Remember how we flirted with Peak Wingnut in the week after Obama's victory? The comments of the conservative faithful were indeed hilarious and unhinged in the wake of The Antichrist's ascension, but it was tempered by the ample time they had to prepare. For the last three or four weeks of the election, all but the most delusional shut-ins took one look at McCain-Palin '08 and knew that we were staring at a corpse. Right wing grief and agony played out gradually over a long, schadenfreude-filled month.
Not so with health care reform. All and sundry were confidently, perhaps even mockingly, announcing its death for six months (Think Progress has a nice compilation and timeline). Nothing was left but to begin the victory parade. That the right was blindsided is evident in the post-vote rush to ascribe the bill's passage to dirty, extra-constitutional legislative chicanery. It is a paranoid, lard-assed American version of the 1920s Dolchstosslegende in the Weimar Republic.
Since I am not one to let such rare treats pass by unnoticed, it seems appropriate to recap the highlights of the week in hyperbolic, impotent, pant-shitting histrionics from the conservative version of reality. The moment the vote was cast it was clear that there would be stupid; it was my goal to capture as much of it as possible. I needed a bigger net. But here is what I did manage to corral, in no particular order.
1. Neal "My brain don't work real good" Boortz wins the Excellence in Short-Term Memory Award for this priceless duo.
March 22: REPEAL? NOT IN YOUR LIFETIME. I'm sure we're going to hear some people suggesting that if we put the Republicans in charge they'll simply repeal ObamaCare. Sorry, I don't see that happening. Remember, even if the Republicans did somehow manage to take back the House and the Senate, it certainly wouldn't be with a veto-proof majority … and don't forget who's sitting in the White House perfectly ready to veto any repeal attempt.
March 24: NOW THE REPUBLICANS HAVE THEIR PLATFORM. Forget a resurrection of the 1994 Contract With America. Forget the latest "Contract From America" version. The Republicans need only make one promise for the 2010 elections … Repeal ObamaCare.
It must be nice to have an audience too busy hand-loading ammo and registering as sex offenders to notice things like this.
2. The Impotent Rage Meets Temper Tantrum Award goes to this anonymous ass clown over at RedState.
I pay the taxes. I obey the rules. I pull the wagon that they ride. They need me to continue to do so. They need you to continue to do so. They need us all. Remember – we pull, they ride. No more…From this day forward, I will engage in little acts of civil disobedience. Every single day. Barack won’t have ol’ Jack to count on any more, because tyranny is not what I signed up for. And they need me. They need us.
3. Boortz again: "Today will do more damage than 9/11." It would appear that the "talkmaster" is actually the master of understatement.
4. McTardle spent the last six months passing herself off as a person who knew America's health care system from a hole in the ground. In the aftermath she easily wins the Overwrought Misuse of Shit Half-Remembered from History 102.
Regardless of what you think about health care, tomorrow we wake up in a different political world…Are we now in a world where there is absolutely no recourse to the tyranny of the majority?
"Ed, I have some questions about the Federalist Papers, especially Madison's impassioned defense in #10 of the Constitution's ability to prevent majority tyranny. Who should I consult?"
"I say unto thee as I would with my dying breath: Megan… McArdle…"
5. Veronique de Rugy takes the Finding a Way to Complain about Single-Payer in the Absence of Single-Payer Award with this ironclad exercise in logic.
As if that's not bad enough, much worse can happen. As we know, unintended consequences are real, and they always lead to a worse situation that any of us expected.
Before we go further, I'd like you all to stare at that for a minute. I want to rub Veronique's nose in it while emphatically stating NO! much as one would housetrain a puppy.
The unintended consequence is the following: How long will it take for people, individuals and businesses, to realize that they are better off not getting health care and paying the penalty? They can just get insurance once they need it, since people who are sick can no longer be denied health-care coverage. If that happens, we can expect insurance companies to go under very quickly. Basically, many healthy people won't get insurance because the penalty is cheaper than the insurance. However, once they get really sick they will seek coverage and won't be denied. Insurance companies will find themselves with a gigantic pool of sick people. In this worst-case scenario, the government will use the opportunity…to take over the insurance business.
And I would have gotten away with it too, if it wasn't for you meddling kids!
6. Tony Blankley wins the Impossible to Read This Without Using One's Right Hand to Pantomime Masturbation Award for this desperate effort to sound smart.
If they can stand up to the coming propaganda, America may be free, and the life of the wider free world may move forward into broad, sunlit uplands. But if the voters succumb to those seven months of blandishments and deceptions, then free America — including all that we have known and cared for — will sink into the abyss of a new Dark Age made more sinister, and perhaps more protracted, by the lights of perverted science.
Yes Tony, this is exactly what Churchill had in mind. Exactly. Well played.
7. Ben Shapiro was not seriously challenged for two separate awards: the Straw Man and the Mostly Closely Resembles the Final Livejournal Post of a School Spree Shooter.
There's a reason that Obama, Biden, Pelosi and Reid don't use Simpson as one of their typical sob stories: Simpson weighs 604 pounds, and she's trying to work her way up to 1,000 pounds so that she can make the Guinness Book of World Records…Now we are paying for her. All of us. We're paying for her because insurance companies in America are no longer allowed to charge her higher premiums due to her pre-existing medical condition (i.e. being a load).
Ben has never spoken to a woman without first giving his credit card number or being pepper sprayed afterward.
8. The Really Good Idea Bound to Attract Considerable Public Support Award goes to Louie Gohmert, who proposes to solve the "problem" of Congress passing legislation by repealing the 17th Amendment.
9. The Look How Hard This Obviously Mentally Challenged Man is Trying! Award goes to Charlie Daniels, with honorable mention to his commenters.
You will see health care paying for the abortion of innocent babies. I know, I know, Obama signed an executive order saying this won't happen under this bill, but you just wait and see. I believe that a huge amount of doctors will simply stop practicing and that many young people who had planned to go into medicine will simply opt for another profession. And think about this people, if the Democrats can pass health care, what else are they willing to push down our throats? The sorry answer is, as long as they are a majority, anything they want to; amnesty for illegal aliens is just around the corner.
Slippery is the best kind of slope.
10. The Quickest Resort to Violent Rhetoric Award goes to…come on, who else but Glenn Beck?
11. Finally, the Golden Pantshitter Trophy for Outstanding Achievement in Pant-Shitting goes to Rush Limbaugh, not only for chickening out on his promise to leave the country if the bill passed but also for his bombastic, drug-addled, not-even-visible-from-Reality rant about the end of America as "we" (i.e., Teabaggers) know it.
The next big push will be amnesty for … millions of illegal immigrants who are here…Obama's gonna need their votes in 2012. The Democrats are going to need their votes in every election from now on – if we have elections, and I'm not joking…The Constitution has just been ripped to shreds, so why is anything safe?
Like Obama isn't the greatest financial boon to wingnut AM radio blowhards since the Waco Siege. Rush should be kissing his ass. Come to think of it, Rush can kiss my ass too. That worked out well.
These are just a few of the highlights. Feel free to add your own – emails from psychotic uncles, Facebook/Twitter posts from the special wingnuts in your life, comments from co-workers, editorials, etc. – in the comments. Regardless, I think it is abundantly clear that this was a week of childish, incoherent, pant-shitting rage of historic proportions. I am proud to live in such a time.