This week’s exploration of OIP Derangement Syndrome comes from Norm Ornstein of the center-right American Enterprise Institute writing in the National Journal
When Mike Lee pledges to try to shut down the government unless President Obama knuckles under and defunds Obamacare entirely, it is not news—it is par for the course for the take-no-prisoners extremist senator from Utah. When the Senate Republicans' No. 2 and No. 3 leaders, John Cornyn and John Thune, sign on to the blackmail plan, it is news—of the most depressing variety. . . .Reuters reported on another aspect of this campaign:
to do everything possible to undercut and destroy its [the health-insurance reform law’s] implementation—which in this case means finding ways to deny coverage to many who lack any health insurance; to keep millions who might be able to get better and cheaper coverage in the dark about their new options; to create disruption for the health providers who are trying to implement the law, including insurers, hospitals, and physicians; to threaten the even greater disruption via a government shutdown or breach of the debt limit in order to blackmail the president into abandoning the law; and to hope to benefit politically from all the resulting turmoil—is simply unacceptable, even contemptible. One might expect this kind of behavior from a few grenade-throwing firebrands. That the effort is spearheaded by the Republican leaders of the House and Senate—even if Speaker John Boehner is motivated by fear of his caucus, and McConnell and Cornyn by fear of Kentucky and Texas Republican activists—takes one's breath away.
Americans for Prosperity launched a $1 million TV ad campaign against the healthcare law this summer to test its message in swing states of Virginia and Ohio. The 30-second ad presents a young pregnant mother who asks questions that suggest the law will raise premiums, reduce paychecks, prevent people from picking their own doctors and leave her family's healthcare to "the folks in Washington."That group’s old ally, FreedomWorks, is actually trying to convince young people to refuse to join the health-insurance system. That’s right: these right-wing groups are campaigning to convince young pregnant women and men under thirty from obtaining health insurance.
The group plans a bigger push on TV and social media to persuade young people, especially men under 30, to see the healthcare law as a high-cost liability directed at them.
Andrew Sullivan adds
I should realize this by now, but the current GOP clearly believes it is the only legitimate governing party in the US and its response to a loss is to intensify its rage. They never forgave Clinton for being re-elected; and the idea they’d let a black president leave a legacy behind is obviously inconceivable to them. And yes, that’s calling them irrational and not a little racist. But how else do you explain people who are actively attempting to persuade young adults not to get health insurance?