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Solid for meanness 

The on-line political journal The Onion exposes the weakness of a potential presidential candidate:

"Though Mitt Romney is considered to be a frontrunner for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination, the national spotlight has forced him to repeatedly confront a major skeleton in his political closet: that as governor of Massachusetts he once tried to help poor, uninsured sick people.

"Romney, who signed the state's 2006 health care reform act, has said he 'deeply regrets' giving people in poor physical and mental health the opportunity to seek medical attention, admitting that helping very sick people get better remains a dark cloud hovering over his political career, and his biggest obstacle to becoming president of the United States of America."

Sounds like a RINO, all right. Real Republicans are reliably hostile to the poor, the sick, the uninsured and the female. Pity only encourages these people, according to the Republican National Committee; Real Republicans save their sympathy for corporations.

Here is how a real Republican votes in Congress:

To withhold federal funds for school-based preventive-care clinics that would provide the only health care available to many poor children. To use the U.S. tax laws against women who seek control of their own bodies. To assure private health-insurance companies of large profits, without competition, at the expense of consumers. To continue billions of dollars worth of tax breaks now given to the biggest oil companies. To require the U.S. government to let the oil companies do more offshore drilling of the sort that produced the Gulf of Mexico disaster.

That, in case you didn't recognize it, is exactly how Arkansas's Republican congressmen voted in just the first week of this month. Afterward, they were probably giving high fives all around: No shirkers here!

And it's not as though Reps. Rick Crawford, Tim Griffin and Steve Womack hadn't already shown their Grand Old Party mettle. They'd previously voted to end Medicare, privatize Social Security, make consumers pay higher prices for prescription drugs, and give more tax breaks to the very rich. They have their cold eyes on the public schools, notoriously soft on poor kids.

When we saw in the paper this week that Crawford was "distressed and sickened," we first thought he'd repented, had finally realized how contemptible was his behavior, would henceforth be a new and better man. But once again, we'd overestimated Rick Crawford; it's almost impossible not to. What he was "sickened" by, it turns out, was not his own misdeeds but criticism of him that had been reported by a local newspaper. Today's Republican has little use for the First Amendment either.

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