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Sunday, February 28, 2010

overtake the takeover

Often when I hear Democrats respond to Republican rhetoric with deafening silence I wish I could push them aside and do their talking for them. Over and over we hear Republicans rail against what they call a 'government takeover' of health insurance. Representative Michelle Bachmann, Republican of Minnesota, for instance, refers to a 'Washington takeover of American health care' in her so-called 'Declaration of Health Care Independence'. The phrase 'government takeover of health care' yields 11,600,000 hits on Google. There is even a 'book' for sale at Amazon entitled Why Obama's Government Takeover of Health Care Will Be a Disaster. (The quotes are there because it's only forty-eight pages long. Perhaps the product is not intended for people with a habit of reading.)

Too often, when Democrats bother to respond, they simply deny the validity of the other side's point. If Republicans accuse Democrats of, say, being 'soft on terrorism', whatever that means, the Democrats will simply say, 'We are not.' This is not my idea of a robust defense, let alone an offensive turn. 'It's not true' is simply not a persuasive talking point.

The proper response to the 'government takeover' meme is to rail against the corporate takeover of health care, as in, We have got to roll back the corporate takeover of health care and restore freedom and choice to the American people.

See how easy that is? Without producing any new language, I have just come up with a rhetoric-generating meme with popular and populist appeal.

Republican talking points tend to be easy to flip, yet professional Democrats rarely even try. If they did, they could play offense a lot more. I would like to hear the Republicans in Congress have to explain their support for the ongoing corporate takeover of health care. Why do Republicans hate freedom from corporate tyranny and bureaucracy? Do they just hate America?

The phrase 'corporate takeover of health care', in case you're wondering, yields a measly 390,000 hits on Google. Gentlemen, start your engines.

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