Wednesday, September 14, 2011
Loud and proud at the Tea Party debate
It would be disingenuous of me to feign surprise at the antics on display, both on-stage and in the audience, at the CNN-sponsored Tea Party debate for GOP candidates on Monday.
Anyone who has seen the scooter-riding, diabetes-inflicted, angry white folks waving around signs that say things like "Keep your government hands off my Medicare" can't really be surprised. But offended? Disgusted? Horrified? I wouldn't argue with any of those.
The most hilarious moment came when Michelle Bachmann legitimately pointed out that in 2007, Texas Governor Rick Perry signed an executive order requiring schoolgirls be vaccinated with a serum that prevents infection by the sexually-transmitted HPV virus. Congresswoman Bachmann protested on libertarian grounds, and also pointed out that Perry's chief of staff was a top lobbyist for Merck, the pharmaceutical manufacturer of the vaccine.
"The drug company gave thousands of dollars in political donations to the governor," Bachmann said. "And this is just flat-out wrong."
Perry's response? Wait for it... wait... wait...
Okay here it is! Quoth Perry: "The company was Merck, and it was a $5,000 contribution that I had received from them. I raise about $30 million. And if you're saying that I can be bought for $5,000, I'm offended."
That's telling it like it is, eh? Five thousand dollars? Pshaw! That won't even buy you a place to stand on the Rick-Perry-for-President rope line, for God's sake! (Oh, and by the way, according to Newsmax.com, the actual amount Perry received from Merck was more like $23,000.)
The audience, of course, was not to be outdone. Libertarian Ron Paul was presented with a hypothetical situation in which a healthy, 30-year-old man without health insurance suddenly lapses into a coma and needs intensive and expensive treatment. The query was posed: Should “society ... just let him die?”
Before Congressman Paul could respond, the Tea Party folks took it upon themselves to answer for him. "Yeah!" they shouted. "Let him die!"
(Remember how, the week before, the audience at the NBC debate hooted and cheered when Brian Williams mentioned Rick Perry's record of 234 executions in Texas? Death revelry, indeed!)
I feel for Jon Huntsman and Mitt Romney. Those are two more or less decent men, forced to stand on stage with a passel of koo-koo crazies. From Neo-confederate, rooty-tooty Perry, to Crazy-eyes Bachmann, to repugnant and repulsive Newt Gingrich. From squeaky-uptight Rick Santorum to spacey Herman Cain (who has got to feel a little itchy around the collar when he looks out and sees all those pale-faced rednecks with their stars-and-bars belt buckles).
The GOP has always had this ugly, negative element, this redneck component. I've just never seen it this obvious before. Not even in the days of Junior Bush.
Fall in line, liberals. These people must be stopped.