Wanted: Orthodox Catholic Political Leaders (Time To Get Serious)

Thursday, May 10, AD 2012

My adult conversion to Catholicism came about through many converging spiritual streams, but one of the things I remember that had perhaps, the biggest positive impact, was my introduction to the Papal Social Encyclicals. I was immediately impressed by the non-ideological, Biblically-consistent worldview expressed by the Catholic Magisterium. As my initial conversion led to graduate Theological studies, teaching in Catholic high schools around the world, and a run for Florida State House; I have remained an ardent admirer of the Social Doctrine of the Church.

It is one of my lifetime goals to find ways to promote the social teachings of our Catholic Magisterium, and to find practical ways to cultivate Catholic political leaders who are similarly dedicated to the work of building civilizations of love founded upon the principles of our complete corpus of social doctrine teachings. As a candidate I discovered that most parishes are ill-equipped to nurture future Catholic leaders or even assist in the process of educating and informing the laity of how they can better influence elections on the basis of the many important moral issues (which have specific Magisterial guidance). It is great to pray for Christian Justice in our world, and it is necessary to take up the responsibility of voting when given that opportunity. But grace builds upon nature, and there is so much more that we could be doing as Catholics to better organize ourselves to have more positive collective impact on our communities and American society.

I urge that we work on two fronts simultaneously-1. Educating the Catholic laity to the Catholic social teachings and the guidance given by our Pope and Bishops’ 2. Use our religious freedoms more effectively at the parish level. I often make use of the story of William Wilberforce, a Christian politician who fought tirelessly to stop the slave trade in Great Britain- he was eventually successful utilizing organizational tools which we could use today (as the Civil Rights Movement here in America demonstrated). I hope my practical advice will be of some use for all those interested in maximizing our public Catholic witness in the social (temporal) realm.

Here are some specific practical proposals:

1. Every parish should organize “Social Doctrine Nights” where specific issues are discussed in the context of the social doctrine, as taught in official sources like Papal Encyclicals, the Compendium of Social Doctrine, the Catechism, US Bishop Pastoral Letters, and so forth. The parish priest should be front and center publicizing the Nights from the pulpit and being present for the meetings to put teeth into the promotion.

2. It would also be good if every parish started a “Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church book club”. This would help to locate a core group of lay persons who are truly interested in fulfilling their responsibility to the Temporal Order, to reform the world according to Christ’s teachings and will, as revealed by our Church’s authoritative documents. These hardy souls will go far in sharing their knowledge on those Social Doctrine Nights. At the least, we will give the laity many chances to inform their consciences on public policy matters.

3. As the election cycle nears, every parish should start scheduling town hall meetings and Candidate Forum events. Political candidates should be held accountable before the election takes place. They need to go on record with their thoughts on the issues that our parishioners deem important. The only requirement for such forums is that all candidates are invited with no
obvious bias during the event. Town hall meetings should be convened on singular issues of great importance, and local leaders and potential leaders should be invited to participate or attend.

4. Documents from the U.S. Bishops’ Conferences should be distributed widely in every parish. These documents can easily be inserted into every Sunday Bulletin.

5. Questionnaires for candidates from Catholic Conferences and reputable Catholic Pro-Life organizations should be distributed with information on the issues providing the reader with a clear idea of what the official Church is advising/teaching on the political issue being raised. These questionnaire results should be widely distributed well in advance of the actual Election Day.

6. Potential Catholic political leaders need to be groomed and supported by the Church by all legal means. We cannot be hamstrung by laws that seem bent on keeping an artificial (and false) wall of separation between Church and State. Both the Church and State have particular functions in society, they are not the same, but they are not to be pitted against one another. One way to cope with the reality here, in the United States, is to help private Catholic action groups and organizations, to form apart from the official dioceses and Catholic conferences. These private Catholic organizations could form PACS and contribute directly to Catholic individuals who are seeking to serve the common good first and foremost. They should be committed to serving the official Church social doctrine.

7. Catholic schools should also do more to promote the social doctrine among the youth. I once organized a debate for all congressional candidates in the Catholic high school where I was teaching. The students wrote the questions and had a chance to mingle with the candidates afterwards. It was the only such debate for those candidates in the entire election cycle and many students were positively impacted by the experience. Another area of improvement would be in the development of textbooks with a Catholic perspective, and that covered such areas as Literature, History, Media, Social Studies and so forth. The Catholic worldview and social doctrine have been confined to religion classes, and this has contributed to the compartmentalization of Catholic understanding and expression. Catholic students, with rare exceptions, are not graduating and moving the public debate beyond the narrow partisan/ideological confines of Political Left/Right.

