International Writers Magazine - Our Tenth Year: Reality Check
"Drowning out opposing views is simply un-American."
'Un-American' Attacks Can't Derail Health Care Debate
Nancy Pelosi and Steny Hoyer
There is stupid,
insipidly moronic, and then there is the above.
In what can best be described as a barely masticated brain
poof, the Speaker of The House and its Majority Leader decided it would
be a good idea to deftly illustrate how arguments can be utterly bereft
of reason while simultaneously driving home the point of their opponents.
If nothing else, it is a miraculous feat. Not sure it gets us any closer
to supporting Universal Healthcare, but nonetheless...
If there has ever been a point to America it is to drown
out opposing views. It fueled the Declaration of Independence, sparked
a revolution, erected a constitution and inspired a series of amendments,
motivated generations to expand the borders, crushed the secession of
the South, supplanted the human condition with industry, and invaded
nearly every hemisphere on the planet.
However, it is now official that no matter what bleating
dink is in charge of this government of ours, there seems to be this
prevailing thought that if you're not on board with the agenda, you
No, I'm sorry; "simply un-American".
Here's some simple American for ya:
FUCK Nancy Pelosi and FUCK Steny Hoyer and FUCK any lame
motherfucker who tells me I'm un-American for writing it.
By the way, the CAPS were a visual illustration of "drowning
out". Apparently the "F" word was not sufficient enough.
Drowning out opposing views has freed slaves, given women
the right to vote and control their bodies, and toppled more than a
few foreign despots. Almost every inch of progress achieved for good
or ill, depending upon point of view, began with "drowning out
an opposing view".
What I can only guess Ms. Pelosi and her sidekick meant
was the "denial of opposing views". That would be a plausible
description of un-American, but "drowning out opposing views"
is the very essence of America. There is no America or democracy or
really any structured society without it. And, ironically, "drowning
out opposing views" pretty much defines what this fancy USA Today
op ed faux pas is trying to accomplish.
Here's another doozy from the goon squad: "These
disruptions are occurring because opponents are afraid not just of differing
views -- but of the facts themselves."
Did the recession drain the entire proofing department
at USA Today?
Yes, people who oppose views are usually frightened by
the facts behind them. This is why they oppose them. Also, the use of
"facts" here is dicey. The rancor about Healthcare is merely
speculation; no one, whether opposing or supporting the concept, has
a goddamned clue of how it will play out. This is made painfully obvious
by the continued lunacy coming from both sides, whether it's "Death
Panels" or "Curtailing Insurance Company Greed". Finally,
the use of "disruption" is downright insulting. Would Ms.
Pelosi call those who opposed the Iraq War "disrupters"? I
doubt it, since she counted herself one.
One more key question for our House Speaker: What is the
difference between Dick Cheney's two-dimensional bunker mentality against
dissent and this crap?
The most disturbing aspect of the Pelosi/Hoyer drivel
is that it feeds into the long-running fears Americans have about their
legislative branch, whether it is Republican senators making infantile
anti-Healthcare arguments with cartoon placards of bunny rabbits or
red-faced Democrats acting as if people screaming at public forums constitutes
To wit: "Tactics have included hanging in effigy one Democratic
member of Congress in Maryland and protesters holding a sign displaying
a tombstone with the name of another congressman in Texas, where protesters
also shouted 'Just say no!' drowning out those who wanted to hold a
I argue that visual aids and chants are fine examples
of "substantive discussion", but maybe you don't. Okay. But
this does not make you un-American. Perhaps it suggests you need to
get laid, sip a beer, read a little Blake, turn up the volume on Ray
Charles and get to shaking yo ass, but to each is own.
But hell, "Un-American" worked like gangbusters
for Republicans during the months and years following 9/11, through
all the goofy machinations and laughable screw-ups masked as patriotism,
so why not? Just throw it out there, like the opposition currently throws
out killing grandmothers, Nazis, tyranny, and rationed care to spin
the tide. And this is all very American, and quite educational; unlike
someone claiming that crazy innuendo and bombastic fear mongering are
hidden plots to warp the electorate. Get over yourself; we have talk
radio for that.
Of course behind all this posturing is a Democratic Party
on its heels with the decades-old Healthcare debate, as it has once
again plunged into a quagmire of bureaucratic nonsense, followed predictably
by harebrained panic-speak. You'd think by now professional civil servants
would recognize the telltale signs. They might even recall similar tactics
employed when the last president tried to privatize Social Security,
another American institution the citizenry believes is doomed but gets
nuts when you try and restructure, just like Healthcare or the College
Football Bowl system.
What is this, the fourth, fifth, twentieth, thousandth
crack at this? You have to give them credit for what many would describe
as the very definition of insanity -- attempting the same failed maneuver
time and again and expecting victory. But even George W. would have
been hard-pressed to write something as completely irrational as Pelosi,
which should give Sarah Palin supporters hope.
Speaking of idiocy, White House chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel
recently told the NY Times, "Do not associate loud with
effective", which is hilarious when considering the source. Emanuel
would be delivering sub sandwiches around the Southside of Chicago without
his brilliant use of the "loud as effective" template.
I haven't boned up on my Machiavelli lately, but I feel
pretty confident that it isn't too cool for populists to be mocking
the populace. This is a fair tack for a Right Wing "The public
doesn't know what's good for it" play, but the Democrats, who posit
themselves as "Saving the people from themselves" would be
better served with more coddling and less sarcasm.
At the very least the party shouldn't unleash people with
questionable debating skills and at best sub par literary abilities
to front what the president of the United States has repeatedly called
the most important piece of legislation of his young administration.
Why doesn't the new guy just go the route of the last
cabal and ignore everyone and do whatever the hell he wants. He has
the votes. He has the "political capital". Enough with these
people expecting everyone to love them. Get on with it, and then history
will decide what works and what doesn't.
Annoying. Defiant. Reactionary.
© James Campion
August 14th 2009
Life Is But A Dream
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