We are in the final countdown to Congress' action on the Health Care Reform bill and the opponents of reform seem to be getting more and more desperate, hysterical, and unhinged from reality and the norms of common decency.

Yes, indeedy, there was another tea party at the Capitol today and the partiers showed their true colors - not that there had ever really been any doubt about their colors. They run the full range of hues from white to - um - white.

These party-goers today jostled and shouted abuse at Congressional Democrats entering the Capitol to perform their duties as elected representatives of the people. Many of them carried signs with entirely heinous slogans, some threatening violence. The obscenities shouted, as well as the signs, clearly revealed the homophobic and racist tendencies of the crowd and said a lot more about the shouters than about the recipients of the verbal and, sometimes, physical abuse. At least one of the representatives was spat upon.

Really? Is this the level of civic discourse that we've come to in this country? We reason with elected representatives by spitting on them?

This story makes me sad and mad, in equal portions, but honestly, these little people are so pitiable and frightened that it is hard to sustain any feeling about them other than compassion. They are dupes. They have been lied to and scared out of whatever wits they may have had and misled into to thinking that their "cause" is saving their nation, when, in fact, they seem to have very little idea of what their nation is all about. Their true cause is what their leaders stir them up to support - namely protecting insurance companies and other corporations that use them for their own financial gain. This is most certainly not in the financial interest of the tea partiers themselves who would benefit from the policies against which they protest so loudly.

But, in their minds, it seems that their "noble cause" is all about God and guns and white male domination of society. If they could - and this is the one REALLY scary thing about them - they would create a theocracy based on their own very narrow interpretation of the Bible. They are the American equivalent of the Taliban.

Their interpretation of the Bible certainly doesn't include any of Jesus' teachings about caring for the poor or being a "Good Samaritan" to your neighbor. Who is my neighbor? Is it the woman who will die tonight because she has no health insurance? I think I know what Jesus would say. And I think I know what tea partier Dick Armey would say. I believe I'll stand with Jesus on this one.


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