Representative Pete Stark from California is driving the GOP radical right and their media allies crazy over remarks that he made on the floor of the House of Representatives. This from an article about the remarks:
"First of all, I'm just amazed that the Republicans are worried that we can't pay for insuring an additional 10 million children. They sure don't care about finding $200 billion to fight the illegal war in Iraq. Where are you going to get that money? You are going to tell us lies like you're telling us today? Is that how you're going to fund the war?
"You don't have money to fund the war or children, but you're going to spend it to blow up innocent people if we can get enough kids to grow old enough for you to send to Iraq to get their heads blown off for the president's amusement."
He went back to the same point moments later: "But President Bush's statements about children's health shouldn't be taken any more seriously than his lies about the war in Iraq. The truth is that Bush just likes to blow things up in Iraq, in the United States and in Congress."
The right-wingers and their media allies like Fox News are demanding that Stark apologize. John "Bonehead" Bohner, the House Minority Leader, claims that somehow the Stark's remarks were an attack on American troops serving in Iraq. Apparently, to Bonehead, attacking Bush is the same as attacking the troops.
Of course what is at work is that the American public supports the S-CHIP bill and the Republicans are trying desperately to distract them from the real issue, which is Bush's veto of S-CHIP and their support of that veto.
The interesting thing is that the coverage of this non-issue doesn't really help the Republicans. Millions of Americans who support S-CHIP aren't going to wake up and say to themselves "By Golly, I used to support insuring children whose parents don't have health insurance but because of that mean Pete Stark I have changed my mind." Not going to happen.
Would we have said what Stark said? No, because it does allow the GOP to distract people from the real issues in the debate about America's health care problems. Do we think that in the long run it will have any impact on the American public? No. Do we think that it will drive right-wingers absolutely nuts? Oh, yeah.