Remember the Whitey Tape?
Or the birth certificate fiasco...
And now we have the "death panels"...
Yes, you heard it right. The provision in the healthcare bill that would create the alleged "death panels" was added by by a Republican. Not only that, but a measure very similar to the so-called "death panels" was approved by multiple Republican leaders back in 2003.
It's somewhat amusing to watch the Little Limbaughs fume and throw tantrums over this stuff, but the reality of the situation is that it distracts the people who want to improve America for Americans from accomplishing that goal.
This is by no means a new tactic. Republicans have a long history of saying just about anything in order to derail America as Rick Perlstein notes in an excellent column that is to appear in tomorrow's Washington Post.
In the early 1950s, Republicans referred to the presidencies of Franklin Roosevelt and Harry Truman as "20 years of treason" and accused the men who led the fight against fascism of deliberately surrendering the free world to communism. Mainline Protestants published a new translation of the Bible in the 1950s that properly rendered the Greek as connoting a more ambiguous theological status for the Virgin Mary; right-wingers attributed that to, yes, the hand of Soviet agents. And Vice President Richard Nixon claimed that the new Republicans arriving in the White House "found in the files a blueprint for socializing America."I got an email from a fellow South Florida blogger this past week that asked me what I thought of Glenn Beck's claim that using the government's "Cash for Clunkers" website could result in the Obama Administration taking over your computer. My advice to her was to ignore it and I think that's what we all need to do with this meddlesome noise and disinformation that Republicans have proven themselves to be addicted to whenever a Democrat is in the White House.
When John F. Kennedy entered the White House, his proposals to anchor America's nuclear defense in intercontinental ballistic missiles -- instead of long-range bombers -- and form closer ties with Eastern Bloc outliers such as Yugoslavia were taken as evidence that the young president was secretly disarming the United States. Thousands of delegates from 90 cities packed a National Indignation Convention in Dallas, a 1961 version of today's tea parties; a keynote speaker turned to the master of ceremonies after his introduction and remarked as the audience roared: "Tom Anderson here has turned moderate! All he wants to do is impeach [Supreme Court Chief Justice Earl] Warren. I'm for hanging him!"
Before the "black helicopters" of the 1990s, there were right-wingers claiming access to secret documents from the 1920s proving that the entire concept of a "civil rights movement" had been hatched in the Soviet Union; when the landmark 1964 Civil Rights Act was introduced, one frequently read in the South that it would "enslave" whites. And back before there were Bolsheviks to blame, paranoids didn't lack for subversives -- anti-Catholic conspiracy theorists even had their own powerful political party in the 1840s and '50s.
The instigation is always the familiar litany: expansion of the commonwealth to empower new communities, accommodation to internationalism, the heightened influence of cosmopolitans and the persecution complex of conservatives who can't stand losing an argument. My personal favorite? The federal government expanded mental health services in the Kennedy era, and one bill provided for a new facility in Alaska. One of the most widely listened-to right-wing radio programs in the country, hosted by a former FBI agent, had millions of Americans believing it was being built to intern political dissidents, just like in the Soviet Union.
They have only one interest when they try to sell fiction as fact and that's to prevent this country from advancing under a Democratic president. It doesn't matter who suffers for it. It doesn't matter what damage it causes our country. It's self-serving BS with the sole intention of creating discontent and discord so that in 2010 or 2012 they can get control of things once again. That's the only thing these ideologically stunted malcontents live for.
And America be damned.
With that, here's your weekly address from our President...