You know what the healthcare debate could use right now? Profanity.
Seriously. I’m not kidding.
The debate over healthcare has become so poisoned with lies and bitterness, we need something to really shake it up. Something that really grabs attention and is a game changer media-wise. If I were in charge of media strategy for the White House, I’d get Joe Biden on a high profile interview show and when the subject turns to the townhall protests/death panels/etc., I’d have him say that it’s “bullshit”.
Do it on a Monday and the VP’s potty-mouth will be the trivial topic du jour for the entire week. Republicans will spin up the faux outrage machine, reporters will pepper Robert Gibbs about whether or not Obama would repudiate Biden, and news outlets across the country would report the story and its various twists because, like it or not, it would be one of those silly little news stories they can’t help but obsess over.
Sure, there’s downsides. Biden looks like a jackass (again), it would distract from the White House’s wonkish healthcare messaging (that people aren’t really following anyways), but there are two huge upsides.
One, it energizes the base. When Dick Cheney told Patrick Leahy to fuck himself, liberals nearly passed out from all the faux outrage, but at the end of the day Cheney refused to apologize and conservatives respected him all the more for it. With liberal enthusiasm pretty much at a nadir, we could use a galvanizing middle-finger like gesture to feel more empowered (because our majorities in both houses of Congress don’t seem willing to stand up for anything).
Secondly, if Joe Biden calls protester bullshit for what it is, every mention of the story just repeats the association. Death panels, bullshit, pulling the plug on grandma, bullshit, euthanasia, bullshit, socialism, bullshit, Hitler, bullshit. It’s a seed that needs to be planted in the minds of every uninformed person who’s seeing footage of these rabid townhall protests and thinking “If they’re THIS mad, there must be something wrong.”
Ummm…no, it’s just a bunch of bullshit.