On the school playground, kids have time-honored ways of dealing with bullies and name-callers. There’s “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me,” and “I’m rubber, you’re glue, whatever you say bounces off me and sticks to you.”
The political playground isn’t much different, with sayings like “he who resorts to name-calling first, loses,” or more specifically “he who invokes the Nazis first, loses.”
So it’s interesting that Democratic politicians have recently said the following:
On August 24,2009, Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA) called Senators who resist voting for health care reform “Neanderthals.” http://tinyurl.com/mqqchk Congresswoman, really. Play nice. They’re members of congress, after all. They aren’t used to being bullied like lowly constituents.
And Congressman Fortney “Pete” Stark, (D-CA) recently called “moderate Democrats” who aren’t on the Obamacare bandwagon brain dead. “They’re for the most part, I hate to say brain dead, but they’re just looking to raise money from insurance companies and promote a right-wing agenda that is not really very useful in this whole process.” http://tinyurl.com/krqgfj
Brain dead? Really? Moderate Democrats from your own party? And they’re just looking for money and promoting a right-wing agenda?? Come on, Congressman, why save the tough talk for constituents who dare cross you at a town hall meeting—like, say, another of your esteemed colleagues, Barney Frank? (D-MA) (too many clips to pick just one.)
Then there’s Congressman Baron Hill, (D-IN) who claims he can accept political differences, but that those shouting at congressmen at town hall meetings have gone too far.
“I don’t mind people disagreeing with you, but just to blow up a meeting is an act of political terrorism,” Hill told the Louisville Courier-Journal. http://tinyurl.com/mqlr2p
Wow. Resorting to calling someone a “political terrorist” because he shouts at a town hall meeting. (We used to say, “Your mother wears army boots” when we couldn’t think of anything better, but I guess I’m dating myself.)
And Congressman Brian Baird (D-WA) compared the tactics of those who attended his town hall meetings to something close to Nazis, but wouldn’t quite go there. “What we’re seeing right now is close to Brown Shirt tactics,” Baird said in a phone interview. “I mean that very seriously.” http://tinyurl.com/np8abe
Uh-oh. Baird must know the “he who invokes Hitler first, loses,” rule, so he tried to call the people who disagree with him Nazis without actually doing so.
Still counts, though.
Then there’s Nancy Pelosi, who started out by saying grassroots protesters were actually “Astroturf.” http://tinyurl.com/cq28lg (that might be copyright infringement, but whatever.)
When that didn’t stick, she said they were carrying swastikas. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oRCq7mv7HVM
Hey Nancy—I’m rubber, you’re glue!