More faux outrage from knee-clutching Republicans.

Tuesday, December 8th, 2009 @ 9:41 am | Clueless Conservatives, Health Care

It’s a wonder soccer isn’t a more popular sport in America. The little I’ve watched illustrated a pattern of strategic drops to the ground clutching knees in order to get penalties against the other side. A team could nearly win on knee-clutching, and Republicans are intent on proving it can be done in politics.

Harry Reid dropped a little too much truth on the Senate floor:

Instead of joining us on the right side of history, all the Republicans can come up with is, “slow down, stop everything, let’s start over.” If you think you’ve heard these same excuses before, you’re right. When this country belatedly recognized the wrongs of slavery, there were those who dug in their heels and said “slow down, it’s too early, things aren’t bad enough.”

When women spoke up for the right to speak up, they wanted to vote, some insisted they simply, slow down, there will be a better day to do that, today isn’t quite right.

When this body was on the verge of guaranteeing equal civil rights to everyone regardless of the color of their skin, some senators resorted to the same filibuster threats that we hear today.

Call the Waaaaaaaahmbulance!

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., for one, has demanded an apology from Reid. Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., said he’s “personally offended.” Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele, too, says Reid should apologize — and that Democrats should strip the majority leader of his post if he doesn’t.

Oooh, yes Sir, Mr. Steele! We’ll get right on that. Does that man ever listen to his own words?

So the Republicans, always the true victims in America, cried and whined and threw their temper tantrum, and we’re supposed to forget that Reid was right. Our nation’s history has been riddled with great strides forward that were fought against by ignorant badgers who gleefully used tooth and claw to make sure we stayed in the Dark Ages. Indeed, today’s Republican Party was borne of the Civil Rights Act and the migration of the Dixiecrats hearing the whistle of Nixon’s Southern Strategy. Discontent and outrage, over equal voting rights for non-whites.

40,000 Americans die every year and nearly twenty times more go bankrupt and Republicans tried telling us we had the best health care in the world. They’re on the wrong side of history again. No amount of tear-squirting is going to undo that.

-jb

18 Responses to “More faux outrage from knee-clutching Republicans.”

  1. cbmc Says:

    Yeah, I’m with the fake-outraged Republicans on this one – they don’t really care, they’re just looking for an edge, but Steele’s right even if he doesn’t actually believe what he says. It’s offensive to compare the president’s current desire to get a win to the struggle of the disenfranchised to gain liberty. Health insurance doesn’t compare, in any way, to the right of women and people of color to equal status in society. Any attempt to force a comparison is attempting to piggyback politics onto bedrock human rights.

  2. mike g Says:

    It might make sense if the bill weren’t just a ginormous giveaway to the private insurance industry and actually had a worthwhile public option or better yet, a single payer plan.

  3. mike g Says:

    But I should also say that getting exercised over a Senate floor speech is a bit pathetic.

  4. jeromy Says:

    cbmc: While I won’t declare that health care is a right, 40K dead a year so we can have health care rationed by personal wealth is lacking in no importance.

    And the Republicans deserve no extra consideration merely because the bill isn’t as awesome as it was originally intended to be, as they are the key reason that is so.

  5. cbmc Says:

    yeah man words have meaning imo – it’s crass to trying to hitchhike alongside the gains of whole classes of people who were disenfranchised by their own country by virtue of of their birth. reid’s reasoning is like jonah goldberg’s: fallacious. hitler’s vegetarianism doesn’t make vegetarians nazis, and people who were on the wrong side of a seismically important issue opposing this one doesn’t give this one the moral weight of the other.

  6. jeromy Says:

    The vegetarianism analogy is completely broken.

    I’m happy to assign health care reform its own moral weight on its own merits, and my last comment was an attempt to do so. I see it goes essentially ignored.

    Let me know when you’re up for actually discussing that issue.

  7. AJKamper Says:

    I’m with cbmc.

    Unless you think it’s equally heinous to believe that blacks are no more than property and that the government is not well-suited to provide health care. Which would be sort of a stunning stance, when you think about it.

