The Ugly Cynicism of Chuck Grassley

Having spread lies and misinformation about the Democrats’ health care reform proposals for weeks, and encouraged crowds at town hall meetings and other public events to believe that “death panels” would eliminate the old and sick, that the federal government would force them to give up the doctors they loved and saddle their descendants with debt for the next 10 generations, Sen. Charles Grassley now tells us, via the Washington Post, that he and his fellow Republicans need to scale back health care reform, or drop it entirely:

“Not everyone is coming to the town hall meetings because of health care. It’s kind of the straw that broke the camel’s back,” Grassley said. “They’re seeing the stimulus not working. They’re seeing the Federal Reserve shoving money out of the airplane not working. They’re seeing big increases in the deficit coming. Then they see a trillion-dollar health-care bill, and they think it’s not good for the country.”

While Snowe said she is hearing a passionate cry for action on health care from her constituents, Grassley, who is up for reelection next year, said Iowans are more interested in making sure that Congress does not mess up what they already have.

Calls for reform are “not quite as loud as people that say we ought to slow down or don’t do anything,” he said. “And I’ve got to listen to my people.”

Steve Benen absolutely blasts Grassley:

Grassley has become increasingly incoherent in recent weeks, but these remarks are among the most foolish to date. As Daniel Politi put it, the Iowa senator is arguing “he makes his governing decisions based on who screams the loudest.”That sounds absurd, but it’s precisely what Grassley is saying. He has 3 million constituents. Let’s say, hypothetically, Grassley has heard angry right-wing screams from, say, 3,000 Iowans at town-hall events. That would mean the senator had heard strenuous opposition to reform from exactly 0.1% of his constituents. If he’s heard far-right town-hall enmity from 30,000 Iowans — a farfetched claim, to be sure — that would still only be 1% of the people Grassley represents.

What’s more, we’re not just talking about a small fraction of a larger population, but also a small group enraged by right-wing lies, and organized by right-wing groups and private insurers that do not represent the American mainstream.

So why would Chuck Grassley say Congress and the White House should follow the demands of these unhinged activists? Because he’s a surprisingly irresponsible senator, looking for an excuse to oppose reform.

Irresponsible — and bought.

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Author: KATHY KATTENBURG

  • RevDave

    As a resident of Iowa, I have no idea what happened to Chuck Grassley. His “behavior” the last couple of months bears resemblence to what has happened to Domenici and Bunning – meaning the old coot is losing his faculties. He used to be respected for his plain talk, now we just scratch our heads and ask what the hell he is talking about.

  • DLS

    The Dems' health care graveyard spiral and Kathy's graveyard spiral on this site — oh, the desperation and resentment!

    Grassley is completely correct about the public. (No wonder lefties blast him; it's the truth, after all.) It is even true among growing numbers of people on the left, well outside the mainstream (but not so foolishly militant as to stamp their feet and whine about bad righties when disparaging the truth):

    “They’re seeing the stimulus not working. They’re seeing the Federal Reserve shoving money out of the airplane not working. They’re seeing big increases in the deficit coming. Then they see a trillion-dollar health-care bill, and they think it’s not good for the country.”

    Will the Dems, even if their sillier adjuncts refuse, retreat on this, face reality, and perhaps redirect their effort to begin with health insurance reform, accompanied (if they actually regain sanity) by Medicare (an Medicaid) reform?

    Probably not. Keep that graveyard spiral going, that pathetic corkscrew pattern…

  • SteveK

    DLS,

    After reading your last three hours of nonstop, mindless rants and attacks (25 rants in 3 hours) against TMV, moderates, RINOS, Democrats and liberals in every topic discussed today I can only hope that Disqus v3 has an “ignore this commenter” function.

    Your tasteless, mean spirited remarks regarding TMV Editors and commenter's in general is only surpassed by your ignorance and lack of comprehension.

  • Kastanj

    You are aware that any derisive exclamation of superiority or future vindication is completely ambiguous as to the actual level of power, at the time or in the future, right? Those are actually strong (and knowing it) and those who are trying to mask weakness or pessimism actually employ the same tactics and exhibit the same behavior – bark louder, show more teeth, spray the bushes and huff a lot. Your kind of by-the-numbers flag-waving is completely ambiguous as to the value and strength of your case, not to mention your confidence in the rationale for it. It works on the kind of people who know nothing of non-superficial psychology, of course.

  • Leonidas

    Someone wake me when Katty posts in a Moderate voice.

  • ricksmithhotmail

    I would agree with DLS if only the facts and reality were not so against his arguments.

    The stimulus was passed how long ago??? It is foolish to think that in the short amount of time since its passage that we should already have seen the full impact. This is either unrealistic thinking or you (and Grassley) are blinded by partisanship.

    When the barn is buring you dont stop to think what your water bill is going to be at the end of the month before you turn on the hose. You should use all tools at your disposal to ensure that you still have a working economy in place when an economic disaster is around the corner if nothing is done… and printing money or slowing down the printing of money is a monetary tool.

    We are definitely going to end up with trillion dollar deficits if we do nothing about spiraling healthcare costs. The baby boomers are getting older after all and will use additional healthcare the older they get. Do the republicans have a reasonable plan to tackle this that does not benefit only the insurance companies, doctors, healthcare companies and their lobbyists? How about something that benefits the middle class as well.

