Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Even Rick Perry thinks the pro-death Tea Party is crazy

Well, okay, maybe not. He's one of them, enthusiastically, if with a bit more of a theocratic bent.

Still, it says something about the Tea Party that even Perry -- the guy who gets a kick executing people, who denies climate science, who calls Social Security is a Ponzi scheme, who thinks that prayer is the way to deal with disastrous drought, who sees a Biblical purpose in economic catastrophe (and human suffering), who has suggested sending troops into Mexico to wage the drug war, and who may very well be a Texas secessionist (and perhaps a neo-Confederate nationalist) -- was "taken aback" by a particularly disturbing response from Tea Party members at the GOP debate the other night:

The morning after a sometimes-rocky appearance in front of a Tea Party debate audience, Gov. Rick Perry said he was "taken aback" by cheers from some crowd members on a hypothetical question of whether a young man who decides not to buy health insurance should be refused care if he develops a life-threatening illness and be left to die.

"I was a bit taken aback by that myself," Perry told NBC News and the Miami Herald after appearing at a breakfast fundraiser in Tampa.

"We're the party of life. We ought to be coming up with ways to save lives."

Well, fine, though of course Perry is pro-death in terms of the death penalty, and, more broadly, the GOP is hardly a "party of life," unless "life" is defined strictly in terms of opposition to abortion rights.

Consider, for example, its opposition to universal health care, leaving tens of millions of people to the mercy, to the extent it has any, of the insurance industry. Or consider its views on poverty -- or on those entitlement programs, including Social Security, that help people stay afloat, if only barely.

Or its views on guns, with its ideal of a society of armed citizens on the brink of bloodthirsty violence.

Or its aggressively militaristic foreign policy, its rampant warmongering, its view that American power can be maximized through military force.

The fact is, the Republican Party would like to subject everyone to the brutality of the "free" market, including by denying even a basic safety net to those who through no fault of their own need some help, with the rest of the world reduced to serving that market.

A party of life? Please. It's nothing of the sort. Perry may have been "taken aback," but, honestly, what did he expect?

Does it surprise any of us that the Tea Party, a core component of today's Republican Party, applauds death?

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