While everybody else is focusing on the Democrats' town halls, Greg Mitchell actually watched a Republican one. Oh, Senator Jim DeMint (R-SC), when will you stop being a poster boy for
Mitchell cites some comments of DeMint and the "worshipful" crowd at Tea Parties in Greenville and Spartanburg. From Greenville: DeMint referred to the suspension of the cash for clunkers programs and asked, "what if the government had to suspend all surgeries?" Facepalm. From Spartanburg: He said that if the Democrats' plan goes through "hundreds of millions will lose Medicare" coverage. I know scaring seniors about Medicare is a common tactic, but WTF? First, there are around 45 million people on Medicare. Second, do I really need one?
[I believe this picture is from a July 4th TEA Party, probably at the SC capitol. Notice the lack of Nazi references. Those were the days!]
And there's always Bill Kristol's publication, The Weekly Standard, to fall back on - this comes courtesy of Michael Goldfarb:
In any case, cynic that I am, I personally have a pretty good idea of a strategy Republicans could pursue over the next four years assuming the Democrats do pass some health care package, which still seems pretty likely despite all the confusion in Washington.He's serious:
1. Scare the hell out of the American people and run against the health care reform in 2010 and 2012.
2. See above.
That's my whole plan, but I think it could work.
[T]his monstrous bill actually goes into effect some time in 2013. Which means that for the next four years, Republicans will be able to say whatever they want about the health care reforms that were passed but won't come into effect for years. Republicans will be able to come up with another "death panel" every week.(h/t Scott Horton)
Aaaahhhh - that's better!
UPDATE: Howard Dean on All Things Considered said that waiting until 2013 for changes to take place was a terrible idea because of exactly what Goldfarb said. Dean, like other DFHs, wants to focus on the public plan, but what if the most important factor for scoring political points against health insurance reform is the delayed implementation? This is serious, and I shouldn't have brushed the Goldfarb quote off so easily. It seems like bill passes, Republicans win, bill doesn't pass, Democrats lose.