The jubilant shouts of members of the GOP audience encouraging the death of a hypothetical uninsured man bring to mind the 2009 House floor speech delivered by former Florida Rep. Alan Grayson, in which he famously charged: "The Republicans want you to die quickly if you get sick." Members of the crowd at the Tampa debate agree with Grayson.
CNN's Wolf Blitzer, the event's moderator, posed the hypothetical question to Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas): What do you tell a guy who is sick, goes into a coma and doesn't have health insurance? Who pays for his coverage? "Are you saying society should just let him die?" Wolf Blitzer asked.
"Yeah!" several members of the crowd yelled out.
HuffPost asked Grayson what he thought of the crowd cheering for the death of the uninsured man. He writes:
My speech was about the fact I had been listening to the Republicans for months, and they literally had no plan to help all those millions of people who can’t see a doctor when they’re sick. So I said, in sort of a wry manner, that their plan was "don’t get sick." All I really wanted to do was just call attention to the stark absence of a Republican plan. But Fox, trying to take the heat off Joe Wilson and Sarah Palin I guess, transmogrified that into a charge that Republicans want to kill people.
What you saw tonight is something much more sinister than not having a healthcare plan. It's sadism, pure and simple. It's the same impulse that led people in the Coliseum to cheer when the lions ate the Christians. And that seems to be where we are heading -- bread and circuses, without the bread. The world that Hobbes wrote about -- "the war of all against all."