Conservatives in Congress are trying to derail the health reform bill by arguing that it allows people to purchase private insurance that covers abortion. Conservatives are demanding that the bill include language prohibiting even private insurers from paying for an abortion. Many of these conservatives are the same people who have denounced the public option as creeping socialism. Republican House minority leader John Boehner has called the health insurance reform bill, “the greatest threat to freedom that I have seen in the 19 years I’ve been in Washington.”
We are accustomed to reading histories that deify the Founding Fathers. They, after all, overthrew the world’s greatest military power to establish a republic, and they did it with rhetorical grace that even today stirs the heart. Our idealized view of the Founding Fathers obscures their failings as often as it eclipses other great American political leaders who did not have the good fortune to be alive in 1776.