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- "...and furthermore, why do we waste money by painting those little yellow and white lines on roads? More government pork, I say!"
The Republican War on Public Health is just getting started! Yesterday, Republican presidential candidate Rand Paul said he preferred "freedom" to vaccinations. Today, the news came out that Paul was a longtime member of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, a group that promoted the (nonexistent) link between vaccines and autism. Chris Christie has kept quiet in the day since he made what was largely interpreted as an anti-vaccination statement, although he's got other issues, like his expensive tastes, to worry about, too. And now that vaccines apparently fall under the banner of personal liberty and freedom, Republicans are taking their hatred of regulation into some new places. Like the bathroom.
North Carolina's Republican senator Thom Tillis was making the argument that the United States is "one of the most regulated nations in the history of the planet." Tillis used a recent discussion at a Starbucks to illustrate his point. As he was talking about the evils of regulation, a Starbucks employee walked out of the bathroom. David Edwards at Raw Story continues:
“Don’t you believe that this regulation that requires this gentlemen to wash his hands before he serves your food is important?” Tillis was asked by the person at his table.
“I think it’s one I can illustrate the point,” Tillis told the women. “I said, I don’t have any problem with Starbucks if they choose to opt out of this policy as long as the post a sign that says ‘We don’t require our employees to wash their hands after leaving the restrooms.’ The market will take care of that.”
This is Teabaggerism taken to its logical extreme, a dimbulb who thinks corporations care about your best interests and don't need any regulation to stay in line. And Tillis's illustration doesn't even really work: In this scenario, is there a regulation demanding that Starbucks put up a sign saying they don't require employees to wash their hands? Isn't that just another regulation? Who would enforce the regulation? Why wouldn't Starbucks just lie? In the video below, Tillis makes his analogy right after the moderator praises him for being "eloquent and substantive."
If I were President Obama, I'd start throwing daily press conferences. At today's press conference, for example, I'd say, "Guys, I was just thinking about how important it is that everyone wears their seat belts. It's a really important law, and I endorse it one hundred percent." Republicans would then fall over themselves trying to argue why seat belts shouldn't be mandatory. Then, tomorrow, I'd hold another press conference. "You know," I'd say, "I know I smoked for many years, so you might not expect me to say this, but I'm really glad we have a system of laws in place that keep cigarettes out of the hands of kids. If anything, I'd like to make those laws stronger." You'd probably get some great video after that of Rand Paul arguing that 10-year-olds should be allowed to choose between Marlboro and Camel cigarettes because it's in the Constitution. The next day, I'd talk about anti-asbestos laws. Then, I'd talk about laws that keep brothers and sisters from marrying. And so on.
As it is, Hillary Clinton is busy poking at her Republican counterparts on Twitter:
The science is clear: The earth is round, the sky is blue, and #vaccineswork. Let's protect all our kids. #GrandmothersKnowBest
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) February 3, 2015