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There's a homeless man, laying against the side of a brick building absorbing the warmth of the early morning sun. Two white collar workers walk by on their way to the office. Seeing the homeless man, each white collar worker, in turn, walks over and kicks him. They laugh about it for a couple seconds, bump knuckles, then go on their way.
What could possibly be going on in the brains of the two white collar guys? Nothing less than the word, despicable, would be the appropriate adjective. Right?
Hold that thought.
Rep. Louise Slaughter’s comments at Thursday’s White House health care summit, including the story of a woman forced to wear her dead sister’s dentures, have stirred up Internet comments nationwide.
“I have a constituent that you won’t believe and I know you won’t, but her sister died, this poor woman had no dentures,” Slaughter, D-Fairport, said. “She wore her dead sister's teeth, which of course were uncomfortable and did not fit. Do you believe that in America that’s where we would be?”
And then the response by the spokespeople for at least 50% of the conservative movement.......
First, Rush walks over and kicks....
LIMBAUGH: You know I'm getting so many people -- this Louise Slaughter comment on the dentures? I'm getting so many people -- this is big. I mean, that gets a one-time mention for a laugh, but there are people out there that think this is huge because it's so stupid. I mean, for example, well, what's wrong with using a dead person's teeth? Aren't the Democrats big into recycling? Save the planet? And so what? So if you don't have any teeth, so what? What's applesauce for? Isn't that why they make applesauce?
Then, Glenn Beck delivers his kick....
"I've read the Constitution ... I didn't see that you had a right to teeth."...... "I am wearing George Washington's dentures right now. I'm wearing his teeth right now."...... "I just like wearing dead people's teeth. But in America -- I'm sorry, I didn't know that that was -- I've read the Constitution before. I didn't see that you had a right to teeth."...... "The environmentalists should be all over Slaughter. 'How dare you say that?' My gosh, they're just recycling. They're just reusing."
And just to remind any whiners that might be thinking that only male conservatives know how to kick people when they're down.....here's Laura Ingraham......
"Louise Slaughter won the Olympics of sob stories by saying one of her constituents had to wear her sister's dentures. OK? It got so bad with the health care system." She later added, "You had Harry Reid on the cleft palate with his -- I mean, the whole thing was ridiculous."
I suppose a person could say that these kind of smart-ass responses are what Democrats deserve for showboating these sympathetic stories in the first place. Personally, I thought the proper response should have been for conservative talkers to just leave it alone. Be respectful, or at least, pretend, for the sake of those Americans out there who don't have access to all the good sh*t most of us do.
What this tells me, you know, using the supply and demand theory, is that all those millions of Americans, I'm told, who listen and watch the likes of Beck and Limbaugh and some of the Fox bunch.....want to hear despicable stuff, if the target is Democrats, Muslims, gays, feminists, liberals, and the like. That's why they tune in.
Now I ask you, do you enjoy being around people like my hypothetical homeless-man-kickers? Do you, does anyone you know, seek out the friendship, constant companionship, business relationship, whatever.....of people who kick and mock other folks when they're down?
If would seem to me that if the only emotion a person can, like, emote, when they are confronted with a person who is down and out, whether it's a homeless man, or a woman who needs dentures....if the only emotion is hate toward the victim or victims, or some expression of arrogant contempt....then, I think it can be said that there is something fundamentally wrong with that person.
I must admit....I don't quite "get" this kind of behavior.
Anyone want to explain it to me?
Update: Eric Boehlert, at Media Matters, points to a Wall Street Journal piece and asks similar questions as mine.