Olbermann: Senators' ObamaCare Opposition Product of Campaign Bribery; Huffington Calls for Censure

August 13th, 2009 10:07 AM

If you want to understand how the left-wing views opposition to ObamaCare, look no further than MSNBC's Aug. 12 "Countdown with Keith Olbermann."

According to Huffington Post editor and co-founder Arianna Huffington and MSNBC host Keith Olbermann, nobody could possibly oppose health care/health insurance reform on the merits of the legislation or for ideological or philosophical reasons. There must be something nefarious occurring.

At a town hall meeting on Aug. 12, Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, voiced his opposition to H.R. 3200 and other forms of legislation that would dramatically change health care, which he felt would be for the worse. This was too much for Huffington, who called Grassley a liar.

"Actually, I think that Senator Reid should actually call for a vote of censure on Sen. Grassley," Huffington said. "Remember, Republicans do that a lot. Whenever a Democrat says something which doesn't make sense, which crosses a line, they call for a vote of censure. Well, what about calling for a vote of censure on Sen. Grassley?  After all, he absolutely lied about what is in the bill and he's a senator. He's not just a member of the lunatic fringe, you know? He's not a Rush Limbaugh or Ann Coulter or Michelle Malkin, you know? He is a United States senator. There should be certain things that he does not do or say."

Olbermann proposed that there was something else at play. He wondered if Grassley, one of the more moderate Republicans and a thorn in the side of conservatives for notoriously supporting ethanol subsidies, and Sen. Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., (who once voiced support to reform the health system) received threats to their campaign funding for supporting health care efforts.

"Do we assume in both of these cases that somebody got to them both - in Isakson's case and in Grassley's - and said, ‘If you do not repudiate what you seem to have said yesterday, this compromise, this good behavior, this societally cognizant willingness to compromise, if you don't do that, we're never going to contribute to you again'?" Olbermann said.

Huffington certainly thought it possible. She and others on the left are insisting that senators on both sides of the aisle who oppose a public insurance option, including Grassley, Isakson and even Senate Finance Committee Chairman Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., must be in the pockets of special interests.

"Well, remember, Sen. Grassley has received over $2 million from the drug and health insurance industry since 2003. But equally troubling, Keith, is the fact that Sen. Baucus has received $1.5 million just in the last two years," Huffington added. "So, we need to acknowledge that there are people who are really going to do everything they can and use especially fear-mongering to undermine reform. That's why we haven't had reform for so many years."