by Rosemary and Walter Brasch
Within two weeks in September, Americans were cluster-bombed by hate speech and a shock wave of incivility. From politics to music and sports, with the mass media more than willing to devote thousands of column inches and hours of air time to salacious reporting, those shock waves eventually degenerated into mere ripples that have become commonly accepted.
At Fox-inspired teabag parties and the 9/12 demonstration in the nation's capital that drew about 75,000 persons, frustration and a power of helplessness mixed with hate speech. The riled-up Right called those who opposed their views fascists, socialists, Communists, and Nazis. Pictures showed President Obama with a Hitleresque mustache or looking like Chairman Maobama. The mob accused the President of unproven lies, and then added, apparently for good measure, that he wasn't even a true American because he was--pick one or both--a Muslim and/or not even born in the United States. A few signs even called for lynching members of Congress who didn't agree with the Teabagger views.
In a joint session of Congress, Rep. Joe Wilson of South Carolina shouted out to the President, "You lie." Republicans around him didn't seem to be shocked at his inappropriate outburst. During the 50-minute address to the nation, the President was subjected to Republican catcalls, one member who wore a sign around his neck asking, "What bill?" and several members who raised papers over their heads during some of the President's statements. Apparently, they didn't think the 161 Republican-proposed amendments already adopted into health care bills weren't enough.