Here are three immutable laws of politics, especially in the South:
• Dont criticize barbecue. (This means you, Rufus.)
• Dont praise Obama.
• Dont compare anything to the Holocaust. Or slavery. Or genocide. Dont even think about mentioning Hitler unless youre talking about Hitler.
Former N.C. Attorney General Rufus Edmisten learned the first lesson when he was running for governor in 1984 and complained about having to eat so much of that damnable stuff while campaigning.
Some people, including the former candidate, blame that cue miscue with sinking his campaign.
The second one about not praising Obama down here? Self-evident.
Dirt on the coffin
State Sen. Bob Rucho just learned the third law when he compared the effects of the Affordable Care Act to the Nazis, Soviets and terrorists.
If you thought civil discourse died last summer when professional Obama-hater Ben Carson said Obamacare was the worst thing to hit America since slavery, Rucho is tossing dirt on the coffin.
Because Im known far and wide for giving people the benefit of the doubt, I called up Rucho, a Matthews Republican, and asked him whether people misinterpreted his comments about Nazis. And terrorists. And swords. Dont forget swords.
Thats the understatement of the year, he said, laughing. The bottom line is that (the tweet) was designed to bring awareness to the fact that were making a huge change in health care policy that rivals the impact and the financial, economic and life-changing events that the wars did.
When Justice Roberts uses his pen to say that Obamacare is the law of the land, he has actually had a greater impact on what happens to Americans both financially and economically than those wars did.
What he tweeted
Trying to convey a cogent thought in 140 characters is fraught with risk, and things can get lost in translation, no doubt about it. Im pretty sure, though, that thats not what Rucho tweeted.
This is: Justice Roberts (sic) pen & Obamacare has done more damage to the USA then (sic) the swords of the Nazis, Soviets & terrorists combined.
Did the Nazis actually use swords? Seriously: Did they?
Whether they did or not, Ruchos tweet is not nearly as thoughtful as his revised explanation, is it? He also said during our conversation that Obamacare is part of the socialist system. Wow. Thats the same thing opponents of Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security said about those government programs that are now such an important part of peoples lives.
In our conversation, Rucho blamed elitists for opposing and misrepresenting what he meant and for defiling his Twitter page with profane responses. By elitists, perhaps he means people such as N.C. Republican Party Chairman Claude Pope, who urged Rucho to apologize.
No. Dont. Please, dont. It is refreshing to hear a pol say what he or she means, even if it is ridiculous and frightens the bejesus out of us. Ill take honest lunacy over a meaningless apology any day. Despite trying to shade the wording, Rucho is standing by his sentiments. Good for you, homes.
Besides, whats more frightening than an elected legislator comparing a bill seeking to provide people with health care to war atrocities and evil men flying airplanes into buildings?
Ill tell you whats more frightening: the fact that many people agree with him. Want to bet that all of those people already have insurance?
Ive seen those comments, Rucho said proudly.
So have I, and the Yeas outnumber the Nays on some websites Ive visited.
Rucho said he sees his problem as one of perception. Just because you use the word Nazi, which to me means World War II, a lot of people try to use that to destroy the messenger rather than criticize the message, he said. They read more into it than was there. Nowhere did I mention Holocaust, or persecution of the Jews or gypsies. Its almost like the elitist group was trying to thwart my ability to bring a serious problem to the peoples attention.
Yall stop thwarting Sen. Ruchos ability to get his thoughts out please and cease putting profanity on his Twitter page. As he said, I have children who read that.
The point Im trying to make, he concluded, is that people need to pay attention. I still think (Obamacare) is a serious problem that rivals the issue of the sword. You cant keep your head in the sand when this kind of action is going on.
Rest assured, Sen. Rucho. In the sand is not where we think your head is.
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