Remember during the 2008 campaign, when Sarah Palin flicked her Bic under the gas-soaked rags wrapped around the clubs held by the mobs at her rallies but then claimed she had no idea how the fires started? The reaction from Republicans to the escalation of teabagger anger exhibited toward health care reform is eerily familiar.
House Minority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio, called the incidents “reprehensible” but said on NBC’s Meet the Press “let’s not let a few isolated incidents get in the way of the fact that millions of Americans are scared to death, and millions of Americans want no part of this growing size of government.”
Yes, let’s not let “isolated incidents” (is there any other kind?) keep us from directing our disgust where it belongs: on elected representatives who are trying to help American companies compete with companies from nations that do not tie one arm behind them by expecting them to provide health insurance; or who want to keep people from being vulnerable to the number one cause of bankruptcy in this country, medical bills; or who simply recognize that the Congressional Budget Office and Joint Commission on Taxation are right when their studies predict our government will go broke if the health care and insurance systems are not reformed. Because, you know, Democratic (and the few decent Republican) legislators are real the problem.
Unfortunately, Boehner isn’t the only one minimizing the tea bagger belligerence Republicans have stirred up.
House Minority Whip Eric Cantor, R – Virginia on ABC’s “This Week” [said] “There were 30,000 people here in Washington yesterday. And, yes, there were some very awful things said.”
Cantor appeared with House Democratic Caucus chairman John Larson, D-Connecticut, who said the incidents show “everybody ought to ratchet back just a little bit.”
But Cantor disagreed.
Cantor said “you know what it is time for? It’s time to listen to the American people, and that is the stunning thing about this.”
No the stunning thing is that Republicans have been yelling and screaming about socialism, tyranny, totalitarianism, illegitimate power, etc. and now they express surprise that the true concerns of their intellectually challenged followers appear to be racism and homophobia. Who’da thunk?
But don’t let that inconvenient fact cause you to dismiss tea bagger views. At least, not if you’re a Republican who needs to keep these folks mobilized for your own cynical ends. Rep. David Nunes (R-Calif.), I’m looking at you.
When was asked about the slurs hurled at Reps. Lewis and Frank, Nunes said, “Yeah, well I think that when you use totalitarian tactics, people, you know, begin to act crazy. I think, you know, there’s people that have every right to say what they want. If they want to smear someone, they can do it. It’s not appropriate. And I think I would stop short of characterizing the 20,000 people protesting, that all of them were doing that –Of course. I think the left loves to play a couple of incidents here or there.”
To recap the Republican response to supporters spitting at and yelling the n-word and the f-word at elected officials: “It’s not that bad, it’s only a few of the 20,000/30,000/1.6 million members of the mob gathered, and it’s all Obama’s fault anyway.”