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The Republicans continue to 'cultivate rage'

Hate-spewing wingnuts have taken over the Republican Party. Spitting saliva, the N word and the F word at members of Congress is reprehensible. But the only Republican I have seen who gave an immediate and full-throated denunciation of the hatred allegedly hurled at Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) and Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) was former Rep. Joe Scarborough (R-Fla.). Here are Scarborough's unequivocal tweets from Saturday afternoon.

John Lewis is a friend, a great man and an American hero. Anyone attacking such a man with racial slurs has a dark heart and a grim soul
4:50 PM Mar 20th via UberTwitter

@gason65 It is up to both sides to call out their haters. We must speak out forcefully and without hestitation [sic].
5:05 PM Mar 20th via UberTwitter in reply to gason65

Also, the attacks against Barney Frank were hateful and outrageous. Barney and I usually disagreed in Congress but he loves his country.
5:08 PM Mar 20th via UberTwitter

As Colby King noted yesterday, Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele's condemnation of "idiots out there saying very stupid tings" wasn't good enough. The tone and tenor of the vocal Republican opposition is getting more aggressive, and it's going to take more than calling them "idiots" to get them to heel. The Republican leaders should, well, lead by example. But they aren't interested in doing that.

House Minority Leader John Boehner (Ohio) is a prime example. He opted to play to the corrosive elements of the GOP's base last night rather than preserve the dignity of the House of Representatives.

That high-pitched "hell no!" harangue plays well with the people who whip up fears of socialism and who carry signs like the one at Saturday's demonstration alluding to Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.) that read "Warning: If Brown can't stop it a Browning can." (Scroll down to see the picture) This is dangerous stuff that Republican leaders must -- MUST -- snuff out sooner rather than later. Kathleen Parker issued a warning that is falling on deaf ears on the radical right and increasingly so within the mainstream of the GOP. "It's fine to be angry about bad policies; it's fine to hold politicians' (and journalists') feet to the fire," she wrote. "But it is not fine to demonize dissent and cultivate rage. We should know by now where demagoguery leads."

We do. And those who play up rather than tamp down or constructively channel that rage will be complicit in the ugly and violent denouement.

By Jonathan Capehart  | March 22, 2010; 9:10 AM ET
Categories:  Capehart  | Tags:  Jonathan Capehart  
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Comments

Boehner and other Republicans behaved like hooligans yesterday. As for the teagabbers who "protested" in DC last weekend, they showed their true colors: they are. racists and bigots. A lynch mob!

Posted by: Gatsby10 | March 22, 2010 10:10 AM | Report abuse

Jonathan - Wake Up - Joe Scarbourgh is no different than John Boehner. I watch Mr. Scarbourgh regularly and I can see clear through him. He ranks with the Glenn Becks and Limbaugh. Do you remember Carlos who once was with MSNBC - He actually had the guts to tell Joe just that one day. I applauded him profoundly for doing so. I know you're on his show regularly and know you are very intelligent but you have missed the mark as far as the Former Congressman is concerned. (I'm still trying to figure out how he got in Congress).

Posted by: phyllisr5 | March 22, 2010 10:37 AM | Report abuse

The Republicans are in big trouble. I have never been happier in my life! Just look at all that hatred!!!! I have always believed that people are more emotional than rational. This debate proves my theory. Keep spewing hatred,GOP, and America will turn away from you. This is not a country of haters. You are on the wrong side of history. Enjoy!

Posted by: hempplanet | March 22, 2010 10:38 AM | Report abuse

All one has to understand is that the average American is no longer "represented" by Congress but rather is "ruled" by Congress. No longer is it a democratic republic but rather a socialist congress that dictates to the majority in the name of "groups" not the individual. No longer does the Congress ask "Is it good for the Nation?" They merely state that "We know what is good for the group."

Sad day in history but it will be 6 years before the real pain is felt as healthcare approaches the level of a third world country. The US will be asking Doctors Without Borders to come to our cities to treat our sick. Very sad day.

Posted by: staterighter | March 22, 2010 10:39 AM | Report abuse

staterighter, you are so wrong. The majority elected Barack Obama president. The majority elected the Dems to control congress. I am part of that majority and I am very proud that health care reform passed.

For all the polls that people on the right talked about there were also polls to support what members in congress did. Those members listened to their constituencies. Those members listened to the people who elected them. Congress did what was good for the nation instead of bowing down to a small but very loud group and its about time. The teabaggers make up less than 20% of the electorate. They do not speak for this country, thankfully. Congress got it right this time.

