(Picture courtesy of flickr.com.)
‘Right wing concepts’ seems oxymoronic, as watching the officeholders brought in by 2010’s intense advertising of a nonexistent jobs program gives a whole new meaning to negotiation. In the winger viewpoint, it seems that incivility and outright hurling of insults is the appropriate way to run the U.S.
The encounter with Rep. Joe Walsh that Martin Bashir hosted on his show at MSNBC yesterday has been styled as a triumph of the right by several wingnut sites. That’s amusing to some one who actually watched it, and circles around Walsh’s refusal to back off his accusation that the president lied. The ‘Liar’ charge the right likes to hurl out seems particularly inappropriate as they change stances daily on what faces this country if their threats to end U.S. financial stability creep toward accomplishment.
The teaGOP congressman from Illinois joined Bachmann in denying that right wing refusal to act now in order to avoid U.S. default on its debts in any way threatens the financial stability of the country.
“President Obama, quit lying,” said Congressman Walsh. “You know darn well that if August 2nd comes and goes there is plenty of money to pay off our debt and cover all social security obligations. And you also know that you and only you have the discretion to make those payments.”“I know you have a willing media that protects everything you say and do, but have you no shame sir? In three short years you have bankrupted this country and destroyed job creation. You are either in over your head, don’t understand what makes this country great, or are hell-bent in turning us into some European big government wasteland.”
Like other words from the right of the former GOP, Walsh’s statements draw on a large and dependable reservoir of ignorance among voters that was plumbed to great effect last November. The right’s huge victory in 2010 was brought about by massive claims that it would bring jobs to voters, and indeed it did bring jobs, but only to newly elected officials who now are destroying the workers’ rights.
Calling the president a liar is yet another evidence of the new tactic of incivility that seems to thrill followers while obscuring bases of actual fact. As Bashir pointed out, earlier statements – about President Obama’s winning because he is black, and of pushing ‘that magic button’ as an articulate black man – by Walsh indicate that nothing the president says will convince him, not because of being wrong, but because it comes from the man that the right is determined to beat by any means it can.
The present right wing officeholders are following a pattern we saw not long ago, in Tom DeLay, whose behavior lowered standards to a point that the then Speaker could feel comfortable with. I have watched CSpan covering floor fights in the House that were remarkably reminiscent of barroom brawls, with name calling and defiance of behavior standards flaunted as if they did credit to the brawlers.
When decorum is ignored, the country loses dignity.
The tactic of refusing normal manners when dealing with the person in office that they’re determined to remove is one that, regrettably, I’ve seen before. Senator Ralph Yarborough, progressive Democrat from Texas, was refused seating with the Democratic contingent at the 1960 presidential nominating convention that put John F. Kennedy into the candidacy for, then the office of, President of the U.S. (Lyndon Johnson was Texas’ preferred candidate, while Yarborough supported JFK,) When he physically pushed himself into the seated area, he was encountered by pushing and shoving to keep him out. When I went to work for Yarborough a fellow Texan scorned the choice, on the grounds that he behaved deplorably in public. It was impossible to explain then, as it is now, that countering deplorable behavior towards him sometimes made scenes.
No, I don’t expect to see the president shoving anyone back. Sen. Yarborough grew up in a household that included eight brothers.