Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Conservative Fauxtrage over Reid remark shows no sign of abating

The conservative hissy fit over Harry Reid's "slavery" remark continues to build toward the highest pitch.

From Nevada to Washington, calls were mounting Tuesday for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to apologize for comparing opponents of health care reform to supporters of slavery. 

The antagonistic comment, made on the Senate floor Monday, came at a sensitive time for health care reform, with Democratic leaders trying to push a compromise by the holidays, and in the middle of Reid's heated race for re-election in Nevada. The remark did not bode well for either effort. 

 Senate Republicans blasted Reid for the comparison, calling it "offensive" and "unbelievable" and suggesting he was starting to "crack" under the pressure of the health care reform effort. 

 In the comment, Reid argued that Republicans are using the same stalling tactics employed in the pre-Civil War era -- and during the women's suffrage and civil rights movements.  

For such a supposedly tough, rugged bunch, conservatives sure do spend a lot of time whining about their feelings.  But this is a particularly ridiculous example of a very tired genre of political manipulation. 

 For the record, here is what Reid said:

"Instead of joining us on the right side of history, all Senate Republicans can come up with is: 'Slow down, stop everything and start over.' If you think you've heard these same excuses before, you're right.

 "When this country belatedly recognized the wrongs of slavery, some dug in their heels and said, 'slow down.' When women spoke up for the right to speak up -- when they demanded the vote -- some insisted that they simply stop. When this body was on the verge of guaranteeing equal civil rights to all citizens, regardless of the color of their skin, some senators resorted to the same filibuster threats that we hear today.

"And more recently, when Chairman Chris Dodd of Connecticut - one of the people who will go down in history as a chief champion of the bill before us today - said that Americans should be able to start and take care of their families without fear of losing their jobs, he heard the sane old excuses. Through seven years of fighting and more than one presidential veto, it was: 'Slow down, stop everything and start over.'

"History is repeating itself before our eyes. There are now those who don't think this is the right time to reform health care. But in reality, for many who feel that way, there will never be a good time to reform health care."

No rational, honest person could dispute a word of this.

 Forget the specifics of the healthcare debate for a moment.  Let's just focus on who conservatives are and what conservatism is.

 Conservatives oppose progress because it is progress.  It is what makes them conservatives.  Who would deny this?

 Conservatives believed that because slave labor was such a critical component of the American economy, the institution of slavery was worth preserving.

 Conservatives fought against the enfranchisement of women because it represented a radical change from the complete male domination of American society.

 Conservatives resisted breaking down racial barriers in this country in every arena from voting to education to housing to the workplace, and the list goes on.  Why?  Because the change represented by breaking those barriers made some people uncomfortable. 

 And conservatives believe in preserving a status quo in which the delivery of healthcare is controlled by for-profit corporations who earn their profits by restricting access to healthcare. Why?  Because it is the status quo and changing it make some people uneasy.

 (You know, that and the money.  Never forget about the money.)

 The simple fact is that conservatives resist change because it is change.

 What Harry Reid said was nothing more or less than the truth and no one should never apologize for speaking the truth.


Anonymous said...


History lesson time again.

Remind me again which party passed the 1875 Civil Rights Act?
And which president segregated Washington DC?
And which one passed, and which future one voted against, the 1957 Civil Rights Act (the first civil rights act, by the way, since that of 1875)?
And which one enforced desegregation of the military?
And which one desegregated American schools?
And which party the first African-American Representative, Senator, Secretary of State, and the first Hispanic Attorney General, all belonged to?