As for your dire predictions. Our country already falls behind other industrialized countries in health care. There are already cities that have groups like doctors without borders who treat the uninsured. Everything you said already takes place so there is absolutely nothing to fear. Health care reform will improve our standings as more people get preventative care. Then you will be like the other teabaggers shouting keeping the govenrment off my government run health care.

Posted by: wmwilliams14 | March 22, 2010 10:53 AM | Report abuse

The history of the RepubliKKKan party includes recruiting and growing 'party members' who thrive on this type of political near-violence and it is just as committed to its failed policies as were the Nazis.
It is pleasing that more and more light is being cast on this party of hate and, hopefully, if the press continues to expose these people, the organization will disappear.

Posted by: bgreen2224 | March 22, 2010 10:55 AM | Report abuse

I totally agree. The GOP is dangerously close to driving all moderates away by pandering to its lowest common denominators. I grew up in a western state and a family of moderate, sensible, fiscally conservative Repulicans who favored the Civil Rights bill, for example. My family were Christian and took the moral high ground. They were moderates. Now, the only moderate left on the GOP side of my own family is a brother who voted for Obama and, on moral grounds, supports health care reform. The others have all migrated to the Far Right and have high blood pressure and rage. The others of us moved into the Democratic Party.

The GOP has bid its moderates good-bye and good riddance! It will not prove to be a good strategy in the long run. It's negative, pessimistic, fearful, angry, and almost purely emotional. These kinds of labels describing the reality of Party Tone haven't been good for any party. Remember Reagan was successful because of his upbeat, optimistic tone. He wouldn't feel comfortable at all in this current dark-spirited GOP.

Posted by: cturtle1 | March 22, 2010 11:22 AM | Report abuse

"a socialist congress that dictates to the majority"

When did we cancel elections? I didn't hear about that. How else to explain how this "majority" of which you speak failed to win Congress, though?

A minority is trying to dictate to a majority, all right. You've just got the parties backwards.

Posted by: nodebris | March 22, 2010 11:52 AM | Report abuse

phyllisr5 - agree 100% with Scarborough statement.

When I need my blood to boil to get motivated I watch Morning Joe and this morning it was great. Lawrence O'Donnell called him out and Sen. Coryn. WOW - it was great.

Posted by: rlj1 | March 22, 2010 11:54 AM | Report abuse

With this double accomplishment, student loan reform and health care for 32 million more Americans, I feel very good about my vote for President in 2008. Yesterday, history was made and this country became a better place.

Posted by: pointpetre | March 22, 2010 11:59 AM | Report abuse

Those who intimidate or infer that they will shape legislation by the use or display of firearms (or any physical violence) do not understand what it means to be an American. They have no respect for their fellow citizens or belief in the basic freedoms spelled out in the Constitution or Declaration of Independence. They, at best, are bullies and tyrants, and at worst, traitors and sociopaths. They have no place at the table of civilized society. They need psychiatric help and strong drugs.

Posted by: wilsonjmichael | March 22, 2010 12:05 PM | Report abuse

After 15 months of lies and fear tactics I found it extremely amusing that John(the Boner)Boenher had to express his outrage from written script and even then he looked like he substituted screaming for passion. He was pathetic. If he is a leader it is no wonder the Republicans are scared.

Posted by: Lincoln74 | March 22, 2010 12:28 PM | Report abuse

Conservative/Republican radio talk show hosts have succeeded in polarizing America and whipping up hatred that is no longer focused on ideology but on people/leaders. I am frustrated and angry when I hear Republican leaders say that President Obama/Congressional leaders are not listening to the American People. They flippantly exclude the millions of US citizens who supported the president and the health care bill. Are we not Americans as well?

Posted by: SilentAmerican | March 22, 2010 12:28 PM | Report abuse

My parents and grandparents raised me to be a Republican, and I have been one for most of my 59 years. I was even Chairman of my County's Republican Party for six years. But, the present day Republican Party is dispicable to me. They misinform. They preach hatred. They deem anyone who disagrees with them as unAmerican. They offers distortions and fear as policy. At a time when our nation's problems are critical, Republicans are more concerned with destoying Obama than in reasonably addressing those problems. I will never vote Republican again. I am not a hater, but Republicans have made me hate them.

Posted by: dswanay | March 22, 2010 12:34 PM | Report abuse

I am a democrat.

But I find this attempt to link the whole republican party to a few racists to be unfair. It reeks of partisanship. It makes you look like you are tickled pink about the slurs because you can use them against the republicans.

