Pawlenty’s Health Care Flip-Flop

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Lame duck Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty has become the latest Republican to sue the government over health reform—only months after saying he didn’t believe there were any legal objections in the bill. Newsweek’s Andrew Romano catches Pawlenty’s blatant flip-flop:

Back on Sept. 13, Pawlenty explicitly ruled out taking legal action against Obamacare. … Stephanopoulos asked a direct, unavoidable question. “So just to be clear,” he said, “are you suggesting that any parts of the plan as the president has laid it out are unconstitutional?”

Pawlenty’s response was equally direct: “I wouldn’t go so far as to say it’s a legal issue.”

It’s no surprise that Pawlenty’s trying to burnish his conservative credentials in hopes of fueling his 2012 presidential aspirations, aligning himself closely with Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann before their joint appearance in Minnesota on Wednesday. For months, Pawlenty has been trying to use health care as a wedge issue to attack his rival Mitt Romney, who’s made an even more radical reversal on the issue given his role in crafting health reform in Massachusetts. But Pawlenty’s flip-flop makes his own political motivations even more transparent—and shows just how far the opposition has moved rightward.

While national Republican legislators have gone soft on their call for full repeal of the law, there’s little sign that these state leaders are letting up on the bombast. South Carolina Attorney General Henry McMaster—who’s running for governor this year, like a number of other attorneys general heading up the lawsuits—is passing around an “almost gothic” video that touts the lawsuit in his own bid for office, as Ben Smith reports. Such efforts may cheer the conservative activists—but they also drive home the fact that the lawsuits are a pure political ploy.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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