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Thursday, March 25, 2010

Louisville Courier Jourmnal Editorial: Sorehead Losers.

Sorehead losers

Losing the health care reform fight clearly was every bit as deflating for Republicans as winning was exhilarating for Democrats. Americans of all persuasions understand that. But some Republican actions and words since the historic House vote Sunday go disturbingly beyond normal licking of wounds:

Senate Republicans invoked an obscure rule Wednesday and refused to work past 2 p.m. This would be a comical reminder that the GOP has long been lampooned as the party of the leisure class — except that committee hearings and work in important areas had to be canceled. The GOP's petulant move blocked testimony from top generals and admirals on national security issues, delayed consideration of several judicial nominees and prevented hearings on police training contracts in Afghanistan, the cause of Western forest fires and proposals to address homelessness among veterans.

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., declared that Republicans will offer Democrats “no cooperation for the rest of the year.” It doesn't matter what the question is, apparently; the answer is no. Admittedly, more GOP obstructionism doesn't represent much change, but it's a jarring sentiment from the 2008 Republican presidential nominee whose slogan was “Country First.” Better make that “Country Second.”

Meanwhile, the Facebook page of Mr. McCain's erstwhile running mate, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, carries a map with 20 gun sights, for each Democrat her political action committee targets for defeat this year. In three cases, where incumbent Democrats have announced plans to retire, the gun sights are red. Mrs. Palin surely doesn't wish for anyone to be shot, but in the current overcharged atmosphere, this use of gun imagery is unconscionable.

Rep. Randy Neugebauer, R-Texas, who apologized to a fellow House member and to the chamber's leaders after shouting “Baby killer” during Sunday's health care vote, now is crowing about the outpouring of support he's received and is exploiting his notoriety on his Web site in a video advertisement in which he promises to fight abortion. The video runs above a box that says “Donate today.” That raises a question: What would he not do to gather support and funds from the right-wing fringe?

Health care reform is a vitally important issue, but the nation faces other daunting challenges, too. The country needs a functioning two-party system to get on with business. Republicans can and should offer their own perspectives and proposals. But disengagement, whether sullen or self-serving, is irresponsible.



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