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Thursday, February 10, 2011

Griper Blade: For Republicans, a Coming Dose of Reality

Bucket of ice waterPart of the problem I have with Republicans is that they refuse to live in reality. For most, the cause is the fact that they don't have to. Former lobbyists, PAC folks, wealthy vanity campaigners, CEOs, and various and sundry political hacks, the closest many have come to hardship is finding out the club is out of topshelf scotch. They still have nightmares about that awful, awful rail booze.

But for others, there's a self-inflicted ignorance. Many of the fresh new GOP faces in Washington represent the first generation of lawmakers whose entire adult lives were spent under the spell of conservative talk radio. They were probably introduced to politics by Rush Limbaugh in the '90s and they haven't moved that dial since. If they don't live in the real world, it's because they no longer know where it is.

Regardless of the reason that reality is a strange neighborhood to them, when Republicans take a walk through it, it comes as something of a shock.


Ask any House Republican about repealing President Barack Obama's health care law, and you'll get the same fiery, self-assured talking points about tearing down what Speaker John Boehner has called a "monstrosity."

But talk to some of the 16 freshman lawmakers who have declined their government health benefits, and you'll hear a different side of the story -- about tough out-of-pocket expenses, pre-existing conditions and support for health reforms that would help those who struggle with their coverage. As they venture into the free market for health insurance, these lawmakers -- many of whom swept into office fueled by tea party anger over the health care law -- are facing monthly premiums of $1,200 and fears of double-digit rate hikes...CLICK TO READ FULL POST]

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