Staff editorial: Conservatives not helpful
It was a bad week for conservatives and a good week for America. But I repeat myself.
First Bill Clinton, former pres of us all and current husband of the Secretary of State, went to North Korea and rescued those two mellifluously-named American women, Laura Ling and Edna Lee, from the clutches of Dear Leader Kim Jong-il.
This put conservatives in a tizzy bordering on a snit. If there's one thing conservatives hate more than North Korea's DL it is Bill Clinton, who is widely viewed in wing-nut circles as the anti-Christ. To see him prancing on the world stage again, giving his Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval to a whack job like Kim, was almost more than they could stand.
The rest of us seemed to think it was a good idea. Silly us. We're just suckers for happy endings, I guess.
No sooner had that happened than Sonya Sotomayor was sworn in as a Supreme Court Justice. Only nine Republicans voted for her, the others thinking that her pride in being a "wise Latina" disqualified her from the office. Apparently they thought that being a dumb-as-a-brick white male was better. How like them.
And lastly, the economy showed signs that we might not have a Great Depression after all. Faint signs, admittedly---we began to lose jobs more slowly---but a Good Depression is better than a Great Depression.
This economic uptick broke conservatives' hearts. They have put all of their eggs in the Obama Must Fail basket and anything that disrupts that goal sends them into a pout, which is worse than a snit. They will continue to do what they can to ensure that failure so they can say government can't do anything right. (Which it most certainly can't if conservatives are running It.)
Maybe it's time to stop calling this collection of yahoos, mountebanks, ribbon clerks, faith healers and tinfoil collectors conservatives.
What, after all, are they trying to conserve? Not the environment, certainly. Not one of them sees global warming as a problem. They have yet to see a clear-cut forest or strip-mine in the wilderness that they don't like. And the only endangered species they're interested in protecting is lobbyists.
They say that they're trying to preserve capitalism but they have a funny way of showing it. They want to let the economy crash and burn on the theory that the magic of the free market, if left alone, will pop it right back up, stronger than ever.
Let me tell you something. If we let the economy crash and burn all we'd have is a lot of charred rubble, an unemployment rate of 25 percent and a destroyed industrial base. How can that possibly be a good thing for capitalism?
I'll give the conservatives this much. They're still very good at sliming the opposition. They've got a frightening share of the country believing that Barack Obama is a foreign-born Muslim sent here by Osama bin Laden to ruin the country. They've also managed to make the health care debate over whether we want a Nazi-style system that enforces euthanasia on old people or the practically perfect system we now have.
To help them get their message across they've recruited goon squads around the country to show up at public meetings and drown out the opposition. This they call free speech.
None of this would be an insurmountable problem if the Democrats had any courage. Few do. Most cower before the bullying tactics of the conservatives, that is, when they're not following lobbyists around hoping that some change will fall out of their pockets.
I don't know how this health care bill will play out. I tend to think it will pass but in a badly disfigured form that costs a lot and doesn't do much good. (If it doesn't have a public option, we should forget about it.)
But hey, we had a good week or so. That's something.
Don Kaul is a two-time Pulitzer Prize-losing Washington correspondent who, by his own account, is right more than he's wrong.