wrong, I’ll mooch off the socialist utopia and hide my shit.

  35. Brackinald Achery
    Posted August 13, 2009 at 8:03 am | Permalink

    I’ll add getting rid of employer-killing, industry-exiling labor laws, too, just to make sure whoever’s going to start hating on me climbs on board all at once and I can feel the envigorating thrill of being afraid of union thugs.

  36. Carol
    Posted August 13, 2009 at 8:07 am | Permalink

    Now say something about how women shouldn’t be allowed to vote.

  37. Brackinald Achery
    Posted August 13, 2009 at 8:18 am | Permalink

    Ahahaha! No way, I’m too scared of women.

  38. Medium Steven
    Posted August 13, 2009 at 8:21 am | Permalink

    I don’t want to take us too off course, but, BA, if you’d like, I can send you some lovely images of kids killed while working in coal mines.

  39. EOS
    Posted August 13, 2009 at 8:37 am | Permalink

    BA –
    Sounds like you’re telling us that the best strategy to take while being raped is to lie back and enjoy it and hope that you survive. I’d much rather go down fighting (by all legal means) than acquiesce. If I’m herded into a cattle car, I won’t willingly walk into the gas chamber. I’ll at least leave a trail where my heels have dug in and make a lot of noise. “There is some shit I will not eat.”

    Where might someone get the crazy idea that persons with Down Syndrome are at risk for euthanasia? Current medical practice strives for 100% prenatal testing for genetic abnormalities and current genetic counselors have achieved a 92% abortion rate for those prenatally diagnosed with Down’s syndrome. Even before the onset of socialized medicine, we choose to kill those with potentially low I.Q. at an alarming rate.

  40. kjc
    Posted August 13, 2009 at 8:59 am | Permalink

    don’t worry, eos, if the govt’s running the gas chamber, spots in the cattle cars will be rationed. duh. even if you’re one of the chosen ones, you’ll wait months, years even!, for your death ride.

  41. Glen S.
    Posted August 13, 2009 at 9:10 am | Permalink

    Wow. Only 8:37 a.m., and EOS has already managed to commit today’s first violation of Godwin’s Law.

  42. EOS
    Posted August 13, 2009 at 9:17 am | Permalink

    Sorry Glen. Eugenics, Socialism and Nazism are irreversibly connected.

  43. Oliva
    Posted August 13, 2009 at 9:53 am | Permalink

    an excerpt from today’s

    Michigan’s members of Congress, like their brethren around the country, might as well be showing up at their August recess town hall meetings wearing “Kick Me” signs the way they’re getting treated by emotional, angry and sometimes-obnoxious citizens.

    The usually obscure, lightly attended affairs have turned into the premier political battleground of 2009. Long-serving members, such as Dearborn Democrat John Dingell, find themselves swarmed by throngs of discontents, subjected to ridicule and disdain.

    In video footage of the event, you can almost imagine the 83-year-old Dingell asking himself, “Where did these people come from?”


    Dingell was impressive in a TV clip the other day, saying he hasn’t seen the kind of behavior he’s seeing at town halls since the days of the civil rights fights, calling out the racist elements he saw then and is seeing now. He’s no pushover, even though not a spring chicken and hard of hearing (perhaps this saved him, but having people screaming right next to a hearing aid can cause very painful feedback sounds) sent the man who got up in his face a long, very gracious letter about programs available now to help his son and what reform will likely provide.

  44. Oliva
    Posted August 13, 2009 at 10:25 am | Permalink

    Eugenics, Socialism and Nazism are irreversibly connected.

    Oh, poor words again. Their looseness can make them almost worthless, as if facts and history have no relation to them. Brain power is the antidote. Otherwise, given our history, we’d be linking up eugenics and white people, eugenics and USA . . . forever.

    Socialists were put to death in Nazi Germany. Do town hallers just buy it when Limbaugh tells them that national socialism equals socialism? Where does that leave us as a democratic republic–on par with the Congo? Does “democratic republic” stand for slavery, civil war, and genocide? Ugh, unhelpful ways of thinking.

  45. dragon
    Posted August 13, 2009 at 10:35 am | Permalink

    BA says: None of the past Presidents’ assassins were legally open-carrying on private property while peaceably assembled, to my knowledge.

    –What exactly was illegal about Booth, Guiteau, or Czolgosz carrying a gun?

  46. Oliva
    Posted August 13, 2009 at 10:45 am | Permalink

    P.S. from yesterday. It was a man who tore up the Rosa Parks sign. I need eyeglasses . . . saw the clip and thought it was a white white-haired woman, but it was a white white-haired man.

