Saturday, August 8, 2009

Krugman Unhinged

Via the ever-reliable New York Times, comes this screed by Paul Krugman. I've passed on many an opportunity to vent on the egregious spleen vomited forth by those who would silence the legitimate concerns of dissenting citizens on the question of healthcare "reform." I simply have not been able to rely on myself to remain even remotely civil in commenting on the sneering hypocrisy of the very voices who declared dissent to be the highest form of long as that dissent took the form of exercising their freedom of speech to declare (largely unchallenged) that George W Bush was squashing dissent.

I am no longer all that concerned about remaining civil.

Krugman is so far off the deep end with his assault on the legitimacy of his (cough) fellow citizens' expressions of discontent, that he couldn't touch bottom from a diving board which required oxygen supplies:
That is, the driving force behind the town hall mobs is probably the same cultural and racial anxiety that’s behind the “birther” movement, which denies Mr. Obama’s citizenship. Senator Dick Durbin has suggested that the birthers and the health care protesters are one and the same; we don’t know how many of the protesters are birthers, but it wouldn’t be surprising if it’s a substantial fraction.

Really? The "Birthers" (those who question Obama's citizenship and thus his qualification to hold the office of POTUS) are a fraction of a fraction of the farthest fringe of the conservative movement, scorned by all mainstream conservative spokespeople. Krugman's and his Democratic fellow-travelers' disingenuous attempt to conflate this gang with the broad spectrum of Americans who object to the Democrats' attempted phagocytosis of the world's premier healthcare system by yet another bloated, deficit-funded bureaucracy is the very depth of demagoguery.

This is not about race. It is not about "astroturfing." It is about political (and literal!) thuggery of the most base sort, with a liberal dose (pun intentional) of snide elitism (right down to the ever-so-cleverly embedded Yeats reference in Krugman's penultimate paragraph).

The people who are organizing (as a community...) to protest this Rube-Goldberg of a healthcare takeover are not "brownshirts." They are not funded by nefarious corporate cabals. They are not motivated by racism, nor are they ignorant of the issues. They are our neighbors, our relatives, our friends. They are Americans. These attempts to vilify and silence them are a nauseating disgrace, a perversion of the very essence of political discourse in this Republic.

And, as is becoming increasingly clear, there will be a price.

No comments: