Today’s opining on the public discourse.
Con Party Motto: “If you can’t beat ’em, try to terrify ’em into submission.”
Last week, ThinkProgress noted that the right-wing had escalated its fearmongering rhetoric on health care, with multiple Republican members of Congress saying that Americans would die if health reform passed. “Absolutely,” replied Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) when asked if “government-run health care” will “end up killing more people than it saves.”
On the House floor yesterday, Rep. Ginny Brown-Waite (R-FL) became the latest conservative to claim reform would kill people. “Last week Democrats released a health care bill which essentially said to America’s seniors: drop dead,” said Waite.
Now, mind you, this is coming from the same party that regularly tries to kill off Medicare and Social Security. So, who’s telling America’s seniors to “drop dead,” again?
Michael Steele’s singing the same tune, too. Unfortunately for both him and Waite, there’s a little statistic that rather takes a woodchipper to their talking points:
Neither Steele nor his right-wing allies mention that the United States has a higher “mortality amendable to health care” than European countries, which means “deaths from certain causes before age 75 that are potentially preventable with timely and effective health care.”
Michele Bachmann, meanwhile, wails,”Won’t someone think of the poor dear insurance companies?”
Crazy right-winger Michele Bachmann from Minnesota, in her floor speech, issued a litany of talking points against the public option, and said that the public option would be far cheaper than private insurance. And that’s a bad thing? Apparently it’s a bad thing for Michele Bachmann and her legion of crazy fans.
“Approximately 114 million Americans are expected to leave private health insurance. Why? Their employers will drop the insurance because the taxpayer-subsidized plan will be 30 to 40 percent cheaper. This action will collapse the private health insurance market, and then the Federal Government will own the health provider game.”
Free market’s a bitch, innit? And that’s what none of the Con scaremongers will mention – the public plan is just that: a health insurance plan. It’s got premiums and everything. The only difference between that and the private plans, really, is that the public plan doesn’t see a need to make utterly obscene profits. It’ll be such a shame the big private companies have to give up the multi-million dollar executive salaries, won’t it?
It’ll be almost as tragic as Blue Dogs losing those enormous contributions that cause them to love the insurance industry soooooo much.
The anti-health care reform crowd’s getting pretty rabid at this point. They’re smelling blood in the water. I think it’s gotten to DeMint’s head, because he threw down on President Obama while spouting off on conservative talk radio. DeMint challenging Obama to a debate on healthcare reminds me of a song about knives and gunfights…. but I digress. The best moment was this one:
On Levin’s show, DeMint said that if health care reform passes, it could be “Waterloo” for the conservative movement. “That’s why I’m using stronger language than I would normally use,” said DeMint.
Kinda reminds me of an old commercial, actually. I can’t remember the product they were selling, but the pitch was something about megalomaniacal claims that went horribly awry, and one of them was Napoleon saying “I will win at Waterloo.” The next scene showed Wellington kicking his ass. I think DeMint may be remembering the same commercial, and he’s starting to realize who Napoleon is here.
I think they’re all feeling the desperation. Hell, they’re so desperate that Grassley’s trying to sell 80-vote snake oil to the public. And if you think this is all about what’s best for the American people, you might want to consider what Sen. George Voinovich let slip on Faux News:
The interview wrapped up with this interesting exchange.
Host: Senator, one question, before we go, on health care. How much of this disagreement with the administration is about the policy of health care and how to fix it, and how much of it is Republicans’ obviously understandable desire to declaw the president politically. How much does that fit into the equation?
Voinovich: I think it’s probably 50-50.
Putting aside the obvious slant of the question, Voinovich’s candid response was nevertheless interesting. At least half of the Republican opposition to health care reform, according to a sitting Republican senator, is nothing more than partisan politics.
Heh. At least. Myself, I’d peg it at 78% partisan politics and 22% batshit fucking insanity, but that’s just a back-of-the-envelope estimate.
Why so much insanity, you ask? Well, because Cons display so damned much of it:
During a debate on pay-as-you-go rules today, Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) urged her colleagues to “agree that we’re going to have PAYGO enforcement.” As an example of what she meant, Blackburn declared “that we’re not going to cry ‘emergency’ every time we have a Katrina“:
BLACKBURN: Let’s agree that we’re going to have PAYGO enforcement. That we’re not going to cry ‘emergency’ every time we have a Katrina, every time we have a Tsunami, every time we have a need for extra spending, that we don’t go call for a special appropriation that allows us to circumvent the PAYGO rules.
PAYGO’s pretty batshit fucking insane to begin with, but of course, that’s not the insanity I’m highlighting here. Now, I agree we don’t need to “cry emergency” every time we have a tsunami – after all, Seattle’s last tsunami was about an inch or so high – but how many Katrinas should we collect first? Is there a minimum number of citizens who have to be killed, injured or stranded? A certain number of city miles underwater? Incredulous minds want to know.
Incredulous minds also what to know what the fuck the media’s thinking:
This item, from TPM’s David Kurtz, was completely serious.
In what has to be among Fox News’ all-time lowlights, Neil Cavuto had a segment a short while ago on whether the new surgeon general nominee, Dr. Regina M. Benjamin, is “too fat” for the post. Seriously. In support of this argument, they had on as a guest some guy wearing a “No Chubbies” T-shirt. Again, I’m serious. Watch.
While the Fox News “discussion” on this was predictably ridiculous, there’s apparently widespread discussion over Benjamin’s weight. I can’t recall ever hearing a comparable “debate” over the physical characteristics of another recent presidential nominee, but the surgeon general nominee’s weight has somehow, at least according to some, managed to become a legitimate area of interest.
This ABC News report ran yesterday about whether Benjamin, despite her obvious qualifications, “gives the wrong message” to the country.
Only in our celebrity-obsessed culture could a woman like this be called “fat:”
And only a media as fucking hopeless as ours could think that attacking this woman over her weight is news.
Of course, we’re living in a country where state senators think they have a right to control women’s bodies:
State Rep. John Adams (R-OH) has re-introduced radical legislation that would prevent a woman from having an abortion until she gets written consent from the biological father. As proposed, the bill triggers criminal penalties against women for “providing a false biological father.” Adams says the “first-degree misdemeanor” would be punishable with up to “six months” in jail and a “$1,000 fine.” Labeled by Adams as a “father’s right bill,” the lawmaker would give men the final say on abortion in the state of Ohio:
In the case where the father isn’t known, House Bill 252 would compel the woman to provide a list of names of people who may be the father in an effort to determine paternity. The bill also would make it a crime for women to lie about who the father is, and make it illegal for doctors to perform abortions without the father’s consent.
The bill would force a woman to have a child if the father does not agree to an abortion.
“That child should be born, not killed,” Adams said.
I’ll tell you what. When science makes men capable of carrying unwanted fetuses to term, risking their health, letting themselves in for a whole host of life-long complications, and forcing them to endure the pain and trauma of childbirth, then you fucktards can talk to me about “father’s rights.” But we’re not there yet. So: shut the fuck up.
Speaking of abortions, there’s lots of talk today about Tim Ryan being kicked out of Democrats For Life for being insufficiently hostile to contraception in addition to being hostile to abortion.
“I can’t figure out for the life of me how to stop pregnancies without contraception,” he said.
Apparently, he was under the impression that “common ground” only meant shaming women out of having abortions, not shaming out of using birth control too. His bad. He hasn’t been paying attention.
Cons keep talking about how Europeanized we are. I only wish America were so enlightened.