  47. Brackinald Achery
    Posted August 13, 2009 at 11:51 am | Permalink

    Were they open-carrying, dragon? I put that qualifier in on purpose, since the guy in this case was open-carrying.

    And EOS — no one is kicking down your door, raping you, or putting you in a cattle car. I don’t disapprove your fighting this legislation at all, I kinda like that people are finally getting pissed about this crap. What I’m saying is that it’s too late for the economy anyway. Might as well give the left all the rope they want at this point, so history knows who to blame. If someone starts putting folks in cattle cars, then you can start shooting.

  48. Oliva
    Posted August 13, 2009 at 2:17 pm | Permalink

    The arguments about fiscal conservatism, etc., don’t hold water, maybe weren’t really meant to because, as this old supply-sider puts it (below), the town hall fury and contempt for democracy are really just about some people not liking the election results. But this election was clear, whereas 8 years ago Democrats had to stomach having W made prez by the SC (with the help of those angry mobs sent to Fla. to cause mayhem. (We took to the streets about it, peacefully, and had all sorts of crude things shouted to us by angry people driving by in big SUVs and other Clunkers.)

    conservative activists, who seem to believe that the louder they shout the more correct their beliefs must be, are less angry about Obama’s policies than they are about having lost the White House in 2008. They are primarily Republican Party hacks trying to overturn the election results, not representatives of a true grassroots revolt against liberal policies. If that were the case they would have been out demonstrating against the Medicare drug benefit, the Sarbanes-Oxley bill, and all the pork-barrel spending that Bush refused to veto.

    Until conservatives once again hold Republicans to the same standard they hold Democrats, they will have no credibility and deserve no respect. They can start building some by admitting to themselves that Bush caused many of the problems they are protesting.

    Bruce Bartlett was one of the original supply-siders, helping draft the Kemp-Roth tax bill in the 1970s. In the 1980s and 1990s, he was a leading Republican economist. He now considers himself to be a political independent.


  49. Brackinald Achery
    Posted August 13, 2009 at 2:29 pm | Permalink

    I don’t want to take us too off course, but, BA, if you’d like, I can send you some lovely images of kids killed while working in coal mines.

    Now here’s a pickle:

    China is far more productive than the U.S., which is why we have to borrow from them in order to finance our Government and all its programs, including economic stimulus and health care. That’s why we’re trillions in debt — the largest debtor nation in the world. One reason they’re more productive than we are (so much so that they can loan us so much money) is because of their cheap labor vs. our expensive labor.

    One could argue that labor laws have increased standards of living in the U.S., which certainly seems true. But now we’re less productive, because many employers have been labor-expensed out of business or out of the country, to places like China (or they stay here and hire cheap illegals).

    So China makes more money, and loans it to us, to pay for our Government programs. Well, guess what goes on in those Chinese factories?

    Child Labor.

    So you see, it could be argued that all the bailouts, stimulus, nationalized healthcare, and every other humanitarian Government program in the U.S. is funded by cheap labor and child labor in China.

    What a pickle.

  50. Mike T
    Posted August 13, 2009 at 3:15 pm | Permalink

    Senator Tom Coburn is now talking about “death panels” as well.

  51. Mike T
    Posted August 13, 2009 at 3:18 pm | Permalink

    And don’t miss the new Daily Show, which is about the guy with the gun.

  52. Posted August 13, 2009 at 7:38 pm | Permalink

    I feel like I should jump in, but I’m not sure what to say… Probably something directed toward BA… Probably something about how he’s stupid for wanting to give more power to corporations so that they can slash the pay of their workers and put them at greater risk… OK, I’ll work on that…

  53. Posted August 13, 2009 at 7:40 pm | Permalink

    It’s always hard, this decision I have to make about where I allot my time. I feel like writing good comments, and helping to direct conversations so that they’re productive, but, if I’m doing that, it means I’m not working on new posts.

  54. Posted August 13, 2009 at 7:41 pm | Permalink

    So, just so everyone knows, if I don’t leave comments in a thread, it’s not because I don’t want to join in – I really do. It’s that I feel obligated to start new threads every night. So, please don’t take it personally if you mention something in a comment, and I don’t respond. It’s not that I don’t want to. It’s that I can’t.

  55. Brackinald Achery
    Posted August 13, 2009 at 7:51 pm | Permalink

    The only moral thing to do is not borrow money from China until they treat all their workers as well as we treat ours. In which case, they won’t have enough money to loan us for our expensive public works.

