Now that health reform has passed, the roar of the conservative wingnuts is just beginning to reach full blast. The feds arrested the Hutaree for plotting to kill police and their families, Daniel Cowart pleaded guilty for planning a killing spree aimed against blacks, windows were smashed at Democratic headquarters in Alaska, and – something the mainstream media seems to be underplaying for some reason – Leboon the Loon threatened not only Cantor but also Obama, Pelosi and Reid. Another loon was arrested for threatening to kill Senator Murray for her health care vote; another loon was arrested for threatening violence at an abortion clinic. Palin is once again throwing gasoline on the fire by urging people to “stop” cars with Obama stickers, right after one wingnut “stopped” such a car by ramming it in a fit of road rage, even though there was a little girl in the car.
And of course the wingnuts are planning not one but two riots in Washington, one on the 15th and one – for which participants are specifically urged to bring weapons – on the 19th. That is the anniversary of the wingnut attack that killed more than one hundred people in Oklahoma.
Republican leaders are beginning to realize that they overdid it, in egging these people on. But when they try to step away from the bloodthirsty rhetoric of the wingnuts, the wingnuts threaten retaliation – the grownups and the lunatics are battling for control of the party and the conservative movement.
The few Republicans who say it’s time to at least talk to Democrats on issues such as finance reform are being slammed by the wingnuts for their “betrayal”.
The 19 April march is so clearly a potential danger that even teabaggers and gun-rights activists are warning the hard-core wingnuts that this could backfire badly – but the wingnuts are ignoring them.
The Republican grownups (this of course being a relative term) are trying to warn Michelle Bachmann that if she keeps telling the wingnuts to boycott the census, it could cost the GOP Congressional seats in places like Texas. But the wingnuts don’t want to listen – caution is for sissies and traitors!
Governors are saying that lawsuits against the health care bill are a stupid waste of money that they need to try to balance their shaky state budgets. But the wingnuts are screaming “no quarter, war to the knife!!” They are even trying to impeach one attorney general for refusing to file a lawsuit.
Some party leaders are advising their 2010 candidates to start backing away from their rhetoric threatening to try to repeal the health bill. But the Club For Growth, which has already succeeded in destroying Republicans who were considered insufficiently wingnutty – have warned Republican candidates against trying to back away from the repeal idea.
Now, think back to around 1968. Lyndon Johnson had just won a landslide election in 1964 and passed a number of landmark bills in Congress, and people were wondering if the Republican party was going to sink into permanent irrelevance. But in the late sixties, Middle America saw the demonstrations and riots by hippies and blacks, and they were frightened. They were so frightened that they began migrating over to the GOP, and soon the Republicans were in the ascendant again.
Something like that could be happening now: for several months, the American people have turned on their televisions and seen crazy people screaming about Obama, shrieking racial slurs, spitting on people, bringing guns to public events, throwing bricks, plotting murder…and it is only a matter of time before the American people recoil in horror against these people, and turn to the Democrats to protect them against the crazy Republicans.
The smarter Republicans see the danger: that is why Cantor and the gang were out there screaming “the other side does it too!”
A number of crazy rightwing lone wolves have already gone violent -- the shootings in Pennsylvania, and the nut who crashed the plane into the IRS building, the nut who killed the abortion doctor, and of course the guys who were stopped before they could act, like Hutaree. Eventually there will be one lone wolf attack too many, and the American people will finally realize that the Republicans are no longer a political party – they are a front group for terrorists.
This is not to say that the Democrats don’t have some campaigning to do. Amazingly, a recent poll shows that some Americans blame the Democrats for the recent violence, because they used that nasty reconciliation tactic that the Republicans used many times themselves. And they think this because the media allowed the Republicans to spew lies about the health care bill for several months without slapping the crap out of them. But if the media won’t fix the problem, the Democrats will, when the 2010 campaign begins in earnest. The Democrats can win this PR battle easily – but not if they refuse to fight, month after month.