Full disclosure: I didn't watch President Obama's speech last night. For one thing, I know where I stand on healthcare reform (in favor). For another, I forgot. This is rather irresponsible for someone who regularly follows and occasionally writes about politics, especially since healthcare reform is one of the most important issues that directly affects our lives.
But then I heard about the behavior of the Republican Party during a presidential speech to a joint session of Congress and I felt a lot better about myself.
Seriously - shouting "You lie" and then futzing around with your Blackberry? A member of Congress doing this while the President speaks? And not just that, but handmade signs, giggling, snorting and hissing? Hissing? Really? Dana Milbank pointed out that such guttural, primitive outbursts take place in Britain's House of Commons. So, have the GOP just gone old school, like really, really conservative as in "Screw the revolution - too changey"? Which, I guess, means that they wouldn't throw the Boston Tea Party and just let Britain tax them? No, that can't be it.
No. They're turning into Code Pink.
Code Pink was supposed to be an anti-war movement, but instead it turned into a coven of ineffective clowns. The birthers (remember them?) were on par, and so were the ill-informed squeaky wheels at the town hall meetings. They all filed into these rallies wanting to protest and voice their opinions, but then they became shrieking ignoramuses, spreading falsehoods and outrageously incorrect claims with bulging veins in their faces and unhinged vitriol. And guns. Guns!
But none of those people are elected officials on the federal level. They don't represent the government of the United States, they only spoke for themselves. Code Pink showed up looking like a bunch of Muppets when Bush spoke and made spectacles of themselves, and they were quickly dismissed by officials and the media. What the hell makes the GOP, a political party, think they can get away with the same shenanigans when Obama speaks? The double standard is astounding and disturbing.
Few people take Code Pink seriously outside of Code Pink. It's time to stop trying to appease this immature, attention-starved nursery school class and let the grown-ups pass healthcare reform without them.
So, now that my rant is over, Milbank also reported that White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel confronted two GOP congressmen, saying "You know my number." I would like to think that those discussions went a little something like this: