Fans of talk show host Randi Rhoades, who sadly left the airwaves in 2014, may recall that she frequently used that term in describing the most contemptible form of hypocrisy on the part of Republican politicians. It’s an issue that comes up frequently, and the hypocrites need to be called out on it at every opportunity.

The most recent example of this was demonstrated by Florida governor Rick Scott – a politician so utterly corrupt that he makes “Boss” Tweed and Albert (“Teapot Dome”) Fall look like Abraham Lincoln by comparison. Earlier this month (June 2015), Governor Scott literally signed what reporter Shannon Argueta aptly described on AddictingInfo.org as “death warrants” for the Sunshine State’s working poor. What is particularly onerous is that Scott ran on making health insurance available to those who cannot afford it.

Ironically, Scott was once chairman of the Hospital Corporation of America, a company investigated for defrauding Medicare and settling with the federal government for $2 billion. And now, when there was an opportunity to expand that program for those who voted for him, Scott and his Republican cronies in the Florida House pulled the classic “bait-and-switch.”

Sorry, all you paupers…if you get sick or injured and can’t pay, you’ll just have to die and decrease the surplus population. (One wonders if Scott and his billionaire buddies have thought about who is going to pick their fruit and vegetables, clean and maintain their yachts, wash their dirty dishes and park their limousines if this comes to pass.)

So – no health care for the living, including infants. Apparently, the big mistake that the poor make is being born in the first place – because as long as they’re in the womb, Scott and those like him will fight tooth and nail to protect them (which doesn’t include maternity care, in case you were wondering). Almost immediately (but not surprisingly), Governor Scott signed a bill mandating that women seeking to terminate a pregnancy wait for 24 hours after initial medical consultation.

Supporters of the law say that it is meant to “empower” women, so that they can make an “informed” decision before going through with the procedure. The assumption here is that women who choose to have an abortion due so rather casually.

Obviously, these men (and women who have never been faced with the situation) know nothing about the issue. Anyone who has had any conversation at all with women who have had to terminate a pregnancy understand that it is virtually always a gut-wrenching, agonizing decision – and the psychic and emotional effects can last for months, or even years.

Scott is only one example of the contemptible hypocrites that so self-righteously claim to be “pro-life” in protecting the unborn, then turn around and take away food, shelter and health care once these children come into the world. This pattern is found, and continues to spread in states where the legislature is dominated by right-wing, authoritarian, patriarchal and usually theocratic Republicans. The question is: why this double standard?

It’s a similar mindset when it comes to veterans. The same politicians who so loudly beat the drums of war (and the U.S. hasn’t fought a necessary or even “declared” war since 1945), sending idealistic and patriotic men and women into harm’s way for what they are told is “freedom,” are the first to ignore them and cast them aside when they come home, wounded in body and spirit.

Scott laid it out for all of us when he said the reason for not expanding Medicare for low-income Floridians was because the state couldn’t “afford” it.

It’s all about the money. We can afford wars, but we can’t afford to take care of those who fought them on our behalf. We can afford draconian laws to regulate and control poor people, but we can’t afford to provide them with medical services.

But one supposes that at least, by championing the cause of the unborn, they can look really moral and righteous without having to actually put their money where their mouths are.

SHARE
K.J. McElrath is a former history and social studies teacher who has long maintained a keen interest in legal and social issues.