[I welcome your thoughts on what lessons, if any, this episode of Wilsonian democracy might tell us about the state of US politics and the implications for dealing with global warming, an issue where conservatives brandish even more denial and false charges.]
The organized disinformation campaign by conservatives got a tad disorganized after Rep. Joe Wilson (R-SC), shouted “you lie” to Obama’s face during the president’s big speech on health care reform. Yet imagine what most GOP members would have been thinking (and possibly shouting) if this had been Obama’s big speech on global warming.
CBS News Chief Legal Analyst and Legal Editor Andrew Cohen blog:
Much in the same way that we live in denial about the long-lasting failures of our leaders to address long-term problems (health care, Social Security insolvency, global warming, energy independence, etc.) we live in denial about””and tolerate””an astonishing level of phoniness and mean-spiritedness in the political discourse over such matters. America is like the smiley, happy family that has all the bodies buried in the cellar.
Well, one party lives in denial, that is for certain, which is the primary reason we haven’t addressed those problems.
Cohen fails to mention that the President and Congress are attempting to address three of the four problems he lists by name right now, and conservatives are doing everything they can to block action, as they have for decades. Cohen fails to mention that it is only when Democrats have the presidency and large majorities in both houses that our political system even attempts to do the right thing on those long-term problems — which is why I titled my Salon piece celebrating the June House vote for the clean air, clean water, clean energy jobs bill, “One brief shining moment for clean energy.”
I think Wilson did Obama and progressives a favor, by providing a face, a video clip, for moderates and independents to see how who is to blame for the lack of bipartisanship. And he certainly did a favor for the late night comics: