Health Bill Sours Holiday Discourse on the Hill
Pols and pundits ratchet up name-calling as holidays approach
Mike Huckabee says there is a Judas among us.
Buh humbug! The holiday spirit has done little to halt the sharp-tongued rants of politicians and pundits over the nation's health overhaul. With Democrats hoping to pass their bill by Christmas, lawmakers opposed to the bill took a page from the Grinch and ratcheted up the name-calling:
- Mike Huckabee likened Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) to Judas for providing Dems their key 60th vote in return for a range of concessions. “I don’t want every senator to go forward and see what they have to do to sell off their integrity,” the former GOP presidential hopeful told a rally in Nelson’s home state. “I don’t want them to go up there…and then somehow go back and boast, ‘Here’s some money that I got for you.’ The last time we saw that kind of historic moment it was 30 pieces of silver and that didn’t work out too well for us either.”
- Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) invoked the apocalypse, Nazi Germany and lynchings. Republicans were on a "no-holds barred mission of propaganda, obstruction and fear,” he said. “History cautions us of the excesses to which these malignant, vindictive passions can ultimately lead. Tumbrils have rolled through taunting crowds. Broken glass has sparkled in darkened streets. Strange fruit has hung from southern trees...There will be a reckoning. There will come a day of judgment about who was telling the truth."
- Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) called for divine intervention as a stalling tactic. “What the American people should pray is that somebody can’t make the vote,” he said on the Senate floor Sunday.
- Sen. Lindsey Graham ripped into the bill on CNN. “You know, change you can believe in, after this health care bill debacle is now becoming an empty slogan,” he told John King on Sunday. “And it's really been replaced by seedy Chicago politics, when you think about it, backroom deals that amount to bribes.” Other names for the bill: “Enron-accounting” and “phony.”
- Hartford Courant columnist Colin McEnroe panned Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) as a “bottomless pit of vanity” who “can’t even stand it” when the state’s other senator, Chris Dodd, receives negative attention. He also gave thumbs up to a YouTube video of a woman inciting her "liberal" cats to attack a string called "Lieberman."