Will The Republican Leadership Hypocritically Support A Grayson Resolution?

September 30, 2009 2:07 pm ET — Matt Finkelstein

House Republicans set a standard when they opposed on principle a resolution condemning Rep. Joe "You Lie" Wilson.  Rep. Tom Price's new resolution demanding an apology from Rep. Alan Grayson clearly violates that standard.  Will the GOP leadership maintain their principled stance?

When the House voted to rebuke Rep. Joe Wilson (R-SC) earlier this month, the Republican leadership was outraged.  Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) accused Democrats of creating a "diversion" to avoid discussing the problems in their health care reform proposals.  Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN) added, "The American people want less politics and more jobs."  Similarly, Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA) complained that a resolution condemning Wilson did "not reflect the priority of the American people."  Cantor summed up the GOP's opposition as follows:

The resolution, as has been pointed out, creates no jobs.  The resolution does nothing to do anything to increase access to quality health care.  The resolution does nothing to address the issues of national security.  Plain and simple, this resolution does not reflect the priority of the American people.  

Two weeks later, Rep. Alan Grayson (D-FL) derided the Republican approach to health care reform in a speech on the House floor.  Grayson characterized the GOP plan as "don't get sick," and if you do get sick, "die quickly." Predictably, Republicans are now up in arms.  Rep. Tom Price (R-GA) has even drafted a resolution demanding an apology.  

Of course, Price's resolution does nothing to create jobs, improve America's health care system, or address national security issues.  It's simply revenge for the Wilson resolution and, perhaps, an attempt to divert attention from the growing support for a public insurance option.  In other words, it clearly violates the Republican leadership's established standards. 

It's also worth noting that there's really no comparison between Grayson and Wilson, who boorishly interrupted an address by the Commander in Chief. Grayson's comments may have been harsh, but several conservative members, such as Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC), have launched similar or worse attacks on Democratic reform plans in floor speeches of their own.  Apparently, Republicans can't handle a taste of their own medicine. 

Just this morning, Cantor said, "what the people want is for people to set aside the partisan bickering." Will he -- or any of his colleagues -- back up his rhetoric by denouncing Price's stunt?

Print