As I've watched various Congressman deal with the lunatics that seem to have taken over the August town hall meeting season, I find myself wondering why no one seems willing to push back. Perhaps it's that they recognize that these are constituents and potential votes in their column when they're up for re-election. Perhaps they're afraid of providing sound bites for potential competitors. Or perhaps they just lack the balls to stand up and call out the crazies for what they are. Too many Congresscritters have implicitly enabled this sort of madness through their refusal to demand that civility be the rule and not the notable exception. This is why I'm elated at Barney Frank's response to a question directed at him by one of the lunatics. It's not as if folks like this are going to respond to reason, so why not question their intelligence and sanity?
It's one thing to disagree with what you see happening in Washington. This is a democracy; that's you're right under the Constitution. Nowhere, however, are you guaranteed the right to engage in lies, insults, propaganda, and just plain lunacy. For a Congressman to finally demonstrate that he possesses the cojones to push back against the lunacy is a welcome sight. The sad thing is that it's such a rare occurrence. Through their reluctance to push back and demand civility, members of Congress have implicitly encouraged and enabled the sort of madness and incivility that's made rational, reasoned discussion and debate all but impossible.
There are crazies on both sides, of course; that's the nature of the beast. What you haven't seen at town hall meetings, though, are Liberals screaming, carrying on, and shouting down anyone they disagree with. Conservative protesters clearly didn't get the memo that indicated it's better to be thought a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.
Disagreeing with someone doesn't make you a Nazi or a Socialist or anti-American. It just means you disagree. If you think that the ability to shout someone down as you insult and denigrate them proves the superiority of your argument, you really need to do some serious rethinking. All you're really proving is that your position lacks the strength to win on it's own merits...and that you lack the intellectual agility to make a convincing argument for your point of view. Of course, if you want to be thought a fool, if you want to blithely toss around insults like "Nazi", "socialist", or "anti-American"...well, this is still a free country, and you're certainly free to make an ass of yourself if you're so inclined. And Barney Frank is free to question your sanity and your planet of primary residence.
Man, how can so much ignorance, lunacy, and hate come in such a pretty package?