Posts Tagged ‘Chuck Grassley’

Senator Grassley Talks Out Of Both Sides of His Mouth On Health Care Reform

Thursday, September 10th, 2009

[digg-reddit-me]Watching the above clip on CNN earlier this week, I am amazed at Senator Chuck Grassley’s cojones!

This is the same Chuck Grassley who told MSNBC that he wouldn’t vote for a health care bill that only had items which he agreed with!

And this is the same Chuck Grassley who last week began fundraising against the health care reform he is allegedly negotiating over!

The same Chuck Grassley who fanned the rumors about death panels “pull[ing] the plug on Grandma!” And who then blamed Obama for making him endorse false rumors about health care.

This same guy is now blaming the President for making things “partisan” and for breaking his promise and undermining bipartisan compromise that he thinks is best on MSNBC while he spreads rumors about “death panels” to crowds opposed to the bipartisan reforms he is pushing and fundraises while demonizing the plans he supposedly is working towards.

It seems that this point from last night’s speech could be seen as directed primarily against Grassley – both carrot and stick:

It’s a plan that incorporates ideas from many of the people in this room tonight – Democrats and Republicans. And I will continue to seek common ground in the weeks ahead. If you come to me with a serious set of proposals, I will be there to listen. My door is always open.

But know this: I will not waste time with those who have made the calculation that it’s better politics to kill this plan than improve it. I will not stand by while the special interests use the same old tactics to keep things exactly the way they are. If you misrepresent what’s in the plan, we will call you out. And I will not accept the status quo as a solution. Not this time. Not now.

Obama’s message to Grassley is: You don’t get to help shape the legislation if you’re demonizing it every time you step away from the negotiating table.

Yet it’s also worth noting that many informed commenators have said that Obama’s proposal last night is closer to the Gang of 6 bill that Grassley has been helping create than the four already finished versions in the House and Senate.

They called Medicare and Social Security “tyranny” too.

Tuesday, August 18th, 2009

[digg-reddit-me]Of those who are opposing health care reform, there are a few general groups:

  • There are those who are wary of any change in the status quo, even while they realize it is unsustainable;
  • There are those who are misinformed on one aspect of the legislation or another – whether they think the plan is “radical” or that it has “death panels;”
  • There are those who are opposed for partisan reasons – one of these is Senator Chuck Grassley who – though he is the key Republican whose support the Democrats are trying to win – admitted he would not support a bill he agreed with if enough Republicans didn’t support it with him; others in this camp are – of course, Bill Kristol who advised Republicans to “kill” reform and Senator Jim DeMint who said he wanted to make health care reform Obama’s “Waterloo;” and
  • There are those are ideologically opposed – who are inciting much of the most extreme rhetoric about this issue. The leadership promoting this – as Rachel Maddow aptly demonstrates – oppose and want to dismantle the programs most Americans support. They consider Medicare and Social Security to be “tyranny” and “creeping socialism” and all those other buzzwords that they are now using against health care reform. In this clip where Maddow confronts former congressmen, majority leader, and one of the major organizers of the tea parties and the anti-health reform activists , Dick Armey:

As Maddow said – it is a very important point. Many of the Republicans participating in this national “conversation” are hiding their true beliefs.

Most Americans do not consider Medicare and Social Security to be “tyranny.” Those who are inciting fears about health care reform do.

The Smearing of Britain’s National Health Service

Friday, August 14th, 2009

[digg-reddit-me]Alex Massie is probably right that there are “two essential truths in international health policy,” namely that:

No-one sees fit to copy the National Health Service and no-one sees fit to copy the American system.

But even given this, the right wingers have taken smearing Britain’s National Health Service too far. Chuck Grassley claimed, for example, that “Sen. Edward M. Kennedy would be refused treatment for his brain tumor in England.” As Matt Yglesias pointed out:

[T]here’s actually a two-fold lie here. First Grassley falsely implies that congressional Democrats are proposing to create an NHS-like system. Second, he lies about how the NHS operates. And he pays no price for it.

And despite what Cassandra over at Villainous Company has to say, Grassley is lying. Calling Yglesias an “evil-monger” and saying that “Google is not Matt Yglesias’s friend,” she claims that the drug Senator Kennedy is being prescribed for his tumor is prohibited by the National Health Service. Her source? An “expert” quoted by NewsMax – who forgets to mention that the drug – Temodar – was invented in Britain and has been prescribed by the National Health Service since 2007 2005. The “expert” also claims, the drug would be “available to every American.” Which is true. Every American who can pay for it. And the same was true in Britain even when the National Health Service did refuse to prescribe the drug. Now, of course, in Britain, the drug is actually available to everyone in that country – whether they have the money to spare or not.

This two-fold lie about the National Health Service  is one of the pillars of the right wing smears against the proposed Democratic health care plan – most disasterously used of course by the Investors Business Daily in discussing Stephen Hawking. Hawking later told the Guardian:

I wouldn’t be here today if it were not for the NHS,

But that’s still not the point. This whole conversation about Britain’s National Health Service is a distraction. Very few Democrats or liberals or progressives want anything resembling the British system. What is at issue is a plan to improve upon the system we currently have – modest steps. Though, as Ezra Klein explains, the modesty and popularity of what the Democrats are proposing is the reason Cassandra, Senator Grassley, Sarah Palin, Rush Limbaugh, and other right wingers are pretending the Democrats have proposed something else:

In part, that’s why the debate has had to move toward fear-mongering and lies: There just aren’t that many scary elements in the bills, because the legislation is oriented toward preserving the existing system and avoiding points of controversy.

And so, we face this unhinged debate about totalitarianism – a fearful fantasy – instead of a reality-based discussion of the system we have and how it can be improved upon. Which is why the right wingers spreading these lies and smears and distractions just so they can achieve a political victory and slingshot their way back into power as they did in 1994 should be ashamed.

  • Larger Version (Link now works.)
  • Tags

  • Archives

  • Categories