There's still racism everywhere. We know this. But the vast majority of our republican opponents love their country too. Putting them in the the same group as the racist hooligans makes you look pathetic.

Posted by: rschmieder | March 22, 2010 1:16 PM | Report abuse

If misogynistic racist homophobes had any testicular fortitude, they wouldn't wear white sheets and hide behind a cross. I do, however, love the lingering smell of the exploded head of a right wing extremist. There were so many after Obama won the election, and now a fresh crop.

Fear, Hatred, Distortion, Distraction and Division. It's all they've got to offer.

Posted by: thebobbob | March 22, 2010 1:17 PM | Report abuse

The Republicans did not need to cultivate any rage in me, the Democrats did it by passing this profligate bill. The only "non-partisan" analyst who agrees with the financial projections of the administration is Jonathan Gruber who has severe conflict of interest issues. http://bit.ly/9VMkwx

It cannot help but severely inhibit small business, adding yet another layer of bureaucratic overhead to overcome in terms of global competitiveness. Individuals will suffer most of all, with mandated purchases of overpriced insurance at very high cost, which is little to no benefit to them at all. As far as I can see the "cost-cutting" criteria & measures are yet to be determined, which means they will be subject to the same type of back room deals that rammed this bill through yesterday.

No partisan Republican led me to this conclusion. It was the non-partisan conclusion of former insurance regulators and others who have been interviewed or published on the subject. I realize the GOP was in lockstep trying to kill any and all health care bills, but that doesn't mean this one has any merit at all.

It is an insult to my intelligence that it would even be suggested that my rage is based on anything any politician would say, one way or the other. I don't pay attention to them.

But I do remember a few campaign slogans of Obama's. What happened to the promises of transparency that were promised to voters during Obama's campaign? Why did he flop on single payer or even public option? Because he is being paid off by insurance lobbiests, who stand to get windfall profits from this ill-conceived bill just like the other side would have been, had they been in a position to do so.

The middle class, plus anyone near the cutoff for the mandate are going to be enriching the people who got us into the mess in the first place, the insurance companies. And it will be breaking their backs, financially. They are in enough financial stress now, without any mandate, with no hope on the horizon. Through the greed and mismanagement of insurance providers, rates went out of the reach of most people. Now they are going to be rewarded for their failure. which sounds all too familiar in this administration.

Posted by: ladysbytes | March 22, 2010 1:45 PM | Report abuse

The bill that was passed last night was done by an abuse of power.I make that point because it is important to point out that once we do that it is difficult to turn back. The name calling on both sides and horrible posts I have been reading are a symptom of a nation divided. We have a constitution for a reason. There are checks and balances. Please don't tell me that this has been done before by the Republicans, it has, but never on a major policy issue that will change 1/6th of our economy. You see the point is that the balance of power will shift again, it always does. When that happens, the very people that you all rail against will be in control of your health care. The federal government should NEVER have that much power. If you really believe that we can insure 32 million more people,not have people turned away on pre-existing conditions, and save money then I am more fearful for our country than ever. This is not about health care but about power, power of the federal government over your life. Remember this day.We will all live to regret it!

Posted by: sandy23 | March 22, 2010 1:49 PM | Report abuse

If the Republicans want to do what's right they should offer a package of ideas to be included in the adjustments to the bill that was passed and not fight a losing war by being negative and spewing hatred.Is everything to them good vs. evil and they are always the good guys. They are wrong and are marginalizing themselves and that cost them the last election and fighting what has been passed will cost them the next one as well. They are like the terrorists in the middle east, fighting a battle that they already lost by destroying the people who are trying to help them. God can't help them. He's too busy smiling at the nuns and scowling at the bishops. If they could come to the table with new ideas and less negativity,they would be pro America rather than the hateful opposition. Understand, America accepts diversity of color in all aspects of life and politics as they do for life choices of the gay minority. No one becomes pregnant to abort a baby. It's a hard decision for a woman and the circumstances that require it dictate that decision. Not some white republican in Washington who is so busy getting his hair just right and waiting for the car to the country club.

Posted by: msjn1 | March 22, 2010 4:54 PM | Report abuse

Boehner should watch whom he is bed with. The Tea Party crowd are not exactly people polite society would want to associate with: Look at the small-size T-shirts on those fat bellies, the mismatched outfits, the crooked teeth. These are your lower class members of society.

Posted by: gtoney55 | March 22, 2010 5:03 PM | Report abuse

Those carrying "If Brown can't stop it a Browning can" signs should have been arrested. I am for freedom of speech, but those signs were threats of violence.

