It's hard to imagine that any group of people could be so committed to a proposition that it would be willing, even eager, to hijack the democratic process, shut down the federal government, repudiate the nation's debts, and throw the world financial system into chaos just to make its continuing displeasure known.
When a toddler does that, we call it a tantrum. When the very elderly do it, we attribute senility. But what is it when adult men and women, presumably of sound mind and good education, duly elected and very well paid, act that way -- and flout the Constitution in the process?
The group's major thesis -- that some 30 million needy American citizens should be denied access to health care-- has already been well advanced. It was argued in the legislative process. It was litigated in the judicial process. It was advocated in the electoral process.
Everywhere that reasonable minds held sway, that thesis was rejected.
Yet the group persists.
"Can Obamacare really be that bad?" it's fair to wonder. I strongly doubt it, but the next few years will make clear the answer to that question.
What's clear now is that the shutdown and the real and frightening possibility of default are not about Obamacare.
They're about Obama. They're about the nation's first black president.
If it weren't about Obamacare, it would be about something else. During the past five years it has been about many things: spending, deficits, stimulus, the national debt, immigration, taxes, mandates, abortion, infrastructure, religion, food stamps, welfare, Afghanistan, Iran, Syria, bailouts, birth certificates, gun control, regulations, pollution, Social Security, Medicare, schools, and much more.
But always, it has really been about Obama, the nation's first black president.
Nearly 35 years ago, I asked the chairman of Hartford National Bank why he seemed so willing to allow his main competitor, Connecticut Bank & Trust Co., take the lead in introducing ATMs into this lucrative marketplace.
His answer was straightforward: "The earliest Christians get the hungriest lions."
That about sums it up.
Barack Obama, the first black president, has gotten the hungriest lions. It won't be this bad for the next minority president, whether he is black, Hispanic, Asian, Jewish, or even a "he'. The lions won't be as hungry. But for now, they are voracious.
"Are you saying we're racist?" the lions on the extreme right ask with indignation, firearms at the ready. "We're not racist! This is about the rule of law (or the Constitution, or patriotism, or the terr'ists, or socialism, or freedom, or family values, or God's will, or whatever). Call us anything, but don't call us racist!" (Don't tempt me.)
My eyes, not my ears, tell me the answer. The answer is yes; I'm saying you're racist.