The tweet was a description of Clint Eastwood's performance, and every source I can find attributes it to the 10:10 PM August 30 tweet from Jamelle Bouie. I have not been able to find any attribution to Senator Harkin (before or after that tweet). (There was no reference in the tweet, or anything I said, to him being angry.)
At any rate, what I focused on is arguing with the imaginary - not who is doing the arguing. What troubles me are false assertions, which are then used as the basis to convince people to vote against someone (or something). Both sides are doing their fair share of it. Because it impacts me personally - the lies about what is in the Affordable Care act are some of the lies I notice most - and they are part of the imaginary Barack Obama.
As to the Affordable Care Act I have heard the following whoppers just in the last week:
Whopper #1: Another variation of the "death panels." None of the proposed bills (or the final version) included "death panels." in any form. A provision which allowed doctors to be paid for the full spectrum of end of life counseling when they provide it was misconstrued as a panel deciding whether granny should live or die. The issue being addressed by the bill was that people who wanted their doctors to discuss hospice, or pain control, or ceasing v. continuing extraordinary care often were denied access to that counseling because Medicare did not pay doctors for the time they spent providing that service. The change was solely to permit doctors to be paid for a service many were already providing without compensation. The new (also false) version is that in 2014 elderly patients will be denied major medical care, like chemo, unless they can obtain government approval in 2014.
Whopper #2: As of 2014 small businesses will be required to provide insurance to their employees and will have to pay fines even if their employees have their own health insurance through private purchase or their spouse's plan. Completely false. as to small businesses, and only partially true with respect to large businesses. No business is required to provide insurance. Large businesses will have to pay a fee to help cover the cost of tax credits claimed by their employees IF the large business does not provide affordable insurance AND AND their employees claim a tax credit. Small businesses never have to pay this fee.
Whopper #3: The Affordable Care Act has no cost reduction measures in it. Again - false. The ACA has numerous cost cutting provisions from fraud reduction, the implementation of preventative care (designed to catch illness while the cost of treating them is lower), requiring insurance company rebates if their profits are too high (the first $1.1 million in rebates were returned by August 1), bundling payments, and more outlined here.
That is the context for why the tweet resonated wtih me. My daughter's ability to afford health care for two chronic and costly conditions depends on key provisions of the Affordable Care Act (the right to insurance, and equity of premiums, and subsidies in the likely event she will be unable to work full time). I'm willing to debate whether the ACA is good or not. But what I am tired of is having to spend the first half, or more, of every discussion countering all of the imaginary provisions of the Affordable Care Act before we can even start talking about whether what is in there is a good plan or not.
Whether you agree or disagree with the Affordable Care Act, if the decision about whether to keep Barack Obama as President or replace him with Mitt Romney depends in part on the Affordable Care Act, that decision ought to be based in reality - not on the imaginary Obamacare or imaginary Barack Obama, or the imaginary Mitt Romney, for that matter. There are enough legitimate differences of opinion about the real things and their proponents. What I want (and what that tweet captures for me) is the need to debate what is real - not what is imaginary.