Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Beyond Thunderdome

You're probably going to hear quite a few iterations of the word "ghoulish" tossed around today. That's pretty much the best way to describe the response by Tea Party sociopaths in Tampa last night to the idea of letting someone die if he or she doesn't have insurance and can't afford to pay medical bills.

Chances are by now you've seen what I'm talking about, but in case you haven't yet, here it is: a hypothetical question posed by Wolf Blitzer, moderator of CNN's Tea Party debate among the GOP candidates for president, to crazy old man Ron Paul. Listen for the audience reaction; that's the gold.

Now it's worth pointing out that Blitzer -- who proved throughout the debate why you shouldn't listen to him while driving or operating heavy machinery -- predictably telegraphed his punch by making the hypothetical patient in question a guy who chose not to pay for health insurance rather than, you know, one of the millions across the country who can't afford insurance. Regardless, this is the second time in as many weeks that we've seen a crowd full of presumably fiercely pro-life Republicans unable to contain their orgiastic bloodlust at the idea of killing somebody. You'll remember that the audience at the Reagan library last week -- Simi Valley suburbanites, all of them -- just about had the largest non-gangbang porn-related mass climax in history when Texas shit-kicker action figure Rick Perry bragged about executing 234 people, at least one of whom was very likely innocent.

Here's the important thing to keep in mind, though -- the basic message of the Tea Party jackasses like the ones that grow up out of the ground in a place like Tampa: They get to decide who lives and who dies. Who's worthy to live or die.

Are you a fetus, even one that's the product of rape or incest, or who's almost doomed from the start to be unloved and to eventually choke the state system -- child protection or penal -- that many on the right believes is the only legitimate recourse? Congratulations, you live -- no matter what. Are you somebody who, ironically, committed a vicious crime as an adult or who was at least convicted of doing so, or maybe even just some poor idiot who made a really bad decision about his or her life and who now stands to pay for that mistake with that very life? Sorry, fuck you, parasite -- you die.

That's really what it comes down to: The sickening Randian "producers vs. parasites" horseshit ethos that can be distilled down to a battle-cry-ready slogan with almost no effort, one that fits really nicely on a bumper-sticker. The problem, of course, is -- who decides who's a producer and who's a parasite? I'm terrified of leaving a decision like that to people who diabolically cheer death like Romans at the Coliseum.

My favorite part of last night's monster truck rally in Tampa, though? That Wolf Blitzer actually lauded the whole thing as evidence of a substantive debate on the issues. Unless CNN actually set out to give the Tea Party and its vile philosophy enough rope to hang themselves on national television, what we witnessed was nothing more than the continued elevation of a relatively small, shockingly ignorant group of pretend freedom fighters simply because they make for good TV. They're splashed across your screen, over and over again, precisely because they're guaranteed to do ridiculous shit like shout for the deaths of those who disagree with their view of the world.

In the end, the Tea Party and its ilk amount to nothing more than the ultimate reality TV show.


Matt Osborne said...

Ultimate reality show? YES! "Survivor: Tea Tide" doesn't feature candidates, but contestants. That was the way CNN's debate intro came off, and it never let up.

Anonymous said...

The baggers are concerned about the wrong parasites. They should be looking at the CEOs and corporations that don't pay taxes, or the hedge fund managers that don't produce.

Anonymous said...

This should go to show that every American and their livelihood is under attack from a party that puts itself first, above country, and also a party that feels no guilt or remorse despite the fact that their policies could lead to the decrease in quality of life or loss all together of one's life as a result of their dismantling of the government.

Once, we used to be enraged at the crazy ideas and rhetoric the Right put forth, now we should be fearful as the Republicans are going beyond "Death Panels" and straight to Euthanasia.

I would be interested to know what Ron Paul would say to the recent college graduate that can't find a job and doesn't have health insurance not by choice but because of a depressed economy? In the event of major illness what then? Should we just stand by and let him or her die? What about all those people that would gladly pay $300-$400 a month for health insurance if only they had a job, what about them Mr. Paul, should we just stand around an watch them suffer or worse when help is no further than the nearest hospital?

Ron Paul is no doctor, doctors have morals and a conscious, he has neither.

Al said...

Tea Party....Tea Party....damn, I swear that rings a bell - weren't there some batshit insane people during the healthcare debate panicking about "death panels" that called themselves the Tea Party?

Ohhh wait...they don't want the East Coast Librul Commie Socialist Muslims making those decisions, they're perfectly happy with the death itself. Got it.

VOTAR said...

Ah, Tampa, my hometown showing its true colors.

Too sick, or poor, to afford your own health insurance? We will cheer and laugh and mock you while you die. Then we'll sing to Jesus in our Mega-church before brunch at the monster truck showcase in the parking lot of the Brandon Hooters.

What's most astonishing is that neither Wolf Blitzer or any of the CNN staff didn't immediately turn it around and demand to know who in the audience could possibly be cheering for the DEATH of the uninsured. Wasn't this -- just two years ago -- the crowd that warned that Obama would be creating "Death Panels" to kill off gramma? Oh that's right, it's okay for poor people to die as long as there's no negro in the White House.

Honestly, it was bad enough that CNN even gave the Teabagger Party a dignified forum so they can pretend to be a legitimate political movement and not the ignorant torch-wielding gang of psychopaths that they actually are. Shame on everyone involved... including criminally insane "Doctor" Ron Paul.

Jester said...

Later that evening, Anderson Cooper got two Tea Party reps on to talk about that moment (one of whom was a member of the group that sponsored the debate). The latter went out of her way to point out that "let him die" only came from two people in the audience. AC had the perfect opening to cheerfully ask, "OK, only two people in the audience said that. Fair enough. But what's the answer? What DOES the Tea Party think should happen to someone in that situation?"

He had the perfect opening to ask that question... and didn't. Had me yelling at the TV.

beenthere said...

Wow! The whole thing makes me ill. My own parents consider themselves 'tea partiers' yet I can't purchase health insurance due to my son's cerebral palsy. And even if I could, it would be outrageously expensive because I have lupus. So I am FORCED to go without ins since my husband lost his job. Now I live in Russia- I just had a consult with a highly sought-after specialist and a minor procedure. It cost me $75. I also have insurance- 200 a year for me. Andthis is in Moscow, one of the most expensive cities in the world. Yet in the US, according to this clip, if I get sick I deserve to die. Amazeballs! I am a mom, a nurse, and currently a medical student. I think I do my part to contribute to the betterment of society. But to the 'tea partiers' apparently I am just another parasite on the economy, and deserve to die because I wasn't born into wealth and chose not to marry into it. What a sad, sad state of the union.