I offer these suggestions because I believe that, as Catholics, we have the blueprint for building a civilization of love at every level of human society. The blueprint is our social doctrine and the gift of our Magisterium in guiding the principles and teachings of Christ into our complex world. As a candidate for public office I discovered a huge void in our Catholic parishes for offering a

place of contact between budding political leaders and the Catholic laity. Nurturing orthodox Catholics to become political leaders in our society is something that also seems missing from the average parish. Having a unique Blueprint (our Social Doctrine) but not having sound organization to carry out the plan is a terrible waste of potential. It is time to go from the drawing phase to building and implementing- to make visible this civilization of love our beloved popes write about with such strong conviction. This is our potential, this is an essential part of our Catholic evangelization. There are a lot of Catholic groups and organizations who lobby politicians after the fact of their election, but we should be intervening in the process from the beginning- nurturing leaders, educating every generation of voter, and providing candidate forums and town hall meetings in our churches (all perfectly legal!).

Once again, these strategies involve the following precepts:

– social doctrine promotion
– town hall meetings
– candidate forums
– encouragement of private Catholic PACS
– Catholic youth mentoring

Pope John Paul II insisted that was necessary for Catholics “to seek the Kingdom of God in dealing with temporal realities and in ordering them in accordance with the divine will.” And he urged us to be courageous in giving witness to our faith in the public arena.

Quoting from “Lumen Gentium”, No.36, Pope John Paul II said that lay men and women, after receiving a sound catechesis and continuing formation, have a clear mission “to extend the Kingdom of God in and through their secular activity, so that ‘the world will be imbued with the Spirit of Christ and more effectively attain its purpose in justice, in love and in peace” (No.3). Hence, the faithful need to receive clear instructions on their duties as Christians, and on their obligation to act in accordance with the Church’s authoritative teachings, the Pope added. And to those who object that such instruction has overly political tones John Paul II stated clearly: “While fully respecting the legitimate separation of Church and state in American life, such a catechesis must also make clear that for the faithful Christian there can be no separation between the faith which is to be believed and put into practice and a commitment to full and responsible participation in professional, political and cultural life” (No.3).

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10 Responses to Wanted: Orthodox Catholic Political Leaders (Time To Get Serious)

  • Good thoughtful post Tim; definitely good considerations to ponder. All who seek to be faithful to the magisterium should have the Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church, along wth the Catechism, and work to be familiar with both in their entirety; not cherry picking a favorite section here or there. For most of us their will be plenty that will challenge our political orientation. What I we should encourage others to work for is building The Faith, as a secure foundation first, with politrical involvement and activism following. Building that foundation is a must, and can seem tedious. It is indispensable for any social activism which follows to bear fruit for Christ. Your ideas are a good start.

  • I have emailed this to our St. Philip Neri Oratorio ministry chair (whose name is also Tim, so he should be pretty receptive.)

    This is exactly the kind of thing that we should be doing, as Americans, as Christians, as Catholics and as free men & women. Excellent on all fronts, Tim.

  • I would love to tack this article to the doors of all the churches in my Deanery…hmmmm…perhaps I will…:)

  • Thanks for the feedback and follow-ups- this is my companion piece to the Catholic Education Vision- http://the-american-catholic.com/2012/04/16/a-vision-of-catholic-education-from-the-front-lines/ I would like to see faithful Catholic make a deeper impact than we are currently- we have schools and parishes- why not maximize their potential for good? What are we afraid of?

  • Thank you– that is well thought out and should be do-able for many many parishes and parish clusters.

  • The problem with the USCCB when it comes to socio-economics is that their approach is often more ideological than pastoral. Their leftist tilt on issues like economics, immigration, capital punishment and the like often does more to distort an authentic Catholic understanding of how the faithful are to form their consciences on these matters than it does to inform.

    Catholic teaching on these matters admits of a much greater diversity than the USCCB often portrays them. In so far as they function in their official capacity they need to remain neutral, thus allowing them to hold both sides accountable to Catholic moral principles. their taking sides leaves them vulnerable to exploitation by one side and needlessly alienates the other. A recent example was the unjust USCCB attack on Paul Ryan’s budget. I am not saying they should endorse it, but they should defend it as legitimate from a Catholic point of view.

