After 32 votes to repeal President Obama's health care reform bill, Democrats and Republicans are out of fresh talking points on the law. But worry not: you can never run out of strained pop culture references. Today, House Republicans will vote to repeal the president's signature legislation in a vote that will sail through the lower chamber and screech to a halt in the Democratic-controlled Senate. Here's what the battleground of ideas looks like in the American legislature:
The Democrat's best weapon in this never-ending debate is the Bill Murray 1993 sleeper hit Groundhog Day, in which a cynical weatherman protagonist relives the same day in the "hick" town of Punxsutawney over and over again.
"It's like Groundhog Day around here," said Rep. Frank Pallone, a New Jersey Democrat. "It just seems like almost every other day we have another effort to repeal the same thing over and over again." Republicans have indeed been repeating themselves through repeated repeal votes. The question is, in this metaphor, does Murray's eventual conquest of Andie MacDowell foreshadow a repeal of the bill or an affirmation of its merits? Stay tuned for the first week of November!
Dukes of Hazzard
For Republicans, the reference of choice is the rough and tumble late 70s, early 80s TV series Dukes of Hazzard, a reference that only makes sense in light of the fact that health care will never be repealed unless a Republican is voted into the Oval Office come November. Likening Obama to Boss Hogg, the show's unscrupulous county commissioner, Rep. Phil Gingrey appeared next to a poster of the character that read: "You can have whatever you like ... as long as THE BOSS approves it." Punctuating the point, Gingrey said: "Let's get rid of the boss, once and for all."
This 1987 drama starring Glen Close is the reference of choice for Connecticut Democrat Chris Murphy, who's curious if Republicans have "finally hit their 'boil the bunny moment'"—a reference to a particularly gory moment in the movie. The congressman urged Republicans to work with Democrats to solve the country's other problems "instead of channeling their inner Glenn Close."
Finally, Republican Virginia Foxx brought out a favorite literary reference of conservatives: George Orwell's dystopian thriller 1984. "I think my colleagues should read the book 1984 in terms of rewriting history and how you make things sounds great that are not great," she said. "I think we are living through that experience." The North Carolina Republican said Americans would "gain our freedom again" by repealing Obamacare.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
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