Wednesday, April 13, 2011

C'mon Man!

Washington Post Pulitzer Prize winning columnist, Kathleen Parker recently published a piece titled “Demonizing the GOP proves losing tactic”.
In the piece Ms. Parker states the following: “Everyone is calling for adults these days.  President Obama insisted that Congress “act like grownups,” adding that we don’t have time for games.  Meanwhile, the vocabulary of evil and apocalyptic imagery has punctuated criticism of the GOP’s proposed 2012 budget, not to be confused with the 2011 budget.”  
As evidence of this behavior she goes on to quote Texas Democratic Representative Shelia Jackson-Lee who projected the affects of the Ryan budget proposal on seniors as a scenario with “lights out, doors wide open and the drumbeat playing as people are being rolled out of nursing homes in wheelchairs, with crutches, some on beds.”
Far be it for us to question the opinions of a Pulitzer Prize winning columnist; but we have to ask…she’s kidding, right?
Apparently Ms. Parker has a short memory.  Where was she during the health care reform debate when Republicans Sarah Palin and Chuck Grassley coined the infamous phrase “death panels” while accusing Obama of “pulling the plug on grandma”?    Where was she when the Tea Party protestors were brandishing signs bearing images of Obama with a Hitler like mustache and swastika insignias?  Talk about demonizing an opponent.
Harsh political rhetoric is part of the price we pay for freedom of speech.  It can be ugly and misguided at times but it is part of our political fabric.
Ms. Parker really doesn't need to defend the Republican Party.  They can take care of themselves and they have a history of giving as good as they get.  But if Ms. Parker is still concerned about the Republican’s well being perhaps she could advise them to stop pushing for legislation that is easily characterized as demonic.  Maybe they could stop holding the unemployment benefits for needy families’ hostage while using them as a bargaining chip to get tax breaks for millionaires and billionaires.  Perhaps they could refrain from cutting Medicare and Medicaid benefits for the elderly while they lobby for billions in subsidies for big oil companies.  Or they might rethink the idea of cutting heating oil subsidies for the poor while they push to lower the corporate tax rate.
Harsh political rhetoric goes both ways.  Ms. Parker knows that.     

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