There's been a bit of controversy among my friends on Facebook.
My friends on the left (and me too) used some hard language about people on the right -- in particular about the stupidty of the South Dakota legislature for thinking that they could sneak a bill through that amounted to an open season on abortion providers without anyone noticing. The excuses offered by the legislator were so patently ridiculous that no one with a brain could grant them credibility. And I said it. These were stupid, even for a Republican dominated legislature.
I didn't call anyone names. But I am angry about the way that Republicans are gutting the public institutions that have served this country well. I'm angry about the way that teachers have been demonized by Republicans. I'm angry about the way education has been dumbed down by Republicans. I'm angry that Republicans have denied the facts of the case and been allowed to get away with it. The anti-science, anti-labor, anti-education, anti-health, anti-everything attitude of the Republican party is more than frustrating.
The idea that a reasonable and modest tax hike - the kind of tax hike that is applied fairly across the board - will "kill jobs" is ludicrous. The idea that we can give $140 Billion to the oil companies but have to cut Medicare, Medicaid, NPR - is absurd.
But the plea was not to call names.
I'm sorry, but the Progressive Left has given in to those pleas while the Tea Party right and their enablers in the Republican leadership trashed the President, the Health Care bill, sensible energy policy, the Speaker of the House, and on and on it goes.
When the Republican leadership steps up and says, "Anyone who questions the President's status as a native born American is a kook and doesn't deserve to be listened to," I'll start giving Republicans respect. The weak knee'd response from Boehner is a joke. When the Republican leadership stands up and says, "The health care bill isn't socialism, that's a point of view with no relationship to reality. Oh, and by the way, there never were death panels," I might give them some credence.
But the Republicans won't, or can't or believe that this is the way to win power, even if it divides the country, breaks the economy and throws most Americans out of the Middle class. The hate, the villification, the ad hominem attacks, the conspiracy theories have not come from both sides of the political spectrum. It is the right that has the microphones, the power and the money and have been bullying the left, then whining when someone calls as lie a lie, a stupid idea a stupid idea, a liar a liar and a bully a bully.
I'm sorry, but the conservatives in this country have forfeited the moral high ground from which they can call out "be nice, can't we all just get along?" Take a look at Ohio Governor Kasich's attitude toward the cop who gave him a ticket ("He's an idiot," says the Governor.)
We can all get along -- but it can't be just the folks on the left. As soon as Rush Limbaugh and Glen Beck conduct themselves in a civil and reasonable fashion, we should treat them with respect.