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I screamed at the radio when I heard Todd Akin [R-MO] say...

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Message gloria bilchik

Halloween came early this year, when Republican incumbent Congressman Todd Akin [D-MO] treated midwest radio listeners to a 30-minute interview on St. Louis Public Radio on Oct. 4. I'm glad he was on the show, because it's important that people actually hear what he says, and get the "logic" behind his ideas. Many of his statements were the expected Republican boilerplate. But some of what he said was disturbingly illogical and extreme, but perhaps not as extreme as some of the ideas he expresses on his website, particularly his website pronouncements about the role of prayer in making our country better. I wonder if his constituents are fully aware of these views. If they aren't, and if we all aren't, we need to pay better attention.

The lack of compassion is astonishing, particularly in the notion that charity is the way to solve the problem of uninsured Americans. [The excerpts are nearly verbatim from the radio interview.]

Driving with my windows open on a beautiful fall day, I'm sure that I startled several other drivers with my shrieks when I heard him say"

On Washington, DC

"[That I'm]"happy to be out of Washington is always a safe assumption." [Author's comment: Larry from South St. Louis, whoever you are, thank you for calling in and reminding Congressman Akin that he has a job to do in Washington that we pay him for.]

On healthcare reform

"In the last election the Democrats took an overwhelming majority of everything, so there's not the normal buffering that goes on." [Author's comment: The party of no made sure that "buffering" actually did take place.]

"Because the Democrats had a wide open playing field, they did what they wanted to do"You see extreme practices coming from the Democrat side"The idea of the Federal Government running health care. That's a pretty extreme policy."

"If Medicare and Medicaid are broken are we gonna turn the rest of health care over to the government?"

"Republicans believe that the private system is better. There certain have to be patches and fixes". We passed a number of proposals to improve health care when we had the majority"Don't scrap the whole thing and give it to the government to run."

"..If you're just a responsible guy"you're a good citizen [author's emphasis] and bought health insurance, and then you become uninsurable because someone in your family gets a pre-existing condition--in a few years you're bankrupt"The best way to approach is to prevent more people from falling into that trap of not being insured."

"Charity: that's the way they were always paid for in the past. The big tycoons originally built the hospitals. There's still a lot of charity, but it's being laundered through the government"The most efficient way to cover poverty is by charity. The government [can't] step in to take care of people's food, shelter, education and health care. Across the ocean, the government tried it and the Soviet Union eventually collapsed. We can't afford that. You can't cheat mathematics" The government can't provide perfect healthcare for everyone and housing and food and provide for the national defense. [We need to think about] what government should do, and what should go back to the states and local."

On President Obama

"I think [describing President Obama] as a socialist is a bland description. Obama said he was a socialist when he talked to Joe the Plumber. He said that it's the federal government's job to redistribute wealth""

On Social Security and on paying for health care via charity

"Politically, I think Social Security will be given more to the people who are more needy. And people who have others forms of security won't get it . I don't like it"I would prefer that we allow incentives for people to save on their own. At a minimum, if you have Social Security, let the money that people put in, let that be indexed to those people, so they own some of what they're investing. As opposed to giving it irresponsibly to government and they spend it all and then spend ourselves into a box like we're doing now."

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Gloria Bilchik is a freelance writer based in St. Louis, Missouri. She is co-founder of Occasional Planet, a progressive blog focused on positive developments in government, creative thinking on current issues, and progressive people, programs and (more...)
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