Too many McDonald’s
Tom DeLay and his good ol’ boys have once again saved the Republic by addressing one of the most important non-issues of the day: the supposed jeapordy faced by the fast food industry from lawsuits by the obese. Yup, DeLay’s heroism is right there for all to see in the New York Times’ Vote in House Offers a Shield for Restaurants in Obesity Suits.
It’s nothing new to note the Darwinian nature of Republican attitudes toward personal responsibility and social ills. If your health suffers from conditions brought on my faulty products, it’s not the products’ fault, it’s your own.
Take cigarettes. It’s not the tobacco industry’s fault people die from lung cancer; it’s the smoker’s fault. After all, they choose to put that cancer stick in their mouth. No one put a gun to their mouth and forced them to smoke, right? Take guns. It’s not the gun industry’s fault that guns kill people. People kill people, Guns have nothing to do with it. Nobody put that gun in your hand and made you pull the trigger, right? Take fast food. If you’re fat, it’s not McDonald’s fault. Ronald McD. didn’t shove that cheeseburger down your throat now, did he??
Now it’s the fat–er, fast food industry’s turn to hide behind this tort shield erected by House Republicans who’re greedy to join the death industry political gravy train. Why else would they pass sweetheart legislation protecting these industries if they didn’t expect to reap a big windfall in political contributions? But there is some risk that Americans might come to see Republicans as the Party that doesn’t care about the terminally-ill or dead consumers, but rather cares for fat cat executives of the death industries.
As I say, all those high-paying, highly-skilled fast food jobs must be critical for those Republicans to protect. Protecting the gun, tobacco and fast food industries is as critical to protecting our nation’s well-being as fighting terrorism, isn’t it? Otherwise, why would they be wasting an entire day in their legislative session in taking up this ludicrous matter? No less a figure than Tom DeLay himself seemed to deride this new Republican jaunt into corporate protection by saying: “”It is ridiculous that we even need to do a bill like this…” The only problem is that he negated the truth in this statement by adding: “but we do.” Not “we,” Tom. “They.” The fast food industry needs this (though even that statement is doubtful as I’ll point out in a moment). We, the American people don’t need this.
The Republicans couldn’t even come up with a real problem that deserved remedy. No lawsuits against fast food restaurants, no damages awarded by so called runaway juries. So why are they wasting their own and the American people’s time with this meshugas??
John Banzhaf, a law professor at George Washington University who has been a main critic of the measure, said he knew of only one suit that would be covered by the measure and it had been dismissed in court. He said a handful of other such suits had proceeded based on labeling and ingredients. He acknowledged that there were lawyers exploring suing restaurants over obesity.
“There seems to be a hysteria that a couple of law professors are going to pick on poor little defenseless companies like McDonald’s, Kraft and KFC,” Professor Banzhaf said. “It just doesn’t make sense.”
Hey, I’m no Republican. Never have been and never will. But for the life of me I cannot understand why any American would ever vote for a party that stands for protecting the gun, tobacco and fast food industries. In all sincerity, can some thoughtful Republican explain this odious behavior to me?