Gotta love Keith Olbermann. I can't stand him, actually — except as occasional entertainment when he goes off on one of his rants. But I love this delicious contrast.
In the summer, when non-liberals were protesting the health care plan with rallies and tea party protests, Olbermann was aghast. On his August 7, 2009 program, Olby said this:
"The truth is out about the societal sabotage dressed up as phony protests against health care reform....When Hamas does it or Hezbollah does it, it is called terrorism. Why should Republican lawmakers and the AstroTurf groups organizing on behalf of the health care industry be viewed any differently — especially now that far too many tea party protesters are comparing President Obama and health care reform to Hitler and the Holocaust?"
Got that? Those on the right who wanted to kill the bill in the summer were engaging in "societal sabotage" (whatever that is, exactly). The protests were "phony," a Trojan horse for the "health care industry" (read: insurance companies and drug companies). By God! It was akin to Hamas terrorism!!
Here's Olby on December 17, 2009:
“The Senate Bill with the mandate must be defeated, if not in the Senate, then in the House. Health care reform that benefits the industry at the cost of the people is intolerable and there are no moral constructs in which it can be supported. And if still the bill, and this heinous mandate become law, there is yet further reaction required. I call on all those whose conscience urges them to fight to use the only weapon that will left to us if this bill as currently constituted becomes law. We must not buy federally-mandated insurance, if this cheesy counterfeit of reform is all we can buy. No single payer? No sale. No public option? No sale. No Medicare buy-in? No sale.
I am one of the self-insured, albeit by choice. And I hereby pledge that I will not buy this perversion of health-care reform. Pass this at your peril, senators. And sign it at yours, Mr. President. I will not buy this insurance. Brand me a law-breaker if you choose. Fine me if you will. Jail me if you must. But if the Medicare buy-in goes but the mandate stays, the people who fought so hard and and sincerely to bring sanity to this system must kill this mutated, ugly version of their dream because those elected by us, to act for us, have forgotten what must be the golden rule of healthcare reform. It is the same rule to which physicians are bound by oath: First, do no harm.
Goodnight, and good luck.”
Welcome to the tea party, pal. That last bit about first doing no harm was a major point the tea party protesters, rally attendees and town hall speakers were making. Of course, we were coming from the opposite direction politically, but it is nice to see Olby's now on the same page — even if he's only reading from the left-hand margin. A demand that Americans buy government health insurance? That's OK. A demand that Americans buy private health insurance? That's not OK. Allowing Americans to decide these matters for themselves in a truly free market for health insurance? Also not OK ... except for Olby, who retains his right to buy the insurance he wants.
I find it hilarious that now — at long last, sir! — Olby has decided it's OK for Americans to actively "fight" with the "weapons" they have at their disposal to defeat ObamaCare. Since Olby's such a smart and intellectually honest guy, I'd love him to explain this: If the summer protesters were AstroTurfers doing the bidding of the insurance companies, why are they not now taking to the streets in favor of ObamaCare since (in Olby's view) it would be a sop to those very same insurance companies?
Last I checked, all those summer protesters are still against it.