Left-leaning action groups have begun a full-scale assault on Republican lawmakers who supported the Affordable Care Act’s replacement, according to a Tuesday report from Politico.
Progressive groups plan to hold mock funerals for constituents they assert will die under the Republican plan. Other groups plan to host “die-ins” where protesters pretend to be dead for a pre-arranged period of time to get a response.
“We must be far more visceral,” progressive superPAC founder Jason Haber told Politico about the tactics. “In the age of Trump, nothing short of blunt and brute force will work as a counterweight, we can’t win based on the merit of our ideas but rather on the way in which we deliver that message.”
An American University student named Zoey Jordan Salisbury announced Friday she would help anyone who died without health care under the new plan send their ashes to Speaker of the House Paul Ryan’s office.
“Staging a funeral has a lot of shock value but runs the risk of overplaying the hand and turning off swing, moderate or independent voters who would otherwise agree with us on this issue,” Democratic strategist Caitlin Legacki told Politico.
Democrats have a long history of using harsh rhetoric in political arguments about health care. During the 2012 presidential election Democrats asserted that then-vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan wanted to throw grandma off the cliff in a campaign ad in favor of President Barack Obama.
Former Rep. Alan Grayson of Florida declared on the floor of the House of Representatives in 2014 that the Republican health care plan was for everyone just to not get sick, adding that Republicans wanted anyone who got sick to “die quickly.”
Sen. Elizabeth Warren upped the ante after House Republicans passed the Affordable Care Act replacement with 217 votes, arguing on Twitter last Thursday that “people will die” as a result of the new bill.
The argument doesn’t seem to be working so far. Although Obama won his re-election bid in 2012, Republicans took the majority in the U.S. House of Representatives in the 2012 elections and earned a majority in the Senate during the 2014 midterms. Republicans held their majority in both chambers of Congress and won the presidential election during the 2016 election last November.
“To those affected and their loved ones, they live the uncertainty every day and the hyperbole is offensive,” former chair of the Pennsylvania Democratic Party T.J. Rooney told Politico. Rooney went on to say that the proposed mock funerals would have the same impact in the 2018 midterm elections as “the ghouls who carry pictures of aborted fetuses.”
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