The Cowardice of Conservatives

News Hounds has uncovered a gem. If you want to know what today’s Conservatives are like, just listen to the people who claim to speak for them. Now, I have a hard time understanding how Conservatives think (which inspired me to write “Conservative” below), and I just can’t reconcile the nonsense I hear out of people like Sean Hannity and Mark Levin, and the philosophy of Conservatism I heard preached by conservative giants like Barry Goldwater. One thing Goldwater always said Conservatism was about was “Individual freedom, individual responsibility.” (I think he was wrong to think that this is what America is supposed to be about, but that’s a subject for a different post.) But Hannity and Levin seem to think differently.

Levin actually said that the hostility and violence at townhall meetings can actually be blamed on President Obama. “If something terrible happens at one of these town hall meetings, I think the president in part can be held accountable,” he said. He then went on to tell another lie, “The president is at war with the American people, politically.” No he isn’t. It is, in fact, the Republicans who have the “war mentality” on this debate, and it’s because they know they are on the wrong side. But the idea that if someone commits an act of violence at one of these public town meetings with a Member of Congress, it’s the president’s fault, not the fault of the person doing it, is completely the opposite of Goldwater’s famous credo. What happened to “individual responsibility” here? What happened to “Don’t blame everybody but yourself for your actions”? Why should the president be blamed just because professional lobbyists, like Dick Armey’s FreedomWorks, are organizing fake “grassroots movements” in protest of the President personally?

Levin went on to liken the president and his top advisers to gangsters. “I’ve never heard in my life a president tell the American people to shut up… As a matter of fact, if you look at the people around him, he’s got Al Capone there, who is Rahm Emanuel; he’s got Meyer Lansky, who is David Axelrod; He, I think, would be Saul Alinsky, so if they want to call names, we can call names, too.” Well, I never heard Obama tell anyone to shut up and neither did you. But if you want to count what the president’s spokepeople say as coming from him, perhaps you should remember Ari Fleisher’s warning to those who disagreed with President Bush after 9/11, “Watch what you say.”

Phony Conservatives like Hannity and Levin are nothing more than cowards. They like to speak in tough, militaristic terminology, putting every issue in the context of a war in which the opposition must be “destroyed.” (It’s because they often suffer from Projection, and believe that everyone else thinks this way.) People like them are the reason there is always a war some place in the world – because they believe that War is the normal state of affairs for humans. They will never want Peace because they do not know how to live in a world where people care about each other, where we watch out for each other, where we try to help each other live. This is the world men like Hannity and Levin are fighting to prevent. Because they are cowards. They are afraid of being equal with their fellow humans. They think they are better than the rest of us, and that they deserve to be treated better than the rest of us. How sad to be so delusional.

BTW, this whole thing about showing up at townhall meetings to disrupt things is not a “freedom fo speech” issue. It is a crime. The other people attending those townhalls have a First Amendment right to both petition the government for a redress of grievances and to peaceably assemble. Showing up to shout down anybody who thinks the president’s ideas are better than theirs violates the others’ rights.

49 thoughts on “The Cowardice of Conservatives

  1. You took Levin’s words out of context. He obviously didn’t mean the Prez is responsible for someones actions. He was simply stating that Obama has caused the up roar.

    How can you then turn around and call Levin a liar and use his exact point against the republicans?

    The wrong side? What does that mean? They are on the side of the population… according to most polls. I guess wrong, if you mean for the majority of the people but against the majority of congress.

    Not freedom of speech? a crime…. who has been arrested?

    Don’t be mad at conservatives because they oppose your view. That doesn’t mean that they cant live with peace or that they are wrong. It is simply a difference in ideology… and sometimes it is a case misinformation or deceit.

  2. How has President Obama caused an uproar, Timmy? What did Levin really mean?

    Is something a crime only when someone has been arrested? That’s interesting to me…

    Seriously, I don’t think Wayne is “mad” in this post. There’s nothing wrong with opposition — we were the opposition for 8 years after all. But some facts would be nice.