    I want a choice between private or public insurance. Why dont you? And why are you so determined with taking that choice away from people like me?

  • DLS

    The resentful children certainly are awake on this thread. [scowl]

    As for Leonidas: before you go to sleep, if you prefer moderation, at least you could handle this:

    http://pewresearch.org/pubs/1317/would-american

  • DLS

    “When the barn is buring you dont stop to think what your water bill is going to be at the end of the month before you turn on the hose.”

    However (insert _real_ facts at issue) you do at least watch where you are spraying what water you have.

  • DLS

    “The baby boomers are getting older after all and will use additional healthcare the older they get.”

    That's why I've said numerous times that Social Security and Medicare, both of which are unsustainable in their current form, will eventually result in substantial problems that we'll be unable to avoid 10-20 years from now. (I've also tried numerous times without apparent success to convince people to read what those two programs' own Trustees have had to say year after year, which is the same thing in more detail.)

    That's also why it's questionable that Obama (who said entitlement reform is needed) chose to rush clumsily to expand federal health care rather than first reform Medicare (and Medicaid) and also Social Security, if he were honest and were logical rather than political and exploitive. Aside from it being better to engage in (serious) reform sooner rather than later, the demographics make this as close to imperative as anything serious is.

    As for insurance reform and availability, I've also already noted numerous times that the distinction between insurance reform (and between true insurance and comprehensive care) was spoken but not made by Obama and the Congressional Dems (their voter base apparently doesn't or cannot make the distinction, so the two terms can be used synonymously with impunity among them), and how it would have been more sensible to be more strict, substantial, and logical and first actually try for insurance reform itself, and only insurance reform (at least as an initial step of reform of health care in general), the imposition of “community rating” over suitably large populations being the key (along with whatever means of assuring inclusion of everyone into the chosen population to control the per-capita costs), in addition to seeking uniformity of benefits in order to empower portability.

  • ricksmithhotmail

    “However (insert _real_ facts at issue) you do at least watch where you are spraying what water you have.”

    Just look at how badly the previous administration aimed their stream of cash… almost missed the barn completely. Reasonable people must make sure that the last batch irresponsible leaders (neocons) never get a chance to finish the job they started. They might end up burning the barn, stables, house, crops and take a couple of other farms along with them.

  • ricksmithhotmail

    “That's why I've said numerous times that Social Security and Medicare, both of which are unsustainable in their current form, will eventually result in substantial problems that we'll be unable to avoid 10-20 years from now.”

    Aside from reducing costs by forcing down prices for healthcare services. (Tough to do with increasing demand and shrinking supply) It is also important to increase the insurance pool and spread the risk (and costs) among everyone. This is exactly what you get by having large insurance companies except that the marketing, overhead and profit margins of the private insurers work against cost reduction and decrease efficiencies.

  • Davebo

    The resentful children certainly are awake on this thread. [scowl]

    I can't wait till I can retire, buy some polyester coveralls, and take up mindlessly complaining about the government full time like DLS.

    I give you 10 to 1 odds he just doesn't want anyone to have the socialized medical system he enjoys (Medicare).

  • DLS

    “Aside from reducing costs by forcing down prices for healthcare services. “

    That's what Pelosi and others expect the providers and drug companies to do. (“There's more they can do”)

    Interestingly, one of the thing that alarms a lot of the seniors is one clumsy, quickly chosen feature of the current legislation in development: simply pay for the new federal care by taking half a trillion dollars out of Medicare. How does that help or at least refrain from hurting Medicare?

    (Why didn't Obamaco reform Medicare, by the way, before going on to other tasks?)

  • D. E.Rodriguez

    DLS:

    How nice to see you post something (about two or three comments above this one) withoug demonizing, antagonizing and insulting every Democrat, “leftist,” Liberal, or Obama supporter.

    I was actually able to finsh reading your post and although I don't agree with everything it actually made some sense.

    Please keep it up

  • SteveK

    Davebo wrote: “I can't wait till I can retire, buy some polyester coveralls, and take up mindlessly complaining about the government full time…”

    You'll live longer if you buy cotton, and let golf, tennis, or hiking take up at least half your time. There will still be plenty of time for the pissing and moaning and you'll have a more positive view on “life, the universe and everything“… trust me! :-)

  • RevDave

    meanwhile, back here is Iowa, we are waiting for the next bat sh*t crazy statement good ole Chuck Grassley will udder (sic) today.

  • Kimo1

    Grassley is more in touch with his voters than all of the D.C. democrats put together and the dogs are not eating the dog food. The Dem's in D.C. are out of bullets. They lied during the campaign and now the facts are in the open. Grassley is telling the truth and always has. Obama was elected by people that thought he was going to buy them a new house, car or kitchen stove. I guess that didn't happen – was never going to happen. He preaches that “we are our brother's keeper” and HIS brother lives in a hut in Africa. One of the first tests of leadership is to practice what you preach. Grassley does exactly that. How about Barry, Barney, Harry or Nancy P? It will all be over in late 2010. Obama's un-popularity rating closely tracks (and slightly leads) the S&P 500. The more unpopular he gets, the better the economy does. (Cramer on CNBC). Grassley won't have to do much in Sept. to kill this thing. The rest of the congress will be bailing on this topic so fast, he will have to leap out of their way once they understand what their voters think about it. We DO need to be more efficient in the health care industry but D.C. won't be part of that effort. It's called the free market.