his remarks were no more outrageous than those previously made by Replublicans which, judging by your silence, you seem to condone
Regarding Mike's question I'd go even further Jen, Grayson's remarks weren't even in the same ballpark as the previous Republican efforts.
The big difference is that when you see the republicans making their statements - like "the Democrats want you to drop dead", they're said with almost total conviction and a fair amount of venom. They're said in a way that suggests that they are either convinced that it's true, or in a way that suggests that they're trying to convince other people that it's true. Grayson's "die quickly" remark however, although seemingly as bad when written down side by side, was completely different when looked at in context.
Grayson's remark was the political equivalent of asking the Republican's when they last hit their wife. His aim wasn't to prove that the Republican's wanted people to die quickly - that was simply a tongue-in-cheek, slippery slope, hyperbolic exaggeration of a possible assumption. He simply wanted to highlight the fact that they couldn't prove the absurd assumption was false.
It works like this:
If you don't have insurance the best thing to do is not get sick. If you do get sick, terminally sick, the best thing to hope for is that you'll die quickly. The alternatives are suffering prolonged pain or accumulating mountains of debt. The Democrats, it seems, don't want that to happen so they're trying to ensure that everyone has insurance. They've put forward a plan to make that happen but the republicans are blocking that plan, and worse still, they haven't got a real alternative plan to replace it, so the assumption must be that they prefer the don't get sick and die quickly options.
It's an absurd assumption that seems logically correct. It's so absurd that nobody actually believes it but the irony is that the republicans are struggling to disprove a fact that nobody really believes and looking a little silly while trying.
I've recounted an incident in the past in these forums that highlights the situation that the Republicans now find themselves in, it may be worth repeating here:
When the witch hunts in the UK were in full swing a rather irate gentlemen turned to a fellow drinker in a tavern and suggested that he was nothing more than a witch. The fellow in question, to protect his good name and avoid the slur from going further, decided to take he matter to court to obtain damages and a public apology. When in court however the irate chap was still somewhat upset and refused to retract his claim. The judge suggested that if the plaintif could prove he wasn't a witch he'd win the case and damages. Unfortunately he couldn't and so he lost the case. Even more unfortunately, because he couldn't prove he wasn't a witch, the judge assumed that he must therefore be one and ordered that he be put to death.
I thought Grayson played this political trick exceptionally well. In his first speech he made a potentially inflammatory, if tongue-in-cheek claim knowing that the Republicans would call foul and ask for an apology. Instead he brought out fairly convincing evidence that suggested that 44,000 people a year died because they didn't have insurance and allowed the lack of evidence that the republicans had a plan to stop that happening add weight to his earlier absurd, but logical assumption.
The fact that the evidence he presented which suggests that 44,000 people die each year because they are uninsured isn't as conclusive as it first seems doesn't really matter - the republicans are too busy trying to prove that they aren't witches.
[This message has been edited by Grinch (10-03-2009 08:39 AM).]