Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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May 1, 2011

REPUBLICANS HATE HEALTH CARE REFORM -- EXCEPT FOR ALL THE GOOD PARTS.... It was remarkably common for about a year to see congressional Republicans railing against the Recovery Act at every available opportunity, insisting that economic stimulus is pointless and ineffective, only to show up for the ribbon-cutting ceremony at projects in their districts. The same public investments that drew scowls in DC sparked smiles back home.

Of course, the hypocrisy isn't limited to the Recovery Act.

Like many Republicans, freshman Rep. Scott DesJarlais (R-TN) campaigned for office last year on a promise to repeal health reform. He accused his Democratic opponent, Rep. Lincoln Davis (D-TN), of attempting a "smoke-and-mirrors ploy to implement socialized medicine." And once joining Congress, DesJarlais voted to repeal the entire bill.

However, only four months into office, DesJarlais' office appears to be touting a successful health reform program. According to the Crossvile Chronicle, a representative from DesJarlais' district office was on hand last week for a groundbreaking ceremony to hand over nearly $4.5 million in grant money -- entirely funded by the Affordable Care Act -- for the construction of a community health clinic in Cumberland County, Tennessee. Gregg Ridley, a staffer for DesJarlais, even posed for a photo-op with a giant ceremonial check to local officials to take credit for making the grant possible.

This is a glaring example -- DesJarlais deserves some kind of Chutzpah of the Week award -- but this happens all the time. Republicans who consider the Affordable Care Act some kind of Nazi/communist/satanic plot still run home to their constituents to brag about what's actually in the law, as if they had something to do with its passage, and request that ACA funding be directed to their communities.

It's one of the reasons the "repeal" push has largely been a sham. Republicans know it's a risk-free move -- there's no way the White House or a Democratic Senate would go along, and they don't have to worry about killing provisions they actually want and brag about.

Ideally, voters in DesJarlais' district would know better, but I suppose that's asking too much.

Steve Benen 10:20 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (17)

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Forgive them for they no not what they do!

Well, if it turns out to be the opposite, their stint in hell will be hot and long!

Something about bearing false witness, and no doubt for some like Ensign, something about coveting a staff member's wife! -Kevo

Posted by: kevo on May 1, 2011 at 10:29 AM | PERMALINK

Well I for one am certainly glad our diligent MSM will immediately divert attention from the latest Royal wedding / Lindsay Lohan blowup to point out the obvious hipocracy.

While I'm at it President John McCain is on Face the nation . Be sure to tune in for his in depth analysis of Libya.

And another thing... Whats up the the new dickish look on Faux Nooze . While being subjected to Faux at the gym this morning I could not help but notice the appearance of the dreaded Tucker Carlson Bow Tie. Are these people seriously embracing the new dickishness? The only people with the exception of Dr. Who who wear bowties are certified dicks. (Carlson , Will et al)
At least we can identify them by their Bow ties and cross to the other side of the street.

Posted by: John R on May 1, 2011 at 10:40 AM | PERMALINK

I imagine that a rural county in Tennessee that is at least 95% white is tea bagger heaven.

Posted by: ComradeAnon on May 1, 2011 at 10:42 AM | PERMALINK

I'm 46. What pisses me off is that I've paid into this system a damn good amount of money just like Social Security. If you are going to just take this away, pay me back the fricken money you took from me with a promise that I had this to protect me from the ills of the world. Just like Social Security, give me back my fricken FICA, it doesn't just get to be sucked into the pockets of Wall Street.

Posted by: Dean on May 1, 2011 at 10:46 AM | PERMALINK

I LOVE the idea of a Chutzpah of the Week Award. Like Olbermann's 'worst persons' only with grander contexts in mind.

Go for it.

Posted by: jjm on May 1, 2011 at 11:04 AM | PERMALINK

Republicans know exactly what their congresspeople are doing, and give them great credit for gaming the system.Nothing new here, no such thing as a moral compass.

