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Why does "Restoring America" make me nervous? Why do words like that, coupled with flag-waving and angry crowds make me more nervous?

Having watched the replays of Glenn Beck's "Restoring America" rally, let's start with what we didn't see. Glenn didn't bring his chalkboard to the rally this time. He didn't bring up his conspiracy theories, and left his Malia and Sasha impressions back on his radio show. The tea-partiers in the audience played along and left their signs home for the most part, so we didn't get to see pictures of President Obama with a Hitler mustache. After all, with the amount of publicity this rally generated, Glenn had to keep his act clean.

So what did we see? Glenn Beck has seen religion. That's nothing new, but he put a lot of emphasis on it in this rally; the subject brought him to tears (I know, shocking.) There was the usual flag-waving and adulation of the military. Also, there were heaping helpings of stories and quotes from the Founding Fathers, Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King Jr. and other historical figures.

But the thing I noticed the most, which gets the hair standing up on the back of my neck, and should be getting yours standing up as well, was the heavy dose of palingenetic rhetoric. Follow me to find out why...

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That's how stupid the entire right-wing sounds this week.  Congratulations to Frank Luntz and Karl Rove - you've made bigotry cool again.  Because that's where the objections to the "Ground Zero" "Mosque" come from, entirely - BIGOTRY.  It's despicable, it's disgusting, and I've had it with bigotry.

Does the GOP even bother to listen to themselves?  Do they know what they sound like?  Let me give you this perspective.

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Go ahead, call it yet another meta diary.

But the truth is that I'm sick of meta diaries.

Because I see the same damned shit, and the same characters that are busy driving wedges, trying to tear this community apart and ensure that nobody can have a civilized discussion here.

Keith Olbermann is but the latest to leave.

And yes, before anyone accuses me of being a hypocrite, I fully admit that at times, I've been part of the problem.  My points in this particular diary stand.

And before you accuse me of attacking one side or the other, yes, I have my opinions, but here, I've got to make it clear that trollery I'm seeing comes from both sides of the pro-anti-Obama argument.

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On March 5, 1770, Boston was under military occupation.  Chafing under British repression, an angry young American got into a verbal argument with a British sentry.  The argument escalated.  The sentry got reinforcements from a squad of Britsh soldiers, while the American was backed up by fellow angry Americans.  Heated words were exchanged, followed by thrown snowballs and rocks; they were beaten back by butt-strikes from British muskets.

One of the Americans threw a club, striking one of the soldiers.  The soldiers opened up with volleys of musket fire.  Three people were killed immediately.  Two more died later of their injuries, and eleven more were wounded.

Sound familiar?

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This will be a relatively short diary, but I couldn't pass up sharing what James Zogby wrote on the Huffington Post:

Before dashing off to celebrate a hard fought victory in achieving health care reform, it is important to reflect on a deeply disturbing aspect of the debate that I believe spells danger ahead.

A Republican talking point repeated ad nauseam during yesterday's debate pounded on the theme that they, and they alone, had the right to speak for "the will of the American people." This took different forms: "the American people have spoken," or "you (Democrats) are ignoring/imposing your views on the American people" or "the American people have sent a message," etc. All making the same point -- that the GOP speaks for the American people.

More after the fold...

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That's right, it can be done.  We have an opening!  All our Democratic Congresscritters need to do is screw on their gonads and do it.

It can be done with only 51 votes in the Senate, it's Byrd Rule compliant, and most of all, the Democrats would be heroes if they pulled it off.

Read on...

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Alright, here's the score.  The Senate, barring some unforeseen circumstance, is going to pass a health care bill.  Yes, it sucks.  No public option, no Medicare buy-in.  It's a steaming turd.

So we have a choice here.  We can freak out and run around in circles, or we can push our Congresscritters, who'll soon be negotiating in conference committee, to get some final improvements in the last revisions to the bill.

So what can we accomplish?  Where is there room for us to work?

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The polls are in.  81% of Democrats want Joe Lieberman punished.  Certainly, the Senate leadership has refused to impose anything but the weakest punishments on Joe Lieberman after refusing to respect the Connecticut primary where he was defeated by Ned Lamont, and after he spent months kissing the ass of John McCain and hating on Barack Obama during last year's Presidential election season.

We want him punished.  Now it's time to let our Senators know about it.


Have you called your senator to demand Joe Lieberman be punished?

58%14 votes
41%10 votes

| 24 votes | Vote | Results

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Well, now they do see an opening, after Blue Cross Baucus and his fellow corporcrats joined the GOP in the Finance Committee to shoot down the public option.  Most notable is the fact that if Baucus and Conrad voted for Schumer's public option bill, it would have passed (again, they say that public option doesn't have the votes, but that's because they themselves won't give the votes.  But I digress.)

But remember that media proclamations of the death of the public option are nothing new.  And neither are the apparent resurrections of the public option when the House Progressives and the grassroots (that's US) speak up and demand it.

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My mom always used to tell me "Ignore the bullies, and they will go away."

She was wrong.  The bullies just got bolder and more vicious every time that tactic was tried.

That's why I must respectfully disagree with Richard Cranium's diary.

Ignoring this troll will not deprive him of an audience.  He's already got the 28-percenters waiting breathlessly for his every word.  Turning our backs to him will not get him to stop his attacks.

We MUST confront Beck head on.  To do otherwise is to make the same mistake that Democrats have historically made - assuming that reasonable discussion is possible and persuasive with the unreasonable and unpersuadable.  And when we make that mistake, we get screamed down every time.

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Let me explain.

Right now, it seems he has all the cards - he's been putting together the Finance Committee bill in secret, with his gang of six, and it looks like that bill's going to be little more than warmed-over Romneycare. Kent Conrad's co-ops instead of a public option, no employer mandate, subsidies for people making only up to 300% of FPL.

Utter crap.

Baucus thinks he can get away with this because he lives in a relatively conservative state, he isn't up for re-election until 2014, and he's getting all that tasty lobbyist money from the insurance industry.

Follow the fold to see why Baucus isn't as invulnerable as he thinks he is...

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I went to two health care rallies. One of them was at the Denver office of Senator Michael Bennet, and the other one was at the office of my other Senator, Mark Udall.

There, I met the family of Zumante Lucero.

Zumante was a young kid, who was nine years old. His family's poor, and for a while, they were on Medicaid. Then, something happened, some sort of paperwork error with Medicaid, and their benefits were terminated. They made repeated calls, office visits, and talked to multiple people trying to get Zumante's benefits restored, so he could have medical care. Unfortunately, he didn't get medical care, with tragic results.

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