Thursday 10 September 2009

Scare tactics in the House chamber?

Things are just going from bad to worse for the GOP today. Their talking point du jour – that it’s Obama who was partisan last night – fell flat. So did Steele’s claim that Obama’s plan is a socialist power grab. Another talking point from last night, those documents that the Republicans were waving, actually referred to the plan the GOP had proposed in the spring, which involved…the exact same exchanges Obama was talking about in his speech, which begged the question of what the hell they were protesting about. By the same token, the guy who delivered the GOP rebuttal last night, insisting that Obama must scrap the whole plan and start from scratch, admitted today that the GOP agreed with 80 percent of his plan, which begs the question – so why start from scratch? If 80 percent is just fine, why did the party tell the whole country that the Obama plan is the greatest threat to democracy since the Soviets? And one of the other astoundingly rude Republican from last night, John Shimkus, who stomped out of the House chamber in the middle of the speech, wussed out today and sent his spokesman out to face the music – Shimkus stomped out because he didn’t like Obama’s “tone”.

And that’s before we get to Joe Wilson, this year’s analog for discredited confrontational bully Joe the Plumber, the friend of teabaggers and insurers and the Confederate flag. Wilson is on the run, possibly because the House may censure him after all; he was an unexplained no-show at a friendly teabagger rally today. His two biggest fans right now: Mark Sanford, because all of South Carolina is staring at Wilson now, and Obama, because Obama’s million-man army is now as energized as they were a year ago today, thanks to Wilson.

And the Dow, arbiter of the sentiments of capitalist, corporate America, didn’t recoil in horror at Obama’s speech. The Dow jumped up 80 points today. So it ain’t the coming of the Communist Internationale, notwithstanding all the screeching from the increasingly desperate GOP. Even Wall Street isn’t listening to the GOP. Wow!

But go back to this Shimkus/Wilson thing, which raises a question: if you look back at the tape, it wasn’t just Wilson acting like a teabagger, it was the whole GOP caucus, booing, shouting, waving signs. Was this whole effort deliberate? The teabaggers have been going to the town halls to intimidate and frighten congressmen – were the Republicans trying to follow the same gameplan, to intimidate and frighten a black President in the House chamber in front of the whole country?

I mean, think through the implications of that.

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