Justin Rosario at Addicting Info has an explanation for the ending of the video:
If you’re unfamiliar with the woman laying on the floor while the police step over her, her name was Anna Brown and she was left to die on the floor from am easily treatable condition. The hospital had her dragged away by the police because she was black and poor. Proof that not only do hospitals not always provide emergency care if they think they won’t get paid (they didn’t run a single test on her) but that there are death panels. Not the paranoid delusional ones of the right, but the very real ones brought about by the profit motive of our current system.
So it seems clear that the Republicans haven’t learned from the past — or simply think the gains outweigh the negatives.
Thomas Frank detailed in his terrific book What’s The Matter With Kansas? how the wealthy conservative elite used wedge issues in local Kansas politics to turn a formerly blue-collar state that voted Democratic into a GOP stronghold.
Frank outlines how the conservatives thought that abortion, gay-baiting, anti-science issues could be used as issues to turn the working-class away from bread and butter issues like jobs, healthcare and education. While they had folks in a lather, the Republican leadership found ways to fool workers into thinking progressive taxation and other policies that bolster the poor and middle class were evil.
The elite, monied conservatives didn’t really care about those issues. They did (and have done) nothing to achieve their stated goal of outlawing abortion. The war on science (teaching creationism, lying about global warming, halting stem cell research) were all just handles to move the uninformed masses to support tax cuts for the rich, eliminate regulation of their corporate masters, and line their pockets in lobbyist cash.
Then something happened. The whipped up rabble in Kansas started running candidates who actually believed the things that were only wedge issues for the elite. The old Republican guard was voted out, and the new, radical Republicans took over Kansas politics and sent these nuts to Congress.
With the news last night of wins by Tea Party candidates in Delaware and New York, it’s clear that the genie is out of the bottle again.
The Tea Party “movement” was started with Astroturf seed money from Dick Armey’s FreedomWorks. They and their sponsors in the health insurance industry thought they could whip up low-information voters to halt legislation that would put an end to the insurance fat cats’ practices of collecting money and providing little service.
Now, by golly, those folks are actually running candidates and sending Republicans packing.
In the short term, this may be good news for the Democrats.
However, the more the Tea Party mentality catches on, the harder it is for a representative democratic society to operate.
Tea Partiers have no serious proposals to better the country. They have a list of unfocused complaints centered on the black man in the White House.
You could ask why their concern for fiscal responsibility didn’t manifest itself until after January of 2009. After all, The Bush Administration created an unfunded entitlement program that added billions to the budget deficit Plus he started two expensive wars that have seen billions in taxpayer dollars disappearing into a cloud of incompetence and corruption.
Or take the idea of lost freedom (because providing access to healthcare is “socialist”). Were these people in a coma when Republicans very publicly supported the idea of warrantless wiretaps, imprisoning people without due process, kidnapping people from around the world and torturing them?
Dialogue and a free exchange of ideas isn’t possible with people this far gone. They know everything they “need” to know, and no amount of education or presentation of facts is likely to get a one of them to reconsider the nonsense they are spouting — or even offer any proposal of how to fix the very things they are complaining about. It’s a minor victory to get them past the factually challenged talking points they regurgitate like good little sheep.
And now these sheep feel empowered.
So, the more candidates like Christine O’Donnell (R-Venus) win primaries across the nation, the more the Republican party will lean in that direction to try and gather those voters under their rapidly shrinking tent — taking the dialogue further to the right, and away from an arena where discussion of liberal and progressive ideas will be countenanced by the rabidly partisan right wing.
I hope I’m wrong, but the cheering from Democrats rings hollow in my ears.
We need to bring the discussion back to reality, and the more we demand that real ideas and solutions be discussed by our lawmakers, the better off we will be as a society.
Update: Matthew Yglesias seems to agree with me.
Update 2: Andrew Sullivan, too:
I wonder if this doesn’t represent some kind of tipping point for the right, the moment their asinine, vacuous Palinist blather really did meet the reality of this country’s profound problems and the need to confront them rather than escape into a fantasy world of cultural paranoia, religious extremism and neurotic nationalism.
- Christine O’Donnell brings unlikely Tea Party triumph to Delaware (guardian.co.uk)
- The spread of the TEA party movement (tfa.net)
- FreedomWorks Refuses To Endorse DE Tea Party Favorite Christine O’Donnell (huffingtonpost.com)
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