Boehner's speech before the first of the historic three House votes on Obama's health care legislation reveals the shape of the party's strategy. Based on the ground it is staking out this is truly the Republican Tea Bag Party with Rush Limbaugh standing as its media role model and titular head.
The strident moans of Boehner about his party being overlooked in the process along with seeking to serve the public will in opposing a bill it opposes constitutes rank hypocrisy.
Democratic liberals in New York often ran as members of the Democratic-Liberal Party while Hubert Humphrey and other Minnesota progressives ran as Democratic-Farm Labor Party candidates. Now it is time to hyphenate a national organization as the Republican-Tea Bag Party.
After all, Boehner spoke to Tea Baggers during their rousing demonstration outside the Capitol, one that produced racist shouts against African American and Hispanic representatives in Congress as well as one spitting incident directed at another legislator.
Congresswoman Michele Bachmann is also bullish on Tea Baggers. She stood from the Capitol balcony and cheer led the enraged Tea Party masses onward. Bachmann ironically comes from Minnesota, one of the nation's historical leaders for progressive change.
How proud those voters from suburban St. Paul who continue sending Bachmann to Congress to represent them must feel. After all, this is the same Bachmann who, appearing with Chris Matthews during the 2008 campaign, reached into the old McCarthy-Nixon playbook and called for some of her colleagues to be investigated for potential treason, only to later deny what she was on preserved video record as saying.
Yes, Boehner laments about Republicans being left out of the process when Obama tirelessly presented olive branches, only to have Charles Grassley issue a charge of "death panels" and the prospect of "killing granny" if the proposed legislation passed.
We recall, Congressman Boehner, how collegial The Exterminator Tom DeLay was back in those days when your party was in the majority. DeLay buried courtesy and protocol by ignoring Democratic leaders and refusing to discuss proposed legislation with them.
In that same vein, how collegial and inclusive was Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich toward Democrats when he was riding high? His autocracy got him in such hot water with voters that his own party removed him from his pedestal.
As for Boehner's claim to be saving America from a bill it does not want, what he does not say is that polls have revealed that a majority of citizens supports a plan grounded in a public option, which his party strongly opposes. In fact, the measure most popular with the nation's majority is a single payer Canadian style plan, the kind that Republicans link to socialism and some to Bolshevism.
Then there was that moment when a new Tea Party hero was created. When Texas Congressman Randy Neugenbauer shouted "Baby killer!" while colleague Bart Stupak of Michigan spoke he dragged the House down into the kind of muck that Tea Baggers savor.
Expect Rush Limbaugh to begin a heroizing process for Neugenbauer, who earlier sponsored a bill declaring that all presidential candidates should be required to show birth certificates. This was a direct slap at Obama and the pathetic attacks during the 2008 campaign by right wing extremists grounded on that non-issue.
Republicans lamented that the bill being considered, in which the Hyde Amendment banning federal monies for abortions applied, overlooked the rights of the unborn.
The sickening hand wringing over seeking to protect children is hypocritical in the extreme when one considers that this is the same Republican right that led the rush to war in Iraq. The question must be asked: Do the deaths of Iraqi children count?
According to the respected British medical journal The Lancet some 1.35 million Iraqi deaths occurred based on the "shock and awe" rush to war. This rush was based on a false claim that former Reagan Administration weapons purchasing partner, Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein, possessed weapons of mass destruction.
We also remember the response of the Republican right when the Al-Jazeera Television Network showed pictures of what was really happening in Iraq following the U.S. attack, with Baghdad hospitals filled beyond capacity by injured victims while numerous others were killed by American "smart bombs" that Donald Rumsfeld assured would hit only Saddam's Republican Guard forces.
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