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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?