    Instead of inserting USCCB letters into parish bulletins, excerpts from papal encyclicals that stress the importance of the principles of subsidiarity as it pertains to economic issues as one example.

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  • I Love You!!! Yes, yes, yes!!! As a religious education instructor for over eighteen years I thought I would lose my mind trying to deal with other teachers and administrators who threw all knowledge of the faith out the door, and some who had NO knowledge of the faith to throw but just made it something up as they went along and that sufficed as educating our children. One of my main pleas was to “educate the educators”. We cannot pass on the true faith when the “flock” has such little knowledge of it. This is why I feel we have such a crisis of faith today. Big shock. Anyway we all could use on going education of the truths of the faith. Then if you don’t want to be a Catholic you shouldn’t be one.

  • Here’s one easy way I have helped strengthen the Church in my state:

    Donate subscriptions to the Knights of Columbus magazine Columbia to every Catholic high school & college library and to every Catholic student center on secular campuses.

    If you’re a knight in a good council, you should organize this project and propose that the council fund the subscriptions.

    Work to get it into the public libraries in Catholic parts of town, too.

    It was fantastic to see the Columbia issue on the HHS mandate at my lukewarm local Catholic college’s periodicals section.

    I am working on taking this project nationally, more will be forthcoming.

  • I realized today: All Catholic Doctrine is Social Doctrine.

    While hearing the readings at Sunday Mass today (May 13, 2012), I realized that ALL of Catholic Doctrine is Social Doctrine! Social Doctrine is not some off-to-side sub-specialty of interest only to a few. It is all there is! Listen to some verses from today’s Mass readings:

    Reading 2 1 Jn 4:7-10:
    Beloved, let us love one another,
    because love is of God;
    everyone who loves is begotten by God and knows God.
    Whoever is without love does not know God, for God is love.
    In this way the love of God was revealed to us….

    Gospel Jn 15:9-17:
    Jesus said to his disciples:
    “As the Father loves me, so I also love you.
    Remain in my love.
    If you keep my commandments, you will remain in my love,
    just as I have kept my Father”s commandments
    and remain in his love.”
    “I have told you this so that my joy may be in you
    and your joy might be complete.
    This is my commandment: love one another as I love you.
    No one has greater love than this,
    to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.
    You are my friends if you do what I command you….
    It was not you who chose me, but I who chose you
    and appointed you to go and bear fruit that will remain,….
    This I command you: love one another.”

    So, why do I think that ALL Catholic Doctrine is Social Doctrine?

    Because all Doctrine has but one purpose: To lead and guide and help and inspire and attract us to fulfill this from Jesus: “This I command you: love one another.” (Jn. 15:17).

    Learning or holding or adhering to doctrine for its own sake is not the end or purpose of the Catholic life on earth.

    Rather, the end and purpose of life on earth is to fulfill that from Jesus: “This I command you: love one another.” (Jn. 15:17).

    Even the Catholic Doctrine about the Holy Trinity is Social Doctrine, since the Trinity is a unity of three divine Persons who love each other. Even the Catholic Doctrine about the Holy Eucharist is Social Doctrine, for reasons that are all too obvious.

    Consider this from America magazine: “As Pope Benedict made clear in his encyclical Caritas in Veritate, life issues are social justice issues and social justice issues are life issues.” See https://www.americamagazine.org/blog/entry.cfm?id=74835840-3048-741E-7052836844684028

    But I would go much further. Yes, Life Issues are Social Justice Issues. But there are nothing but Social Issues, ultimately, if you define “Social” as embracing all the relationships that pertain to Life on Earth and Eternal Life: The Holy Trinity; The Catholic Church; The Communion of Saints; The Works of Mercy; The Unity of Humankind; The “Greatest Commandment” according to Jesus, having two parts, love God with all of your mind, heart, soul and strength, and love your neighbor as yourself; loving strangers; loving enemies; loving your spouse and remain faithful to him or her for life; and so on.

    In sum, Social Doctrine is all that the Church has.

    The fact that people don’t think of things this way shows, I respectfully propose, how far we are from where God wants us to be.

