This was what North Carolina state senator Bob Rucho tweeted recently. US senator Rand Paul of Kentucky claimed, “For every Kentuckian that has enrolled in Obamacare, 40 have been dropped from their coverage,” which would be impressive if it wasn’t mathematically impossible. Not to be outdone by his neighboring states’ insanity, Tennessee state senator Stacey Campfield said in a blog post, “Democrats bragging about the number of mandatory sign ups for Obamacare is like Germans bragging about the number of manditory sign ups for ‘train rides’ for Jews in the 40s.” The trivialization of the greatest and most evil crime against humanity to date is a minor thing, I guess, to the party that claims to be Israel’s best buddy in all things. But I digress.
The alleged evils of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act will continue to be trumpeted to the high heavens for the time being by the GOP, even when those evils must be exaggerated or even spun out of whole cloth. We can expect no less from a party that treats 4 casualties that couldn’t have been prevented in Benghazi as more important than the nearly 3,000 deaths on 9/11 that could have been if a Republican president hadn’t ignored his predecessor’s warnings, or the approximately 4,500 service member deaths in Iraq for a war based on a lie and presidential daddy issues.
However, more than ever, these evils are mainly the fever dreams of a party that can’t accept that the current president was elected twice, once in an election that was in essence a referendum on Obamacare, and that the reform IS helping people, despite falling short of what would be best for the most people. The uninsured rate has dropped to its lowest level in all the time that Gallup has been tracking it. Most of those who remain uninsured are not left so by the design of Obamacare, but instead by the action of the Supreme Court (and the aforementioned Justice Roberts) and the choices of the red-state legislatures and governors that chose not to expand Medicaid to their poorest citizens. Because the facts are so against their purposes, the GOP and their allies at Fox, Heritage, and Americans for Prosperity must resort to distortions and lies.
Instead of grasping these and other inconvenient facts, they froth and scream and compare anyone who doesn’t toe their line to the great monsters of history, as well as call them things that are inherently antithetical. For example, one cannot be a fascist and a communist both; they come from opposite ends of the political spectrum, and cannot exist together in the same philosophy. Of course, one can understand how the majority of the GOP doesn’t WANT to know what fascism actually is, since it would mean that they would have to acknowledge how close they regularly stray to keeping company with Mussolini and Hitler.
The statements of these two GOP state senators join a wide array of hyperbolic and exaggerated, if not completely false, claims about Obamacare and its supporters made in print, in advertisements, and on the airwaves. This array is the media counterpart to the efforts of the GOP to undermine the Act politically, exemplified by the 54 votes to undo or gut the reform law with zero ideas presented as to how to achieve its goals more effectively. (The GOP mouthpiece that is Fox News tried to claim in March that the GOP hasn’t voted 50+ times to get rid of Obamacare, that it had only been six, but that claim was undermined in January by the GOP itself in the person of Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy who spoke of the number in the run-up to the State of the Union.) One could be forgiven for assuming that this means that the GOP’s interest isn’t in serving the public interest more effectively, but in serving those of themselves and their corporate backers as well as denying their opponent’s signature achievement. Even if it isn’t true, the actions of the Republican Party certainly present that picture, and given the old saying about the relative worth of pictures to words, no amount of self-serving text or speech can counter the impact of that image.
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