The Political Opportunism of Representative Timothy Murphy

Representative Murphy has risen to new heights of new lows. His response to the tragedy in Oregon (printed below)is that it is a shame that his bill has still not made it out of committee after almost 2 years because so many people just don’t care about the “mentally ill”. This tragedy is just more evidence they don’t care and of the horrible results of that lack of care.

“We have a federal mental health system more interested in protecting people’s rights to be sick than their rights to be well,” said Murphy to CNN following yesterday’s tragedy in Roseburg, Oregon when a gunman opened fire at Umpqua Community College killing at least nine people and wounding several others. “We have a criminal justice system more interested in putting people in prison than giving them hospital beds. We don’t have enough providers or places for care. We spend and waste billions on absurd programs like making collages and buying paints and having websites with the sing along songs and refusing to even acknowledge that schizophrenia and bipolar illness exists.”

The shooting came on the same day 23 organizations in the mental health and substance abuse community sent a letter to House Energy and Commerce Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) and Ranking Member Frank Pallone (D-NJ) urging the committee to undertake and markup meaningful mental health reform legislation. H.R. 2646, the Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act, currently boasts 128 cosponsors and endorsements from newspaper editorsphysicians, and parents of children with mental illness.” 

Part of the problem with the representative is that he has never shown much recognition that not agreeing and not caring are not the same thing. Neither does he seem to understand that telling people who disagree with him that the real problem with them is that really don’t care is unlikely to be found very persuasive or make much better.

I don’t see why it is such a hard thing to realize.

But given it still seems a mystery perhaps it is.

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