— Joseph Welch to Joseph McCarthy
The Tuscon tragedy (with more like it almost certain to follow) has really been a matter of time, because the extreme right in the US has shifted the goalposts of discourse and legislation so far that a Taliban mindset passes as normal. An amazing part of the aftermath is to hear people say “Both sides must moderate their rhetoric.” This would be funny if it weren’t dangerous. As for Teabagger messiahs — ignorant bigots with narcissistic personality disorder who don’t care to understand the real meaning of terms like treason, death panels and blood libel — Professor Anthea Butler said it best. An excerpt from her essay:
“What matters is that people like Palin, Beck and others can’t take time to figure out that this time is not about them, but about those who have lost loved ones, and their incredible hubris in not owning up to their own sideshow of hate.”
Even as we speak, Republican Party functionaries in Arizona are resigning, having received death threats from Teabaggers and their ilk. The Westboro Baptist cult intends to picket the funeral of the 9-year old shot during the Giffords assassination attempt. The Arizona legislature, instead of banning the carrying of concealed weapons, is dithering about how many feet must separate the Westboro cultists from their targets. And other legislators are calling for involuntary incarceration of the mentally ill, rather than address the fact that anyone can buy a semi-automatic weapon from Walmart.
I have mentioned the Weimar Republic before in such discussions. The downspiral to fascist theocracy is accelerating. We’ve let it go too far. All of us are guilty of accepting increasing extremism and curtailment of civil rights. We will all pay the price of our aquiescence, while the extremists finally get their Rupture.
Update: I urge everyone to compare Obama’s speech to Palin’s video.
Cartoons by David Horsey (top), Monte Wolverton (bottom)