Last Saturday was just beautiful. Sunny, warm, and with the promise of rain on Sunday, everybody on my block was out doing chores. Steve mowed the lawn. I directed where I wanted the new shrubs stuck in the ground. For a while, I scraped paint on the front porch and picked away at the rotting wood to assess the damage. (Looks like we need a new floor for the porch. Ugh. House = Money Pit.)
While I scraped, I watched Old Bill pound his front steps with a sledge hammer. Others came to watch him, but kept a respectful distance. Men don't interfere with another man's projects.
Sal: Whatcha doing there, Bill?
Old Bill: I got a quote on putting in new front steps and the guy wanted 2,000 bucks for it. I figure that I can do it myself.
Hank: You're going to do this on your own, Bill? You're going to end up hurting yourself.
Crazy Sue: That's what I told him, Hank. We're not poor. Get the guy to do it, Bill!
Sal: Yeah, you're going to end up in the hospital and with Obama Care. They're going to end up killing you.
There was much grumbling about Obama Care and death panels. Three of the four people grouped around the stairs were either on Veterans Insurance or Medicare. They already benefited from socialized medicine.
Now, I don't have any problem with a reasoned discussion about health care, but "death panels" don't qualify as reasoned discussion. It's sad that the lowest and dumbest conservative arguments have made the biggest impact on the public.
Some, like David Brooks, has argued that Palin and Fox News aren't going anywhere. They are the cream puffs of the conservative movement and don't have a chance to make any real changes.
Others are much more frightened of Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin. Andrew Sullivan writes another long rant about her. I was fascinated to learn that most Tea Party supporters got all their news from Fox News. John Quiggan despairs about having a reasoned discussion with the anti-intellectualism strand of the conservative movement.