A Democratic Legislator Has Been Shot. Therefore Republicans Should Change the Name of Their Health Care Repeal Bill.


At The Huffington Post, Democratic Rep. Chellie Pingree says the path to civility in politics starts with changing the name of the House GOP's health care repeal bill:

A good place to start a more civil dialog would be for my Republican colleagues in the House to change the name of the bill they have introduced to repeal health care reform. The bill, titled the "Repeal the Job Killing Health Care Law Act," was set to come up for a vote this week, but in the wake of Gabby's shooting, it has been postponed at least until next week.

Don't get me wrong—I'm not suggesting that the name of that one piece of legislation somehow led to the horror of this weekend—but is it really necessary to put the word "killing" in the title of a major piece of legislation? I don't think that word is in there by accident—my Republican friends know as well as anyone the power of words to send a message. But in this environment and at this moment in our nation's history, it's not the message we should be sending.

Yes, that's it. A deranged young man shoots a congresswoman and kills six people for no clear or comprehensible reason; obviously, the proper response is to implore your political opponents to change the name of a piece of mostly symbolic repeal legislation. Regardless of whether you care for the repeal bill, its slightly awkward title, or the GOP's annoyingly-on-message fondness for repeating the phrase "job-killing," this seems a remarkably small and petty way to respond to last weekend's horrific events. But I suppose that's what happens when genuinely terrible acts are squeezed through the partisan meat grinder and processed into easy talking points. 

Still, she seems to have convinced at least one of her Republican colleagues. Republican Rep. Mike Pence apparently told several reporters that he thought the phrase "job-killing" should go. "I prefer 'government takeover of health care,'" he said. But that might present a rhetoric problem too. Doesn't Pence know that's Politifact's Lie of the Year?