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Monday, November 18, 2013

Murder as a By-Product of Rightwing Fearmongering

Josh Marshall writes that the BS storm surrounding Obamacare right now has become a "white noise of derp and mendacity" -- i.e., there's so much spin and propaganda here that it all sort of cancels itself out, at least in terms of specificity. There's a lot of criticism out there, but there isn't any single line of attack. Apparently, piling on over the rocky rollout hasn't seemed to have been enough to do much of anything. More is needed. The volume mut be increase. The anger must be red-hot. The rightwing herd must be driven to  panic.The derp must peg the stupidometer.

And that's just what Republicans are planning to do -- if they can manage to settle on one single messaging strategy. Marshall warns us of one narrative that seems to be forming on the right: "Top Republicans are now making a concerted effort to convince the public that Obamacare 'navigators', people trained to help people navigate the new system, will steal their identities and private personal information."

They're diving on testimony from Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and -- surprise! -- taking it out of context to induce hysteria. On Nov. 6, Sebelius was asked whether it was a requirement that the Obamacare "navigators" undergo a criminal background check. She said there wasn't a federal requirement, but that they were farming the job out to private contractors. Those entities have "the responsibility to screen their individual navigators and make sure that they are sufficiently trained for the job."

Who are these fly-by-night organizations filled with unchecked felons? According to the report, "local United Way chapters, higher education institutions and the like."


But hey, if slandering the United Way gets people to think Obamacare is a massive ripoff, then that's fine. Because there is nothing on this Earth more important that getting Republicans elected. If you trick people into staying with lousy insurance -- or no insurance at all -- who cares? Not the self-serving nihilists who make up the current GOP. Besides, if everyone starts believing crazy, made up BS about Obamacare navigators, what's the worst that could happen?

Oh yeah, some teabagging nutjob could use his Sacred Second Amendment Freedoms to put down some tyrants. You know, like Paul Anthony Ciancia, who shot and killed a TSA agent at LAX. He reportedly had anti-government 'patriot' writings on him at the time. Remember why Ciancia assassinated a TSA agent? Allow me to remind you.

Southern Poverty Law Center: The TSA, short for the Transportation Security Administration, is an agency of the DHS charged with ensuring the security of transportation, most notably air transportation. Although it has not been widely singled out by Patriots, it has been subjected to criticism by far-right homophobes, among others, who have alleged that TSA agents engaging in hand searches are really sexually groping travelers.

One witness told MSNBC that Ciancia asked people at the airport if they were TSA and, if they said they were not, moved on without trying to harm them.
So rightwing propagandists told Ciancia that TSA agents were sexually molesting passengers at airports and, being a typical empty-vessel 'bagger, he believed every word of it. And he can't possibly be the only one. If he was moved to terrorism by the lie, how many others are planning -- or on the brink of planning -- similar "strikes"?

And now Republicans, having learned absolutely nothing about the politics of smear from the death of an innocent public servant, are at it again. They're portraying people who are only trying to help as criminals, intent on stealing your identity -- just one of the many evil tentacles of Obamacare.

Or maybe instead of saying they haven't learned anything, it would be more accurate to say they just don't care. Have I used the word "nihilist" yet? I see I have. We don't even need to get into anti-abortion terrorism, do we? Republicans clearly don't care about the consequences of their hysteria-inducing, over-the-top rhetoric. If they did, the years of bombings and murder would've made them more cautious and less prone to apocalyptic hyperbole.

So if some United Way employee takes one in the chest from a gullible, terrified nutjob with an AR-15 and a gross misunderstanding of his Second Amendment rights (a misunderstanding that Republicans promote, BTW), so what? All that matters is that Republicans get elected.

Any other consequence is irrelevant.


[photo by bixentro]

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