Better opposition, please

BETTER OPPOSITION, PLEASE…. Rep. Paul Broun, a right-wing Republican from Georgia, spoke from the House floor this afternoon, to explore his opposition to a public option in health care reform. He concluded that a public plan would kill Americans.

“…and that’s exactly what’s going on in Canada and Great Britain today. They don’t have the appreciation of life, as we do in our society, evidently. And, um. Dr. Roe, a lot of people are gonna die, this program of ‘government option’ is being touted as being this panacea, the savior of allowing people to have quality health care at an affordable price — is gonna kill people.”

There are bad arguments, there are blisteringly bad arguments, and then there’s the nonsense Paul Broun spews.

In addition to the obvious problem of comparing reform efforts in the U.S. to creating a Canadian/UK system — that’s obviously not what’s being proposed — the argument itself is ridiculous. As the Media Matters Action Network explained, “Besides absurdly stating that the public option will ‘kill people,’ Rep. Broun’s ham-handed transition between the health care systems of Canada, the UK, and the US is mind-boggling because those countries’ systems are not a model for US health care reform. And in addition to being wrong about their health care delivery systems, Rep. Broun apparently isn’t aware that Canada and Great Britain both enjoy a lower infant mortality rate and longer life expectancy that the United States.”

If Broun’s name sounds familiar, he is perhaps best known for telling reporters late last year that he feared that President Obama might establish a Gestapo-like security force to impose a Marxist dictatorship on Americans. He added at the time that Obama, of course, reminds him of Hitler.

Two weeks ago, Broun also insisted that global warming is “hoax,” and cited a made-up statistic about the cost of ACES.

Peggy Noonan wrote this morning that we’re in an era in which the nation needs “conservative leaders who know how to think” and a Republican Party that is “serious, as serious as the age, because that is what a grown-up, responsible party — a party that deserves to lead — would do.”

She wasn’t talking about Broun specifically, but it’d be great if he took this to heart anyway.