There's no other word to describe my reaction to the news today of the behavior of Tea Party protesters as the historic health care reform bill is being voted on in the Capitol. Hurling racist epithets at a veteran black Congressmen like John Lewis, making disparaging comments to openly gay senator Barney Frank, and even allegedly spitting at a member as he went into the building.
What in God's name is happening here? And it's no longer just the health care bill -- it's about the Republicans' shameful silence in the face of escalating hatred and divisiveness on the part of Tea Party members. Where is the GOP leadership on this issue? Why aren't prominent Republicans on CNN and Fox News and CNBC decrying these racist and defamatory remarks?
What else does their silence indicate but agreement? Or at least a willingness to ride this growing tide of racist hatred to further their own political gain, in the upcoming mid-term elections and beyond. The health care debate has been debased into an excuse to roil frustrated Americans into an ugly, divisive frenzy, with the tacit support of the so-called mainstream GOP.
The behavior of today's Tea Party protestors is a slap in the face to those who believe in representative government, reasoned debate and Constitutional norms. They should be ashamed of themselves, as should the mainstream Republicans whose silence only reinforces the hatred.
To the GOP leadership: we have a black president. Get over it.
To the GOP leadership: we're the only industrialized nation without a health care program that attempts to provide minimum coverage to all its citizens.
To the GOP leadership: regardless of the seats you hope to get in November in the mid-terms, you're only showing that, once again, political gain trumps the national interest.
So either speak up now, denouncing the haters, or accept that most reasonable people assume you agree with them.
Which is the greatest outrage of all.