Posted by: Michael on May 1, 2011 at 11:10 AM | PERMALINK

My mother lives in DesJarlais' district, which actually has Huntsville, Alabama as its closest city, about 30 minutes away. This is a rural, poor area where a large percentage of the population lives on disability and social security, and where Medicare and Medicaid are both critically important. Alcoholism, prescription drug abuse and meth addiction are rampant. Lincoln Davis was a good Congressman and it broke my heart to see DesJarlais get elected on the Tea Party tide. There are uneducated folks who have been trained to be suspicious of the very party that cares about their well-being, and to support loudly the people most likely to take away their resources. I don't understand it at all.

Posted by: Serenity on May 1, 2011 at 11:36 AM | PERMALINK

Ideally, voters in DesJarlais' district would know better, but I suppose that's asking too much.

Of course it's asking too much. It's the South, Steve, where people congratulate themselves publicly for the kind of moron stupidity that can only come from "keepin' it in the family."

Posted by: TCinLA on May 1, 2011 at 11:41 AM | PERMALINK

We need a Democratic Flying Squad, equipped with video camera and a Jimmy Olson PRESS pass in the hatband, to rush to the Scene of the Crime, asking pertinent questions of the hypocrite of the day. The camera doesn't even need to be real. . .

Posted by: DAY on May 1, 2011 at 11:44 AM | PERMALINK

Goddammit, the White House should be provided that Democratic Flying Squad. There should be a staffer at the groundbreaking making it clear to everyone where this money came from.

Posted by: DonBoy on May 1, 2011 at 12:18 PM | PERMALINK

The Tea Party tide, as Serenity puts it, has crested. Once these unthinking nitwits learn that Cantor/Ryan are serious about taking away their benefits, and not just "those (brown) people's," this madness will cease to threaten Medicare and Medicaid.

Posted by: antipro on May 1, 2011 at 1:07 PM | PERMALINK

Just read about the Crazy Bachmann, also Pawlenty who have a pretty sordid history with a Mr Vennes who ran a Ponzi scheme, cheated people out of money and was defended by, and a big contributor to the two of them!

Posted by: j on May 1, 2011 at 3:01 PM | PERMALINK

If Republicans succeeded in repealing ACA, would Cumberland County have to to give the money back or tear down the community health clinic? Now that would be a photo-op.

If something is repealed, does that mean it never existed? Or would that be rescission or annulment? As usual, I'm confused.

Posted by: tamiasmin on May 1, 2011 at 4:19 PM | PERMALINK

Voters in DesJarlais' district didn't care that he beat his ex-wife, so I'm sure that this latest deception doesn't bother them either.

Posted by: dr sardonicus on May 1, 2011 at 6:17 PM | PERMALINK

This district has a large low income population and many people who benefit from the safety net built by democrats. I actually went out an canvassed on behalf of Davis in many low income neighborhoods. Door after door, people who lived on social security and Medicare told me they didn't plan to vote. Lincoln Davis was a Democrat in name only. He's a blue dog that sided with the Republicans at every turn. De Jarlais was a terrible candidate who literally wouldn't show his face in public. He did not do interviews or debates. He was complete unknown quantity. But he had the backing of Karl Rove's Crossroad who carpeting the airwaves with ads for him. The Tea Partiers had him as their chosen one. They showed up to the polls, but the vast majority of people in the district stayed home. Democrats didn't feel like they had a candidate in the race and Republicans will choose a real Republican over a "centrist" every time.

Posted by: TennJ on May 1, 2011 at 6:43 PM | PERMALINK

I usually do not point out errors, but "hipocracy" is a pet-peeve which I see regularly. It is of course "hypocrisy".

Posted by: athEIst on May 1, 2011 at 9:03 PM | PERMALINK

Yes, indeed, it is asking way too much.

"Conservatives are not necessarily stupid, but most stupid people are conservative."
-John Stuart Mill

Posted by: Texas Aggie on May 2, 2011 at 12:16 AM | PERMALINK
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