In this wicked world of woe, there are hucksters, flimflammers, plain ol' crooks — and Republican members of the California State Assembly.
This last bunch of scoundrels went out of their way to monkey-wrench the rollout of President Obama's new health care law. Obama's computer geniuses were making a hash of the initial rollout in October, but the sign-up was finally smoothing out — and with any Obama success, GOP lawmakers automatically start tossing monkey wrenches.
This time, the tool they tossed is a fake website created by California Republican legislators in August to look like the state's official health exchange site, where people can sign up to get coverage under the Affordable Care Act. When things finally got worked out on the national health care exchange in November, the Repubs mailed a pamphlet to their constituents, directing them to the decoy site, calling it a "resource guide" to "help" them navigate the ACA sign-up process.
Far from help, however, the faux site is a trap. It's filled with boilerplate Republican propaganda against the law, gimmicks to discourage viewers from even applying for the health care they need, and a rash of distortions and outright lies.
There's so much bunkum on the site that its fine print includes a disclaimer saying they don't vouch for "the quality, content, accuracy, or completeness of the information" it provides.
The silliest thing about the lawmakers' blatantly political ploy is that even if it convinces some people to forgo the ACA's benefits, who does that hurt? Not Obama — but their own constituents! I know there's no IQ requirement to be a state legislator, but what were they thinking?
We can laugh at their low comedy, but if you're a California taxpayer, congratulations: You paid for the Republicans' bogus website and mailings.
Jim Hightower is the best-selling author of Swim Against the Current: Even a Dead Fish Can Go With the Flow, on sale now from Wiley Publishing. For more information, visit jimhightower.com.