Posted by: Susan2010 | March 22, 2010 5:19 PM | Report abuse

Inciting the violent overthrow of the government is treason Mr. Boehner!

Posted by: katman13 | March 22, 2010 6:29 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Boehner is really only pissed about the tanning salon tax.

Posted by: prairiernnr | March 22, 2010 6:38 PM | Report abuse

the third paragraph of 18 U.S.C. § 2385 provides:

Whoever organizes or helps or attempts to organize any society, group, or assembly of persons who teach, advocate, or encourage the overthrow or destruction of any [government in the United States] by force or violence . . . [s]hall be fined not more than $10,000 or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both. [n3] [p304]

Posted by: katman13 | March 22, 2010 6:41 PM | Report abuse

Okay, now we have healthcare let's move on to Wall Street reform, Car Insurance reform and reintroducing the flat rate income tax.For example take car insurance. I have a truck and a car. I can only drive one at a time.Only the one that I'm driving is at risk. If my home burns down while I'm out with the other vehicle, then my house insurance will cover it. Why can't drivers be insured instead of cars? Think about it.

Posted by: sandtrap | March 22, 2010 7:55 PM | Report abuse

All hard-working productive Americans should be mad as all get out! Finally, I'm proud to be a Republican!

Posted by: jobro2 | March 23, 2010 8:31 AM | Report abuse

"rschmieder" since you are a republican in democratic clothing go on back to the dark side where you belong or at least acknowledge, like "staterighter" your true affiliation. This 'States Rights BS was rampant in the 60's in an attempt to stop civil rights legislation and try to justify racial hatred in many states (see George Wallace, Lester Maddox, Orval Faubus or Ross Robert Barnett), it was wrong then and is wrong now. As a true born Texan I am appalled and embarrassed by the actions of my fellow Texans, particularly the governor and attorney general. They represent the worst of bigotry and hatred in this state. May the people of Texas recognize the heartless hatred of these men and remove from office in the November elections.
This whole issue is far more than just the fundamental right of Health Care under the law; it is also about the fundamental issues of freedom, respect, dignity, and economic and social equality.

Posted by: bubbabob54 | March 23, 2010 9:42 AM | Report abuse

While I find ‘rigid conformity with no dissent allowed’ to exist within extreme Progressives, in my observation they don't suffer from a concomitant religious self-righteousness which curdles the Conservative movement from time to time, such as now.

If I were to paint in broad strokes, I would characterize Liberals generally as being on the eclectic /pluralist end of the spectrum, and Conservatives generally as being toward the conformist /intolerant pole.

Many Christian Faiths practice 'shunning' as a tool to enforce conformity to tenets. I believe, in this way, viewing disagreement as carrying a moral undertone becomes habituated into the Conservative mind-set, in that those who disagree with 'your side' are not only 'wrong', they are also 'bad'.

Unfortunately, what Republicans learned from '08 was that, at this time in the world, in a battle of Ideas, Democrats win and Republicans lose. Therefore, those Republicans driven to return to power above all else are now waging a battle of Feelings and Emotions. Witness the terror the Republicans are sowing: Obama is the Anti-Christ who is bringing Armageddon.

In my opinion those who are exquisitely susceptible to this inflammation are those whom I will term "superstitious Christians", in that they respond to imagery and keywords. Their contemplative counterparts I would term "spiritual Christians", who concern themselves with living pious lives and must discern where the footsteps of Christ lay before them.

Spiritual Christians view themselves as right, but nonetheless recoil from hating their fellow Man; superstitious Christians define themselves as right, and those in disagreement are not only wrong, but bad, and, as such, as deserving all the worst they can visit upon them (e.g., why they are such enthusiastic supporters of torture).

Rove, Gingrich, et al. have convinced Republican Party members that demonizing their political opponents is the way to regain power, which is what this is all about. The line must be clear between ‘those who are right’, and ‘those who are wrong and bad’, and therefore demands adherence to strict definitions of what is right.

Posted by: like-mind | March 27, 2010 6:20 AM | Report abuse

Unfortunately, your colleague Kathleen Parker (who I used to respect as an honest conservative) has in two recent columns taken to outright lying about whether the health care bill provides federal funding for abortion. There is only room on the right for strict conformity to the myths promulgated by TV entertainers. Parker has opted to side with those who hold the reins.

Posted by: turningfool | March 27, 2010 2:08 PM | Report abuse

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