By Kerry Picket on Dec. 20, 2009
Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) today took shots at those who are not supporting the health care legislation. During a floor speech, he excoriated Senate GOP members for holding up the pending health care bill and accused their supporters of being birthers and fanatics in right-wing militia and Aryan support groups. He started off by citing an editorial from the Manchester Journal Inquirer, which used the insult "lunatic fringe."
Had to turn off the radio for a bit cause I was starting to have a RCOB moment. Found myself repeating the admonition from the book of James, "The anger of man does not bring about the righteousness of God."
Sen Whitehouse's "Aryan" statement (and Senator Reid's comparison of healthcare opposition to supporters of continuing slavery) had me thinking about how boors, cads and ruffians no longer have to fear any payback for inflammatory speech.
In any other time or place we'd all recognize that "Them's fightin' words."
The more I thought about it, the more I thought that it is flat out wrong that a guy can say this type of stuff and have no fear of consequences.
The Senate should censure him (or worse) but won't.
What's that leave us with? A bit of Texas barroom justice? You know that Texas affirmative defense, "Your honor, I reckon he just needed a beatin'".
As satisfying as that is at first blush it hasn't worked so well in the Senate in the past (canings, etc).
The caning of Senator Sumner signalled the end of an era of compromise and sectional accommodation in the Senate, further heightening the discord that culminated in war after eleven southern states seceded from the Union during the winter of 1860-1861
It's frustrating that we on the Right are the adults in the room so we must do our best to ignore the loudmouth boors among us.
We on the Right are so "civil" that a Biblical Fool like Sen Whitehouse has no fear of getting jacked up in the cloak room or challenged by a colleague to meet at 10 paces down by the river at dawn.
At some point if boorish behavior like Sen Whitehouse and Reid is left unchecked, I fear we'll find ourselves back at the place we were on May 22, 1856; or even July 11, 1804
Where's Aaron Burr when you need him?