Just Desserts

Saturday, September 26, AD 2009

I’m not normally the guy putting up political YouTube videos, but this was just too funny to pass up. Ill. rep Baron Hill talks down to a journalism major about why she’s not allowed to record video during his town hall: because videos invariably end up showing compromising moments on YouTube. And now here he is, hectoring the girl, on YouTube.

Lesson: For politicians, life is like the Internet. If you do something stupid, it will always be there for everyone to see.

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26 Responses to Just Desserts

  • “Lesson: For politicians, life is like the internet. If you do something stupid, it will always be there for everyone to see.”

    Amazing how many of them still don’t realize that. The internet has changed everything about politics and so many practitioners are showing they have a very steep learning curve.

  • Desserts, Indiana.

    Agreement on … well, not stupidity, but errors.

    That said, I think it’s … unwise to suppose one’s public meetings won’t be broadcast on the internet. Somewhere. Eventually politicians will get the message, and they will be inclined to more circumspection in their public appearances. And that will be good, right?

  • It seems to me that the Congressman was in the right here. You don’t have the right to film a Congressman’s townhall if he doesn’t want you to. The fact that a video ended up on YouTube seems less a matter of just deserts than of vindication.

  • “You don’t have the right to film a Congressman’s townhall if he doesn’t want you to.”

    Why not? He is an elected official meeting with constituents. I doubt that there is any law giving him the right to unilaterally stop video taping of a public meeting. Even if he did have the right, he was a complete idiot for exercising it, especially in a district where, except for 2008, his victory totals have been unimpressive and he lost his seat for two years in 2004.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baron_Hill

    His perennial opponent Mike Sodrel, who beat Hill in 2004, is hinting that he might run against him in 2010.

    http://hoosierpundit.blogspot.com/search/label/Mike%20Sodrel

  • If he does not want compromising moments, then he simply should not create any.

  • I agree with Blackadder here; this is not to say I think he is wise to say “don’t film,” because that will encourage it. On the other hand, I understand why he says it — it is very easy to take such film out of context.

  • The least interesting question here is whether the Congressman has a legal right to bar videotaping of a town hall meeting that he convenes. People have the “right” to do all kinds of stupid, immoral, and wrongheaded things. A congressman who convenes a public meeting of his constituents with the stipulation that it may not be recorded is making a foolish decision at several levels, but the most important level is that he will be understood as behaving like a potentate rather than a servant.

  • “The least interesting question here is whether the Congressman has a legal right to bar videotaping of a town hall meeting that he convenes.”

    The fixation, in part, on rights. What about common courtesy? If a person hosts an event and asks people not to do something … take video, get drunk, spit tobacco juice on the carpet … what does it say when people do not heed a request? Even a servant can ask, “Please extend your leg further so I can shine your shoe.”

  • “What about common courtesy?”

    Mr. Hill was showing zero courtesy, common or otherwise. Townhalls used to be photo-ops for members of Congress. I guess Hill didn’t get the memo that times have changed quickly. Elected officials had better get used to being video taped by constitutents. That genie is never going back in the bottle.

  • Well, Donald, I didn’t watch DC’s video. I have no reason to doubt the congressman may have acted a bit like a rump if you say he did.

    The question then shifts: does it make a difference, then, if a potential YouTube target says please and thank you? Or if somebody demands you take your crappy boots off at the door, does that give you license to track mud where you please?

  • I do think that the journalism major shows herself quite a child of the moment with her phrasing “isn’t that my right?” I don’t see that video taping a townhall is any kind of a right.

    What does strike me as amusing here is that the girl asks a question very politely, having clearly obeyed the request to not use her video camera.

    The congressman then proceeds to put her in her place pretty rudely, explaining that it’s his townhall and no one can tell him how to run it — all the while being caught on video by someone else in the room (from the quality, I’d guess it’s someone using a cell phone to record the video). If the congressman had seen fit to explain his position politely, there would have been no YouTube moment, but instead he takes the assumed safety of there being no video cameras to give a college student the “I’m way better than you” treatment, and ends up as a YouTube sensation.

    I do think that it has to do with the importance of politeness, but the politeness of the congressman is the problem here. If he’d remained polite despite his assumption there were no cameras running, there would have been no YouTube notoriety despite someone disobeying his rules.

  • This wasn’t a private home Todd or a private meeting for invited guests only. This was a public meeting held by a Congressman and anyone, by definition, could attend. Video taping such a meeting is commonly done by members of Congress for campaign commercials to show how in touch they are with their constituents. Now members of the public are doing precisely the same thing and some of the members of Congress are foolish enough to say publicly that they think is terribly unfair. This is not about manners, but rather a testament to just how totally out of touch some members of Congress are.

