The historic health bill has roused rage of equally historic proportions.
A day after the House passed the sweeping health care package, top conservative voices along with bloggers and Web site commenters warned of “Armageddon” and that socialism has arrived.
“We need to defeat these bastards, we need to throw them out,” said Rush Limbaugh on his radio show today, adding that America is “hanging by a thread.”
The Republican National Committee launched a Web site calling for the ouster of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, firepelosinow.com, complete with her image engulfed in flames.
House Minority Leader John Boehner and RNC Chairman Michael Steele agreed the bill is “Armageddon,” while Fox host Glenn Beck said, “The Democratic Party now officially is the Socialist Party.”
Michael Czin, Democratic National Committee spokesman, said he’s not surprised by the criticism coming from the right side of the aisle.
“It’s nothing new for … Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh to use fear and lies to motivate their extreme right-wing supporters. ... Republicans’ outrageous claims about reform are not based in reality.”
The dissension, however, has escalated, with one conservative blogger seemingly calling for President Barack Obama’s assassination.
“ASSASSINATION! America, we survived the assassinations of Lincoln and Kennedy. We’ll surely get over a bullet 2 Barack Obama’s head,” tweeted Solomon “Solly” Forell. And anonymously on message boards, such as FoxNation.com, posters lamented the end of America and demanded Obama be impeached.
One New Yorker said there is plenty of blame to go around.
“America is hanging by a thread, with or without the bill,” said Keville Abraham, 39, of Brooklyn. The Republicans are “doing what’s best for the party instead of what’s best for the country. But if the Democrats were in that position, they’d be doing the same thing.”
Karol Markowicz, a conservative blogger at alarmingnews.com, condemned Limbaugh calling Democrats “bastards” but agreed the Democrats need to be shown the door.
“Complaining now is just useless. If you want change, you’ve got to take it to the polls,” she said.
While such rhetoric may be jarring, it’s not unprecedented, according to Patrick Egan, an NYU politics professor.
“It reminds me a little bit of what the hard anti-war left said about President George W. Bush before the beginning of the war with Iraq,” Egan said. “And certainly what the hard anti-war left about Presidents Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon” about the Vietnam War.
And as far Limbaugh goes, he said yesterday that he isn’t actually going to Costa Rica after all as he promised to do if the bill passed.
“I’m still waiting for him to make his grand travel plans,” said Keli Goff, writer for news site theLoop21.com.
Goff added that she doesn’t believe over-the-top rhetoric will have any traction as most news reports are largely focusing on how Americans will benefit from the bill.
"Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh aren't alone in their anger about the passage of this legislation," said Gregory T. Angelo, Chairman of the Log Cabin Republicans of New York State. "Like our fellow Republicans around the nation, the Log Cabin Republicans is in favor of real health care reform, but not at the expense of individual liberty and states' rights."