    If we don’t take their money, though, say goodbye to all your favorite Federal stimuli and healthcare dreams. We don’t have the money ourselves.

    Exploiting Chinese labor for our own benefit is a time honored American tradition, and I suspect that will be our chosen route out of this moral pickle. Somebody’s gotta build those fancy railroads for cheap. Might as well be the Chinese, right?

  56. James Madison
    Posted August 13, 2009 at 8:49 pm | Permalink

    Mark, glad to see you take your constitutional obligation to blog and post new topics daily as seriously as you do! The People are counting on you.

    As for the China trade issue: By what measure can it be said China is more “productive” than the US? Is it merely a way of saying China produces more manufactured goods? If so, no quibble on that. More fundamentally: it is untrue that the US benefits by trading with China for cheap things made by cheap labor over there. The race to the bottom is not beneficial to most Americans (ever see a shuttered factory in Michigan? More stuff is being produced, just in China not here. This is not good for America. Read my one time friend Alexander Hamilton’s writings on the promotion of manufacturing if you have any doubts about this. Yet the promotion of export dependency, the evisceration of American manufacturing, and American debt to the first great capitalist-communist economy are all the results of the bipartisan and destructive policies of the US government and finance capital, carried out in the last 30 years. The responsible parties should be held accountable.

  57. Brackinald Achery
    Posted August 13, 2009 at 10:11 pm | Permalink

    James — thank you for not insulting me. You deserve respect for that.

    What I’m saying is that China produces more manufactured goods, and that their government loans our government money to fund our stuff by buying t-bills, because they have enough money and we don’t.

    I also do not subscribe to the idea that we benefit from exporting our manufacturing to China and using their loaned money to buy their cheap stuff. I’m sure I and whoever is chanelling your spirit differ on why that is and who is responsible and how to fix it, but we agree that it is not good for us.

    My basic musing was that if cheap and child labor is immoral, then it is immoral to for our government to borrow money from China, due to how they got it (cheap/child labor). Problem is, if we don’t, we can’t fund much of anything. It is a moral dilemma.

  58. Cam
    Posted August 14, 2009 at 11:43 am | Permalink

    I’ve found a fairly reasonable Republican who isn’t talking about death panels and the like. Here’s a link for those of you who are interested:

  59. Lisele
    Posted August 14, 2009 at 3:07 pm | Permalink

    Just like always, the Republicans just out-wordsmith the Dems. “Death Panels” is a perfect, over-the-top, invented term to scare the crap out of people. Like “death tax,” “sanctity of marriage,” “UNBORN child,” Culture War,” “partial birth abortion,” and so on. It’s the just the usual inflammatory terminology — disgustingly infuriating, aimed to incite, guaranteed to stifle true exchange.

  60. Brackinald Achery
    Posted August 14, 2009 at 3:59 pm | Permalink

    That inflammatory, dialogue stifling door swings both ways. When someone comes out against Obamacare, it’s “racist” this and “child labor” that and “you want poor people to die” blah blah blah. That’s not reasonable exchange!

    I remember the same basic treatment when I came out against the bailouts. Now it’s easy and trendy to hate the bailouts (in hindsight, when it’s too late), but at the time I was one of the few with the conviction and the balls to immediately decry their horseshittery — BEFORE they passed. And what did I get? I got treated like I was some horrible monster who wanted poor people to get thrown out on the street and starve, hahahaha!

  61. Posted August 14, 2009 at 4:08 pm | Permalink

    I love it that these boobs think shouting at their representatives will have any effect on anything.

    These hippies should get jobs.

  62. Oliva
    Posted August 14, 2009 at 4:21 pm | Permalink

    When someone comes out against Obamacare [carrying swastika signs and “Death to Obama” signs, screaming into the faces of U.S. representatives, ripping up a Rose Parks sign, on and on and on and on], it’s [indeed] “racist” . . .

    It’s just not a swinging door. It’s a structure with many doors and windows and ways to go. To choose racist innuendo and messages beyond innuendo is just one door, a very unwanted door!

  63. Cave Dweller
    Posted August 19, 2009 at 7:47 am | Permalink

    Finally, after weeks of these crazy people dominating town hall meetings, someone called them on their insanity instead of treating them respectfully, with kid gloves. It was Barney Frank, and the video is beautiful:

  64. Meta
    Posted August 20, 2009 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

    Study shows: States With Highest Levels of Uninsured People Most Likely To Believe In “Death Panels,” Other Health Care Lies:

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