…falling out of the stupid tree and smacking into every branch on the way down would be another. By now, you might have heard about the corporate lobbyist-organized healthcare offensive, which is designed to ‘confront’ officials at public meetings about healthcare–that is, heckle, intimidate, and shut down these meetings. Democratic Representative Gene Green (R-TX) wasn’t having any of it:
During the town hall, one conservative activist turns to his fellow attendees and asks them to raise their hands if they “oppose any form of socialized or government-run health care.” Almost all the hands shot up. Rep Green quickly turned the question on the audience and asked, “How many of you have Medicare?” Nearly half the attendees raised their hands, failing to note the irony.
Words can’t begin to describe how stupid this is (although feel free to try in the comments). But this is the next step from Palinism to fascism:
The primary purpose of politics is not to govern, not to provide services, and not to solve mundane, although often important, problems. For the Palinist, politics first and foremost exists to enable the social restoration of ‘real’ Americans (think about the phrase “red blooded American”) and the emotional and social advantages that restoration would provide to its followers (obviously, if you’re not a ‘real’ American, you might view this as a bad thing…). Practicalities of governance, such as compromise and worrying about reality-based outcomes, actually get in the way. Why risk having your fantasy muddied by reality?
In this way, symbols and short phrases are the goal, not a means (although others, such as corporations and lobbyists, are willing to co-opt the emotions these symbols generate to further their own agendas).
I’m waiting for these idiots to start beating people up, since they’re already trying to intimidate elected officials and other attendees of these meetings.