To the editor:
A price has to be paid. Lies, fear-mongering and pretended outrage against nonexistent health care reform proposals go beyond legitimate political debate. We need to be clear about that, as Mr. Obama has said repeatedly. Those responsible for it can’t be allowed a free pass under the claim that such tactics are included in the rough and tumble of democratic politics.
Sen. Chuck Grassley, Gov. Sarah Palin and now Rep. Todd Tiarht are using the same straw-man tactics employed in past health care debates to create confusion and discourage endorsement of deserving reform measures.
The disrupters of public meeting have nothing to lose but their self-respect. But the politicians who encourage them and repeat their lies should be made to pay a political price. We tolerate exaggeration and political posturing of all kinds during campaigns and discourage single-issue thinking. But for such bald-faced lying, exclusion from public office is an appropriate price. If the Republicans want to regain respect, they should be the first to discipline their members. A price has to be paid.