Unremarkable – Rep. Boustany and the GOP Response

If you enjoy political theatre, this was your night.  If you are a Republican politician, however, you’ll be anxious to forget it.  President Obama was in prime form during his Sept. 9 speech before a joint session of Congress, eloquently making a moral case for health care reform.  That was bad enough for the GOP, but when Rep. Joe Wilson (R-SC) blurted out, “You Lie,” at the President of the United States, Wilson personally sank his party to a new low.  However, if there was a bright side for the minority party tonight, it was Charles Boustany (R-LA) and his Republican response to the president.

If you caught Boustany’s brief response, I imagine you’ve already declared me insane, but hear me out.  Boustany was entirely unremarkable, but for Republicans, on this occasion, being unremarkable was a good thing.

Click HERE to read the transcript.

Frankly, Rep. Boustany had no business being in the health care spotlight, despite his status as a heart surgeon.  The Louisiana Republican mimicked the same tired & misleading arguments the GOP has made in the past related to the costs of the anticipated legislation.  Most misleading, though, was Boustany’s assertion that the proposals supported by Democrats amounts to, “Replacing your family’s current health care with government-run health care…”  But, nobody’s talking about doing that.

His general message was that we can’t afford reform and that we should approach it from another angle, but this is disingenuous.  It was a passive-aggressive and cynical message, suggesting an awareness of the need for reform, but in a different way and at a different time.  As Boustany put it, “we need to start over.”  Don’t believe it.

The truth is, Boustany and his party are not interested in reform.  Take a look at Bustany’s voting record on health care issues, where his campaign funds come from, or his writing on the subject, and his intentions — and those of the GOP — become quite clear:  If allowed, they will kick this issue down the road, dilute it, or kill it if they can.

Don’t let them get away with it.

For more on the speech and the future of health care policy:

Breaking Health Care Reform into Distinct Logical Steps    

Obama Scolds Republicans, Defends Public Option

Engaged Presidential Leadership Required

Obama Makes Moral Case for Health Care Reform

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Thomas S.
7 years ago


Rosanne G.
Rosanne G7 years ago

Sir Walk F: You’re right I am cute. Tell me who corrected me with FACTS or CHALLENGES? Who wants me to PROVE anything? THIS IS AN OPINION POLL. You say: I double speak & denigrate the level of debate, make erroneous allegations with no back-up? Who do I have to please here? Certainly not you. WHERE IS THE DEBATE IN YOUR COMMENTS? You are quite the child, a sort of pot calling the kettle black. Would you like a little cheese with that whine? As stated in the movie: My Cousin Vinny: I’m done with that guy! That means you, & you & you & you. I know your hearts breaking, but you’ll get over me. Most men do. I’m just so happy to be disrespectful to you because Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn”.

Rosanne G.
Rosanne G7 years ago

Thomas; you always say the same things: “Republicans are dirty propagandists convincing millions that Democrats aren’t good” PLEEEASE! Republicans watch too much FOX & they don’t think for themselves & BLAH, BLAH, BLAH. You’re the one that said you are a rare breed in another poll. You don’t gather your info from TV. Just where does it come from….listening to your “Controller in Chief? I got that from the internet. Your comments pretty much exemplify the bully you defend. By your own admission you are part of the nation of idiots! I’d rather live in this nation of idiots than any other! I don’t agree with your ideas any more than I do with Obama’s, but you always want to draw FIRST BLOOD. I’ve been proud to be an American my whole life, unlike Michelle Obama who wasn’t proud until her husband won the election. You’re entitled to your opinion, but the names are getting old.

Rosanne G.
Rosanne G7 years ago

Veronica: The issue is OBAMACARE & Charles’s remarks: That’s what I commented on- FOCUS- you’re living in the past: in BUSH COUNTRY. It doesn’t matter at this point what Bush did, health care is Obama’s push & he’s hiding behind the BUSH. He is not transparent. He needs to be the President for all & not the Democratic representative. The campaign is over. He needs to do his job. Every citizen has the right to know the details of the bill. No matter who won the election, I would expect them to make non-partisan decisions for the good of all.

