Knee-Slappers From the Right: The Political Discourse of the Nation

Scott Martelle
Veteran journalist Scott Martelle has written books on the Ludlow Massacre, the Red Scare clampdown on civil liberties, the history of Detroit and the story of the century-long search for John Paul Jones'…
Scott Martelle

We all have our favorites. You know, those absolutely insane comment by the tea partyers and other right wingers as they try to rationalize the irrational in Orwellian terms. Health care coverage for all is bad. Obama closed the national parks. Congressional GOP members holding the budget hostage are doing what Americans want them to do (that one’s always good for a giggle).

Some are clearly grandstanding lies told in an attempt to manipulate, like Texas Republican Randy Neugebauer — who has vowed to keep the government shut down until Obamacare is dead — blaming the National Park Service for closing Washington’s World War II memorial to a tour of World War II veterans (they got in anyway). Exactly what does Neugebauer think a government shutdown is?

Others are, oddly enough, true expressions of belief. The folks at AlterNet have gathered together some of the most recent whoppers and the alternative-universe dwellers who uttered them. It’s a stunning list of inanity.

AlterNet picks Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s criminalization of health care coverage as its top whopper:

If this heath care law is forced upon this country, the young men and women in this audience are the ones who are really going to pay the price. And that, I suggest to you, reaches the point of being a felony toward them and their future. That is a criminal act, from my perspective.

The Lone Star State governor may need a wee bit of schooling in criminal law. That is chilling, given the number of executions in Texas under Perry’s watch.

Then there’s Betsy McCaughey — she of “death panel” fame — warning that under Obamacare women must prepare to reveal their sexual history to their doctors. The law says nothing of the kind, and as AlterNet points out, isn’t sexual history part of health history?

Another Republican congressman, William O’Brien from New Hampshire, compared the Affordable Care Act to the Fugitive Slave Act — no, really, he did — and Todd Rokita of Tennessee says the Republicans “just want to help the American people get through one of the most insidious laws created by man, that is Obamacare.” See the Fugitive Slave Act for just one example of a truly insidious law (maybe we should set up a campaign to mail Rokita some history books?).

You know, if it weren’t for the fact that these people have political power, some of this would be downright funny. Go ahead and add your favorites in the comments section. Here’s the O’Brien video for inspiration.

—Posted by Scott Martelle.


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