It hasn't been the usual conservative boilerplate -- blather about "tort reform" or dubious "analyses" predicting the latest proposal would break the budget and blow up the national debt. We've been treated to some truly extreme, and sometimes bizarre, arguments about American health care and even lied to about what the proposed health reform bills contained.
We're accustomed to that kind of hyperbole from hate-radio and the conservative bloggers, but this summer it hasn't been limited to Rush Limbaugh fulminating about socialism or Glenn Beck weepily warning that the Dems' health care legislation are stealthy reparations for slavery.
What makes the ocean of crazy surrounding this debate truly remarkable is that the overheated, ill-informed spew is also coming from the mouths of actual public officials, people tasked with creating legislation. National office holders -- not loopy local GOP party chairs, but people who supposedly represent the interests of entire congressional districts and earn a public salary -- have offered up months of bizarre tales about our health care system and the effort to reform it that are every bit as outlandish as anything scribbled on an overheated right-wing blog.
The most charitable view is that some of the lawmakers who oppose reform most vehemently just have no clue what they're talking about. Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla., whom some have dubbed "the dumbest senator of them all," suggested as much when asked what he didn't like about the reform bill.
"I don't have to read it or know what's in it. I'm going to oppose it anyways," he told Grady County Express Star. According to the report, "information provided by news media have helped [Inhofe] become a staunch non-supporter of the bill." In other words, his opposition is firmly grounded in whatever he's picked up from the fair-and-balanced conservative media.