Rosanne G.
Rosanne G7 years ago

Rex, I don’t want to live anywhere else but KY, especially if someone like you were my neighbor. WOW! You think because I don’t like Obama, he’s smarter than me. REALLY! And you say “STUPIDITY(conservatism) is all that is taught in KY”? Your mind is hardly “OPEN” & your state has not cornered the market of teaching FACTS. You now have earned the adjectives: NARROW MINDED & CONDESCENDING. Are you a chauvinist, an ego maniac, a book smart person with no common sense? Now there are some hillbilly names from KY for ya! Yee Haw! I actually have a computer in my house in my hick town & I can see Cincinnati from my back porch! I’d make a good Governor in this STUPID STATE, now wouldn’t I?

Rosanne G.
Rosanne G7 years ago

To Thomas, Rex J & Veronica F & Sir Walk F: Every one of my points was directed at Obama & Charles Boustany’s remarks. Find one name I called any of you. I quoted the names from others without addressing them personally, but you four just couldn’t control your obsession with control & tunnel vision. It’s your way or the highway & no one should object to anything Obama puts out there. Everyone who does is “STUPID” in your opinions. I want Obama to be transparent & stop pushing unread bills through. I want some kind of health care reform, but not Obamacare, especially now since no one can see through “closed doors. ”This poll is what I said, “a sad name-calling session for those who can’t accept that all are entitled to an opinion” I am NOT “wrong, ignorant, mindless, etc. because you say so. Why can’t you express your opinion without “demeaning someone else? It’s FREEdom of SPEECH, not FREEDOM to PREACH! You are so pompous! Get over yourselves. I’m already there.

Thomas S.
7 years ago

Righto John H., I believe that those who stayed home and actively protested the Vietnam war are no less patriotic than those who served without asking questions. Who in that ugly equation actually had the best interests of our military men and women in mind? Certainly not the government that sent them there. With the possible, VERY arguable exception of the first gulf war to liberate Kuwait, our country hasn't been on the right side of a major conflict since WWII.

Thomas S.
7 years ago

Renee, I live in a state with no mandatory auto insurance. Do you know what happens when an 18 year old uninsured motorist hits your car? You're SOL, that's what it happened to me and I never got my deductible back, not a damn thing I can do about it. It would be one thing if people were responsible enough to take responsibility for their actions, BUT THEY'RE NOT!

There's something you, and all the others who think like you just aren't allowing to sink in about government run health insurance, that it's a CHOICE. If the public OPTION (which means choice) goes through, YOU CAN KEEP YOUR PRIVATE HEALTH INSURANCE OR DISABILITY! It's only for people who cannot otherwise afford insurance!

What is it about this simple concept that you have such a hard time comprehending? Do you realize that the U.S. is the only industrialized nation in the world that doesn't provide health care for its citizens? We're the laughing stock of the rest of the civilized world! No, really, people from England, Canada and most of Europe, when asked, can't figure out what the hell's wrong with Americans, that they wouldn't get behind public health care!

John H.
John H7 years ago

I don't care if your relatives served or not----I didn't criticize them!
You said, (quoting you) {{I believe that Rush Limbaugh, Bill O'Reilly, Glenn Beck, and Sean Hannity are true patriots!! }}

Limbaugh is a gutless fat bigmouthed coward. Like Bush & Cheney, he supported the Vietnam War, but didn't have the backbone to serve there.

Clinton didn't serve in Vietnam, but he didn't support that war, like your gutless chickenhawks Limbaugh, Bush & Cheney did.
So don't tell me or anyone else that you know anything about what you're talking about.
As for Al Gore----He spent 7 months in Vietnam. He might not have been in any firefights, but anyone who was there knows there was no such thing as front & rear lines in Vietnam----He was there. Where were your punk heroes ???

BTW: As for your crying about not getting Medicare----You are working! Medicare is for those who can't work. How can you be against a social program, yet cry about not getting the bennies when you aren't qualified?

Renee L.
Renee L7 years ago

Now, Thomas, I am surprised that you use insurance companies as an example here because there is one HUGE difference. It is called CHOICE! When you choose to pay for coverage through an insurance company, it is entirely your choice, like auto insurance used to be. They state governments already took that choice away from us and then in turn punish those who can not afford to buy auto insurance. I feel the government tells us what to do way too much as it is now, you give them control over health care, and they will dictate even more control over your lives. They will tell you what you can eat, drink, not smoke (apparently pot is ok), and how and when you should exercise. Is that what you really want because I do not. I prefer making my own choices in life whether they be good or bad choices. That includes health insurance.