Religious right, Fox News, GOP darling Ben Carson just told attendees at the huge religious right Values Voters conference that President Obama’s health care reform legislation is the worst thing since slavery.
Carson, who is African-American, has become quite the “thing” of late in Republican party circles. There’s only one things the GOP likes more than a hateful nutjob – it’s a nutjob who’s also a minority.
Here’s what Carson just told the Values Voters throng:
“Obamacare is the worst thing that has happened in this nation since slavery because it is making us subservient to the government.”
Actually it’s been fairly well established that the worst thing to happen in this nation since slavery was Disco Merman:
In all seriousness, it’s ironic that Carson brings up slavery, as at the other big conservative conference this year, CPAC, there was a hot debate as to whether slavery was a good thing or a bad thing.
Politico notes that Carson also addressed the GOP’s war on women:
During an address punctuated with cheers, Carson also said that there’s no such thing as a “war on women.” Smiling, he noted that pregnant women are typically treated politely…
See how he took the civil and human rights, and basic humanity, of women and turned it into a funny?
Now, we could spend this entire article just listing the other events in American history that perhaps were even more outrageous than attempting to provide cheap and effective healthcare to millions of Americans:
The Civil War comes to mind.
As does Japanese internment.
And World War I.
And the Great Depression.
And World War II, which included the discovery of the Holocaust.
That whole Cold War thing was a bit of a buzzkill.
As was segregation and Vietnam.
And I don’t know about Ben Carson and the GOP – let’s face it, this is a party that can’t even decide on the relative evil of slavery – but 9/11 wasn’t exactly a happy-dance either.
We could also spend some time discussing Carson’s extremist views on civil rights, which include comparing gay marriage to pedophilia and having sex with animals.
(Ironically, Carson exemplifies many of the fey qualities that inure to far too many of the anti-gay men of the far right.)
No, what I would rather discuss is how Carson is emblematic of the entire government-shutdown-default-on-the-debt wing of the Republican party that is at the same time “fringe” and the mainstay of the party.
Back in the 1970s, early 1980s, the religious right started organizing big-time in America, and sadly, the Republican party, smelling opportunity, decided to not only embrace this new and dangerous brand of politico-religious extremism, they decided to embolden it.
Zoom ahead 40 years, and the same thing happened with the Tea Party. While the rest of America smelled trouble, the GOP smelled opportunity. So the party, yet again, embraced and emboldened its worst elements – the hateful, intolerant, unbending, dogmatic extremists – and elevated them to positions of power and influence. (Is it any wonder that so many GOP leaders, in the House and Senate, are A) conservatives, and B) southern bigots? – it’s not a glitch, it’s a feature).
All the while, so-called “moderate Republicans” are as useless, spineless, and feckless as ever. The lack of any kind of moral, political, or factual counterweight inside the party to this growing extremism left an opportunistic void filled by the political version of an opportunistic infection.
That takes us to the present day, and present problem, of the government shutdown and imminent debt default that risks throwing the world into a depression far worse than that following the 2008 meltdown of Lehman Brothers.
Russ Douthat in the NYT calls the current GOP strategy a “murder-suicide” pact. The end-game of House Republicans seems to be an overwhelming desire to kill both the hostages and themselves.
Just look at the new debt ceiling offer that House Republicans made last night, about which Becca Morn discussed in-depth. House Republicans will agree to forestall a default on the national debt, and world economic calamity, this week, if the Democrats agree to let the Republicans destroy the world, with no attempt to stop them, around Christmas.
Thus ensuring that, in addition to the rest of the damage the Republicans have already caused the economy, they’ll also kill the Christmas shopping season, a hugely important event in the life of our national economy, which is mostly consumer-driven.