Weiner Blasts McCaughey as a “Pyromaniac” in Health Care Debate


Back in the 90s, Betsy McCaughey helped take down the Clinton health care plan, and has recently been doing her bit to take down Obamacare. Yesterday she debated Congressman Anthony Weiner, who was impolite, referring to her as a “pyromaniac in a straw man factory” and flat-out accusing her of lying about the Obama plan. One guy in the audience hollered “Rude man!” at Weiner until the congressman told him to “pipe down.”

If it surprises you that an elected official would behave so indecorously, bear in mind that iberals, perhaps still aggrieved at the Clinton debacle, have been unrelenting in their attacks on McCaughey. The New Republic, which began apologizing for running McCaughey’s seminal “No Exit” attack on the Clinton plan shortly after running it, this week turned both barrels on her (“Pick an inflammatory, misleading rumor that has sprung up in this debate, and chances are McCaughey had a hand in springing it”). Media Matters asks why she’s even given the time of day by the media, as she is “a proven liar”…

Generally we approve of the use of rough language on the fact-deprived. But we also notice that the conduct of this debate shows no signs of improvement since we first observed it. That Democrats are starting to pick up the tactics of their adversaries may be just and inevitable, but it’s too bad it had to come to this.

Meanwhile Republicans and their agents have been attacking the President for appearing with doctors dressed in clinical whites for a health-care press conference. “It seems POTUS believed we could be duped by a bunch of campaign supporters dressed up to play doctors on camera,” says A J Strata, adding, “Yes, I know they are doctors, but who cares — it’s all imagery because they are also campaign supporters.” Brace yourself for more yelling and cries of fraud on the way to a watered-down bill.


This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on October 6, 2009

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