Last night, Keith Olbermann walked his viewers through how the health care smear I've been talking about happened, from the serial liar Betsy McCaughey on up to Fox News and the Wall Street Journal. Check it out, it's a great watch:
As you can see, it's pretty easy to prove these right-wing lies false. But as I've argued, this is classic conservative politics. They will use this lie and others to convince their supporters in Congress not to vote for the final economic recovery package. That vote is expected in both houses of Congress today.
Conservatives will also use this vote to hit progressives out in the states. The National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) is taking out radio ads against a handful of House Democrats, hitting them "for supporting a trillion-dollar spending bill chock full of wasteful Washington spending instead of working across the aisle to create real jobs for struggling middle-class families."
This, of course, is a load of crap. As progressives unfortunately know, President Obama and other Democrats offered Republicans numerous concessions, most of which Republicans took. Then they turn around and vote against the final bill. As I argued last night, bipartisanship is all well and good, and if Republicans would like to have bipartisanship, they can start agreeing with Democrats, thereby making bills bipartisan.
The NRCC ad buy is pitifully small, only about $35,000 spread out over almost 30 districts. Still, on their list of targets are a few of the candidates Health Care for America Now helped get elected in November.
So, we'd like to publicly defend Alan Grayson (FL-08), Eric Massa (NY-29), Mark Schauer (MI-07), and Tim Walz (MN-01), along with the other targeted Democrats, and thank them for their vote.
As American families struggle with this recession, they voted to create 3.5 million jobs, against Republican opposition. (Incidentally, they also supported the biggest tax cut in history.) They voted to give millions of families health care coverage through Medicare, Medicaid, and COBRA subsidies. And they voted for billions in medical research that will create jobs and save lives. And today, they will stand up stood up (here's the roll call) and vote "yes" once again for final passage on this bill.
They are serving their districts and their country well; this is what they were elected to do. We applaud them.