Point of View Columns

Weekend Edition – October 29, 2010

Halloween approaches and that is the time for children and the young of heart of make believe. The midterm elections approach on November 2nd with signs that Fright Night can still be avoided:

Boot Camp
Recently in Kentucky a supporter of G.O.Tea Party senatorial candidate Rand Paul was videotaped pressing his foot on the head of a woman who had presumably not drunk the G.O.Tea. The woman’s glasses were crushed and she suffered a concussion.

The big footed miscreant’s explanation was that he was a “big guy” and couldn’t bend down to restrain her. And that is why he used his foot. And while the symbolism of the moment is inescapable, we are still waiting for someone from the Rand Paul camp to, at the very least; disavow the actions of this Kentucky Stomper.

It looks like we will be waiting for a long, long time.

Shake me, wake me……
The political pundits of every stripe and color predict a G.O.Tea Party avalanche on November 2nd. While Meg Whitman’s millions will not win her the gubernatorial election in California, Sharron Angle’s mindlessness has her substantially ahead of Harry Reid.

Carl Paladino’s anger may not win him the governor’s mansion in Albany but President Obama’s former senate seat in Illinois is in serious jeopardy.

It may be useful to ask at what point this “change” take place. Less than two years ago this country was celebrating the breathtaking spectacle of a young, progressive African American becoming President of the United States with the promise of transformative change that would benefit all Americans.

At what point did ignorance trump knowledge and insight? At what point did it become acceptable to run for the United States Congress (Rich Iott from Ohio) with an acknowledged practice of dressing up in Nazi S.S. uniforms.

At what point did a G.O.Tea Party candidate office (Jon Runyan of New Jersey) state without fear of criticism or retribution that his favorite Supreme Court decision was Dred Scott (that is the one which held that no black man had rights that a white man need respect).

These anecdotal nightmares are just the tip of the iceberg. There are over 750 G.O.Tea Party candidates for Congress and state legislatures that are on record as being against any kind of energy reform initiatives – the kind of legislation that might make this country less reliant on fossil fuels and……..oh yes, help save the environment of this planet.

Steven Thrasher in his September 29, 2010 Village Voice article “White America Has Lost Its Mind” http://www.villagevoice.com/2010-09-29/news/white-america-has-lost-its-mind/ identifies the point as a few minutes after noon on January 20, 2009 when Barack Obama was inaugurated as President of the United States.

It is hard to believe, however, that all of this bile and anger and stupidity and self-destructive dumbness metastasized so quickly.

These poisonous wellsprings disguised as patriotic crusades to “take back America” have been around all along. Perhaps the Obama inauguration motivated some aspects of the right wing of the right wing to come forward, but the madness has been around us for a long time.
How long it will stay with us is now the question.

A Question?
Assuming a worst case scenario on November 2nd, the G.O.Tea Party will take full control of the House of Representatives and will also effectively control any legislative initiatives that take place in the Senate.

Continuing with this nightmare, there will be governors and attorneys general and state legislators throughout the country who have also drunk the G.O.Tea and will be railing against the “leftist Marxist” in the White House.

We will see efforts to repeal the recently passed healthcare bill as well as the financial regulatory reform legislation. Environmental initiatives will be gutted and President Obama will be checkmated on any move to withdraw American troops from Afghanistan.

In just a few years we will see the economy of this country rocked like never before with the standard of living diminished for all except the very rich. Ignorant American children will graduate from high school believing that creationism is a scientific theory and the continued deterioration of this country’s national security will continue due to mindless military incursions in the name of some unknowable war on terror.

In just a few years your children will ask you what did you do to prevent this catastrophic scenario. Especially when you could see it coming.

What will your answer be?

(Try to) have a great weekend and DON’T FORGET TO VOTE!

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