I recall vividly in the aftermath of 9/11 that Republicans insisted all loyal Americans should stand behind President George Bush and avoid attacking him as he rallied the nation in a time of crisis. I recall vividly how Republicans smeared Democrats as traitors including a Democratic senator who had lost both arms and legs in service to his country in Vietnam. I recall listening to Rush Limbaugh as he ranted and raved against Democrats who had the audacity to question the policies of their government. Any criticism of Bush or Republicans was met with the response, “be loyal, do not criticize.”
We certainly are in a crisis era in which our nation is attempting to get out of the worse recession in over two decades. But, for some strange reason, a crisis in which Democrats lead the government is now regarded by Republicans as a time to attack, attack, smear, and destroy reputations. FreedomWorks, a group often chaired by former Republican leader Dick Armey, is sending groups to disrupt health care town hall meetings. Among the advice given Republicans is to “Be Disruptive, Early And Often. Try To Rattle HIm. Not Have An Intelligent Debate.”
Democratic members of Congress who attempt to hold discussions with their constituents are being insulted and shouted at in order to prevent the semblance of orderly presentation of ideas. One can well imagine the reaction of Fox News if such tactics had been used by anti-war protestors in 2003 when President Bush and Republicans insisted there had to be an invasion of Iraq.
Who are these Republicans? The best analogy to them is the period just before the Civil War when a Democratic senator entered the halls of the Senate and beat an opposing senator over the head. These days such action toward Democratic congressmen would be praised on Fox News.