A post by David Frum, the former speechwriter for President George W. Bush, David Frum, that I cited Sunday night was all over the Net on Monday. Frum’s take on the anti-government hysteria surrounding the health care debate included this:

Conservative talkers on Fox and talk radio had whipped the Republican voting base into such a frenzy that deal-making was rendered impossible. How do you negotiate with somebody who wants to murder your grandmother? Or – more exactly – with somebody whom your voters have been persuaded to believe wants to murder their grandmother?

Today, President Obama signs the Senate bill passed on Sunday. Passage of the health care bill is a Republican Waterloo, Frum writes. Maybe. But I’ll be holding my breath for some time afterwards.

Okay, I’ll say it.

I’m holding my breath waiting to see if some overstimulated tea party sympathizer strung out on too many months of anti-government hyperbole is going to fly a Cessna into another office building. Or fill a Ryder truck with another bomb made from fertilizer. Or shoot a few more cops answering a domestic disturbance call. Or walk into a government building in D.C. and open up on guards with a handgun. Or take his 12-gauge and the Liberal Hunting Permit he bought at the gun show and walk down to another Unitarian church to kill him some liberals.

Because Glenn Beck and Rep. Michele Bachmann and Sean Hannity and Rep. John Boehner (among others) convinced him that liberals are out to confiscate his guns, throw him into a concentration camp, and murder his grandma with the commie, fascist, unconstitutional health care bill that – under orders from the Kenyan pretender and committed socialist, Barack Obama – Nancy Pelosi and her gang of thugs passed illegally by, you know, besting the GOP in a House floor vote.

It’s Healthcaremageddon. Oh, the humanity.

As Jon Stewart told conservatives last spring, “I think you’re confusing tyranny with losing.”

Responding to the weekend follies outside the Capitol, Digby on Sunday contrasted the different reactions to losing on the left and on the far right:

The Republicans are losing their minds and their shock troops, the tea partiers, are facing the reality that they aren’t likely to win this fight. They don’t like that and they are acting very, very badly. This has nothing to do with “both sides do it.” The facts have shown over many, many years that the left gets depressed when these things happen — and the right has a screaming, spitting, head-banging tantrum. How the two sides handle defeat is a defining characteristic.

Obama has been trying to pass health care reform since last summer, but a few Senate holdouts in his own party have stymied his reported “dictatorial” ambitions. Until now. During Stewart’s recent interview on Fox News, Bill O’Reilly said Obama has shown his inexperience in being unable to handle congress. Stewart shot back, “How many tyrants do you know who really suffer because they can’t get cloture?” [timestamp 23:35]

This is the fearsome, freedom-eating tyrant that has the far right clutching their pearls, screaming epithets at legislators and reaching for weapons? If it weren’t so potentially explosive….

Excuse me, but that’s … just … sad.


  1. Tom Buckner says:

    Exactly so. The Digby quote is very accurate: liberals get depressed, conservatives get violent. The Right know and use this information; imagine how they would have reacted if George W. Bush really had gotten more votes, and a Democratic Supreme Court had overturned the will of the voters to install Al Gore. There might have been bodies in the streets, as opposed to a few eggs thrown at the limos.

  2. Jim Reeves says:

    The fight is not over yet, and tea party hyperbole aside, where is there room to compromise with we don’t want your unconstitutional mandate, refusing to purchase health insurance is by definition NOT “interstate commerce” therefore beyond the limits of federal jurisdiction, nor is there a specific delegation of authority within the 18 delegated powers of Congress enumerated in Article 1, Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution.

  3. Deus Ex Machina says:

    I’m going to be flying on Tax Day. I’d rather not spend my time biting my nails worrying that the pilot is an unhinged teabagger.

  4. Jim Reeves says:

    Are my comments being blocked? classic

  5. Michael Muller says:

    Sorry, Jim. For some reason your comment was caught in a queue — all fixed.


  6. For anyone bent out of shape about the individual mandate, there’s a religious exemption that hasn’t been talked about much. Unlike Massachusetts’ system, this new federal exemption specifically includes “Health Care Sharing Ministries”, which are non-profit organizations that “share a common set of ethical or religious beliefs and share medical expenses among members in accordance with those beliefs and without regard to the State in which a member resides or is employed.”

    Here’s a link with more info:

    It actually sounds like a neat idea. I imagine these are about to get much more popular.

  7. Tom Sullivan says:

    Adam, count me among those unhappy with the mandate.

    Jim, I’d love a good old-fashioned policy debate or argument over “activist judges.”

  8. A quick word about the mandate.

    “The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several States, and without regard to any census or enumeration.”

    -16th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States. Ratified 3 February, 1913.

    The “mandate” is simply a tax exemption for people who have health insurance. No one is being forced to do anything. If you don’t have health insurance, you lose a $700 tax exemption. You can net it off your personal exemption of $3650, or your standard exemption of $5700. I’m really having a hard time figuring out how this slight change in the tax code is unconstitutional, or how it is a threat to our freedom.

  9. randallt says:

    The mandate is designed to make the pool wider so that cost is diluted. Many think the public option combined with this approach would have been far more effective. I’m one of them. We didn’t get that. We move on anyway, happy we got a foot in the door so that someday, a true single payer system is established and America rises to a sensible, moral and progressive approach to caring for its citizens. An approach that lets us compete economically with China. Without it we are doomed to sinking from the role of the greatest nation on the planet. I love my country. I want her to stay on top. I’m a patriot and a veteran and I will fight fiercely to protect my country against all enemies, foreign and domestic.

  10. Tom Sullivan says:

    In the same vein, there’s a must-read tour de force today from TPM Muckraker:
    An open letter to conservatives

  11. Gordon Smith says:

    It’s telling when folks feel their comments are being blocked when, in fact, they’re just held up for a wee bit in the queue.

    It’s almost like we’re a part of a big conspiracy to silence the voices of reason…

  12. Billy Bob Jack says:

    Define reason.

  13. Kai Schwandes says:

    I am against this bill but not for the same reason the political right is but because it does nothing to improve the situation. The only solution is Single-Payer-Healthcare!

    The bill is neither universal health care nor universal health insurance.

    Per the CBO:

    * Total uninsured in 2019 with no bill: 54 million
    * Total uninsured in 2019 with Senate bill: 24 million (44%)

    This bill is almost identical to the plan written by AHIP, the insurance company trade association, in 2009.

    The original Senate Finance Committee bill was authored by a former Wellpoint VP. Since Congress released the first of its health care bills on October 30, 2009, health care stocks have risen 28.35%.

    The bill will not bring down premiums significantly, and certainly not the $2,500/year that the President promised.

    Annual premiums in 2016, status quo / with bill:

    Small group market, single: $7,800 / $7,800

    Small group market, family: $19,300 / $19,200

    Large Group market, single: $7,400 / $7,300

    Large group market, family: $21,100 / $21,300

    Individual market, single: $5,500 / $5,800*

    Individual market, family: $13,100 / $15,200*

    This bill does not limit insurance company rate hikes. Private insurers continue to be exempt from anti-trust laws, and are free to raise rates without fear of competition in many areas of the country.

  14. randallt says:

    Here’s two more:

    GOP has blood on its hands

    Stupak learned today what civil is and isn’t with death threats against his children from the far right.

  15. Tom Sullivan says:

    “I don’t think anyone anticipated the breach of the levees” either:

    Road rage, accident centers on Obama bumper sticker

    Police say Harry Weisiger is charged with felony reckless endangerment in the incident.