  3. I respectfully disagree with you on a few things, Timmy. My point is that the “so-called conservatives” who are most listened to (Hannity & Levin being two examples) are not really practicing real conservatism in what they say. If you pay close attention to what the people who are supposedly upset with Obama are upset about, you will often find that it is over something they heard wrong about his policies.

    People are upset because they think Obama wants to send people to their house and make them choose how they want to die. No such thing is going to happen. It was a lie perpetuated by my own former Lt Gov Betsy McCaughey. Some people believe it, and they hate Obama for it.

    Peopel keep saying, “We don;t want socialized medicine in our country. We don’t want Single Payer. But don’t you dare touch my Medicare.” I’m not making that up, the president talked about them. Those people, somewhere along the line, were told that Medicare is not a government-run, single payer socialized medicine program, and it is much beloved by the people who use it. Whoever gave them idea was lying.

    And “highly regarded” conservatives like Hannity & Levin are not correcting people’s misunderstandings, but rather using them as justification that people oppose the president. Those people are ill-informed at best and totally unreachable at worst. But they do not represent the majority of thinking Americans.

    Incitement to riot is not protected Speech. Showing up at a public event to incesantly yell and disrupt is not protected speech. The worst part is that most of those people doing that have been encouraged by conservatives (like Dick Armey) to do just that, and to do it for reasons that are false. Denying other people their right to talk to their Congressman, which has been happening, is a crime. And an un-American thing to do.

    What I have been saying is that Goldwater’s brand of Conservatism would not be welcome in today’s Republican Party. The conservatives who run the party today, with the help of their right-wing media compatriots, have been using lies and misinformation as their primary tool to garner support from the American people. They cannot win a debate on this based on the merits of their argument, so they lie about what the left is saying to frighten people into hating the left, and their own President in particular.

    But thank you for visiting TheZoo and leaving a comment. We actually do welcome reasonable people from both the Left and the Right who wish to discuss things. Stop by again some day.

  4. Armey and the rest of the Astroturf opposition have hijacked the debate. That’s really unfortunate, as conservatives like Timmy get lumped together with those phonies.
    Wayne, excellent post on this very important issue. You have a great blog!

  5. I happened to catch something on the radio on Friday which I think we need to bring to people’s attention. An Oregon physician phoned in to the Ed Schultz show and pointed out that a lot of people confuse “single payer” with “single provider”, and the GOP is going out of its way to play off the confusion. All of the “you can’t chose your own doctor” nonsense stems from that confusion.

  6. Republicans have to lie. If they had a normally developed conscience and admitted to themselves that their policies of deregulation and greed have just about destroyed the US economy (and the rest of the world’s), if they ever acknowledged that their hurray-for-me, the-hell-with-you attitude has isolated them from decent folks who actually think that the US is a society of all the people, they would crash into a deep depression.

  7. The biggest lie I hear from “conservatives” is their pretense of being (small l) libertarians and Constitutionalists. For most, the only amendment that really matters is the 2nd; anything else is negotiable or disposable when it gets in the way.

  8. There is also a comment Timmy made that stands out in my mind and is indicative of the larger overall problem we face as a nation.

    “Not freedom of speech? a crime…. who has been arrested?”

    In the past there have been many instances of liberal types engaging in shout down tactics and they knew going in it was civil disobedience and they stood a real good chance of being arrested. For whatever reason these town hall criers have not been treated as what they are.

    We can thank our administration for not charging criminals with their crimes thus giving people like Timmy the talking point of ‘what crime? Who’s been arrested?’

  9. Your right if someone says they don’t want a single payer system and also say don’t touch my health care they are obviously out of touch.

    The problem I have is your lumping them with the entire conservative nation.

  10. Ok lets not get into the what makes a crime… If you have some evidence of wrongdoing so be it but don’t confuse chaotic protests being criminal.

    I think we all can agree everywhere politics is involved there is some sort of organization and deceit. Dont pretend that just the conservatives do it.

  11. “biggest lie I hear from “conservatives” is their pretense of being (small l) libertarians and Constitutionalists”

    This is a faction of conservatism and certainly part of the foundation. Just because a conservative doesnt follow the guidelines (like bush) doesnt mean ALL conservatives are liars and whatever else your spewing.

