rank, willful stupidity

now, you know i’m not the biggest fan of olbermann. i usually find him to be annoying bombastic and histrionic, not to mention on the verge of a heart attack, he gets so worked up. but occasionally, he says something awesome.
which i cannot get to embed properly, god dammit, but you can watch it at msnbc. the best part starts at around 7:55; if you don’t want to watch, i’m pasting the transcript below the jump.

But Congressman — you’re not supposed to be a Town Hall panicker, you’re not supposed to be a Rube defending the efficacy of the Snake Oil, you are a Congressman — and still you were wrong at the top of your voice! Town Halls, Death Panels, Oligarhys, a multi-racial president who is accused of hating half his own ancestry, neuroses about communist artwork, the idea that fascism and socialism aren’t mutually exclusive, grass-roots protests bought and paid for by lobbyists and corporations, scared seniors terrified enough to turn to insurance companies for protection against reformers who want to increase their coverage and cut their rates, birchers, birthers, deathers, the voices in Michele Bachmann’s head, the Republican rebuttal to the President of the United States given by a guy who thought he could become “Lord Boustany” by paying a couple of English con men.

And now to top off this pile of stupidity: Congressman Wrong-Way Wilson, who — when a President publicly, and ostentatiously, gave credit for part of his health care reform proposal to the very Republican he swamped in the election last year — Wrong-Way Wilson followed that bi-partisan gesture, by shouting “you lie” as soon as he heard the truth.

It is this week, evident that the greatest threat to the nation is not terrorism nor the economy nor H1N1 nor even bad health care. It is rank, willful stupidity. When did we come to extol stupidity ahead of information, and rely on voo-doo, superstition, and prejudice ahead of education? 

How many Republicans believe in Death Panels and Brownies and Elves? When did we start to listen to elect the impregnably dense?  I was almost too fearful of using the word “impregnably” because of the prospect that Governor Palin would go after me the way she went after Letterman.

The time has come to rise up and take this country back, to again make it safe. for people who actually completed the seventh grade. The crime of Wrong-Way Wilson was not reflected in his emotions, nor his disagreement, nor his inappropriate conduct, nor in his incivility. It was in his prideful wrong-ness.

There are many vague portions of this bill, but section 246 says it plain: “No federal payment for undocumented aliens.” I defend Congressman Wilson’s right to incivility. A little incivility six years ago might have stopped the Iraq war. He can shout anything he wants, at anybody he wants, in any circumstances he wants.

Providing that he is willing to suffer the consequences of his actions, I am willing to suffer him.
This nation can survive a president being disrespected by some nickel-dime congressman from Beaufort; the shame falls onto the shouter and not the one shouted at.

But this nation cannot survive the continued acceptance, the continued endorsement, the continued encouragement, the continued institutionalization… of stupidity

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