How long will the Republican moderates allow their brethren to lie out of their actions, misstatements and stupidity, and push the party to the brink of destruction? It seems like forever. Why? Who the heck are they afraid of? Michelle Bachmann?
Three instances came up in the past two fortnights that make my point. First is our old [literally] friend [tongue in cheek], Newt Gingrich, Ph.D.
On May 15, Dr. Gingrich was interviewed by David Gregory on Meet the Press and was asked about the proposed Ryan budget plan that would turn Medicare into a voucher system. [“A rose by any other name…” Sorry Shakespeare.] To which Dr. Gingrich replied:
“I don’t think right-wing social engineering is any more desirable than left-wing social engineering. I don’t think imposing radical change from the right or left is a very good way for a free society to operate.”
Now, as you could imagine, this angered Paul Ryan and the Republican “let’s appease the tea party and Christian faith based movement” leaders. After apologizing to Ryan and being beaten to near death by Rush Limbaugh, Gingrich tried to distance himself from himself on Fox News’ “On the Record with Greta Van Susteren.” His last words of the interview were a declaration of war. “So, let me say on the record: any ad which quotes what I said Sunday is a falsehood and because I have said publicly, those words were inaccurate and unfortunate.” Really?
Now for my Jon Stewart moment – You did say that the Ryan plan, as well as the Affordable Health Care Act, is social engineering! You did. You thought about those words. I watched it. What the f— are you doing?
The next is the about face politics of Mitt Romney, former governor of Massachusetts and author of Commonwealth Care Alliance , the universal health care system in his great state. The very same health care system that the Affordable Health Care Act was, in part, modeled. The system is working in Massachusetts. 98 percent of the citizens of “The Bay State” are insured.
Here is what Romney has not told anyone. The program is designed to provide “high-quality, affordable health care for Massachusetts residents 19 years or older who earn at or below 300% of the federal poverty level.” And the result after its first five years is that at least one company is lowering it premiums. More are to follow. It is bring down health care costs – or at least insurance premiums.
Yet, according to Romney, a plan good enough for Massachusetts is not good enough for the rest of the US. Let me think on this a bit… Ouch! That’s enough.
Finally, there is the queen of the dumming of America, Sarah Palin. While visiting the Old North Church in Boston, the starting point of Paul Revere’s famous ride, she was asked to explain the purpose of Revere’s evening. She said:
“He [Revere] who warned the British that they weren’t going to be taking away our arms by ringing those bells and by making sure that as he’s riding his horse through town to send those warning shots and bells that we were going to be secure and we were going to be free and we were going to be armed.”
My grandkids know better. They can recite the opening of Longfellow’s “The midnight ride of Paul Revere.” The account of Revere’s ride is documented in letters and diaries. He rode to warn the Americans that the British were coming. It was a call to arms, not a warning to the British.
So does Palin apologize for making a mistake just like a real American would? No, and she tries to justify her position, on Fox News no less.
“I didn’t mess up about Paul Revere,” [Sarah] Palin said. “Part of his ride was to warn the British that were already there that ‘hey, you’re not going to take American arms, you are not going to beat our own well-armed persons individual private militia that we have.'” No he didn’t.
To make matters worse, Palin supporters attempted to change history by rewriting the Wikipedia entry for Paul Revere. They wrote,
“Revere did not shout the phrase later attributed to him (“The British are coming!”), largely because the mission depended on secrecy and the countryside was filled with British army patrols; also, most colonial residents at the time considered themselves British as they were all legally British subjects.”
Of course Wikipedia deleted the entry because it is not supported by facts. But since when do tea partiers let facts get in the way. Is it the fact that ultra-conservatives are so hell bent on destroying public education that they are neglecting their own?
It is time the moderate Republicans see the light and fight against such stupidity and heartless denials of the truth. I know this will eliminate all the current Republican presidential hopefuls, but isn’t it time that a new slate is written? Isn’t it time that you leave the “Dark Side” for truth, justice and the American way? (My apologies to Superman’s creators, Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster.)
David Rosman is an award winning editor, writer, professional speaker and college instructor in Communications, Ethics, Business and Politics. You can read more of David’s commentaries at ColumbiaMissourian.com and New York Journal of Books.com.