Why I hate the GOP

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This passage appeared in an NYT piece from today analyzing the political costs/gains of health care reform:

Republican leaders dismissed any suggestion that the bill would hurt the party over the long term.

“Someone at Harvard or in San Francisco might think that, but not the rest of the country,” said Senator Lamar Alexander, Republican of Tennessee.

Let’s think about Alexander’s words for a second. Harvard happens to be a haven for a large chunk of the most intelligent people in the world. San Francisco, population-wise, is one of the most, per capita, educated cities in America. So what Alexander is saying, more or less, is that while the smartest among us think reform is good, he (and the GOP) can still count on the dolts to hate.

It’s pretty remarkable, pretty telling … and pretty true. I’m skeptical how many GOP lawmakers are actual morons (My guess is not many), as opposed to being smart people who simply know how to manipulate a constituency. If you’re a Republican, and you know the empty-brained will follow everything you say (as long as the words “Jesus,” “Tax cuts for everyone” or “liberal elite” are attached), you keep on riding the same train. Over and over and over again. Hell, how else to explain Newt Gingrich—a legitimately bright person—uttering this dandy: “[If they pass health care reform, The Democrats] will have destroyed their party much as Lyndon Johnson shattered the Democratic Party for 40 years with the enactment of civil rights legislation in the 1960s.”

Shoot me.

PS: It would give me great pleasure to hop in a time machine, emerge in 2040 and know that one of the girls above wound up marrying an African-American lesbian and moving to San Francisco to sell hemp-inspired jewelry.

23 thoughts on “Why I hate the GOP”

  1. Great stuff Jeff. Thought you’d enjoy this quote I just saw on a health care story I saw on AOL’s Politics Daily. Fear mongering at it’s best!
    “If Medicare isn’t killed, “one of these days you and I are going to spend our sunset years telling our children, and our children’s children, what it once was like in America when men were free.”
    — Ronald Reagan, 1961

  2. John,

    I saw the Reagan quote in Eric Zorns column in the Chicago Tribune today. How ever I am sure there are things that dems said years ago that look pretty dumb as well.

    The Gingrich quote is priceless. A little racist I would say. Although I would have to say that Gingrich was probably right. Even Johnson recognized that he gave up the South by signing the civil rights bill. Too bad he didn’t have the courage to get out of Viet Nam as well.

  3. Living in Massachusetts, I have taken the brunt of the Repukes verbal volleys for decades…we(and Harvard) can take it.

    I still think the best book on this in recent years is Frank’s “What’s the matter with Kansas?”

  4. I feel you, Jeff…. but where does hate leave us? Not to get all kumbayah on you, but…. I don’t want to be like them, only a liberal version. So I don’t think I can hate them. I think I have to be the bigger person. And not bigger in a smug way, but in a humble – I want to understand you even though everything in me wants to punch you way. Just a thought…

  5. Muhammad Goldstein

    Wendi..sometimes you have to meet violence with violence, so to speak. The radical right-wing in the US does not care about the well-being of most Americans, this is obvious. I will never stop hating them for what they have done to our beautiful country!

  6. I agree – that’s a pretty populist quote, but it is false to say that is reason that people oppose health care (and if 60% of Americans oppose it – its not just Republicans).

    Warren Buffet didn’t like the reform – Obama thought he was pretty smart when he was endorsing him in 2008 and he was touting it in commercials.

    About Hate — I know many disagree, but I still contend this is one difference between Democrats and Republicans — most Republicans I know don’t hate Democrats — we hate nationalizing 1/6 of the economy and taking on billions (trillions?) of additional debt when the country is in finanical crisis, we hate arrogant empiralistic Democratic leaders who pass legislation in corrupt ways that subvert democracy, we really hate the news media which is supposed to present “news” but instead presents biased opinion, we hate Presidents who run on uniting people but instead have governed from the far left, we hate higher taxes – especially those that punish small businesses and discourage investment and growth.

    However, most of us don’t hate black people or lesbians (just as most of Democrats don’t). We don’t hate Democrats — why would we hate someone for voting their way their mind and conscience follows. We feel you are stupid and feel kind of sorry for you — but we don’t hate you.

  7. The ironic thing is that the people who need free health care the most are the ones who are most against it.

    It’s like that they don’t understand that they are pawns for the rich and the insurance companies. I think that’s what makes me most angry.

    Millionaires and billionaires don’t care about the working class in America (they never have). They are not opposed to these regulations because they have middle America’s interests at heart.

    They are opposed because this is going to cost them and instead of fighting facts with facts, they are using fear and “scary” buzz words. If you want to see a great example of this go to Curt Schilling’s Facebook page.

    Here’s an out-of-touch millionaire telling working class people how bad this is going to be. Never mind the fact that he took $8M from the Red Sox in his last year and contributed nothing to the 2008 team.

