Once upon a time, they burned witches at the stake. Today is Halloween. It is a good time to stop and consider what a group of self-righteous, pandering, power-hungry jerks can do, just to make themselves look good. They give the Spanish Inquisition a bad name.
During the Spanish Inquisition, the auto-da-fé was an act of penance. The most extreme punishment for heresy, for being a witch, etc, was execution by burning at the stake. It was also called an auto-da-fé. In popular culture, the most famous version of this is in Verdi’s Don Carlo. (Music to read by at the end of the post). Let’s be honest here, this is what the GOP did to Kathleen Sebelius today – burned her at the stake. They were merciless, torturing her, brutalizing her – verbally. It was not the Republican Party’s finest hour. I use the analogy, because many of those who were involved in the verbal theatrics claim to be ‘Christians’. One would never guess that, considering their lies and their cruel, vicious behavior.
Don’t get me wrong, I think Health & Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius is the wrong person for the job. I think she’s probably on her way out of her job. I think that she is just a little bit incompetent. But, Obama doesn’t fire Cabinet secretaries, so don’t expect much movement. When you hear that they have absolute confidence in her, she’s history. I’m not hearing that yet. She is the head of the department and let’s be honest, this thing is a disaster. Let’s also be honest in the fact that one of the reasons it is a disaster is because of the rules that contractors are chosen not because of skill and quality of work but because they are the cheapest. You get what you pay for. We’re all discussing how many companies could have done a better job – but federal procurement laws prevent it.
This said, I want to thank the GOP members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee for cementing my need to separate myself from the GOP. They were jerks. I would like to use my favorite hyphenated word, but I won’t. Let’s just say the letters A & H are in the term. They were horrible, bullying, ignorant, repulsive, and nasty.
Right now, it really doesn’t matter what I think of the ACA. It doesn’t matter how badly the web sit is not working. It doesn’t matter about rates, plans, and crap insurance being dropped. It doesn’t matter about the disingenuous media grandstanding. What mattered is how bad the Republicans on the committee acted.
They were horrible.
They were rude.
They were almost abusive.
They were ignorant,
They were arrogant.
They were nasty.
They were patronizing.
They were jerks.
I don’t know how the poor woman kept her cool. I would have been quite nasty with some of these people, they way they hounded and harassed her. I’ve never seen anyone in a Congressional hearing begin treated with such comprehensive contempt and rudeness. Over the years, I have complained about the way the Democrats would treat Republican witnesses. I’ve never encountered anything this disgusting. It was representable.
It doesn’t matter how you feel about someone. If you don’t have manners, you are on the level with an animal, a barbarian. Once upon a time the GOP was better than this. That was once upon a time. Today’s Koch version of the GOP is nothing less than barbaric. They proved this was not about helping the American people. This was about an inquisition, horribly unfair. It was about burning the witch at the stake and roasting marshmallows.
Marsha Blackburn (R – KOCH) was deplorable. Sebelius, to her credit, did not bite back. I don’t know how she did it. I’m not all that impressed with Sebelius, but she made Blackburn look like the utter grandstanding fool that she is.
Thomas Hampson and Jonas Kaufmann star. The auto-da-fé begins about 21 minutes into the video. It is some of Verdi’s most amazing work! It’s also among my favorite operas. FYI, the costumes in this production are excellent! This is the way opera should be done. Also, Kaufmann is an incredible Don Carlo!