The Summer of the Right Wing Zombies

Woman with sign demanding 'NO Pubic Option'
Researchers tell us that civilization may well be doomed. It's not global warming, it's not an asteroid coming in from the outer reaches of our solar system or a comet that got shaken loose from the Oort cloud, it's not the extinction of bees. The end comes from mindless throngs, shambling through our streets, destroying everything they see like soulless killing machines. Our new problem, it seems, are zombies.

[BBC News:]

If zombies actually existed, an attack by them would lead to the collapse of civilisation unless dealt with quickly and aggressively.

That is the conclusion of a mathematical exercise carried out by researchers in Canada.

They say only frequent counter-attacks with increasing force would eradicate the fictional creatures.

The scientific paper is published in a book - Infectious Diseases Modelling Research Progress.

In the movies, it always seems like it wouldn't really be a fair fight. Zombies are slow and mindless. But I suppose overwhelming numbers guarantee victory for even the weakest fighters. And, of course, the zombie's weapon is extremely effective; "In books, films, video games and folklore, zombies are undead creatures, able to turn the living into other zombies with a bite," the report reminds us.

The United States is under siege by its own zombie menace. Mindless hordes fill our town hall meetings, groaning about Nazis and killing grandma and socialism. Fortunately, this zombyism isn't contagious -- at least, not strictly. They do catch it from others, but only if they choose to expose themselves to the plague. It comes out of their radios and their televisions, from right wing websites and chain emails. These mindless zombies choose their mindlessness and march around with signs that read "OBAMA=HITLER," "No Government Interference in My Medicare," and "No Pubic Option." And they aren't as completely mindless as their movie counterparts. "Willfully ignorant" is a better description.

And it may be these differences between the classic zombie and the right wing zombie are what saves us from certain doom. Like the cinematic zombies, it seems impossible to cure the right wing variety. They don't want to be cured, so they resist reason and reject fact. They'll believe what they want to believe, thank you very much, and no ACORN thug sent out from an illegal alien president who's Hitler, Stalin, and Mao in one suit is going to tell them otherwise. They are stupid, stubborn, and proud of it.

But the fact that this zombyism is a condition of choice may be their downfall. A series of events is underway that's undercutting the right wing zombie menace.

It began this weekend, when the White House seemed to signal they were giving up on a government-run health care plan that would compete with private insurers to bring costs down -- the so-called public option (note the L, zombie). If the guiding principle for the right is no reform at all, ever, period -- and it is -- then the left is just as committed to a public option. Co-ops aren't the answer, because we already have them and look where we are. If they could bring down costs, they'd already be doing it and we wouldn't be looking to reform the system. If you wanted a way to get the left as angry as the right, you'd hint that the public option was dying.

As a result, sixty house Democrats have come out saying, "No public option, no bill." They won't vote for any bill that doesn't include one and those sixty are enough to make sure a bill doesn't go through. Even if the senate passes a bill without one, the public option could be restored in conference committee, where differences between the house and senate versions are worked out. Momentum is growing among the anti-zombie forces.

[Huffington Post:]

While television cameras have focused on vocal opponents to health care reform, in many cases they have been outnumbered by supporters of the legislation in general and a public option in particular.

In Phoenix, Arizona, "Pro-Obama demonstrators appeared to outnumber the anti-Obama ones, with Phoenix police estimating the crowd at 1,200 to 2,000 at locations around the convention center."

In Boulder, Colorado, "a few hundred residents of one of the nation's more liberal congressional districts turned out Monday night to tell their congressman, Democratic Rep. Jared Polis, to keep that public option, however controversial politically, in the final bill."

In Virginia and New Mexico, the story was the same. In Wisconsin, only one zombie showed up to heckle Sen. Herb Kohl -- the rest of the crowd were supporters.

Now I'm not saying that the White House sent out the message that the public option was on the chopping block to piss us off, but it totally pissed us off. As a result, the zombie chorus is being drowned out by people who are willing to think. And people who think are people who can make better arguments. The classic zombie scenario might be the end of the world, but the right wing version doesn't seem quite as effective.

It looks like the momentum is shifting toward the non-zombie forces.


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