Republican State Senator: Obamacare and Gay Marriage Are Deadlier than Nazis and Terrorists

ruchoNorth Carolina State Senator Bob Rucho (R) doesn’t know how memes work, apparently. So he took to the Twitter Machines the other day to make this weird statement:

Justice Robert’s pen & Obamacare has done more damage to the USA then the swords of the Nazis,Soviets & terrorists combined.

I mean, there are all sorts of technical problems with this status. The fact that a professional politician would make such grammatical and punctuation errors (and then be upset that people noticed them) is fortunate for us who need comedy to brighten our dull days. “Justice Robert” may be referring to Justice Robert Benham, of the Supreme Court of Georgia. Justice Benham is black, and that may offend Rouse’s sensibilities, I suppose. But Justice John Roberts – and his pen – resides in and presides over the Supreme Court of the United States. And it is he who angered so many fellow conservatives by allotting for same-sex marriages and the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act. Justice Roberts also allowed for strikes against democracy in severely restricting the Voting Rights Act and in his Citizens United ruling. And let’s not forget Roberts’ role in the supremely undemocratic Bush V Gore case.

Then there’s the antiquated “swords” allegory, which is supposed to hearken back to the famous “The pen is mightier than the sword” phrase, but is rendered so clumsy that it’s hard to find. When you have to decipher a joke, it’s not so funny. “Obamacare” isn’t given a pen, while “Justice Robert” [sic] is? So racist

Then there’s the whole “then” vs “than” thing. Which is why public people tend to hire people to overlook their twitter accounts. “Than” is for comparison. “Then” is usually for linear statements.

And in what Texas textbook was World War II, the Cold War and the War on Terror done with swords? I wanna read that graphic novel! But alas, just bad communication. So it’s funny that Rucho will blame “tax and spend” policies (whatever that means…) for a rise in not just GOP talking points like government dependency but also – without a trace of irony – illiteracy in another tweet. Feel free to laugh and laugh.

But let’s look at his arguments on their face now. Justice Roberts allowing for same-sex marriage and the passage of the Affordable Care Act (aka “Obamacare” because that phrasing more easily allows for racism to flow unhindered among White Americans who may otherwise be in support of something that is for our benefit) have killed more USAmericans than the European front of the Second World War? Even homebred terrorists like Timothy McVeigh and the Ku Klux Klan have killed more people than, well, the ACA and same-sex marriage combined. Because several thousand people blown to bits and hung on trees are more lives lost than negative numbers – as ACA and SSM save lives (those whose lives are saved by having medical coverage and those who feel a spot of hope for their futures while living their teenaged years in the closet).

Having insurance coverage through the exchange rates possible with the ACA means more of my friends are covered now than ever before. It means more USAmericans get more adequate insurance than the cheaper-but-worthless Junk Policies they were selling before. So the ACA, in the short run, hasn’t killed anyone – despite the problems with the website (caused largely by non-compliant states like Rouse’s North Carolina), and even before full implementation has already saved lives due to lack of insurance companies being able to turn people away due to “pre-existing” conditions.

The Affordable Care Act is no replacement for universal healthcare by any measure and has its pitfalls –but to suggest that it’s actually worse than previous lack-of-coverage is ludicrous. This is a claim that doesn‘t even belong on this planet. It’s as foreign to the real world as, say, a war in the middle of the 20th century between the world’s superpowers fought exclusively by swords.


When he’s not riding both his city’s public transit system and evil mayor, Jasdye teaches at a community college and writes about the intersection of equality and faith - with an occasional focus on Chicago - at the Left Cheek blog and on the Left Cheek: the Blog Facebook page. Check out more from Jasdye in his archives as well!


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