August 12, 2009

Tonight I am the shrill one

Writing this piece is going to be difficult. My position as a moderate has been carefully carved out, but everyone knows I lean slightly left. I’ll defend truth and honor regardless of the offender or the offended. More often than not I stay on the sidelines and let the scenarios play out however they may… unless I perceive something unjust. This time I have been so personally offended that I must speak out, and I regret that it is going to make me sound like a flaming lefty.

The news has carried stories lately of individuals disrupting town hall meetings at which Democrats are attempting to clarify or push health care reform. The left-leaning media play this as orchestrated by loosely affiliated, well funded, false grassroots (Astroturf) organizations. Right-leaning media are playing it as an exercise in free speech. The truth may be somewhere closer to the middle, but I’m tending toward the theory of purposeful, organized disruption. This would be akin to the civil disobedience demonstrations of the 60’s and 70’s, when the left was trying to end the conflict in Viet Nam. It was wrong then… it is wrong now.

The offense became more personal with a letter to the Op Ed page of this morning’s print edition of the Fort Worth Star Telegram, which I would link to if the Star Telegram’s web page weren’t so screwed up and user unfriendly as to make linking a virtual impossibility.

The letter writer is a frequent contributor to the Startlegram’s Op Ed page, writing many more letters each month than the paper’s policy will allow, I’m certain. He is a winger and a sock puppet who writes for the right. He was a big Bush supporter and a current, active Obama detractor. Today’s letter spent a great deal of time and effort mocking Democrats efforts to bring civility to the town hall meetings. According to the letter writer, any such effort is an affront to free expression. I disagree.

There is no doubt that the rabble rousers at the town hall meetings are attempting to disrupt the democratic process by interfering with a means by which legislators have historically communicated with constituents. These wingers claim that they are concerned with the tyrannical direction being taken by the Obama administration and a liberal congress. They compare this administration with the likes of the Stalinist Soviet Union and/or Nazi Germany. They rail against socialism and an administration making unprecedented power grabs. They claim to be standing up for truth, justice, and the American way.

This is bunk, of course. These self-described defenders of liberty are doing nothing except trampling the process. They are the antithesis of the democracy they claim to defend, thus becoming the evil themselves. Their bias becomes especially evident when viewed in light of their utter silence, or their support, over the eight years of the previous administration’s various unconstitutional actions, and the blatant power grabs of our chief executive at the time.

Revelations of the Bush administration’s illegal actions are still floating to the light, adding much fuel to the fires of outrage. That administration contended that the President had all-encompassing authority to do just about anything he pleased, including warrantless wiretapping and spying on American citizens, accessing confidential, personal financial records and information of individual citizens by threatening American corporations with illegal action if they failed to cooperate, arresting anyone on flimsy evidence, then holding them for years in secret facilities without legal representation or plans for trial, and authorizing torture as a means of interrogation. All of this violated the very heart and soul of our constitution. It violated our own laws, too.

Bush bypassed the legislature, effectively re-writing legislation by the use of signing statements, and then assigned to his own Justice department the powers constitutionally granted only to the Judicial Branch. Many times, even though it was a requirement of law, the Bush administration didn’t even bother with notifying congress of the actions taken. The three balancing branches of the United States government, as envisioned by our founders and codified by our constitution, were effectively eliminated in the administration of President George W. Bush. Bush became an all powerful emperor.

Someone please explain to me why these tea baggers were not offended by that, but now they come as the defenders of liberty, protecting the America they know and love by wrecking civility at public meetings and wearing signs with statements advocating violent overthrow of the elected government. They and their faux defenders try to convince us that their only interest is maintaining the integrity of America.


These tea baggers and their sponsors were the defenders of the vilest administration the United States has endured in our history as a nation, yet now they want to be seen as defenders of liberty.

These people do not love liberty… or justice… or the American way. They are not patriots. They are zealots. They had a taste of illegitimate power over the past eight years, and they lust for more. Now that a majority of Americans are offended by the abuses of authority over the past eight years, and the balance of power has shifted, they attempt to use bully force to re-grab the reins… and they threaten violent uprising if they do not get their way. They condemn tyranny in others, but completely fail to see the tyranny within their own hearts.

These hypocrites represent a real, moral threat to the democratic republic so painfully won by our founders all those years ago. America is under siege from within by zealous dominionists with a powerful lust for control. They are the American Taliban. We need to recognize them as such.

One of my favorite blogs has a little bit on this topic that I fould seriously funny, and seriously disturbing at the same time. Helen may have actually put her finger on the real reason for all this teabaggery. Please pop over and read Helen & Margaret, then bookmark the blog. These two old bats never cease to entertain.


MiniKat said...

I do not think you sound like a left-winger with this post, MB. In fact I believe you are calling the sky blue.

These are the same hypocritical and hysterical twits who keep calling the elected President's citizenship into question... happily ignoring the fact that his mother was an American citizen, thereby nullifying any of their claims.

I really hope our Founding Fathers cannot get migraines from where they sit and watch the idiocy going on at present.

Ambulance Driver said...

Yep, shrill.

You're a more reasoned person than this, Mule Breath.

Q: What's the difference between Democrat and Republican Astroturfing?

A: Republicans volunteer. Democrats pay theirs a salary.

Mule Breath said...

Again, we must disagree AD.

I may have been shrill, but that doesn't mean Im not correct. Radical response by the right to something they find disagreeable is as bad as whatever paid lefty astroturfers you can find and whatever they did.

So, AD, are you trying to say that just because one side does something stupid, it makes it okay for the other side to do the same?

Q: Whats the difference between a left wing radical and a right wing radical.

A: Not a damn thing. Both are wingnuts and both are wrong... and both are driving this country to ruin.

Ambulance Driver said...

You're right, of course.

Just acknowledge that both sides are guilty of it, including in this health care debate.

Republicans are egging on the shouting. Democrats are paying operatives and busing them to Town Hall meetings.

Republicans show their asses by shouting down people and not engaging in civil debate. Democrats are planting their kids with softball questions to give Obama an opening on one of his talking points, or posing as primary care physicians throwing softball questions to Sheila Jackson Lee.

Bush operatives relegated protesters to "free speech" zones far away from the actual meetings. Just a few days ago, I saw a video where ACORN and the local police do the very same thing to a group of calm and peaceful Republican protesters.

So far, the most threatening act you can attribute to a Republican is one guy exercising his legal right to carry a firearm. The only assault there was on good taste by that tacky drop thigh holster he sported. Yet it was union thugs supporting the Democrats who physically assaulted a Republican protester last week.

Astroturfing is wrong no matter who does it, as you've pointed out before. What makes you sound shrill is that, in this one particular post, you seem to pretend that the Republicans are the only ones guilty of it.

Mule Breath said...

Democrats would say the Republicans started it and that their "union thugs" (which is a term right out of right wing talk radio) were only performing crowd control. We heard the same about the Hell's Angels at Altamont. Nobody ever did figure out who started that deal, but people got hurt. The whole country is getting hurt in this deal.

Oh, and I wasn't pretending. The particular action I was condemning (teabaggers vandalizing public meetings)is organized and fomented by right wing factions bent on control. If you read what I said to mean every Republican, you read more into it than I was saying. This is a calculated action by people well practiced at dirty tricks. The foot soldiers (teabaggers et al) are just following the wolves in sheep's clothing.

And yes, before you say it, there are Democrat dirty tricksters too; but that wasn't the point of my message.