  • I would disagree that the Congressman’s response was rude (he gets a little snippy towards the end, after he’s already been booed). In fact, if his response is considered rude, it’s hard for me to imagine how he could have explained his position without coming across as rude. Maybe if he’d said “I paid for this microphone” people would be applauding him. But I doubt it.

    As for the question of whether he could prohibit people from videotaping, come on. Suppose I had stood up at the townhall and started playing a violin. Presumably I would be asked to stop or leave. By whom? By the same people who told the young lady to stop recording. Why? Because they set up the townhall, and have the authority to set the conditions under which it is held.

  • Apples and Oranges BA. Your playing a violin would serve no useful purpose, while video taping a townhall does, and that is why Hill didn’t want it done. He realizes the political climate and he doesn’t want a video to add to his electoral difficulties. Ironically his futile attempt to stop video taping has added a great deal to his 2010 problem as the ad writes itself.

    A townhall is specifically set up for a Congress member to hear from his constituents. Some of Hill’s attendees want to video tape the process. Hill had a choice and he made the decision to attempt to enforce a self made rule against video taping which is clearly unenforceable due to modern technology. He now looks foolish on YouTube. Good. May his discomfiture be a lesson to other politicians who do not yet realize that they no longer control this process of public meetings alone.

  • “This wasn’t a private home …”

    What is it with the legalese of rights, privacy, et cetera? Isn’t “privacy” the mantra of the pro-choice effort? Are you sure you want to associate your argument with it?

    There are technical reasons why amateur video capture isn’t always a great idea. I for one feel frustrated when the questions from the floor aren’t properly mic’ed and equalized, like the main speaker usually is.

    And sure, a Fox-style editing of comments is well within the technical capability of many videographers. The ad, by the way, doesn’t write itself. It will need some editing, which I’m sure will be provided.

    So I went ahead and watched the video. I withdraw my assumption Donald was right. He was quite wrong. The representative stated his policy firmly but politely and was booed before he finished his statement. He reacted to it by stating his policy in a more stern tone of voice. Not what I would have done, but it wasn’t a butthead expression like his detractors. He didn’t seem at all discomfited to me.

    Not seeing what came before this exchange, it’s hard to tell if the boo-birds were just being boorish because they had a bad day or if the previous minutes weren’t going well for them.

    Like most anything else, context means quite a bit. I think Rep Hill was within bounds to request the meeting not be taped. The one who did tape it showed her or his colors by continuing to do so.

  • “The one who did tape it showed her or his colors by continuing to do so.”

    Yep. An American who understands that elected representatives are public servants and not lords of the manor. Last I checked the YouTube video has had 170,000 views and over 1000 comments, almost all of them scathingly against Hill. I do encourage all Democrat members of Congress to adopt the same policy, and attitude, of Hill at townhall meetings, and I also encourage all members of the audience to treat all such policies against video taping at a public meeting with the complete disdain they merit.

  • The decorous Baron Hill calling opponents of ObamaCare at townhall meetings political terrorists. No wonder he doesn’t want some of his rantings video taped!

    http://hoosierpundit.blogspot.com/2009/08/baron-hill-repeats-political-terrorists.html

  • I found it most interesting when he went beyond “This is MY townhall meeting” to “You’re not gonna tell me how to run my congressional office.” Tell me Mr. Hill, what exactly do constituents do in your world?

  • “What is it with the legalese of rights, privacy, et cetera? Isn’t “privacy” the mantra of the pro-choice effort? Are you sure you want to associate your argument with it?”

    Right, because not wanting to be filmed in your own home and wanting to murder a child in private are just soooo similar.

    Is this a desperate times call for desperate measures sort of argument, or are you trying to keep us all entertained?

  • While the legality of it may be in question in the current milieu, a appeal to the principal of it:

    “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

    If those words were not written to allow the accurate documentation of the public words and actions of an elected official for the purpose of disseminating it for those not present… the I have no clue as to why it would be inserted in such a place between freedom of speech and the right to peaceably assemble.

    This act was clearly an attempt to control the press.

  • “Last I checked the YouTube video has had 170,000 views and over 1000 comments, almost all of them scathingly against Hill.”

