The psychologist and philosopher Abraham Maslow wisely pointed out that, “to the man who only has a hammer, everything he encounters begins to look like a nail.”
We are reminded of that as we consider the Republican/Tea Party attack and dispute against passage of the health-care reform bill. From ugly shouters and spitters to mischaracterizations and out-right lies about the content and consequences of the bill, these are the acts of a party that lacks more in its toolbox than a hammer.
Even though this bill is practically a basic moderate-Republican bill. It has passed with more than 200 Republican amendments, but no Republican votes.
It passed with a Congressional Budget Office estimate that shows it will lower the deficit by nearly $150 billion.
It passed with a planned executive order that will guarantee no federal dollars will be used for abortions.
It passed with all these key Republican points of interest and more and yet the Republicans will only use it as a hammer with which to bludgeon the Obama administration.
Mike Pence, as he has in the past (note this misrepresentation of the CBO numbers and taxes from MSNBC) continues to mischaracterize the bill as “government-run health-care” and calling a presidential executive order “a piece of paper.”
Pence just loves to throw around that flag-drapped rhetoric that rarely has a basis in the day-to-day lives of Americans. Mike Lupica calls Pence out on this:
Here is what President Obama said on the weekend, urging House Democrats to remember why they came to Washington in the first place.
“This is one of those moments where you can say, ‘Doggone it, this is why I came here,'” the President said. “‘This is why I got into politics.'”
But we’re not supposed to believe that, or him, not in the insane political culture where Obama is constantly painted as an enemy of the state. There was Rep. Mike Pence, Republican from Indiana, saying again this weekend that he and all good Republicans plan to stand “with the American people and oppose this government takeover of health care.”
You always want to ask guys like Pence, conditioned to oppose anything this President does except sending more troops to Afghanistan to get more arms and legs shot off, which Americans he is talking about. And you want to ask patriots like Pence if his America includes the 32 million people without health care who will finally get it because of this historic bill.
You gotta respect their ability to stay on message though. Pence, Steve Buyer, Mark Souder & Dan Burton’s press releases all read as though written buy the same pedantic intern. It reminds us of the kids in class who would just look for four or five key phrases from notes which they often didn’t really understand and just repeat them sporadically in their term papers as they kept checking word count to make sure they met the teacher’s required length.
They will continue to beat this as their sole message until November. But in order to do so, they will also have to vote. If they want to continue to hammer the president, they will be voting against the American people’s desire for greater consumer protection, a cleaner environment and better schools, as those are the next big proposals expected before this congress.
They are now and will continue to be the party-of-no-friggin’-way-because-we-don’t-like-the-president-we-don’t-care-who-voted-for-him-or-how-much-voters-want-these-protections.
As they continue to press, they will further ally themselves with the shouters and spitters and N-word spouters that will only serve to crank up the ugliness.
This is not a policy. This is a fatwa in a misguided jihad .
We at ALO congratulate Indiana’s five Democratic Congressmen, Peter Visclosky, Joe Donnelly, Andre Carson, Brad Ellsworth and Baron Hill, who bravely took the principled stand for the American people, especially those 32 million who will now get coverage and those people with pre-existing conditions who will now be able to stay covered when they take a new job.
We congratulate them for realizing that taxpayers are already paying for medical treatment of the uninsured and that drives up costs and deficits.
We congratulate the victory for rational thinking.