SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Opinion

October 12, 2013

Henry: 'Obamacare' provokes the worst in the right

The government shutdown and perhaps a mid-month default on the national debt have served one useful purpose: They have made clear why many of us are not conservatives.

For starters, there is the constant state of agitation that is apparently required. Why people allow politics perpetually to bunch up their undergarments makes no sense. Politics is populated by politicians, for goodness sake, so what do people expect? Even polecats know to steer clear of that sort.

Why, if my politics gave me a constant wedgie, I’d get another sort of politics. One can only assume that the hard-core conservatives in the Tea Party go commando. Perhaps this explains why their blood is constantly boiling, thanks to the rough edge of reality rubbing their delicate parts the wrong way.

The Tea Party was a strange phenomenon from the start. It began no later than February 2009, apparently sparked by the efforts to stimulate and shore up the economy left moribund by the previous administration. This, of course, was an outrage to some. How dare anybody rebuff the iron will of the market for the general welfare!

President Barack Obama had been in office one month — one month! — yet already he was considered a socialist/Marxist. Most presidents get a political honeymoon —Obama wasn’t given enough time to find the White House bathroom. But thank goodness his race was not a factor.

To be fair, the Tea Party folks had a reason to be angry. Like so many Rip Van Winkles who had suddenly awakened after years of slumber, they were shocked to find that the nation had a big deficit and the economic engine urgently needed more money to restart it.

No wonder they were cranky. They had missed the part where Vice President Dick Cheney said deficits don’t matter anymore. So they did the most natural thing that occurred to them in the circumstances: They blamed Obama.

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