“I remember my Mom’s heartbreak when she could not afford to give my younger brother the treatment he needed when we learned he had a hip disease,” the man said. “It was my Mom – the wife of a WWII veteran — who taught me something I still believe today: This country is the greatest in the world. America’s greatness is largely because of how we value the weakest among us. Quality healthcare services must be accessible and affordable for all – not just those in certain ZIP codes or tax brackets.”
That’s music to the ears of progressives, maybe even Top-40ish in its soothing, harmonious familiarity. The dissonant note is who actually spoke the words: Rick Scott, the Republican governor of Florida, who swept into office on an uncompromising anti-Obama, stop-health-care-reform platform, and was one of the first to sign on to lawsuits challenging the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
The Republican Party spent the better part of the past few years reaching back a century or more for ideas. Where liberals saw the dangers of a creeping Gilded Age on the horizon, conservatives cheered the true freedom that attends gross economic inequality. Paul Ryan, one of the GOP’s standard-bearers, repeatedly excited crowds with the promise of the true adventure and excitement that comes from riding the free market without a social safety net. By adopting the Republican vision, he explained, you choose against “a dull, adventureless journey from one entitlement to the next, a government-planned life, a country where everything is free but us.”
Similarly, there is currently a conservative attempt to rehabilitate the infamous 1905 Supreme Court decision of Lochner v. New York, which struck down on economic liberty grounds a New York state law that forbade bakers from working more than 10 hours per day and 60 hours per week.
In a week dominated by the Republican National Convention, most silly quotes were related to the presidential campaign. Indeed, this entire page could have consisted of Clint Eastwood’s bizarre one-man sketch at the convention. (Best headline belonged to Wonkette: Fox News Suddenly Loves Hollywood Elitists After Clint Eastwood Yelled at a Chair.) Still, there was a bit of silliness for everyone.