Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Vile hyperbole

Over the last few years, the rhetoric used by Republicans, right-wing pundits, and other conservative leaders to demonize the left has become more and more extreme. Ever since Jonah Goldberg's Liberal Fascism was published, no slur has been off bounds. Even the most middle of the road Democrats are regularly accused of wanting to destroy the economy or surrender to the enemies of America. Republican representatives take to the floor congress to call the president a socialist. Conservative talk show hosts call anyone to the left of Ben Nelson would be tyrants, communists, fascists, often both, and embrace the most ridiculous conspiracy theories. Leaders of the Republican Party rush to pander to the most unhinged members of the right. With that state of affairs, this shouldn't surprise me, and yet it does.

Operation Free is an organization of veterans trying to educate Americans on the potential threats to national security posed by dependence on foreign oil and ignoring climate change. They have, like everyone these days, organized a bus tour to take their message to towns across America.* Along the way, they try to meet with local legislators. Here is the letter from Republican Pennsylvania State Representative Daryl Metcalfe declining their invitation:
I believe that any veteran lending their name, to promote the leftist propaganda of global warming and climate change, in an effort to control more of the wealth created in our economy, through cap and tax type policies, all in the name of national security, is a traitor to the oath he or she took defend the Constitution of our great nation!

Remember Benedict Arnold before giving credibility to a veteran who uses their service as a means to promote a leftist agenda.

Drill Baby Drill!!!

Keep in mind that this is a letter to the veterans calling them traitors and not an offhand comment to someone else about the bus tour. This is what we have come to, Republicans are calling veterans traitors for not supporting the anti-science position of the Republican Party.

Correction and Update: Metcalfe did not send his despicable letter to Operation Free, he sent it to every member of the Pennsylvania State House. Metcalfe, who sits on the House Veteran Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee, not only has refused to apologize, today he repeated his claim that supporting cap-and-trade legislation is a violation of a soldier's oath to uphold the constitution and that makes them traitors. This isn't the end this conflict; Pennsylvania newspapers and fellow statehouse members have started to condemn Metcalfe for his slur.

* I wish I'd had the foresight about two years ago to invest in the comapanies that lease out tour buses. Their investors must be rolling in dough about now.

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