I’ll get along to another subject soon.

“They [the ‘professional left’] will be satisfied when we have Canadian healthcare and we’ve eliminated the Pentagon. That’s not reality.”
                Former White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs, August 2010

“I have rejected a whole bunch of [insurance reform] provisions that the left wanted that are — you know, they were very adamant about because I thought it would be too disruptive to the system.”
                President Barack Obama, March 2010

We all need someone we can bleed on, and if you want it, baby, you can bleed on me.
                Mick Jagger, December 1969

Painting critics and opponents as destructive extremists hopelessly out of touch with reality is nothing new, and neither is ridiculing a reasonable and feasible goal—”Canadian” health care—by conflating it with something seriously proposed by no one in the group Gibbs is bitching about— eliminating the Pentagon. (And of course “Canadian” here means alien and inferior; it’s quite a fraught sentence.)

The Obama administration’s sentiments about the near-left echo what mainstream Republicans have had to say about people holding the same cluster of political sentiment from about the time I got into politics in the 1940s until a few minutes past noon on January 20 of 2009.

At that moment, Republican souls throughout the land were sucked from their fleshly perches and replaced with ones belonging to the love children of Bull Connor and Ann Coulter. And President Obama, the moderate Republican transplanted from my day, became the ultimate “outside agitator” in the eyes of those on the reactionary right. He’s the “X” marking the spot beyond which are only dragons.

If you lean out your window today, you can almost touch the Depression, and the Red Scare, and you can hear George Wallace saying “Segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever” in his 1963 inaugural address. You can hear me speaking for my silent majority, huddled in the parlor watching TV news about terrifying things.

We’re walking outside time. Anything can happen. Have a good May Day.

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