Sunday, September 20, 2009

A Call from Harley in Indiana

During a discussion last week on the show about health care (and specifically about Jimmy Carter's comments that some of the criticism of President Obama is racially motivated), Harley from Indiana called in. The clip is below, and I've posted it by popular demand of listeners who were blown away by her anger, and, yes, laughing at her wingnuttery. She is a trucker who drank about a gallon of the Glenn Beck Kool-Aid. We can laugh at people like her -- and I certainly did, all in good fun -- but let's just take note that she represents the many people out there who are very angry, uneducated about the issues and don't have the time (or say they don't) to find out the facts.

Easily swept in by all the paranoid fantasies spun out by right-wing commentators, these people (whether birthers, deathers, teabaggers, 9/12ers, whatever) are not something Democrats should just slough off politically, and certainly we're all worried about the dangerous ways this anger could play out. Frank Rich gets at some of this in his column today about Glenn Beck and his minions. As Rich notes, and Harley confirms, they're angry at both Democrats and Republicans, often for reasons they don't even understand and just because someone has given them permission to be. They're dealing with the same difficult issues everyone else is dealing with: Harley talks about how her mother is terminally ill, and of course she's getting all the wrong facts about the future of health care. From where? Harley mentions "Channel 32" as her news source -- it's the Fox News channel, we later confirm, and I bet Glenn Beck is feeding her delusions. Her rage -- including at me, for having a supposedly "luxurious" job -- is quite notable. Pathetically, these people don't realize many of their problems lead right back to the policies of George W. Bush, Ronald Reagan and the party they all no doubt supported. And of course, the media doesn't ever point this out to them.