Thursday, August 27, 2009

Michael Steele is an idiot

We here at the BTPC love Michael Steele. Seriously...you can't beat the man for completely making himself look like a moron and supplying us with material for posts. (Not to mention he does a mean Teen Wolf dance as evidenced by this picture). But every now and then even we have to admit it is a little sad that this man is the leader of one of the two parties that control the political discourse in this country. I mean, can we really expect intelligent and rational discourse in our political arena when yahoos like this assume highly visible leadership positions?

What's the latest? Steele's comical attempts during an NPR interview to explain how good Medicare is and how you the GOP is for it, while also railing against government run healthcare for everyone. First, can we please acknowledge that the most-often cited problem with Medicare (that it's running out of money) has absolutely nothing to do with the efficiency of the program (which at 4% overhead costs is way more efficient than any private insurer), rather it has to do with a lack of funding for the program. Okay...now that we have that out of the way, here's where Steele really shows his ignorance:

INSKEEP: Let me ask another question here because you warn that some of the
proposals out there would “create government boards that would decide what
treatments would or would not be funded.” You want that treatment to be between
the doctor and the patient. When a private insurance company pays now, what is
your impression of who decides what that private insurance company is going to
cover? Is that purely between the doctor and the patient now?


STEELE: Sometimes it is and sometimes it isn’t. It depends on the type of treatment and the medicines that are at stake, and I’ve had that same example experienced my own self, where I’ve needed a certain type of medication and the insurance
company is like, “You can have, but we’ll only pay for this amount or this
portion.” I don’t like that anymore than I like the government doing it.
My point is, you know, if the government is going to do it, it’s going to do it 10
times worse and it’s going to be more pronounced than the private insurers, and
I think that’s a feature that we can fix right now. Sure, there are issues in
the insurance market that we can regulate a little bit better and that we can
control better to maximize the benefits to the consumers. That’s something that
yeah, we can rightly reform and fix.


INSKEEP: Wait, wait — You would trust the government to look into that?

STEELE: No, I’m talking about the private — I’m talking about citizens. I’m talking about — (CROSSTALK)


INSKEEP: Who is it you — You said it is something that should be looked into. Who is it that you think should look into that?


STEELE: Well, who regulates the insurance markets?


INSKEEP: That would be the government, I believe.


STEELE: Well, and so what. Now wait a minute. Hold up. You’re doing a wonderful little dance here and you’re trying to be cute. But the reality of this is very simple. I’m not saying the government doesn’t have a role to play. I’ve never said that. The
government does have a role to play; it has a very limited role to play.

INSKEEP: Mr. Chairman, I respect that you think I’m doing a dance here. I
just want you to know that as a citizen, I’m a little confused by the positions
you take because you’re giving me a very nice nuanced position here —

STEELE: It’s not nice and nuanced. I’m being very clear.

INSKEEP: You’re giving me, nevertheless, a nuanced —

STEELE: What’s nuanced? I’m being very clear!


INSKEEP: What “nuanced” means is you’re not doing it exactly black and
white. You recognize the government has a role to play here, but you and your
party, come to the actual rhetoric, it seems more along the lines of absolutes.
It’s between a patient and a doctor.


STEELE: Well, I’m sorry. I don’t accept your premise, and you have your view and you can see it as nuanced all you want, but the reality –


INSKEEP: I’m not saying nuanced is a bad thing, sir.


STEELE: I’m being very clear. I want to have an open debate. I want to put
ideas out there. I want people to understand when it’s all said and done. And
seriously, I’m not trying to be nuanced, I’m not trying to be cute, I’m trying
to be very clear. I’m not saying the government doesn’t have a role to play
here. It does. It’s managing a Medicare program. So it has a role to
play.


INSKEEP: Maybe we’re getting hung up on the word “nuanced”; maybe I
should say “challenging.” Do you find it challenging to get into this
complicated debate and explain things to people in a way that it’s honest to the
facts and still very clear –


STEELE: That’s a good point.


INSKEEP: — and doesn’t just kind of scare people with soundbites?


STEELE: Well, no. Look. No one’s trying to scare people with soundbites. I have not done that, and I don’t know any leaders in the House and the Senate that have done that. So yeah, it’s complicated and you want to do that.



First, the only thing that is "clear" here is that Steele has no idea what he's talking about. How does he expect private citizens to regulate the insurance industry? And after saying it should be regulated, he has to ask the interviewer who regulates the industry. Apparently that's not all Steele does not know, does he expect us to believe he knows of no one in the House or Senate scaring people with soundbites?

Last time I checked, Republican Congressman John Boehner (R-OH) was the minority leader of the house. Here's what he had to say about the "death panels:"

The House Republican leader, Representative John A. Boehner of Ohio, said, “This
provision may start us down a treacherous path toward government-encouraged
euthanasia.”


But you can understand how Steele, if he is not keeping current with Rep. Boehner's comments, could make that mistake. I mean, after all, Boehner was for death panels before he was against them:

Remember the 2003 Medicare prescription drug bill, the one that passed with the
votes of 204 GOP House members and 42 GOP Senators? Anyone want to guess what it provided funding for? Did you say counseling for end-of-life issues and care?
Ding ding ding!!


I don't need to continue. Pick your favorite Republican elected representative and google that person + death panels and have fun. And that's just the elected representatives. I think we all have seen over the past year who really calls the tune for the GOP: Boss Limbaugh. Google him or Newt or any other of the select few picked over and over on Sundays to look into the camera and shill the party's talking points and you'll find all of them throw fuel on the fire. Some more subtly than others, but they are all doing their part.

I suppose I should have some sympathy. I mean...given how badly they ran the country into the ground over the past 8 years, it's easy to see how they can't fathom government not being any good at anything.

2 comments:

Mike Reino said...

Is it just me, or is Michael Steele doing the Thriller dance?

pluvlaw said...

Dude...it's the Teen Wolf dance.