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Collective Amnesia

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By Howard Kurtz
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, August 13, 2009; 12:47 PM

My hypocrisy meter is getting quite a workout these days.

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Both sides play the selective outrage game, acting shocked and horrified that a White House is doing something that bothered them not at all when it was done by the White House they supported.

In the current frenzy over Obamacare and town hall hysterics, some conservatives seem to be suffering from amnesia.

Obama is an out-of-control government spender! True, his trillion-dollar health plan is costly, but at least he attempts to pay for it, unlike Bush's hugely expensive Medicare prescription drug benefit. And 43 ran up massive deficits.

Obama's town hall meeting is full of plants! Did they snooze through all those tightly screened "Ask George Bush" sessions?

Obama promised to be a post-partisan president! Well, that hasn't worked too well, although he rarely attacks Republicans. But remember the phrase "uniter not a divider"?

Legitimate health-care protesters are being demonized! The way the right went after Cindy Sheehan? (Although she did give critics plenty of ammunition.)

We're not against fixing the system, just this particular monstrosity! Did I doze off on the day Bush unveiled his health-care reform plan?

The Democrats are threatening to ram through health care without Republican votes! The House Republicans once held open a late-night vote for an extra 15 minutes so they could muscle through a bill, and many measures were pushed without Democratic amendments.

Obamacare would have the government meddle in end-of-life decisions! Two words: Terri Schiavo.

Now it works the other way as well. Democrats (including Obama) who had no problem voting against John G. Roberts Jr. for the Supreme Court on ideological grounds ripped Republicans for opposing Sonia Sotomayor. Democrats who assailed Bush for attaching signing statements to laws have looked the other way as this president has done the same thing. But it's the health-care debate that has brought the double standards to the fore.

At Politics Daily, Bob Franken has his memory refreshed:


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