After House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer penned an op-ed in USA Today Monday calling the boisterous effort to silence debate on healthcare reform at town halls “un- American,” the backlash from Republicans was swift and utterly nonsensical (but at least we finally know who actually reads USA Today).
As usual, an excellent example of the inanity was Rep. John Boehner (R-OH), who issued a statement insisting that these yelling patriots are just expressing their opinion (perhaps their hearing aids are malfunctioning?):
Each public forum should give every participant the opportunity to express their views, but to label Americans who are expressing vocal opposition to the Democrats’ plan “un-American” is outrageous and reprehensible.
The American people deserve answers to basic questions about whether the Democrats’ plan will [destroy our country in more ways than we care to reproduce here]. The fact is Democrats have not been able to address the very real concerns the American people have.
It’s time for Democrats to start listening.
The funny thing is that Democrats are trying to answer such questions but no one can hear them over the anti-reform banshees. And their doctors have told them that the inner-ear bleeding won’t go away until after the August recess, further impairing their listening capabilities.
But Boehner’s inability to make a sound argument is not the subject here; it’s his hypocrisy. And Boehner’s got enough of that to go around.
First, his op-ed today in that same bastion of reasoned thought in which the aforementioned Pelosi/Hoyer piece appeared on Monday declared that “no one condones” the town hall interruptions, even though he and his colleagues have been cheering them on since the very beginning of this fun fad.
But that’s not all! Thanks to this useful flashback from the industrious folks at Think Progress, we’re treated to Boehner’s true views on just who (and what) is un-American. In a 1995 interview with The New Republic, Boehner called those who protested the Vietnam War “un- American.”
Then, just earlier this year Boehner called the estate tax “un- American” right there on the House floor.
We also have to give it up to Media Matters for pointing out that Pelosi and Hoyer never actually called citizens or even established government policies “un-American,” as Boehner did. They merely said that the practice of “[d]rowning out opposing views is simply un- American.”
But Boehner has no problem throwing around “reprehensible” and “outrageous” language such as this, as long as it applies to people and policies that he doesn’t like. And that’s why he’s our GOP Hypocrite of the Week.
Remember our motto: So many Republican hypocrites, so little time.
Catch up with you soon.