Republican Mass Killing Masked by Shooting Media Hoopla
By William Boardman -- Reader
by Virginia Tourism Corp.
What do patriot movement shooters in Las Vegas have in common with Virginia Republicans and Virginia Democrat Phillip Puckett?
They kill people.
They just do it in different ways, with different degrees of effectiveness, and different intensities of news coverage.
The Millers, Amanda, 22, and Jerad , 31, the husband and wife team that murdered three, two of them police officers, were using their constitutionally protected guns to kill people on June 8. Then they had the decency to kill themselves, too (to be precise, Mrs. Miller shot Mr. Miller before shooting herself, although now police claim credit for killing him). They appear to be over, even though they left a note expressing the hope that this was "the beginning of a revolution."
The Millers are fundamentally crazed, grandiose, uninteresting, suicidal, young people, pretty ordinary except for their lethality. But that violence is enough to get them disproportionate news coverage in our if-it-bleeds-it-leads media culture.
Whether or not the Millers have touched off a revolution remains to be seen, of course, but it hardly seems likely. And the killing they've done doesn't come close to the scale of the deeper, much more lethal, continuing revolution led by Republicans since 2009. That revolution doesn't use guns to kill people. That's so Bush-era. Post-Bush Republicans prefer to kill people quietly, as in Virginia, by denying them medical care.
In a sense, preventing the poor and sick from getting health care is a longstanding, traditional Republican value. Nationally, Republicans have pretty much always been willing to put millions of Americans at risk in order to benefit their ideological masters and patrons. It just doesn't seem to occur to them that their sworn duty (if they're elected) to "establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare" are inseparable parts of an integrated purpose, not a political menu from which they have the liberty to pick and choose
Republicans condemn people to die, randomly, horribly, unnecessarily
One has come to expect Republicans to pursue policies that are against life for the majority of the living. Democrats tend to be more divided in their support for the common good, and more subtle when they undermine it. In our system, there is no party of Justice, Tranquility, Defence, and Welfare.
In the present sad context of American political dysfunction, it seems to be easy for a relatively obscure Virginia state senator to choose to become another well-dressed mass murderer without getting much notice. This is not some Eichmann-like banality of evil, this is the banality of normal in the American zeitgeist of 2014.
Obamacare is not about death panels, never mind death camps, no matter what some people may still say. Obamacare, in its Supreme Court vetted form, is about many different things, one of the most important of which is the expansion of Medicaid to millions of poor and uninsured Americans, mostly paid for by the federal government. So far, 26 states and D.C. have expanded Medicaid, four states are considering expansion. The other 20 states, controlled by Republicans across the South and Midwest, have chosen not to expand Medicaid.
This Republican choice leaves 5.7 million Americans uninsured, including many of the poorest people in the poorest states. Some of these people will get sick. Lacking insurance, some will suffer and some will die. The choice to leave millions of people without health insurance is a choice to allow random, needless suffering and death. It is a choice, in effect, to commit mass murder by legal fiat.
And sometimes the choice is bi-partisan.