  8. @ Matt

    Governments organize themselves to protect the people.

    The U.S. defense budget is more than all other countries on Earth combined.

    What is more likely?
    That you will be injured, killed, or financially ruined by a foreign enemy,
    or;
    Get sick, die, and be financially devastated because you couldn’t afford medical care.

    Don’t want to reduce the defense budget?
    How about this:

    .50 tax (OMG! OMG! a TAX!!!) on buyer & seller for each major market stock trade (Trade – NOT SHARE)

    4 billion trades per week x 50 weeks = $200B

    That’s enough to cover all 300 million citizens with the Govt paying our Doc of choice directly.

    If you disagree, please come up with a workable alternative because without a drastic change, the Health Insurance Providers will, one by one, bankrupt us all.

  9. Regarding your post about Mitt Romney a couple posts back being a snake…

    If you go into the State House in Massachusetts, a portrait is hung of each Governor there. Each Governor decides how they want it to look and introduce it themselves.

    The painting of Mitt Romney has 1 thing on his desk and you have to look real closely, but it reads “HEALTH CARE REFORM” as to what he did in Massachusetts.

    Oh, this is so hilarious and I hope someone picks him apart for it and throws it back in his face. I just hope Democrats do it first. But even Republicans know how full of shit he is.

  10. Jeff,
    I enjoy reading you alot. But that Newt Giungrich quote was taken out of context and the Post and New York Times, both made note it. He really said “the great society as a whole.” Still a dumb comment, but not with the racial overtones.

  11. Matt,

    If Republicans truly “hate the news media which is supposed to present ‘news’ but instead presents biased opinion”, then none of them would watch FoxNews. I’m pretty sure that’s not the case.

  12. Byron,

    The problem with your thesis is that this bill, as it is written, doesn’t help a lot of those of us that supposedly need it. I’m a working class freelance writer, who, of course, has no health insurance. That’s OK with me. I’m not married, I choose to work my way up the economic ladder this way, I’m in relatively good health, and, with rent, gas, bills, credit cards, and beer money all due, I don’t feel like health insurance is one of my main economic priorities at this point in my life. According to this bill, I am going to be forced, whether I want to or not, to buy an expensive corporate insurance company or pay $700 of fees to the IRS.
    For the federal government to force an individual to buy something that they can’t afford from a private and generally untrustworthy company, to me, seems quite fascist and unfair. Plenty of younger working class people are going to get screwed by this legislation. If you’re under 30, you’re going to see your insurance premiums double, while old people’s are cut in half. That at a time when most people under 30 voted for Obama, and most people over 65 did not. What possible sense does that make?
    This bill stinks. Essentially, the Democrats have committed political suicide by making too many compromises on it and by using it to put more money in the pocket of the insurance and the prescription drug lobby. The working class people of America are getting a raw deal here, and Republicans aren’t the only ones that think so.
    The Tea Party movement may have plenty of idiots in it, but at least it is a legitimate populist movement that is standing up for a lot of people that, with the way the political deck is currently stacked, don’t otherwise have a voice, so, for me, it’s better than nothing.

    Thanks for letting me vent,
    Brian McDowell

    1. Strongly disagree. You choose not to have insurance. So when you (hypothetically—certainly not wishing this fate upon you) go into the hospital with a broken neck or whatever severe injury, and can’t afford to pay—guess who gets stuck with the bill? We do. People should be required to have health insurance if they can afford it. It’s genuinely fair (admittedly, I’d like more options. But blame the Repubs and conservative Dems for that not happening)

  13. Brian,

    So let’s say the bill didn’t pass. Then let’s say you (God forbid) get hit by a bus and are in the hospital for six months. Since you don’t have health insurance, I really doubt you’re going to be able to pay the bill. Which means we as taxpayers will. Is that fair? To me, not having health insurance is as irresponsible as not having auto insurance. I can understand the argument that perhaps states should be doing this instead of the feds, but like auto insurance, I think it should be mandatory.

    Obviously there are many that disagree with me, but the Tea Partiers and their ilk should keep in mind that the nation is watching the behavior that the more radical element of their movement has displayed this past week and are sickened by it.

  14. Matt, seriously?

    “(and if 60% of Americans oppose it – its not just Republicans).”

    60%? Obviously the Fox News Poll didn’t make its way to my street.

    “we hate nationalizing 1/6 of the economy and taking on billions (trillions?) of additional debt when the country is in finanical crisis”

    So why did Bush give tax cuts?

    “we hate arrogant empiralistic Democratic leaders who pass legislation in corrupt ways that subvert democracy,”

    So why did Bush give tax cuts? (See what I did there?)

