Stop trying to reason with these people.
Stop pretending they have points of view worth respecting.
Quit bringing metaphorical knives to gunfights, and at the next town meeting when the Cash For Wankers crew shows up to run in circles and scream "Hitler" until they shut the place down (or until their corporate sponsors have enough footage to use for the next news cycle)...do not stand there looking like a brace of tharn bunnies.
Because these people are not joking around, and they are not going away. Sara Robinson brings her eloquence and scholarship to bear on the antics of GOP's Insane Clown Posse and their corporate ringmasters here, and what she finds isn't funny or harmless at all:
It's so easy right now to look at the melee on the right and discount it as pure political theater of the most absurdly ridiculous kind. It's a freaking puppet show. These people can't be serious. Sure, they're angry -- but they're also a minority, out of power and reduced to throwing tantrums. Grown-ups need to worry about them about as much as you'd worry about a furious five-year-old threatening to hold her breath until she turned blue.
Unfortunately, all the noise and bluster actually obscures the danger. These people are as serious as a lynch mob, and have already taken the first steps toward becoming one. And they're going to walk taller and louder and prouder now that their bumbling efforts at civil disobedience are being committed with the full sanction and support of the country's most powerful people, who are cynically using them in a last-ditch effort to save their own places of profit and prestige.
We've arrived. We are now parked on the exact spot where our best experts tell us full-blown fascism is born. Every day that the conservatives in Congress, the right-wing talking heads, and their noisy minions are allowed to hold up our ability to govern the country is another day we're slowly creeping across the final line beyond which, history tells us, no country has ever been able to return.
I would suggest that one, small thing any citizen could do right way is to act like a good Boy or Girl Scout and be prepared.
You could, for example, go to any decent sporting goods or hardware store and pick yourself up an air horn.
They look like this.
They are harmless, but Very, Very Loud.
Or, if you want to go cheap/old school, you can pick up a collapsible stadium horn for
Then you and 4-5 similarly prepared friends could head on over to your local town meeting, where your little honor guard can easily bracket even a large room.
Now if opponents of health care, or the stimulus, or anything else want to have a gen-u-ine debate, I say great. And if it gets a bit passionate and heated, that's fine too: I figure anybody who has the nads to climb into the arena and go credo-a-credo deserves my respect whether I happen to agree with them or not, so bring it on!
But once it becomes clear that all they want to do is crush debate under a cataract of incoherent decibels, then every single time they open their fucking mouths -- all night long and into the parking lot -- let's let these CHUDs know
loud and clear
that, if we choose to, we can beat them like the proverbial rented mule at that game too.