Sunday, March 21, 2010

The Poisonous Republican Rhetoric on Health Care

Finally, health care is going to pass.

It's not great, but it's a start. Most importantly perhaps, for the first time since Lyndon Johnson was president, we have important new progressive social legislation. I'd like to think Johnson could have done better than Obama in controlling the debate, but I'm proud of what we've accomplished anyway.

However, I am again reminded of the poisonous Republican rhetoric. In defeat, they are using incredibly divisive and even dangerous language in discussing this legislation. How can the nation function when one party holds such hatred in their hearts for the other? A few examples:

Tom Price (R-GA): If health care passes, "We lose our morality. We lose our freedom."

John Shadegg (R-AZ): "This bill will destroy freedom and do damage to the very fabric of our society."

Marsha Blackburn (R-MN): "Freedom dies a little bit today."

Devin Nunes (R-CA): By passing health care reform, Democrats "will finally lay the cornerstone of their Socialist utopia on the backs of the American people. For most of the 20th century people fled the ghosts of communist dictators. And now you are bringing the ghosts back into this chamber."

Really? Freedom just died? We've lost our morality? Obama is now Stalin?

While it's hard to know to what extent the legislators believe their own rhetoric, certainly  many of their constituents do. And it's very worrying.