We are witnessing the last gasps of the old Confederacy. Oh no, the right will say, it has nothing to do with race!
So hang in there and allow me make my case.
Last year the documentary film maker Alexandra Pelosi — Nancy's daughter — interviewed people across the country and asked them what they thought about President Obama. So here's this old guy in the deep South, toothless with gray stubble on his cheeks, dressed in dirty coveralls. He spits on the ground and renders his judgement: The guy is a damn half-breed; wouldn't go near him.
But, as they say — this has nothing to do with race.
I've been thinking about this man as a cartoonish symbol of a lingering disease. You see, a mere 150 years ago the Yanks forced the Confederacy to free the slaves — and now a black man sits in the Oval Office. No question, the 2008 election was a liberal conspiracy.
Back to the Future anyone? Because the past never dies and and doesn't fade away, it nestles in orafices and festers. Now I cannot engage in name calling: all figures of speech have been used up — and to no avail. As Brian Williams of NBC said the other day: "We're running out of things to sway and ways to describe them." I am also done with linguistic hyperboles.
It strikes me that what we see today cannot be a spontaneous reaction to Obamacare. There must be long-nurtured roots, past grievances, and resentments passed through. the generations.
If it's not about — what is it about?
The "conservatives" are not defined by their desire for a smaller government, less taxes, fiscal responsibility, and living within your means. These are "RINOS" — Republicans in name only. The "conservative" group swirling around Ted Cruz are people who feel they have been victimized and insulted by the "liberal elite," the Yankees who stole their property and pride. They rage at the abuse they feel they've been subjected to by graduates of Ivy League schools. Rush Limbaugh even claims the only reason liberals hate Ted Cruz is because he had attended Princeton and Harvard, domains that liberals claim for themselves.
But we know that Rush Limbaugh is not a racist, but rather an honorable, honorable man.
Still, does anyone believe that the tea party would have done this to a white president? Substitute anyone, even the much-maligned Hillary Clinton, and the interaction would have been quite different.
Truth be told: Obamacare is major. It's a transformational piece of legislation. In the 20th century, we had Theodore Roosevelt's Wilderness legislation: FDR's Social Security; Lyndon Johnson's Medicaid and Medicare — and now, The Affordable Care Act. All those have and will be with us forever.
Still if a white President had enacted a health plan, the reception would be different.
The 2012 election had traumatized the Republicans, They considered Obama's 2008 election a fluke, liberal guilt, undeservedly-praised oratorical skills. In 2012 they abdicated reality, so sure were they of victory that they refused to take opinion polls into account. They abdicated reality to the point where Mitt Romney had rented runways for 100 private planes to land in Boston for his victory party.
Clearly,for them Obama was reelected not by five million votes, but by some Muslim-vodoo magic. The only way to stop Obama now, they figured, is by legislative rebellion.
For the past few days I have been appalled by the right's rhetoric becoming exceedingly physical and graphic. They say they want the President on his knees bowing to them with his hands up in surrender. In this sick imagery they're dragging him out of the Oval Office.
And that, my friends, IS about race.
Email Rachel Patron at firstname.lastname@example.org