THE ANONYMOUS comment sections of many publications are notorious for their incivility and malignant smears. But in the debate over replacing Obamacare with a Republican alternative, the American Health Care Act, the online trolls and fever-swamp fanatics have been hard to distinguish from mainstream politicians, journalists, and commentators.
Listen to some what passes for political discourse these days.
- "Donald Trump and Republicans just celebrated voting to let thousands of Americans die so that billionaires get tax breaks." Those are the words of a prominent US senator.
- "They" — Republican House members who voted for the AHCA — "should be lined up and shot. That's not hyperbole; blood is on their hands." So fumes a professor at the Art Institute of Washington.
- "I hope every GOPer who voted for Trumpcare sees a family member get long-term condition, lose insurance, and die. I want the GOPers who support this to feel the pain in their own families. . . . I want them to be tortured." Those sentiments are expressed via Twitter by a senior writer at Newsweek.
- "The GOP Plan For Obamacare Could Kill More People Each Year Than Gun Homicides." That's the headline in Vox, a popular news and opinion website.