Friday, August 7, 2009

The Republican Rabbit Hole

"You take the red pill - you stay in Wonderland and I show you how deep the rabbit-hole goes. " --Morpheus, The Matrix

Via Balloon Juice, the WaPo's business columnist Steven Pearlstein rips into Republican lies on Obamacare.

The recent attacks by Republican leaders and their ideological fellow-travelers on the effort to reform the health-care system have been so misleading, so disingenuous, that they could only spring from a cynical effort to gain partisan political advantage. By poisoning the political well, they've given up any pretense of being the loyal opposition. They've become political terrorists, willing to say or do anything to prevent the country from reaching a consensus on one of its most serious domestic problems.

There are lots of valid criticisms that can be made against the health reform plans moving through Congress -- I've made a few myself. But there is no credible way to look at what has been proposed by the president or any congressional committee and conclude that these will result in a government takeover of the health-care system. That is a flat-out lie whose only purpose is to scare the public and stop political conversation.

Under any plan likely to emerge from Congress, the vast majority of Americans who are not old or poor will continue to buy health insurance from private companies, continue to get their health care from doctors in private practice and continue to be treated at privately owned hospitals.

Steven's taken the red pill and seen just how far the Republican rabbit hole goes. It's a deep, dark, nasty place, but the truth about the lies will set you free, as they say.
The Republican lies about the economics of health reform are also heavily laced with hypocrisy.

While holding themselves out as paragons of fiscal rectitude, Republicans grandstand against just about every idea to reduce the amount of health care people consume or the prices paid to health-care providers -- the only two ways I can think of to credibly bring health spending under control.

When Democrats, for example, propose to fund research to give doctors, patients and health plans better information on what works and what doesn't, Republicans sense a sinister plot to have the government decide what treatments you will get. By the same wacko-logic, a proposal that Medicare pay for counseling on end-of-life care is transformed into a secret plan for mass euthanasia of the elderly.

Government negotiation on drug prices? The end of medical innovation as we know it, according to the GOP's Dr. No. Reduce Medicare payments to overpriced specialists and inefficient hospitals? The first step on the slippery slope toward rationing.

Can there be anyone more two-faced than the Republican leaders who in one breath rail against the evils of government-run health care and in another propose a government-subsidized high-risk pool for people with chronic illness, government-subsidized community health centers for the uninsured, and opening up Medicare to people at age 55?

Why, you'd think had concluded that the GOP was fighting this with every last scrap of WOLVEREEEEEEENS! strength they had in order to preserve the very viability of their own political party.

They are, of course. Obamacare, as I have said time and again, is an existential battle for the survival of the party. The GOP has invested everything they have in killing real reform. If a real reform bill passes, they are gone for a generation. They are the Wilderness Party. They are the "Ten years in the future, 50 million pissed Americans who now have health insurance under Obamacare wouldn't have it if the Republicans had won and they will remember" Party.

They know this and are painfully aware of it. All this sturm und drang to kill Obamacare is to try to salvage the GOP for the next 30 years. I know it. The GOP sure as hell knows it, they are fighting like cornered animals. The Democrats are aware of it, and some of them don't like it (it means they'll have to be responsible.) The American people are finally beginning to get it, and it looks like folks in the Village like Steven Pearlstein are finally getting it as well. The GOP can't afford to stop for anything or anybody. If they lose here, it's over for them. They've gone all out now. No turning back. No retreat, no surrender. No logic, either.

So, they've gone into Town Hall Blitz mode. The country is already a poorer place for it. They've tapped into Obama Derangement Syndrome for a toxic boost of raw energy. They're willing to take any and every risk to win. They have to. I dont think the Democrats quite understand it yet (some do), but more and more people are coming around to this fact. It's war.

As to DougJ's question,

How long til he ends up like Dan Froomkin?
I'm thinking probably not long. We're probably going to have to add "Getting Froomkined" to the lexicon to denote a Villager snapping out of his/her zombie trance and getting bumrushed out of the building for taking the Red Pill and speaking truth to power like that.

We'll see.

[UPDATE 11:22 AM] And if there's a reason Pearlstein does get Froomkined for this, it will be for whay Yggy terms his "unfortunate metaphor" of referring to the GOP as "political terrorists" in the column. That very may well be a bridge too far, and the usual suspects are already using those two words to negate the other thousand.


Dan B. said...

Didn't Pete Sessions say the Taliban should be a model for the GOP's brand of insurgency?

How is it an insult to call them something they already proudly claim to be?

Zandar said...

12 months ago a "patriot" was a person who never questions the President, ever. To do so was "treason."

Now a "patriot" is someone who always attacks everything the President does as "tyranny."

xian said...

Maybe as per the 2008 campaign, mentally trapped beltway pundits will start smelling the coffee and opine about how "this is not the centrist, moderate Republican party I've been fantasizing about for my whole career! I am shocked! Shocked, I tell you! etc."

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