Congressional Republicans are expressing outrage over freshman Rep. Alan Grayson's suggestion on the House floor Tuesday night that the GOP health care plan amounts to little more than "don't get sick" -- and if you do, "die quickly."
Republicans have called for an apology from the Florida Democrat, and have compared Grayson's remark to Rep. Joe Wilson's (R-S.C.) "You lie!" outburst.
But there's a big difference between the two floor statements. One was unprecedented -- the president had never been called a liar by a member of Congress during an address in all of American history.
By contrast, charges that the opposition's health care plan will kill people have been about as common on the House floor lately as resolutions naming post offices.
Take Rep. Ginny Brown-Waite (R-Fla.), who said in July: "Last week, Democrats released a health care bill which essentially said to America's seniors: drop dead."
Or Rep. Paul Broun (R-Ga.), a doctor, who reviewed the public health insurance option in July and diagnosed that it is "gonna kill people."
Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-N.C.), not one to pull punches, suggested on the House floor that Congress "make sure we bring down the cost of health care for all Americans and that ensures affordable access for all Americans and is pro-life because it will not put seniors in a position of being put to death by their government."
July was a busy time for House floor death sentences. Also that month, Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas), noted: "One in five people have to die because they went to socialized medicine...I would hate to think that among five women, one of 'em is gonna die because we go to socialized care."
Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) had a similar assessment. "They're going to save money by rationing care, getting you in a long line. Places like Canada, United Kingdom, and Europe. People die when they're in line," he said on the House floor in July.
So far, none of the members of Congress who made such charges have apologized.