ABC Panelist Goes Off the Rails, ‘Lives Will Be Lost’ After Obamacare Repeal

During a rather rowdy edition of ABC’s This Week on Sunday, publisher of The Nation, Katrina vanden Heuvel, went off the rails several times with radical predictions and unhinged proclamations. At the end of a conversation about how President Donald Trump and the Republican Party can ease the public fear of repealing Obamacare vanden Heuvel declared, “The very communities which elected Trump in West Virginia, Kentucky, Ohio, are ravaged by an opioid epidemic, they will be the first hit. Lives will be lost! Lives are in the balance!

Her wild ranting of people dying in the streets was in response to the National Reviews Rich Lowry who was explaining that the GOP should start “doubling down and being more committed on replacement.” He elaborated, arguing that Republican Congress members don’t want the Congressional Budget Office to claim that millions of American would lose their health insurance.

Something so simple brought such a dire prediction out of vanden Heuvel. It did seem as though it was Lowry who was drawing the ridiculousness out of her.

Earlier in the conversation, the panel was discussing how it appeared that the White House is rewriting their controversial travel ban executive order so it could pass legal challenges. “I think that's exactly what they should do,” Lowery stated at one point. “You know this is a week the president has discovered the limits of his power. No president is above the law,” vanden Heuvel responded before claiming Trump is trying to undermine the people that will hold his feet to the fire:

There was a calculated strategy to delegitimize the institutions which should hold this administration accountable. The judiciary obviously is one. And the media. And the media. A media that will not just be self-interested but a media that would hold power accountable. And a media that will expose this administration for failing to fulfill its campaign promises to hold Wall Street accountable and stand with working people.

Not long after, the discussion shifted to the massive protests GOP lawmakers are facing at town hall meetings back home. The liberal members of the panel were overjoyed by the idea that the left would have their own Tea Party movement (they seemed to have forgotten that they had such a movement in Occupy Wall Street, but it has long since died out).

This included vanden Heuvel who swooned saying, “Listen, we're seeing resistance in the streets. And as a Progressive, I believe the people are leading the politicians right now. But I also think you need the resistance to go from protests to politics.” She didn’t like the comparison to the Tea Party but argued for “a Tea Party of values.” She took a disturbing turn when she asserted that Trump would be their rallying cause, “There’s nothing like a Trump to concentrate the mind. Hanging concentrates the mind.

Juxtapositioning “hanging concentrated the mind” with the president of the United States is quite alarming and irresponsible. And would never be tolerated if she was talking about former President Barack Obama. But then again, this is the person who has defended Russian President Vladimir Putin time and time again. 

Transcript below: 

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ABC
This Week
February 12, 2017
9:45:06 PM Eastern

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: Why not just pull back the order. Moot out the whole current issue and come back with one that's more airtight?

RICH LOWRY: I think that's exactly what they should do.

KATRINA VANDEN HEUVEL: You know this is a week the president has discovered the limits of his power. No president is above the law. But I think, George, it shouldn't go unmarked. These are unprecedented times. The interview you just did with Stephen Miller. There was a calculated strategy to delegitimize the institutions which should hold this administration accountable. The judiciary obviously is one. And the media. And the media. A media that will not just be self-interested but a media that would hold power accountable. And a media that will expose this administration for failing to fulfill its campaign promises to hold Wall Street accountable and stand with working people.

STEPHANOPOULOS: But Rich, isn’t that an important distinction? I think you're exactly right. Lots and lots of presidents have disagreed with court rulings without calling into question the legitimacy of the judge making the ruling.

LOWRY: He shouldn't have done that. But look, what was his tweet on right after the ninth circuit ruling? “See you in court.” Even if that's in all capital letters that is not a threat to our system or to our republic.

VANDEN HEUVEL: I also think we should stop the hyper-coverage of his tweets. He’s winning the morning and distracting us from some real news. Listen, we're seeing resistance in the streets. And as a Progressive, I believe the people are leading the politicians right now. But I also think you need the resistance to go from protests to politics. And I think we will witness-- we see at the rallies, people energized. I’ve been following this. Thousands of people want to run for office.

COKIE ROBERTS: Yes, that’s the interesting part.

VANDEN HEUVEL: So we need to have -- I don't like the analogy, but a Tea Party of values. A Tea Party of Progressives. Thousands of people running at the local level for school boards, for city councils. And that is happening and it’s very important.

VANDEN HEUVEL: Grover is right. Grover is right to a certain extent. One has to be realistic. The Democratic Party at the state level has been decimated. It will be a struggle. It will be a generational struggle to rebuild. But there is now—There’s nothing like a Trump to concentrate the mind. Hanging concentrates the mind.

LOWRY: This is what I think they should react to this protest and town halls. Not by backing off on repeal. But doubling down and being more committed on replacement. Because you don't want, you know, a CBO score saying “18 million people are going to lose their insurance.” You need an answer to that question.

[Crosstalk]

LOWRY: There are a bunch of wonks who worked on this

[Crosstalk]

VANDEN HEUVEL: Grover, Grover. The very communities who elected Trump -- The very communities which elected Trump in West Virginia, Kentucky, Ohio, are ravaged by an opioid epidemic, they will be the first hit. Lives will be lost! Lives are in the balance!

NB Daily Health Care Medical Insurance Immigration Conspiracy Theories Covert Liberal Activists Labeling Sudden Respect Political Groups Conservatives & Republicans Liberals & Democrats Protesters Tea Parties ABC This Week Video ObamaCare Rich Lowry Katrina Vanden Heuvel Donald Trump Stephen Miller

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