Are we really that cold, that there is an acceptable percentage of people we're willing to allow to be sick, destitute, hopeless?
I posed it in response to Media Research Center VP Dan Gainor's comment to me about my revulsion at the standing ovation in the video above when Mike Pence practically spat the words "repeal Obamacare, lock, stock and barrel". The crowd went absolutely wild over that. Wild. This is a crowd, by the way, of self-proclaimed "values voters." What Gainor said was this:
We had a relatively small number of people w/o insurance. Crazy and power mad to get govt involved in health care for all
I realize that we all have different perspectives on health care, but frankly, his remark sounded so Dickensian that it was like a double slap after seeing the craven hordes in that video. Here is someone saying with complete clarity that it was perfectly all right for a certain percentage of our populace to live without dignity, to be denied access to health care. In the system we have, no insurance means no access unless one has a lot of money. 51 million people (at last count) do not have a lot of money. Only a very few have the means to go without health insurance and survive financially.
Dan Gainor aside, Mike Huckabee's comments at this same conference were equally mind-boggling. Here's what he said about the uninsured:
During the 2008 presidential campaign, I documented 10, then 10 more and yet another 10 moments in the extremism of Mike Huckabee. Now, fresh off his victory in the straw poll at the so-called Values Voters Summit, the one-time Baptist minister and former Arkansas governor turned Fox News host called for the United States to leave the United Nations. Following his use of the late Ted Kennedy to fight mythical "death panels" and his tacit endorsement of ethic cleansing in the Middle East, the 2012 White House hopeful's latest statements can mean only one thing.
It's time for still another 10 moments in the extremism of Mike Huckabee:
The United Nations has been a favorite right-wing punching bag for generations, the bogeyman of Birchers and Birthers alike. At this weekend's "How to Take Back America" shindig (an event which featured sessions such as "How to Recognize Living under Nazis & Communists"), Mike Huckabee added his name to the list.
Looking to top John Bolton's hypothetical about lopping off 10 floors of the United Nations building, Huckabee called for casting the whole institution into the sea. To a standing ovation, Huckabee declared:
"It's time to get a jackhammer and to simply chip that part of New York City. Let it float into the East River, never to be seen again."
In their ever-escalating effort to derail health care reform, Republicans from former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin to Obama's ersatz negotiating partner Chuck Grassley warned of mythical government "death panels" which would "pull the plug on grandma."
To make his version of the case, Governor Huckabee turned to the example of the late Senator Kennedy. Just moments after criticizing Democrats for defying "good taste" by claiming "Congress must hurry and pass the health care reform bill and do it in his memory," Huckabee announced:
"It was President Obama himself who suggested that seniors who don't have as long to live might want to just consider taking a pain pill instead of getting an expensive operation to cure them. Yet when Sen. Kennedy was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer at 77, did he give up on life and go home to take pain pills and die? Of course not. He freely did what most of us would do. He chose an expensive operation and painful follow up treatments."
The Family Research Center conducted their own straw poll, which is made up of the James Dobson faction of the religious right - and lo and behold the winner was Ron Paul. That should be a significant victory for Paul, but Tony Perkins, their new leader and Value Voters organizer dismissed Paul's victory as an outlier and in essence denounced his own voters and the legitimacy of his own poll.
The "Values Voter" summit was held in Washington this past weekend. The event was sponsored by The Family Research Council, a social conservative group. The weekend got off to a rousing start Friday night when Robert Jeffress, a prominent Texas pastor, criticized Mitt Romney and his faith, calling Mormonism a "cult."
And in the Values Voter straw poll, Rep. Ron Paul came out on top with 37 percent of the vote.
This morning on American Morning, CNN's Carol Costello talks with Tony Perkins, the president of the Family Research Council, about Jeffress' controversial remarks and why he believes Ron Paul's straw poll win is insignificant.
He was so ridiculous that the TeaNN host just laughed at his rationale for dissing Paul's win.
Costello: So Ron Paul probably means nothing and Herman Cain does.
Perkins Well, this is...the majority of the people came there for a summit to hear all of the candidates. They didn't come there to support a particular candidate. They came to listen to the candidate and express their preference. Ron Paul bused in over six hundred people on Saturday morning not to attend a conference, but to just to hear his speech and vote.
There was early news made at this summit when Pastor Jeffress openly attacked Mitt Romney's Mormon faith by calling it a "cult." The results of the straw poll show a couple of other bad signs for Romney, the Republican Villagers choice for the nomination. First, the type of evangelical that is attracted to the FRC does indeed not trust Romney's religion at all and secondly, he finishes behind everyone one of the remaining GOP candidates outside of Gingrich, who align themselves with religion. Well, they all pander there, but still. Not good, Mittens.