Very sore losers.
Last week, reports surfaced
that the Obama administration was considering working with the professional sports leagues to advertise and educate about the Affordable Care Act, reaching a key demographic that might otherwise be hard to access with the information. This, it turns out, is just about the most outrageous thing
that the administration could ever do, at least until the next outrageous thing about Obamacare happens.
“It is difficult for us to remember another occasion when [a] major sports league took public sides in such a highly polarized public debate,” Mitch McConnell and John Cornyn, the highest ranking Republicans in the Senate, wrote in a letter [to the leagues] on Friday. Among other things, they noted, Democrats had used “legislative gimmicks” to enact the law—an apparent reference to the Democrats’ use of budget reconciliation process in order to overcome a Republican filibuster in the Senate.
The letter came one day after Congressman Steve Scalise, head of the Republican Study Committee, sent a similar letter of his own. That missive, sent to the NBA and NFL, predicted that Obamacare would have a "devastating impact on your fans and business partners across the country" and warned the leagues not to do the administration’s "dirty work for them."
Yes, Republicans are that unhinged. Public service announcements about a new program that will be of real benefit to millions of Americans are "dirty work." And the law of the land that will be of real benefit to millions of Americans is just "a highly polarized public debate," maybe illegitimate in fact, because it was passed using "legislative gimmicks." Set aside the fact that Republicans never shied away from using budget reconciliation to pass the Bush tax cuts and the fact that the law is only polarizing in the minds of the Republicans who insist on keeping this fight alive.
Here's the reality. They've invested years in opposing this law, in doing everything in their power to prevent a law which will really help people and has the potential to be very popular from succeeding. Never mind that it will make life better for millions of people. That's exactly what they don't want to happen. That's exactly why they don't want the NBA and the NFL to participate and why they're sending these vaguely threatening, hyperbolic letters. The hell with the health and well-being of their constituents, of the nation. They've got a petty axe to grind, and they're not going to let it go.