The conservative propaganda machine is going full tilt trying to turn the American people against health care reform before it goes into effect on Tuesday and people have a chance to actually benefit from it. How desperate are they?
Pretty freaking desperate I’d say. This week, conservatives keep repeating the lie that Warren Buffett just said that we should scrap Obamacare and start over. Except that he didn’t.
It started on September 17 when a right-wing site called Money Morning took a three-year old quote from Buffett completely out of context. At the time, Buffett was talking about the the situation before health care reform, saying that costs were completely out of control. The only possibly negative thing he said about Obamacare was that it didn’t go far enough, but that he preferred it to the status quo.
Within hours, conservative media started saying that Buffett had just come out against Obamacare and said it should be scrapped.
In fact, Buffett immediately told the press that he didn’t know where these stories are coming from, saying “This is outrageous. It’s 100 percent wrong … totally false. I’ve never suggested nor thought Obamacare should be scrapped.”
Did that stop the lie? The next day after Buffett’s denial, Republican Congressman Jim Jordan said in the National Review “All the momentum is in our direction. Warren Buffett said yesterday, ‘Scrap the bill’.” Then Republican Congressman Tom Graves said on ABC’s This Week “Warren Buffett says stop it now and start over.” Then former Republican Congressman Joe Scarborough said on his MSNBC show “Warren Buffett came out last week and said … Obamacare is not going to work. We need to start all over.” Other Republicans tweeted the same thing.
That’s right, one day after Buffett said it was a lie, Republicans said the exact opposite and repeated the lie. Over and over again. If you repeat something often enough, I guess Republicans think that will make it true.
Taking this one big step further, conservative sites then complained that the “liberal media” was suppressing this story.
Soon, the “fact” that Buffett criticized the Affordable Care Act — even though he didn’t — will be one of the basic truths that conservatives “know” to be true, and they’ll assume the rest of the country is unaware because the darned “liberal media” refused to get the word out. All of this is necessary, of course, because of the right’s zeal to convince themselves that a moderate health care reform law built on ideas Republicans used to like is destroying America from within.
UPDATE: New Gallup poll shows that a wide majority of uninsured Americans say they will purchase health insurance because of Obamacare. No wonder the Republicans are desperate.
UPDATE 2: Good article by David Atkins explains why the Republicans are betraying all their own principles for political gain in opposing Obamacare.
Republicans have placed all their chips against the Affordable Care Act. Not for a generation or more will Republicans be able to credibly claim to voters that they want to “protect” Obamacare, after voting 42 times to repeal it. Nor for a generation or more will they be able to credibly praise President Obama compared to, say, a presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren if she promotes true single-payer healthcare. It’s hard, after all, to claim that there’s anyone worse than the Communist Kenyan AntiChrist. Nor again will it be possible to “rebrand” Obamacare as anything other than Democratic President Barack Hussein Obama’s healthcare plan.
No, the battle lines here are set. Either Republicans make the President’s signature healthcare plan a failure, or Republicans see their brand badly tarnished as voters are reminded daily of the positive effects of a healthcare plan Republicans opposed, enacted by a President Republicans despised, bearing that President’s own name.