As you can see from this video, Gerry Connolly is hopping mad, and I don’t blame him one bit. Basically, the issue here is that, since the NY-26 special election – in which a Democrat won in an overwhelmingly Republican district, in large part on the issue of Republicans’ plans to demolish Medicare – the GOP has been making political changes to Democratic “franked” mailers attacking the Ryan Plan, aka the “Destroy Medicare Act of 2011.”
Believe it or not, the House Republican majority – Can’tor, BONer et al – is now prohibiting the use of language like “to eliminate Medicare as we know it” and are replacing it with neutral/non-descriptive/Orwellian language like “to change Medicare.” They are prohibiting the use of “a privatized system that would provide future seniors with a voucher to pay part of their cost to purchase private insurance” and recommend replacing it with “a revised government program with support from private insurance companies.” They want to remove the word “voucher” and force Democrats to use their rhetorical “premium support system” language.
These changes, and the many other changes the Republican majority is insisting upon, are outrageous and un-American. A few choice quotes from Rep. Connolly follow. I couldn’t agree with him more on this one.
“It’s Orwellian in nature. This is like Soviet censorship. It’s intolerable. The Majority on the Franking Commission is way overstepping their boundaries. Their job is to make sure that members of Congress are not sending out mail pieces that are overtly political. They are trampling on free speech. It is an outrage of unprecedented proportions.”
“Unbelievable. I stunned that the majority would engage in an exercise of this breathtaking censorship, and all because the Republicans are feeling some heat on their plan to kill Medicare.”
“The Majority’s edits of my newsletter speak for themselves. Many of these phrases were approved in newsletters that went out the door prior to the NY 26 special election. They are censoring factual content that in some case were their own words. They are changing their tune due to political fallout and bad poll results.”
“I can’t even describe the Ryan Plan as ‘the Ryan Plan.’ I can’t describe the Republican plan as a voucher system, even though the Republicans called it that until the NY 26 special election.”
“Facts and reality are inconvenient truths, but that doesn’t mean the Republican Majority gets to suppress them. They are trying to alter reality. They are trampling on Minority rights.”
“Hopefully, cooler heads will prevail and the Speaker will intervene.”