Health

Second Worst Last Stand Ever

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Memo to Michele Bachmann and her cohorts: HA HA.

First, a note before we begin - if you've read the piece in the Pioneer Press, and are wondering where the exhibitionist blogger baring it all online is, it's not that kind of blog at all. To the extent that it's even a blog at all. Which ain't much.

So anyway, health care! The House passed the health care reform bill over the weekend, and while it's a Cthulhoid monstrosity with a lot to hate about it, particularly in the area of abortion, it still passed, which is still a big deal. And the best reason it's a big deal is because, on November 5, Michele Bachmann held her anti-health-care teabagging rally. The rally was promoted as a "last stand" to stop health care reform in the House, and it was, like everything Michele Bachmann touches, a dismal failure.

And to honor that failure, I'd like to look back on the pure, unmitigated comedy gold that was the Teabaggers' Last Stand (For Now), starting, of course, with the iconic image from that event. The sign that read "National Socialist Health Care: Dachau, Germany, 1945" over a picture of concentration camp corpses.

Now, I freely admit that I am not interested in elevating the discourse. I'm just astonished that all the conditions necessary for such a sign to exist do actually exist now. First, someone has to be so crazy that they think the sign is either accurate, or even appropriately hyperbolic. That's a pretty serious bar to clear right there. Second, the person has to actually have the ability to get an image of concentration camp corpses and blow it up to what appears to be at least a four-foot square sign.

And then, of course, a member of Congress, re-elected one year ago despite being at least as stupid and crazy as the sign-wielder, has to create an event that would bring out the worst in her bugfuck national constituency. It's pretty amazing, when you think about it. Of course, if you think about it, the person who made the sign is sitting at home RIGHT NOW, thinking that "when the corpses start piling up, I hope they realize I tried to warn them". And that's a lot less amazing.

Still, the sign did lead indirectly to one of the greatest moments in modern pundit history - Markos Moulitsas calling out Tom Tancredo for everyone's favorite racist's psychological deferment that kept him out of Vietnam. Tancredo was on MSNBC discussing, amongst other things, the Bachmann rally and the horrible socialistic threat of national health care. And Tommy Boy, in one of those "why is this fucker on a supposedly liberal chat show again" moments, tried to say that all veterans really wanted was to ditch their VA care in favor of vouchers they could use to buy private insurance. Moulitsas suggested that perhaps questions on what veterans want were better handled by actual veterans like himself, instead of chickenhawk racist fucktards like Tancredo*

This hurt and offended Tom Tancredo deeply, and is therefore one of the best things ever to happen on cable news.

Perhaps the only thing funnier than Bachmann's ridiculous stunt, which, while it failed to do a damn thing to stop the bill from passing, at least garnered her the wingnut attention she desperately craves, is another stunt by two other lawmakers that failed on both the practical and "look at me" levels.

Did you hear about how Pete Hoekstra, and the man I am now officially dubbing the Stupidest Fucking Person In Congress, Iowa Rep. Steve King, attempted to TP the Capitol building with the 1900 page health care bill, which, if photographs are to be believed, they appeared to print on fan-fold perforated computer paper? No, really.

How well did it work? Well, I'd like you to start by imagining how well you think it would go if two bald white dudes in business suits attempted to wrangle a piece of paper several hundred feet long. Now think back to 1987 and remember how easily fan-fold computer paper ripped. Factor that in. Don't forget to include in your calculations the speed of the wind and uncooperative Capitol security. OK? Got that picture firmly seared into your mind's retinas? Now square it.

Before this, the single dumbest thing in the history of Congress was Sam Brownback's criminally embarrassing snowflake children presentation from 2006. But Sam Brownback can stop crying himself to sleep every night, because Hoekstra and SFPIC have taken the crown. Congratulations, guys.

And finally, I'd like to leave you with this description of the event from its organizer, who set the whole thing up, promoted it to the teabagging hordes through all the usual wingnut outlets, and who got Americans For Progress to bus 40 busloads of protesters to DC for this Last Stand. ACTUAL QUOTE TIME!

"Today people told me they heard that call out on your show on Friday night, and they immediately started contacting other people. And this was totally word of mouth. This was nothing that we organized, nothing that we planned. We didn’t order one bus, one carload. Nothing. Complete word of mouth. And estimates are anywhere between 20 and 45,000 people had assembled. And also this absolutely outstanding grouping of people that we had today at the Capitol. This is organic. It was a meet up. It was spontaneous. - Bachmann, on Hannity's show.

For once, I cannot pinpoint the wrongest thing in a Michele Bachmann speech. There's the factor of ten she inflated her crowd estimates by, her fascinating misappropriation of the word "organic", which I didn't think wingnuts could even say without turning into a pillar of salt. There's here even more fascinating misappropriation of the term "meet-up". And there's the fact that "word of mouth" isn't "word of mouth" when one of the mouths is Sean Hannity. Or anyone else with a camera pointed at them and their words being beamed all over the country.

I know that not knowing what shit means is a vital part of what makes Michele Bachmann who she is, but even by her standards, this was mighty impressive.

*Not the exact wording, but the sentiment was there. Look up the video.

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