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Posted by on Mar 20, 2010 in Media, Politics | 6 comments

Quote of the Day: the “Freak Out Award” in the Health Care Reform Debate

Our political Quote of the Day is from Dick Polman, who, in a piece that needs to be read in full, provides us with the “Freak Out Award” in the health care reform debate.

Polman gives several reasons why he believes it’s now in the tea leaves cards that health care reform will pass. The first is the Congressional Budget Office’s verdict. The second is “theanti-abortion House Democratic faction – the so-called Bart Stupak bloc – has splintered. The third is that the closer the issue comes to the vote, the fewer fence sitters there are and the few Democrats there are who want to be blamed for sinking health care reform for possibly a generation.

Then he gives us our Quote of the Day:

And perhaps the best indicator of likely Democratic success is the increasingly unhinged tone of the opposition. The Freak Out Award (so far, anyway) is hereby shared by Iowa Republican congressman Steve King and the inimitable Glenn Beck. Yesterday, on Beck’s radio show, they thundered that the House Democrats, by scheduling the big vote on a Sunday, are dissing the Lord Himself (or Herself). King said, “They intend to vote on the Sabbath, during Lent, to take away the liberty that we have right from God.” To which Beck replied, “You couldn’t have said it better. Here is a group of people that have so perverted our faith and our hope and our charity, that is a – this is an affront to God…something our founders would have never, ever, ever done. Out of respect for God.”

It is “never, ever, ever done?” There has “never, ever, ever” been a vote on a Sunday? It’s fascinating how the unhinged know so little about history, even when it’s recent. As I well recall, the Senate Republicans voted in 2005 to allow the federal courts to intervene in the medical case of Terri Schiavo, during an emergency session that the GOP leadership staged…on a Sunday. In fact, it was Palm Sunday.

As we have noted often on this site, this is not unusual in American partisan political politics in the 21st century, where partisans will become outraged over something the other side is doing and either not mention they themselves did it or try to make defense lawyer like arguments to downplay it if it comes out that they did it, too. Increasingly in politics, it seems to be felt that if you can’t whip up the rage you can’t reach a political goal.

Consistency conshmistency what does it matter if it gives us an argument we can use?

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  • shannonlee

    You see, the difference is that God wanted the Schiavo vote. It is okay to work on the Sabbath when it is God’s will. I just need a bible verse to prove it.

    God doesn’t want this health care bill, so obviously a vote on Sunday is morally wrong.

    Man, it must be nice to have a direct line to God…or the balls to claim you know his will.

  • CStanley

    Really stupid. Voting on a Sunday shouldn’t be an issue in our pluralistic society (unless there were a particular Congressman who was known to hold to a strict observance of the Sabbath- and this could include Jews observant of Saturday Sabbath too- where there could be a manipulation of a vote count by purposefully scheduling a vote on a day when they could not be in attendance.)

    So even above and beyond the fact that neither King nor Beck knew that the Schiavo vote had taken place on a Sunday, it’s a dumb complaint. The lack of awareness adds another layer of stupidity.

  • $199537

    As we have noted often on this site, this is not unusual in American partisan political politics in the 21st century, where partisans will become outraged over something the other side is doing and either not mention they themselves did it or try to make defense lawyer like arguments to downplay it if it comes out that they did it, too.

    This is true, although Polman is doing essentially the same thing implying that Beck and King are somehow more unhinged than any number of politicians and talking heads have been for decades.

    • Janjanjan

      I actually think the “unhinged” story line isn’t that Beck and King were ill-informed. It’s that the complaints seem less and less like disagreement and more and more like hysteria.

    • DLS

      “the complaints seem less and less like disagreement and more and more like hysteria”

      Routine.

  • DLS

    Beck is currently engaged in his own version of “pushing the envelope” when it comes to statements or controversy, different from the commonplace liberal misstatements and misbehavior for various reasons.

    Beck seems to be hyping himself in a marketing effort currently, and it includes appeals to emotion that includes exploiting and demonizing the word “progressive” (as used by liberals to refer to farther-left politics) as well as hyping himself as an authority and cult figure (I suspect for marketing purposes, in an effort better than the older huckstering by O’Reilly or more importantly, the newer example set by Sarah Palin).

    He’s over-used “Marxist” before, he recently tried to say liberalism is not what Jesus would do, so there’s no surprise he might seize on the evil Dems as being Godless. Wait and hear if he says “atheist” next week.

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