New York Times columnists Charles M. Blow (“Whose Country Is It?”, March 27) and Frank Rich (“The Rage is Not About Health Care,” March 28, 2010) are denouncing with smug delight and stentorian admonition the “bullying, threats, and acts of violence” (Blow) following the passage of the Obama health care bill.
“Small-scale mimicry of Kristallnacht” is what Rich calls the apparent excesses of a tiny minority of anti-Democratic health care bill protestors. His own crypto-racist presuppositions are apparent in Blow’s evisceration of those he terms “extremists:”
Even the optics must be irritating. A woman (Nancy Pelosi) pushed the health care bill through the House. The bill’s most visible and vocal proponents included a gay man (Barney Frank) and a Jew (Anthony Weiner). And the black man in the White House signed the bill into law. It’s enough to make a good old boy go crazy.
Let me posit for Mr. Blow an alternative scenario: For the Left,
Even the optics must be disturbing. A (nationally recognized) woman (Sarah Palin) opposed the health care bill that passed the House. The bill’s most visible and vocal opponents included a practicing Catholic (John Boehner) and a Jew (Eric Cantor). And prominent black men (former Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell, Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele and former Godfathers Pizza chairman Herman Cain) didn’t want the black man in the White House to sign the bill into law. It’s enough to make a New York secular liberal go crazy.
Frank Rich., fueled by the same reactionary unction as Mr. Blow, writes something eerily similar in his piece:
The conjunction of a black president and a female speaker of the House — topped off by a wise Latina on the Supreme Court and a powerful gay Congressional committee chairman — would sow fears of disenfranchisement among a dwindling and threatened minority in the country no matter what policies were in play.
Again, allow me to rephrase: