QOTD (2009-09-04)

And it’s a depressing one, folks. Steve Benen on right-wing lunacy:

Birthers, Deathers, Tenthers. Beck, Palin, Limbaugh. Bachmann, Inhofe, DeMint, King, and Broun. A scorched-earth campaign intended to tear the country apart, questioning the legitimacy of the president, the government, and the rule of law. It’s all very scary.

Josh Marshall recently noted, “It’s always important for us to remember what the last eight years have again taught us, which is that America has a very strong civic fabric, one that can withstand, absorb and conquer all manner of ugly behavior. It can take in stride a lot of angry rhetoric, townhall fisticuffs and more. But as this escalates we should continually be stepping back and thinking retrospectively from the vantage point of the future about where this all seems to be heading.”

[Time‘s Joe] Klein’s not the only one with a sinking feeling

The crazies have a political party, a cable news network, and a loud, activist base. They’re mad as hell and they’re not going to take their medications anymore.

As the weeks of August have gone by, I’ve gotten progressively more concerned as well. Our country has obviously survived many a period of hysteria before, but I keep thinking back to the anti-communist lunacy of the Cold War, and everything that happened in that period. Obviously, that particular hysteria dissipated when the USSR dissolved, but it seems as if that void has been filled by other ways to prey on the public’s fears—certainly, the role of “communist” as chief political slur didn’t end in 1989. In my role as a research assistant, I’ve been reading Congressional debates about deregulation from the mid-1970s, and the discourse wasn’t precisely sane, then. Has American political discourse ever been sane? What on earth is sane, anyway? And when do you just throw up your hands and move to Canada?

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