Hours after Joe Wilson heckled the President (I'm sure he would have wanted to jail anyone who did that to George W. Bush) I got an e-mail from a group called ALIPAC defending him.
ALIPAC stands for Americans for Legal Immigration PAC. Their e-mail said categorically Wilson was not wrong, that everyone in the Congress should have joined him. Here's why.
The evidence this is a lie is found in countless major news reports indicating that President Obama and Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) intend to try and pass Comprehensive Immigration Reform Amnesty legislation soon, that would legalize millions of illegal immigrants and qualify them for all taxpayer benefits and jobs in America.
Got that? There's a secret plot to make all the illegals legal, so Obama does want to give health care to illegals. Never mind that comprehensive immigration reform is a separate issue, and they're misrepresenting the President's position on it. But if what they say were true, wouldn't those people then be legal?
This is just one example of the kind of crazy I'm seeing whenever I write about health care policy over at ZDNet. Let me go through my comment threads for more.
- ObamaCare is fascist. This from the head of a "group" called Doctors on strike for freedom in medicine.
- Medicare and Medicaid are unconstitutional under the 10th Amendment.
- You're trying to socialize Medicare. Anyone who supports reforming the market is a socialist.
- Anyone who tells you different from what I'm telling you lies. The media is a conspiracy.
- Let's remember the USSR. It failed. So health reform is Communist.
- Obama represents "Chicago thugs and crooks."
That's just two discussion threads. Just in the last few days.
The inmates are out of the asylum.
This is great news for Democrats. The Haties are plainly demonstrating just how much like the Hippies they really are. They're not a movement, but a host of tribes and grievances. Some hate brown people, some hate non-Christian people, some hate government in general. Some are plain paranoid. It's amazing to think that, less than a year ago, these were the governing coalition of our country.
The main task for our Vice President, or someone else who can get the microphone, is to highlight this craziness, to call it out, to name and shame those who follow it. We also need to call out the fellow travelers -- those who enable the crazy -- and those who fund the crazy.
I know a lot of liberal bloggers and a few in the media (above) have been trying to do this, but now it needs to come from the government. Someone needs to point at these bozos and say, "anathema," and the same to their enablers, to their funders, to those who travel with them. You are no longer part of the debate. You're a looney, go away.
This is precisely what Nixon and Agnew, or rather what Buchanan and Safire, did back in the day. They did their job so well that naming leading Democrats became tantamount to calling down a curse. (I'll note that one of my correspondents tried just that this week -- Pelosi Obama Reid Care (PORC).) Oogala-boogala.
The most popular bogeyman, of course, was the late Ted Kennedy.
The point is the other side knew, long ago, that personalizing the enemy, demonizing the enemy, keeps your side together and keeps the other side divided. You can do that when you're in power. You can't when you're out. It's part of the process for turning a narrow election victory into a generational thesis, a mandate that causes politics to lean your way for what I call forever.
And if Democrats want to retain power, this is what they must now do.