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Mittpocrisy: Israel & Health Care

“As president, I will restore our relationship with Israel and stand shoulder to shoulder with our close ally.”

Thus spoke Mitt Romney today, in a lame attempt to get himself into the media’s DNC narrative.

This piece, dear Mudpups, is not about the Israel-Palestine debate. That discussion occurs, usually heatedly, in plenty of other places, and has for quite some time. This is about duplicity, about being on both sides of every issue, and in a feat of mind-blowing mental gymnastics, contradicting one’s own lies

This is about a man who will say absolutely anything to anyone, and take any position (as well as the opposite position) if he thinks he can milk it for some political mileage.

This is a man who has been implored by Elie Wiesel to use his influence in his church to stop the Mormon practice of baptizing Holocaust victims—something which has long been offensive to Jews.

There’s nothing quite like being dressed down by the most respected humanitarian on the planet.

Mr. Romney’s solidarity with the Jewish state, of course, begins and ends with dishonestly exploiting that country to bash the President, and peel off a few votes in Florida.

And the hypocrisy doesn’t stop there. During his recent trip to Israel, Mr. Romney proclaimed the following:

“Do you realize what health care spending is as a percentage of the G.D.P. in Israel? Eight percent. You spend eight percent of G.D.P. on health care. You’re a pretty healthy nation. We spend 18 percent of our G.D.P. on health care, 10 percentage points more. That gap, that 10 percent cost, compare that with the size of our military — our military which is 4 percent, 4 percent. Our gap with Israel is 10 points of G.D.P. We have to find ways — not just to provide health care to more people, but to find ways to fund and manage our health care costs.”

Mr. Romney, at least when he finds himself outside of our own country, is quite enamored with a health care system whose strong government influence has driven down costs. As Ezra Klein reports in the WaPo:

“Israel created a national health care system in 1995, largely funded through payroll and general tax revenue. The government provides all citizens with health insurance: They get to pick from one of four competing, nonprofit plans. Those insurance plans have to accept all customers—including people with pre-existing conditions—and provide residents with a broad set of government-mandated benefits.”

So the man who was the first to actually implement “ObamaCare,” the man who extolls the virtues of an Israeli system that is far more “government run” than anything the President has even proposed—let alone implemented—is simultaneously trying to convince voters back home in the U.S. that the Affordable Care Act is a socialist hells cape that will lead to Joseph Stalin being exhumed and confirmed as Surgeon General.

If Mr. Obama’s relatively modest, much more market-based approach to health care reform is such an oppressive, centrally planned, Big Government Takeover, how can Israel represent this beacon of freedom to Republicans like Romney?

Mr. Wiesel in better company.

If I had to anticipate his defense, I’m guessing Romney will repeat the tepid spin that it’s a matter of what’s “appropriate” for whom—you know, that it’s great at the state level or for our closest friends—but it immediately becomes totalitarian mayhem when it’s implemented here, at the federal level. This might almost sound credible, if not for the hyperbole. If the Affordable Care Act were as hellish as the GOP claims, it wouldn’t be appropriate anywhere, at any time, for the same reason you never find yourself saying “I wouldn’t have wanted Pol Pot to be our President, but if Cambodians want to go that route that’s their business.”

So we know what this is about.

This is about a GOP nominee preening and grandstanding for the hawkish neocons in his party. This is about a cynical opportunist trying to finagle a few extra Jewish votes in Florida.

This is most assuredly not about Mr. Romney giving one damn about Israel, its people, and certainly not about its neighbors or the prospects for peace in the region.




5 Responses to “Mittpocrisy: Israel & Health Care”
  1. Zyxomma says:

    Far more egregious, from my little POV (as both a Democrat and a secular Jew), was Willard’s declaration that Jerusalem is the capitol of Israel. Tel Aviv fills that role quite nicely, IMHO. And if, many years in the future, when I am no longer among the living, I find myself baptized into the LDS, I promise to haunt their temple in Salt Lake City … forever.

    • Lacy Lady says:

      I’m not too bright, but I don’t understand political parties making this part of their platforms.
      WHY—–is my question.

      • mike from iowa says:

        to prove their street credibility to their religious base. rwnj are having a field day because Dems removed the reference to god and Jerusalem from their platform.

  2. Krubozumo Nyankoye says:

    All quite true. And well stated. But I think you stopped a little short. It is all well and good to deconstruct the deviousness of ordinary political pandering. But one has to wonder, what if anything, is the foundation upon which this degree of willful prevarication and outright fabrication is based? IOW, what is the motive?

    In the case of Mitt I can see two clear possibilities, there may indeed be othere more obscure but these tend to jump out. One is religious zeal. The other is simply greed. Take your pick. It might be a mix.

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