    What, you really think that these Congressmen are rolling in piles of lobbyist dollar bills while saying to themselves, “Yep, the public option would fix everything but I’m too corrupt to care!!!”

    It’s amazing how partisan politics can get so entrenched that people think such evil about those on the other side.

  8. cbmc Says:

    there is no “vegetarianism analogy” – there are a bunch of rightwingers (goldberg being the least stupid of them I guess) who make a big deal out of hitler being vegetarian (and of any other shared traits between hitler & the right’s perceived enemies). reid’s reasoning – “here are two other issues about which people eventually came around, seeing their former opposition as wrong-minded; on this issue, too, people will eventually come around, therefore let me staple this issue onto those” – is offensive. [i]the right of every individual to be free and to equal standing in society[/i] doesn’t compare to the “right” to be insured, which right will be wholly conferred by the state; you’re not born with a right to insurance. you are born with an inalienable right to freedom. hence the ridiculousness of reid’s remark. [i]should[/i] the state ensure its citizens? I say yes; men and women of good conscience can agree or disagree on this question. but the state isn’t compelled by basic ethics to insure its citizens, whereas it is compelled by bedrock ethics to recognize each man and woman regardless of color as free.

    people are right to take offense at reid’s remarks.

    shorter, basic rule: don’t compare anything to slavery, or to the holocaust, or to suffrage. nothing good will come of it, and the number of people who’ll be persuaded is pretty much zero.

  9. jeromy Says:

    AJ: I do not subscribe to the theory that evil is only committed by the evil. It’s the argument of pity: What, are you gonna tell good little ole’ me that I’m evil? Meanie!

    It shouldn’t really be a news flash that all the injustices of the past regarding equal rights were perpetuated by “good” people. Mom, Dad, Grandpa, the nice President, whoever. It’s so easy to sit around pretending we magically got to be so fair, but we didn’t.

    The way we’ve been rationing out health care is a real and definable evil that results in a pile of dead bodies that makes Iraq look like Disneyland. We’ve sat idly by while millions and millions go bankrupt trying to do nothing more than stay alive, something that simply does not happen in the countries with universal health care (although don’t expect that to be completely solved by this bill either). I do not see myself as being more worthy of death or decrepitude because I don’t make enough money, or have the wrong job, or have a “pre-exisiting condition,” or because some jockey is making his money by looking for loopholes for my ass to slip through.

    If I could really believe Republicans were trying to find the best way to stop this, and it was a mere argument of implementation, you might have a point. But they’ve unveiled their plan, and it’s a complete joke, covering a few more million people. All the while, they’ve continuously obstructed Democrat plans and given up all pretense of seriously negotiating.

    We know how these deaths, illnesses, and bankruptcy can be alleviated, and we have the tools to do so. Can you tell me that the prospect of government mandated and provided care is so horrendous that hundreds of thousands of dead is preferable? It’s “sort of a stunning stance, when you think about it.”

    No, the Republicans aren’t trying to solve this problem. They are concerned with politics and preventing an Obama/Democrat win. They are flush with campaign cash from health insurers and other massively wealthy interests. These things are true whether or not they hug their kids and love their dogs.

    Reid’s point was exceedingly simple: At each point in our nation’s history, when we made an important leap forward, there were strong forces trying to stop it from happening. Now we can look back and feel superior to the barbarism of eras long gone. I’m telling you that if we can get real health care reform in this country, or even imperfect reform that slashes the numbers of those who cannot receive care and prevents the majority of health care related bankruptcies, we’ll look back at this era the same way.

  10. DesMoinesGuy Says:

    jeromy: Don’t get between a man and his desire to be outraged. Being offended is a national past time!