  12. “people who are supposedly upset with Obama are upset about, you will often find that it is over something they heard wrong about his policies.”

    This would be me… a few things off the top of my head obama has done.

    Not allowed the planes to flyover the god and country festival. Released prisoners caught in combat from gitmo. The stimulus package, the non transparency of the TARP funds. Now what i least like is a overhaul of the health care system… I agree with him it needs to be fixed. ( But so does alot of things.. ie social security, medicaid, amtrak, nasa, etc) What i dont like is the way he is going about it.

  13. medjhiesco
    “Republicans have to lie” Please refrain from the name calling and point out some facts. The economy is a long story with both parties playing a part. I will not defend bush at all when it comes to the economy….. He was in charge and should recieve most the blame. However that does not mean Republicans are liars…. nice logic

  14. IMHO, Timmy, what the Republican party and the conservatives are defending is the status quo, where prices rise every year, as do the profits taken by the health care industry. They think there’s nothing wrong, except maybe that corporations aren’t able to make even more profits. But telling people that Obama wants to send someone to your house to make you decide how you want to die is an outright lie, perpetrated by Republicans, spread by conservative media personalities, and believed by people too ignorant to vote in their own best interests.

    You asked for evidence that Republicans were lying, and I provided it. From a conservative writer upset with the lies put out by the right wing.

    I am sorry, but if facts aren’t going to satisfy you, then you are exactly the type of person I was writing about, both here and in the song below.

  15. Republicans have to lie is not name calling. It is an observation. Nor did I say all Republicans have to lie all the time. At present we have a minority party that has been asked time and again to participate in the legal process. Instead of doing so they have resorted to obstructionism and out right lying to impede anything like a democratic process.

    There is no call from the Republican leadership to engage in discussion of the proposed health care reform. There is no alternative being put forth. Instead there are calls for blocking everything the President suggests and working towards his failure.

    If, as you suggest, there are concerned Republicans who wish to participate in the legal process, where are they? And why aren’t they acting in a civilized and respectful manner in encouraging our government to come up with answers to our problems? Why is the leadership of the party all about Just Say No!

  16. “minority party that has been asked time and again to participate in the legal process”

    I have no idea what your talking about.

    “There is no alternative being put forth”

    Status quo… your right and it is definitely not crazy to not want an overhaul in the middle of a recession.

  17. “But telling people that Obama wants to send someone to your house to make you decide how you want to die is an outright lie, perpetrated by Republicans”

    Your right this is a stretch and ill agree with you. However there are plenty of good reasons to not want a government run system that the republicans are pushing. You just choose to take the flimsy one and discount the whole point.

  18. Here’s Sen Chuck Grassley lying about the health care bill.

    http://crooksandliars.com/john-amato/chuck-grassley-says-if-we-change-health

    GRASSLEY: In countries that have government-run health care, just to give you an example, I’ve been told that the brain tumor that Sen. Kennedy has — because he’s 77 years old — would not be treated the way it’s treated in the United States. In other words, he would not get the care he gets here because of his age. In other words, they’d say ‘well he doesn’t have long to live even if he lived another four to five years.’ They’d say ‘well, we gotta spend money on people who can contribute more to economy.’ It’s a little like people saying when somebody gets to be 85 their life is worth less than when they were 35 and you pull the tubes on them.

    He never bothers to tell him who told him this crap, and since he’s supposed to be a legislator with access to the bill, he ought to know the facts. And the president has said from the beginning, “If you like the health care plan you have, you’ll be allowed to keep it.” Republicans have been lying. And you should believe that because it is a fact.

    Sorry, I did not intentionally cut off Grassley’s name.

  19. Timmy, no one is happy with the TARP bullshit, but if, when Bush started TARP, they had put in rules, safeguards, etc., billions wouldn’t have gone to waste already. For jeebus’ sake, the recipients of the TARP money don’t even have to keep track of whom they dole it out to!

  20. The “euthansia” crap is being touted by even the most prominent of Republicans, like Newt Gingirch and Sarah Palin, two people considered very important to the conservative movement in this country.

    http://videocafe.crooksandliars.com/david/gingrich-defends-palin-claim-reform-will-cau

    Those are just examples from today, after I wrote what I did. There are plenty from before I wrote them.

