Well, even for somebody with no time like myself, these past few weeks have been pretty amusing. Of course, we all know about the so-called “Birthers”. People, which many Republicans don’t seem to discourage, who remain convinced, in spite of incontrovertible evidence to the contrary, that Obama was not born in the U.S. The latest bout of lunacy emerging from the far right concerns health care. Of course, anyone can read the health care bill being proposed by a quick google search. In spite of this, we have Republican inciting their base with lies, misleading information, and hysteria. For example, for a quick web-reference, we have from Urban Legends one section of the bill that appears to have stirred up some controversy. It is a bit long to reproduce here, so feel free to read it for yourself, but essentially what it boils down to is more frequent consulting sessions for Medicare will pay for more frequent consulting sessions to discuss end-of-life issues when faced with terminal illnesses and such. From this we get the wizened philosopher Sarah Palin stipulating this means government death panels. Such a leap is rarely found, except in the delusional minds of conspiracy nuts, or the power hunger tyrants who want rile them up.
We also have claims that a government run plan being offered as an option to help the uninsured will lead to “socialized medicine”, for which medical care here will become as horrible as it is in Germany or France. In fact, while I was in Germany, I received really good health care. For more on health care in Europe, look here. As one of the stories embedded therein, you can read how German patients are mostly quite happy with their health care system.
But don’t expect to see little snippets of reality like this from right-wing Republicans. Health care here in the U.S. is in serious need of reform. By not acting now, the cost will be higher in the future. This may not be the most perfect of all bills, but is a step in the right direction. There is still serious discussion to be had regarding the contents and the vision of health care in our country. It is immoral to simply neglect the health care of those many who are currently uninsured. But serious discussion is exactly what we are not seeing from the Republicans. Instead we see fear mongering, misinformation and disruption. See any of the famous town hall meetings for an example. We see actual prevention of any attempt for serious discussion. We see efforts to try to simply stop progress, sometimes because they simply don’t like the President, or just simply fear of change. Fear that the Republican leadership and media like Fox News are only too happy to feed.
It is actually coming back to bite some of the Republicans as well. In today’s LA Times there was an article describing just this. They’ve riled up their credulous mob to such a state that it is backfiring. According to the article:
But the conservative mobilization has also created an unusual dilemma for Republican leaders, who want to turn the enthusiasm into election victories next year but find themselves the target of ire from many of the same activists.
Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas), chairman of the GOP’s Senate campaign committee, was booed at a “tea party” rally in July for supporting the government bailout of the financial services industry.
And one of the GOP’s most reliable conservatives, Rep. Bob Inglis of South Carolina, was shouted down at a recent town hall meeting when he criticized a conservative broadcaster and tried to counter claims that children would soon be forced to receive swine flu vaccinations.
“You cannot build a movement on something that is not credible,” said a frustrated Inglis, referring to the vaccine issue and other false rumors being spread by more aggressive critics of the health bill.
“Going door to door, I found opposition tending toward hostility,” Inglis added. “At town meetings, the hostility went straight through to hysteria.”
So, it seems the more right-wing Republican are fervently steering our country into rule by credulous and unthinking mob (even to their own detriment). The GOP has actually stepped over the line and become completely insane.