Thursday, October 01, 2009

Republican hypocrisy knows no bounds

Hypocrisy is just business-as-usual in the halls of Congress, and while the Republicans have been wallowing in it for the past several years and most specifically the past several months, I think the latest example is the most blatant and most pathetic that I've seen in a very long time.

I'm referring to the feigned outrage being displayed by several members of the Republican party to Congressman Grayson's comments yesterday in the House of Representatives. He outlined what he says is the Republicans plans for healthcare reform: "Don't get sick." And if you do get sick, "die quickly."

While I'd be the first to condemn the Republican party's overall stonewalling on healthcare reform, and their obvious loyalty to insurance companies, this kind of rhetoric isn't necessary. It's obviously hyperbole for the sake of superficial theatrics. Of course, this is also business-as-usual in the halls of Congress. One example comes to mind, Congressman Boehner's stunt with the stimulus bill in which he held up the massive piece of legislation, all 1000+ pages worth, and dropped them to the floor with a loud thud. Where was he when the Congress rammed through the so-called USA PATRIOT Act that most members of Congress did not read? He voted for it. I doubt he's read it to this day.

Many petty Republicans in the House of Representatives are now demanding an apology from Congressman Grayson for his comments, and were even threatening to pass a resolution condemning his remarks as being "disrespectful to the House and to the decorum". Sound familiar?

As if it couldn't be more blatant—this being payback for the recent admonishment in the House of Congressman Joe Wilson's actual breach of decorum when he called the President of the United States a liar as the President addressed the Congress and the nation—Republican Congressman Tom Price (who threatened to introduce a resolution condemning Grayson) said, "[this] was the avenue that was defined by the Democrats in charge when someone breaches the decorum ... So we chose the same vehicle."

So this is what our duly elected representatives give us, juvenile tit-for-tat. And the drooling masses eat it up.

First of all, the Democrats were right to formally condemn the outrageously rude breach of decorum in the House when he yelled out "You lie!" to President Barack Obama. You just don't do that. It's uncivilized, for one, and it is also a violation of decorum in the House. Period.

What Congressman Grayson said, while, frankly, was silly and unreasonable, it was really not in any way comparable to what Congressman Wilson said, nor did it share any context to it. Wilson's was directed at the President. He called him a liar and he spoke out of turn. What Congressman Grayson did was create a caracture of the Republican plan on the floor of the House using the time he was allotted by House rules.

While his remarks can't honestly be compared to Joe Wilson's, as some Republicans are now doing, his remarks are certainly comparable to the childish, hyperbolic remarks from Republicans regarding the healthcare debate recently. I'm glad several in the media have been quick to point this out because it certainly occured to me the minute I heard about the faux outrage. I would add that this goes for the large segment of Republicans who have thrown out labels of "traitor" and acusations of wanting "terrorists to win" anytime someone voices opposition to the Iraq war, torture, or other assaults on civil liberties...

So, in closing. The Republicans want an apology from Congressman Grayson? Fine. Then let's hear apologies from Representatives Ginny Brown, Paul Broun, Virginia Foxx, Steve King, et al.

If the Republicans want to admonish Congressman Grayson for essentially impugning the character of Republicans by inferring that they would rather Americans die than allow healthcare reform then they better be prepared to sign on to admonishments for members of their own party who have done exactly the same thing to Democrats who support healthcare reform. Tit-for-tat? Bring it on. Better yet, grow the fuck up and do your job.

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