In the Wyoming state legislature, 10 congressmen and three senators have co-sponsored “The Health Care Choice and Protection Act.” The intent? To make it a felony to implement the health-care reform law — which is, you’ll remember, the official law of the land.***
Many of my friends on the right have legitimate technocratic differences with the Affordable Care Act. But many of the politicians they’ve stood with have not made a legitimate case against the bill. Rather, they’ve taken a bill that echoes past legislation Republicans have introduced and called it, as Sen. Jon Kyl did, “a stunning threat to liberty.” They’ve told their supporters, as Sen, Chuck Grassley did, that they’re right to fear that the health-care bill “determines if you’re going to pull the plug on grandma.” This is not merely legislation that they have some technical or philosophical disagreements with. It is, in the words of Speaker John Boehner, “a monstrosity.”
Given the extremism of the rhetoric at the top, is it any wonder that there is incredible fear trickling down to the grass roots? If those are the stakes, then of course criminalizing any implementation of the bill makes sense. Frankly, if those are the stakes, then violent resistance might be required.
Those aren’t the stakes, of course. They’re just the words. And words slip sometimes. Things come out too angry, or too quickly, or too sharply. I’ve had my share of experience with this. But words matter. And the Republican Party hasn’t been slipping up: It’s been engaged in a concerted campaign to scare the population into opposing health-care reform. That may be good politics, but it can have bad consequences.
I’m pretty sure this bit of candor qualifies as a Moore Award, since look how Ezra doesn’t think about the feelings of others and might ruin civil conversation!