The Hollow Men: GOP Now Attacks What It Once Proposed in Health Care

The Hollow Men 5 193x300 The Hollow Men: GOP Now Attacks What It Once Proposed in Health CareGov. Rick Perry and other GOP leaders around the country have whipped the kooky Right into such a frenzy over health care reform that they are spitting on congressmen, threatening violence and even home invasions of Democratic representatives. It’s cynical and ugly, and just when you think it can’t get worse….

…You discover that the GOP proposed the very thing it now calls (in Glenn Beck’s confused vocabulary) communist-fascist-socialist-totalitarian tyranny. Perry threatens to secede from the Union over it.  Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott commits taxpayer money to a frivolous federal lawsuit challenging it. Neither they nor their masters — Beck, Limbaugh et al — bother to remind Americans that the reforms were, largely, Republican proposals. The Miami Herald reports:

The lawsuit against the health care overhaul filed Tuesday by Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum is focused on a provision that has long been advocated by conservatives, big business and the insurance industry.

And then there’s this chart detailing the similarities between the health care reform just passed by Congress and a GOP proposal from 1993. Mandatory insurance coverage? You bet. The GOP loved it.  Require large employers to provide insurance to employees? You bet. The GOP loved it. Bans on exclusions for pre-existing conditions? You bet. The GOP loved it. Subsidies for low-income Americans? You bet. The GOP loved it.

(Thanks to KRLD radio star Scott Braddock for this, and for all his truth-seeking on health care reform).

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About Glenn W. Smith

Glenn W. Smith has spent the past 30 years in journalism and politics, where he’s made a name for himself as a writer, campaign manager, activist, think tank analyst and, as Daily Kos founder Markos Moulitsas says, a “legendary political consultant and all-around good guy.” “There’s no one like him,” says author George Lakoff. CNN commentator Paul Begala says, “He has unmatched experience, a graceful pen (or pixel nowadays) and deep insight into the best and worst of us.” Novelist Sarah Bird speaks of his “lucid and lyrical” prose. And, she says, he’s fun. Huffington Post founder Arianna Huffington says Glenn writes with “grace and abundant humor” and “uses his colorful experiences in Texas to enlighten us all.”

Smith led Ann Richards’ successful 1990 campaign for Governor of Texas. He worked for former Texas Lt. Gov. Bill Hobby and U.S. Senator Lloyd Bentsen. Earlier, Smith was a political reporter for the Houston Chronicle and the Houston Post. He’s coordinated national campaigns for groups such as MoveOn.org. In 2004, he authored the highly acclaimed book, The Politics of Deceit: Saving Freedom and Democracy from Extinction. He also wrote Unfit Commander, a book that detailed George W. Bush’s mysterious disappearance from military service.

In 2004, Smith was featured in the film, Bush’s Brain, a documentary about Karl Rove. Smith provided commentary on Rove’s role as then-President Bush’s senior advisor. He has made numerous media appearances with Chris Mathews on Hardball, Joe Scarborough, Brit Hume, and many others. He writes a regularly for top national web sites, including FireDogLake and Huffington Post.

As a senior fellow at George Lakoff’s prestigious Rockridge Institute in Berkeley he studied, wrote and taught on the power of metaphor and narrative in political communications. He also lectured on religion and politics at the Starr King School for Ministry in Berkeley. As a sponsor and organizer, he has pulled together numerous national events with progressive religious leaders. He also organized a celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King at Riverside Church in New York City as well as “Freedom and Faith” bus tours, which was a nationwide campaign for social justice and progressive values.

Smith’s play, Double Play, which explored American Western myths and legends, was held over to sold-out audiences. He’s even written and performed songs in the Americana tradition, such as his best-known song, “Helping Marty Robbins,” a tribute to his hometown, Houston.

Most recently, Smith is the creator of DogCanyon, a political and cultural web site covering state, national and global issues from a Texas perspective. DogCanyon is an exhilarating and unique site that gets the connections between politics and culture and explores both the personal side of politics and the ups, down, craziness and beauty of “life its ownself,” as humorist Dan Jenkins would say. DogCanyon offers heartfelt personal essays, hard-hitting political analysis, and, most importantly, laughs.

As Paul Begala said, Smith writes in “the finest, firmest, fearless tradition of Texas essayists like Molly Ivins.”