Freedom in America means that citizens or groups of citizens can behave badly, and with impunity as long as agreed-upon laws are not violated. Sometimes citizens talk and act crazily, protest almost anything, disagree loudly and campaign obnoxiously. That is how it is in the U.S., and we like it that way.
But what Americans see today's Republicans doing is not simply noisy or obnoxious expressions of free speech. What today's GOP is doing is unprecedented, at least since the Civil War era. What today's GOP is doing is not normal, nor should it be embraced or celebrated as part of our American tradition.
Set aside the dead-on-arrival House effort to defund the ACA by threatening to shut down government or the national economy. Ted Cruz or not, Republican efforts here are doomed to fail. And Republicans who are not strung out on Tea know that.
Will congressional Republican efforts doomed to fail mark the end of our long national nightmare of noise in opposition to the ACA? Don't be silly.
....in Times Square, one stark nine-story billboard stands out in bold black-white-and-red lettering: "WARNING: Obamacare may be hazardous to your health."
The billboard, posted by the conservative Heritage Foundation, is one of the more visible signs of an all-out, last-ditch, by-any-means-necessary push by conservatives to undermine the Affordable Care Act, Obamacare's official name, before it launches Oct. 1.
Another example: the "Creepy Uncle Sam" Internet video ads posted by Generation Opportunity — a nonprofit backed by the famously libertarian brothers Charles and David Koch, according to The New York Times — to urge young people to "opt out" of the health care law.
With a Burger King-size head, Creepy Uncle Sam intrudes as young patients in medical examination rooms await a vaginal exam in one ad and a prostate probe in another. "Don't let the government play doctor," says the closing message. "Opt-out of Obamacare." Hidden message: "Kids, we hope you're stupid."
The Washington Post reports that more than a dozen states have imposed licensing rules and other limits on the navigators....(navigators are best understood as explainers, helpers...who will assist ACA enrollees and field inquiries about the program.)
Florida's Department of Health, for example, recently barred local health departments from handing out brochures and other outreach material about the state exchange. The materials will apparently be distributed only if someone asks for it.
Republicans and conservatives tell Americans that the ACA is universally hated by Americans even though 72% disagree that Republicans should defund the law. But what's really at work is this....
Republicans are eager to prevent people from enrolling, fearing that once people begin receiving the benefit they will be loath to give it up.
The 'not normal' obstruction and sabotage efforts of Republicans is not because the ACA will destroy America....that's totally and foolishly ridiculous.....it's because conservatives and Republicans are scared to death that Americans will like and appreciate the program once it's implemented.
All of this is what happens when a political party rejects compromise and, well, democracy. In 2009, Republicans made a decision to obstruct everything Obama. Instead of taking the democratic route they chose to obstruct. Not one Republican voted for the ACA. It was all going to be on Democrats, by Republican choice.
Republicans lost. They lost again in Obama's re-election. When you take big gambles, sometimes you lose. Republicans knew what the stakes were. Obstruct and lose....and Democrats would, like with SS, Medicare, Medicaid, Plan D, FIDC, etc.....get credit for another popular government program which actually benefits Americans. Obstruct and lose.....and be remembered as the party which tried to obstruct and/or kill what could turn into yet another popular government program passed by Democrats. Obstruct and lose....and pay the price.
Yet, Republicans, and their puppet masters, refuse to recognize that they have lost. And like teenage girls bent on revenge, Republicans have opted to spread silly and irresponsible rumors and ignorant fearmongering in the hopes of keeping Americans from signing up for health insurance.
Let's not forget.....Republicans lost this argument. Now in their uncontrollable rage after losing, their response is to take it out on Americans who currently don't have health insurance. Prevent them from having affordable health insurance, insurance which could keep them from economic misery or bankruptcy should they fall ill.
In their rage over losing.....Republicans have become the enemy of the People.
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