    Now, skipping ahead, if you want to try to say that the peopel doing the lying aren’t “real conservatives”, then we won’t get anywhere. They sure as hell aren’t liberals. So I hope we don’t go there.

    You may disagree if you insist, but I stand by what I wrote.

  21. I am seriously confused here. You acknowledge things need to be changed, that their are problems, serious problems, yet you say maintaining the status quo makes sense?

    So you are saying the Conservative game plan is to keep doing the things that got us into trouble. Sounds to me like a person who is allergic to seafood continuing to order the shrimp.

    And not understanding the administration’s continued calls for bipartisanship means you don’t want to. Which is to say you see what you want to see, hear what you want to hear and disregard the rest. Hardly a way to run a country.

  22. “So you are saying the Conservative game plan is to keep doing the things that got us into trouble”
    AGAIN as opposed to an overhaul during a recession yes. That isn’t difficult to understand.

  23. “He never bothers to tell him who told him this crap”

    Who says this crap would be the organizations who did the studies. CBO, PEW, WHO are just a few that i know of….

    “If you like the health care plan you have, you’ll be allowed to keep it”
    Yes but interjecting a cheaper government plan will chase out the competition. That is why conservatives are scared. Not tough to understand.

    As far as Kennedy goes… he says it himself that he would have died with any other health care . So isnt that fact enough to prove that a pseudo euthanasia will exist?

  24. I get it now, Timmy. When you are bleeding to death, don’t do anything and hope it stops. Hope that works for you.

  25. Timmy: This is a faction of conservatism and certainly part of the foundation. Just because a conservative doesnt follow the guidelines (like bush) doesnt mean ALL conservatives are liars and whatever else your spewing.

    Please point out where I said anything of the kind. Or spewed at all.

  26. Timmy: As far as Kennedy goes… he says it himself that he would have died with any other health care . So isnt that fact enough to prove that a pseudo euthanasia will exist?

    Uh, Kennedy is covered by the extremely fine insurance all the senators and representatives are covered by (which is, incidentally, government run).

    Euthanasia is a deliberate ending of life, and what Kennedy referred to was undoubtedly the fact that without insurance only the wealthiest could survive his condition. Of course, Kennedy himself could certainly afford it, with his family’s wealth.

  27. Yes but interjecting a cheaper government plan will chase out the competition. That is why conservatives are scared. Not tough to understand.

    Cheaper is bad? Other than the stockholders of insurance companies, who stands to lose?

  28. “If you like the health care plan you have, you’ll be allowed to keep it”
    Yes but interjecting a cheaper government plan will chase out the competition. That is why conservatives are scared. Not tough to understand.

    No, it’s not. Conservatives believe there is nothing wrong with profiting off the sick and dying. Many of us disagree with that way of thinking.

    Insuring your home and your car against loss and liability is one thing. But defending the current system of insuring your health, where the people who will cover the claims can decide that they don’t want to pay your hospital bills because it would mean lower profits for the companies and smaller bonuses for them personally, is not a position a humane person would take.

    The system is weighted too heavily in favor of the uinsurance companies, who have shown that your best interests are not what’s foremost in their minds. It’s time to take the profit out of health insurance, and go to a single payer system.

    I’m defending altruism, and you’re defending selfishness.

    There can be no meeting of minds here.

  29. medjhiesco
    “I get it now, Timmy. When you are bleeding to death, don’t do anything and hope it stops. Hope that works for you.”

    please think a little before you post. Almost every government function is hemorrhaging money. (again social security, medicare, amtrak, nasa, irs…. and on and on) Therefore your reasoning of fix what is broken is rendered useless. We cant fix everything at once… hell we cant run anything efficiently.

  30. gimmitch you said the biggest conservative lie… something about small….

    I pointed out that yes bush and some conservatives don’t always follow suit but that doesn’t mean conservatives lie.

    By that same logic, Obama is a liar for saying he wont raise taxes on people who make less than 250K but then turns around and hikes up the cigarette tax.

