They’re really losing it

THEY’RE REALLY LOSING IT…. I’ve enjoyed much of the hyperbole coming from the right since health care reform passed, but for pure hysterics, it’ hard to top this National Review piece from conservative media figure and former Gingrich spokesperson Tony Blankley. (thanks to reader A.W. for the tip)

What House Minority Leader John A. Boehner has called the Battle of Capitol Hill is over. I expect that the Battle of the Electorate is about to begin. Upon this battle depends the survival of a nonsocialist America. Upon it depends our own American way of life and the long continuity of our institutions and our history. The whole fury and might of the media and the Democratic party must very soon be trained on the electorate.

If they can stand up to the coming propaganda, America may be free, and the life of the wider free world may move forward into broad, sunlit uplands.

But if the voters succumb to those seven months of blandishments and deceptions, then free America — including all that we have known and cared for — will sink into the abyss of a new Dark Age made more sinister, and perhaps more protracted, by the lights of perverted science.

I wonder what the reaction would have been if the public option had passed, too.

Reading Blankley’s panic-stricken screed, I was immediately reminded of Ronald Reagan’s 1961 attacks on JFK’s Medicare proposal. At the time, Reagan said the plan would lead federal officials to dictate where physicians could practice medicine, and open the door to government control over where Americans were allowed to live. In fact, Reagan warned that if Medicare became law, there was a real possibility that the federal government would control where Americans go and what they do for a living.

Reagan added, “[I]f you don’t [stop Medicare] and I don’t do it, one of these days you and I are going to spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it once was like in America when men were free.”

With the benefit of hindsight, we now know these crazy warnings were pretty silly. But the truth is, whenever far-right voices get hysterical about social progress, the crazy warnings always look pretty silly in hindsight.

It’s probably why it’s best to simply be patient at moments like these, and wait for those throwing conservative tantrums to tire themselves out.