Browsing the blog archivesfor the day Friday, August 2nd, 2013.

Geezers in Space

Health Care, Obama Administration, Wingnuts Being Wingnuts

Remember a few days ago I mentioned the FreedomWorks plan to get young people to burn their Obamacare cards? And I said this sounded like a plan only a bunch of hopeless geezers would come up with? Well, if you want to see the damnfool thing, here it is.

Note the part on the page where it says, “If 3 million Americans refuse to obey this unconstitutional mandate, ObamaCare falls apart for good.” Um, didn’t the SCOTUS say the mandate is constitutional last year, fellas?

As Stephen Colbert notes in the clip below, there is actually no such thing as an Obamacard card, so you’ll have to print it, trim it, and laminate it yourself. But the design is based on Vietnam-era draft cards. Really.

While the military has draft cards, the Affordable Care Act does not. Instead, FreedomWorks took an image of the Vietnam draft cards and grafted the word “Obamacare” to the top. The hope is that students will film themselves burning these cards and upload the videos online.

Would today’s students really do that? Really?

As Joan McCarter says, “nothing says Freedom! like spending hours in the emergency room waiting to see a doctor for the burn you got from torching a fake Obamacare card.”

Not to be outdone by FreedomWorks, the Heritage Foudation is putting “clever” GIFs on Buzzfeed to appeal to the young folks. Judging by the reactions left on the page, this effort is what is called a “fail.”

The plan amounts to persuading younger and healthier people to deny themselves medical coverage so that everyone else’s health insurance is more expensive. Jonathan Cohn explains why this is not likely to work.

See also Timothy Egan, “Saboteurs in the Potato Salad“:

Just now, a cell of several hundred people has been dispatched into the American summer, to picnics, town halls, radio stations, hospitals and Little League playing fields, with a mission to derail the economic recovery and drum up support for sabotaging federal law. They’re not terrorists, nor are they agents of a foreign government. This is your United States Congress, the Republican House, on recess for the next five weeks.

They even have a master plan, a 31-page kit put together by the House Republican Conference, for every member to follow while back home with the folks. It’s called “Fighting Washington for all Americans,” and includes a prototype op-ed piece, with a political version of the line usually reserved for dumping lovers: “This isn’t about me. It’s about you.”

Here’s a sample suggestion, from Page 28, of how to stage a phony public meeting with business owners:

“Confirm the theme(s) prior to the event and make sure the participants will be 100 percent on message. (Note: while they do not have to be Republicans, they need to be able to discuss the negative effects of Obamacare on their employees.)”

And what if I have a child with cancer, and the insurance company plans to dump him if Republicans stop Obamacare in its tracks? Can I attend? Or what if I’m counting on buying into the new health care exchanges in my state, saving hundreds of dollars on my insurance bill?

The kit has an answer: planting supporters, with prescreened softball questions, will ensure that such things never get asked. More important, this tactic will assure that any meeting with the dreaded public will go “in the direction that is most beneficial to the member,” as the blueprint states.

I thought this wasn’t about you.

The last word goes to Professor Krugman:

In the short run the point is that Republican leaders are about to reap the whirlwind, because they haven’t had the courage to tell the base that Obamacare is here to stay, that the sequester is in fact intolerable, and that in general they have at least for now lost the war over the shape of American society. As a result, we’re looking at many drama-filled months, with a high probability of government shutdowns and even debt defaults.

Over the longer run the point is that one of America’s two major political parties has basically gone off the deep end; policy content aside, a sane party doesn’t hold dozens of votes declaring its intention to repeal a law that everyone knows will stay on the books regardless. And since that party continues to hold substantial blocking power, we are looking at a country that’s increasingly ungovernable.

The trouble is that it’s hard to give this issue anything like the amount of coverage it deserves on substantive grounds without repeating oneself. So I do try to mix it up. But neither you nor I should forget that the madness of the GOP is the central issue of our time.

Madness and chronic geezertude.

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