  31. “Kennedy is covered by the extremely fine insurance all the senators and representatives are covered by (which is, incidentally, government run)”

    LOL no not government run just paid for by the government.

    “Euthanasia is a deliberate ending of life”

    Yes and if kennedy was in canada he would not have had the chance to receive the treatment. Which is what conservatives say is euthanasia because single payer systems decide themselves what to pay for.

  32. “Cheaper is bad? Other than the stockholders of insurance companies, who stands to lose”

    It drives out competition. Why would business offer health insurance anymore? What insurance company can stay in business when its competition covers everything for cheaper with no regard for profit? None, that is why cheaper is bad, it drives out competition

  33. Timmy K:

    “Kennedy is covered by the extremely fine insurance all the senators and representatives are covered by (which is, incidentally, government run)”

    LOL no not government run just paid for by the government.

    In other words: single payer. The insurance is in fact, “government run.”

    “Euthanasia is a deliberate ending of life”

    Yes and if kennedy was in canada he would not have had the chance to receive the treatment. Which is what conservatives say is euthanasia because single payer systems decide themselves what to pay for.

    Every system “decides” what to pay for. You’re delusional if you think that private insurers are any different. And your comment about Canada is completely untrue; one of the typical “conservative” talking points that just doesn’t line up with reality. You might want to read this just as a primer.

  34. Wayne
    “Conservatives believe there is nothing wrong with profiting off the sick and dying”

    What does that mean?

    “position a humane person would take”

    That is why you are not a CEO or doctor then…. because that is exactly what they need to decide.

    “I’m defending altruism, and you’re defending selfishness. There can be no meeting of minds ”

    Well finally the truth comes out….. If you want everyone covered by a single payer system then fine. But there are problems you need to acknowledge with it. It is great for the people who don’t care to take care of themselves, prescription drug prices will go down, cost for families coverage will go down. Minuses are care will be rationed, no more incentive to achieve, longer waits for care, and it will cost government more (says the CBO)

  35. It drives out competition. Why would business offer health insurance anymore? What insurance company can stay in business when its competition covers everything for cheaper with no regard for profit? None, that is why cheaper is bad, it drives out competition

    This would make more sense if the current “competition” resulted in lower costs — yet they continue to rise and rise. So much for the free market.

    You will also notice that FedEx and UPS have done remarkably well, even though they were (at least originally) in competition with a government agency.

  36. “In other words: single payer. The insurance is in fact, “government run.”

    Big difference, single payer is run and covered by a government program…. kennedys insurance is ja pricate insurance company that is paid by the government. Understand?

  37. “Every system “decides” what to pay for”

    yes every single payer system does…. that is why it is illegal in canada to try and pay for better treatment. In america you can just pay for what you need.

  38. “current “competition” resulted in lower costs — yet they continue to rise and rise”

    Yes there is problems that is why the government should regulate or incentivise….. not take over

    “in competition with a government agency.”

    true in some markets the government can intervene… (schools, banks, mail, health care) the difference is what role the government plays.

  39. Timmy: yes every single payer system does…. that is why it is illegal in canada to try and pay for better treatment. In america you can just pay for what you need.

    Want to prove that first assertion? I know for a fact it isn’t true in the UK, and doubt it is in Canada.

    In American you cannot “just pay for what you need” unless you have very deep pockets. Conditions like Kennedy’s would probably run over $100,000. In Canada, 100% of the population is covered, period.

  40. As to who has been arrested:

    St. Louis County police arrested six people, including a Post-Dispatch reporter, during a demonstration Thursday evening outside a forum on aging called by U.S. Rep. Russ Carnahan, D-St. Louis.

    Two of the people were arrested on suspicion of assault, one of resisting arrest and three on suspicion of committing peace disturbances, police say.

  41. By that same logic, Obama is a liar for saying he wont raise taxes on people who make less than 250K but then turns around and hikes up the cigarette tax.
    Timmy – perhaps it’s time to quit smoking. Besides, smoking is the root cause of many illnesses which then add to the cost of health care for everyone. Frankly, I am not please that my health insurance premium pays for the lung cancer or other serious illness that you will get because of your smoking. As a non-smoker, I didn’t notice the increase in the price of cigarettes.

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