Critics called it “a cruel hoax and a delusion,” a socialist program that would compete with private insurers and kill jobs. If it passes, Americans will feel “the lash of the dictator,” and “end the progress of a great country.” One New York Republican representative said, “Never has any measure been so insidiously designed to prevent business recovery, to enslave workers.” We were told that to cooperate with it would be “complicity in evil.”

Am I describing the outcry against Obama-care? No. Those quotes are from prominent Republican opponents of Social Security in 1935, and Medicare in 1965. Same party as today, though. Same fear-mongering, same predictions that the sky would fall if America extends a hand to its most needy.

Today’s Republicans must slouch back to their districts and explain why a bill that prevents insurers from refusing people, or canceling people if they get sick, is somehow the work of the devil.

I’m not being figurative here; recently, Republican Party Chairman Michael Steele cheerfully unveiled his Web site featuring Nancy Pelosi engulfed in flames.

Ken Shilling, Lewiston