    “we really hate the news media which is supposed to present “news” but instead presents biased opinion,”

    This has to be the most asinine thing I’ve ever seen written by a Republican or support of Republican politics. Ever hear of Rush Limbaugh? Ann Coulter? Fox News?

    “we hate Presidents who run on uniting people but instead have governed from the far left,”

    Like Bush?

    “we hate higher taxes – especially those that punish small businesses and discourage investment and growth.”

    Read my lips, NO NEW TAXES.

    “However, most of us don’t hate black people or lesbians (just as most of Democrats don’t).”

    In your mind, it’s not hate. You just don’t like them very much.

    “We feel you are stupid and feel kind of sorry for you — but we don’t hate you.”

    Yeah, we’re the stupid ones. What happened the last eight years when your guy was in office? NOTHING…well, unless you consider the loss of thousands of American lives in a two wars we’ll never win, or pay for, and our country went completely broke. But, yeah, I can see how you could think Democrats are stupid.

  15. Brian,

    Jeff and Jim countered with what I was going to say. You’re in your 20s now and I’m sure you feel invincible (most of us did). I bet you (sorta) watch what you eat, get regular exercise, don’t do anything stupid (have unprotected sex with needle-using Haitian prostitutes for example) and I get that. I really do.

    But you could get into an auto accident, you could get a terrible disease (cancer) or you could be playing hoops, go up for a rebound and have some jackass take out your legs resulting in a broken wrist.

    Hospital visits are expensive, x-rays are expensive, casts are expensive, pain medication is expensive. You literally can be looking at $25K worth of medical bills. You’re a free-lance writer, are you willing to give up more than half of your take-home salary for that?

    Insurance sucks. It really does, whether it’s health insurance, life insurance, home insurance or auto insurance. Every month I curse as I write out a check to my home insurance provider, but I was pretty happy last year when my kitchen got flooded I received an insurance check.

    And I’m not trying to big-time you here, but paying for insurance is part of growing up.

  16. Brian, I’ll piggy-back off of what Byron wrote.

    I’m the example. My wife and I both work. We live modestly. I drive a 2003 Saturn Ion because it’s paid off. She drives a 2006 Chevy Uplander because we have four children.

    Our insurance is through her company. It’s a decent plan.

    But until February of 2009 we didn’t realize just how large our deductible really was and how many things weren’t covered or were partially covered.

    I was diagnosed with Cancer. It’s been over a year now and during that time I received about nine months worth of chemotherapy. I had my spleen removed. I had countless 2-3 day hospital stays due to high fevers. I had a stem cell transplant.

    Total cost…over $800K.

    How much have we paid? So far just over $20K. We have about another $20K we’re working on a payment plan to cover.

    Then there’s the prescriptions. I started out with about 25 different medicines and now I’m down to four. The expensive four. Every couple of weeks there I am handing my debit card to the pharmacist. He swipes it and my CVS card total continues to rise. I spend about $150 every 2-3 weeks on prescriptions.

    For the rest of my life I’ll get a maintenance dose of chemotherapy every three months (once a week for four weeks).

    If I live another 10 years the cost of my Cancer treatment will reach well beyond $1 million and my family’s cost over that span will probably hit around $200K.

    Think about that…$200K for 10 years worth of Cancer treatment. Can a middle income American family WITH insurance afford that? Now think of the lower income families.

    Also in the last year my wife had emergency gall bladder removal surgery and my son had his second hernia surgery.

    We aren’t extreme athletes. We don’t smoke, we don’t drink much more than a beer a month or so. We eat well and exercise.

    I didn’t ask for my disease. My wife didn’t taunt her gall bladder and my son sure didn’t self-inflict a hernia.

    Shit happens.

    Can we as Americans–the people that revere the Statue of Liberty calling immigrants from across the globe–ignore it when people need help?

    I am forever indebted to my family and friends for helping my family get by…with meals, grocery cards, food, and even a fundraiser.

    That’s America.

    Where were the big businesses and lobbyists when I needed help? When anyone needs help?

    You think you’ll make it living on the edge without insurance, and I hope you do. I’d never wish an illness on any person. But, if you are one of the unlucky ones to be diagnosed with Cancer or some other disease…you’ll be left with nothing.

    Then what will you do?

  17. Brian –

    I too am a freelance writer, but I pay for insurance. I’ve had to have surgery since going freelance, and if I didn’t have insurance? I could have lost my house.

    What you’re doing right now is very scary. I’d go so far as to say it’s incredibly irresponsible. If you’re young and healthy and male (women pay more, as I’ve said before on this blog), it won’t be as pricey as you think.

    Think seriously about what you’d do if you got hurt or sick and stuck with a $10k, $20k, $30k or more bill. It’s a lot smarter to buy insurance to avoid it.

    Jen

  18. To all,

    Ask yourselves this one simple question:

    What is the roll of the Government?

    I think you will find that in the Constitution.

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