  11. cbmc Says:

    Reid’s point was exceedingly simple: At each point in our nation’s history, when we made an important leap forward, there were strong forces trying to stop it from happening. Now we can look back and feel superior to the barbarism of eras long gone. I’m telling you that if we can get real health care reform in this country, or even imperfect reform that slashes the numbers of those who cannot receive care and prevents the majority of health care related bankruptcies, we’ll look back at this era the same way.

    most people will never look back at a pre-public-insurance era and think of themselves as having suffered anything like what the victims of the holocaust suffered, or what the victims of slavery suffered, or what women endured before suffrage. are you really suggesting that, once some public option is in place, you’ll think of the historical time before public health insurance as being comparable to a time during which one group of people enslaved another?

    unlike republicans I don’t think there’s any need to denounce reid’s remarks or anything – simple hyperbole, happens all the time in public discourse. but trying to build an argument that says “no, reid’s right” is absurd in my opinion. the plight of a society without a public health insurance option doesn’t compare to the plight of an entire race being enslaved.

    this seems an uncontroversial point to me making, frankly.

  12. cbmc Says:

    “I remember when I had to pay for insurance out of pocket. It really helped me understand what it must have been like to be denied the right to vote!”

  13. jeromy Says:

    cbmc: First of all, you need to figure out if you’re claiming the uncrossable boundary here is about quintessential human rights, or human suffering. You’re switching your game at will.

    If it’s about rights, then pointing to the indignities of slavery or unequal treatment of women isn’t really useful, because people use those to dismiss the equal rights arguments of gays who can’t marry. “Are you really telling me that being unable to marry another dude is as bad as being ENSLAVED???”

    I said I wouldn’t go so far as to declare health care a right, but I find the class issues to be well worth serious consideration.

    But you’re playing a lot of the suffering angle too.

    So it’s rather shocking that you can read what I had to say and sum up this era’s horrors as “having to pay for insurance out of pocket.” It’s more like, “Remember when our old health care system made the middle class poor and made the poor dead?”

    I mean, telling somebody whose husband died of a cancer that could have been treated that they haven’t seen enough suffering doesn’t sound very inviting to me. You?

    You’re blowing off the seriousness of health care reform, so I can’t take your argument seriously. This is a massively important cause that means saving millions of lives in the foreseeable future.

  14. cbmc Says:

    It’s really simple! Health care reform is a very important issue. There isn’t any angle along which a comparison to slavery or suffrage is anything other than offensive and ill-conceived. It doesn’t matter which reason you use for the general rule DON’T COMPARE STUFF TO SLAVERY, you know: they’re all good. You’re trying to demonize the opponents of gay marriage but the point you cite is valid: Not being allowed to marry whom you like, which I’d call a God-given right, isn’t even in the same ballpark as being owned by another human being and having no rights at all.

    This is an uncontroversial point. Attempting to defend comparisons – of anything – to slavery, suffrage, or the holocaust – is always going to be a non-starter. It’s a dumb thing to do. The uncrossable boundary is “comparing whatever issue you’ve got to issues which deserve better than to have some other cause piggy-backed onto them.”

  15. cbmc Says:

    (Also, the gigantic bj that the insurance companies are getting from this bill isn’t some great stride forward in human rights, it’s political positioning that will have the benefit of keeping some people from sliding into debt when they need expensive care, which, while a gain, doesn’t make these so-called “reforms” anything to stand up and cheer about)

  16. jeromy Says:

    Again, your view is remarkably consistent as long as you keep blowing off the importance of health care reform. And now you’re back to using the ways the bill has been weakened by opposing forces as a reason why what they’re doing isn’t so bad.

    I had addressed that in comment #4, but I should just shut up and listen I guess.

  17. cbmc Says:

    Whole thread has zero to do with the bill & everything to do with whether or not comparing lack of health insurance to slavery is “dropping too much truth”; it isn’t. The importance of health care reform < the right of men and women to be free, now and forever, no matter how nice anybody tries to dress it up.

  18. jeromy Says:

    Yet “progress is always fiercely resisted” still encompasses them all. This isn’t a pissing contest about which one is more important. They’re all vitally important issues.

    Gotta love that, “It isn’t about the value of health care reform, btw health care reform isn’t as worthy!” argument, too.