This entry follows others on this blog that deal with the potential for polarizing politics in the US.
Some days before the Health Care Reform Act was passed by the House of Representatives, I wrote a friend the following:
"The US is at a turning point with the health care bill. I've never felt that the US is so imperiled by polarization as it is today. Parliamentary deadlock has always preceded breakouts of violence. If the health care bill passes, then what? The Tea Party folk have driven themselves into a frenzy, and they carry guns. I think the Hannity/Beck Tea Party people are more dangerous than the John Birchers of yesteryear. Those far right-wingers were isolated from the rest of the country regionally; they had no national presence. Today FOX News gives the Tea Party and other such ilk 24/7 national exposure and 24/7 inspiration to take action. Beck is particularly dangerous because he aims at the 90-95 IQ levels, where most of the Tea Party masses are, at least politically, judging from the abysmal ignorance about the health care plan that most of them betray when expressing themselves, levels where immediate, non-reflective connection between incoming message and knee-jerk emotional response is most likely. And, to reiterate, they carry guns. "
This was written, as I note, a few days ago. Meanwhile, Beck's inflammatory remarks e.g., his boorish fantasy of doing violence to Nancy Pelosi, have given birth to a lot more. See the next posting.