Steele: Health Care Debate Would Have Been Worse In 1800s

More

Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele is unfazed by the sometimes vitriolic debate over health care this August, sharing the opinion of other commentators that it's healthy to hash our differences out in public, even if it sometimes involves shouting--that this, basically, is democracy in action. Our own Matthew Cooper said as much, as did FreedomWorks spokesman Adam Brandon ("This is not PG rated. Political activism does take on an edge"). In an interview with ABC radio, Steele looked to history:

"I wasn't around in the 1800s and the 1700s, but I'm a student of history and politics, and I know what those political squabbles, if you will, were like - a lot more violent, if you will.  People were dueling and all kinds of other things going on in those days."
"If you don't like the heat, get out of the kitchen," Steele said.  "And the reality of it right now is that the American people are bringing heat to the table."

Needless to say, I wasn't around in the 1700s or 1800s, either, so I share Steele's inability to say first-hand whether the animated, sometimes toxic debate is a historical tradition of our nation's democracy. But (especially with a few conservatives having brought out their guns) thank goodness we haven't seen any duels in '09.

Jump to comments
Presented by

Chris Good is a political reporter for ABC News. He was previously an associate editor at The Atlantic and a reporter for The Hill.

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

Social Security: The Greatest Government Policy of All Time?

It's the most effective anti-poverty program in U.S. history. So why do some people hate it?


Elsewhere on the web

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Adventures in Legal Weed

Colorado is now well into its first year as the first state to legalize recreational marijuana. How's it going? James Hamblin visits Aspen.

Video

What Makes a Story Great?

The storytellers behind House of CardsandThis American Life reflect on the creative process.

Video

Tracing Sriracha's Origin to Thailand

Ever wonder how the wildly popular hot sauce got its name? It all started in Si Racha.

Video

Where Confiscated Wildlife Ends Up

A government facility outside of Denver houses more than a million products of the illegal wildlife trade, from tigers and bears to bald eagles.

Video

Is Wine Healthy?

James Hamblin prepares to impress his date with knowledge about the health benefits of wine.

Video

The World's Largest Balloon Festival

Nine days, more than 700 balloons, and a whole lot of hot air

Writers

Up
Down

More in Politics

Just In