Today on his radio show, our governor, who wants to be Your President, made the following comment:
"Right now, they can't even reasonably and efficiently live up to their promises for the manufacturing and distribution of vaccine for the flu. Doesn't that foreshadow problems with them try to take over even more of your health care decision making? If you can't even manufacture and distribute flu vaccine in the manner that you promised, do you really think they should take over more of the system?"
Not only is he wrong and, oh, by the way, lying, he's apparently getting talking points from an ad being run by The American Future Fund. Which is also wrong and lying.
It's a further example of the irresponsibility of the modern GOP. And it's a further example of the morphing of our supposedly once moderate governor into a tea party fundie.
Assertions like Mr. Pawlenty's are irresponsible contributions to the hysteria surrounding both this virus and the debate about health insurance reform. As I am willing to wager that he is well aware of the fact that the government is not manufacturing the vaccine or distributing it but has instead bought the supply in order to provide it free to the public, then I am forced to conclude that it is indeed his intention to lie in order to win support and PAC dollars. While it is true that the American voter has come to expect such distortions from politicians, it seems that the GOP of the 21st century has made this its modus operandi: win through fear, by any means necessary.
I am also willing to bet that he knows that the government will not be taking over health care, let alone the ability of individual citizens to make decisions.
This sort of rhetoric is neither helpful nor useful; it is only a means to power for its own sake. Mr. Pawlenty's continued transformation into an example of the worst element of the Republican Party is embarrassing to me as a Minnesotan and should be shameful to him as a human. I expect more out of a leader, but clearly, this is not what Mr. Pawlenty is.
He either knows he is lying and is doing it on purpose, or he is ignorant. Neither of these possibilities are virtuous.
p.s. I won't even get into the gross misunderstanding of the vaccine manufacturing process evident in his comment.