A reader writes:
Grayson is right, and so is Yglesias. You are just surprised to hear this from the normally gutless Democrats. However, the difference between what Grayson said and the polemical vile of the Republicans is a matter of veracity. While similar in tone, Grayson ascribes the consequences of the Republican position to those holding it. On the other side of the aisle, the Republicans invent secret plans to create an American NHS, or invoke the specter of "death panels." These positions have absolutely and positively NOTHING to do with the legislation being proposed, and are out and out demagoguery designed to enrage the base and create fear. When you compare the two, they share nothing except tone. While I might wish for Grayson to express himself in a more restrained fashion, ultimately it makes me happy to see someone express the stark terms of this debate. It literally is life or death for millions of Americans.
Usually love your posts, but let me be clear, even if what Rep Grayson said was outrageous, it is about time that those on the left get up and bite back. The Republicans have called Obama a socialist, a muslim, a foreigner, a witch doctor, a death panelist, a communist, a marxist, a thug, and everything else, but a child of God.
Look, if we want to have a civil and realistic discourse in politics, great. If we want to have a distortive discourse, that's not great, but it will probably be okay. And if we want to have a distortive discourse where some people (like the President) take the high ground, that's a step in the right direction. But what we can't have is a politics where one side gets to say and do whatever it wants and the other side must exercise restraint. I think 'we are better than them and we will act like it no matter what they do' is the proper attitude for America to take in its struggle against terrorists, but it's not a proper attitude for the sturm and drang of daily American politics. It gives the GOP undue power and influence and I, for one, while trying not to take satisfaction from seeing Grayson distort the truth, am willing to acknowledge that somebody needs to start pushing back with a forceful moral argument.
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