Most recently arriving is from the lips of Rep. John Mica, a Florida Republican, who has plastered the health reform issue with the term "death counselor" . This is not to mention the rowdies who argue that democracy is ready for extreme unction or the fellow who said the best immigration reform would be to send Mexicans back home with bullets in their heads.
America's frontier days have returned as bold gun toters, covered by law, turn up at town hall meetings to prove they can rightfully bear arms.
One strains to find a Republican on Capitol Hill who has the courage to stand up and say this is not to way to find common ground on significant issues. The place is crowded with Faustian characters who are willing to trade their souls for personal gain and the most convenient distance between two points is paved with lies.
Yesterday, for example, there was Sen. Chuck Grassley, an Iowa Republican rising at a public meeting to denounce the White House's health reform efforts. Grassley, a member of a committee drafting health care legislation, bowed at the altar of Sarah Palin by declaring that the White House was out to "pull the plug on grandma." I would think he was kidding, but he is an older white guy who doesn't appear to smile very often. (Only, perhaps when he receives another big chunk of money from the health insurance companies).
Republicans, of course, like to point tot he Blue Dog Democrats as the major obstacle to Obama's ideas - some of whom are also on the A-list of these companies. That's true and equally despicable, but they don't show up at meetings to petrify their audiences with death threats. The only effective rhetoric that has benighted so many people these days has been coming from the GOP since the November election. Often inflammatory with a carefully staged undertow of racism, it suggests that the Republican operatives in D.C. have nothing more to offer Americans than persuading them that the world is flat or that the Russians are coming.
In a profession, which in some precincts could be considered the oldest, where exaggeration, hyperbole and free-style fudging by both sides are more than acceptable behavior, the modern Regional Republican Party has ventured well beyond that to offer us one of the most shameful performances in modern history. Disgraceful, to be kind about it.
If you are a true believer in your party's direction, and this angers you, I can assure you that I'm not the problem. It you want to know where the trouble lies, look into your mirror.