    Well, Donald, you’re already batting .350 on this comment thread. At that rate, you’d have posted almost thirty dozen times on YouTube.

    “Is this a desperate times call for desperate measures sort of argument, or are you trying to keep us all entertained?”

    Well I’m not part of your echo chamber, if that’s what you mean. It’s a good thing for the GOP that in the US, unlike in parliamentary democracies, you can’t sink lower than second place on the political totem pole. At least nobody has in nearly a century.

    “This act was clearly an attempt to control the press.”

    Right. Everybody with a cell phone and an internet connection is a member of the press. I’d stick with “peaceable assembly” instead.

    Take the last word, Donald. Three-fifty is worth another plate appearance … or seven.

  • “It’s a good thing for the GOP that in the US, unlike in parliamentary democracies, you can’t sink lower than second place on the political totem pole.”

    Todd, there is a political wave building that will relegate the Democrat party to that position. All the signs are there for a wipeout of the Democrat majority in the House next year and I assume you must not pay much attention to the internal mechanics of politics or you would not make such a silly comment. The best political prognosticator in the business is Charlie Cook and this is what he wrote earlier this month:

    “Clearly, the Obama administration was mindful that in the Clinton era Democratic majorities in Congress spurned the White House’s fully formed proposals. But in trying to avoid a repetition of President Clinton’s mistakes, Obama opened the door to charges that he was outsourcing domestic policy to Democrats on Capitol Hill.

    Even in the best of times, Congress is unpopular. And now voters see Obama as having sent suggestions rather than proposals to the Hill, staking his future and reputation on a body that they hold in low regard. (On foreign-policy matters, where Congress plays a small role, Obama’s job-approval ratings remain quite good. It’s on the domestic side that his numbers are dismal.)

    “With 14 months to go before the 2010 midterm election, something could happen to improve the outlook for Democrats. However, wave elections, more often than not, start just like this: The president’s ratings plummet; his party loses its advantage on the generic congressional ballot test; the intensity of opposition-party voters skyrockets; his own party’s voters become complacent or even depressed; and independent voters move lopsidedly away. These were the early-warning signs of past wave elections. Seeing them now should terrify Democrats.”

    http://www.cookpolitical.com/node/4828

  • I wonder how Hill would have reacted to audience members making audio recordings of the meeting? Or jotting notes of what was said. While any sort of recording can be used by an opponent against you, it can also be used as verification in your favor if somebody accuses you of an outrageous remark. It’s easier to misstate when taking written notes than when you have a backup recording.

    Hill, and other elected reps, should suck it up and get into the habit of practicing their manners and making sure they know what they’re talking about to minimize the likelihood that they will be filmed looking bad. It beats having your words misquoted and used against you.

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  • First of all, it is silly to predict the impending demise of one political party from the dumbest thing that one of its hundreds of members of Congress did. If that ever happened, we’d have no political parties at all. There is always a Republican or a Democrat doing something utterly stupid.

    And this is one of them. As a Democrat and a strong supporter of health care reform, I thank the heavens that town halls WERE videotaped so we can see certain elements of the opposition in all their ugliness. They not only won over no converts, but they gave us priceless moments such as the guy screaming at his Congressperson to keep the government’s hands off Medicare.

    But on the other hand, just exactly how far did this attempted ban on recording go? Were TV stations not allowed to videotape? Were print reporters not allowed to use audio recorders? And if you can’t ban all, then how on earth can you try to ban some?

    What next? Granting access to your public “town halls” only to those pre-selected members of the public you like? How George Bush can you get?

  • According to Rasmussen ObamaCare now is at its lowest ebb: 56% oppose-41% in favor.

    http://hotair.com/archives/2009/09/28/rasmussen-obamacare-falls-to-lowest-level-of-support/

    In regard to Medicare, in order to pay for ObamaCare there are substantial cuts planned in Medicare.

    “House Speaker Nancy Pelosi proclaimed her support for this cost-cutting agenda on Thursday. “Half the bill will be paid for by squeezing excesses out of the [Medicare and Medicaid] system,” she said, “and there is $500 billion dollars to do that and we’re looking for more. That can be achieved—waste, fraud, redundancy, obsolescence, whatever it is.”

    http://www.wsws.org/articles/2009/sep2009/heal-s12.shtml

    The gentleman yelling at his Congresscritter about Medicare has every right to be concerned.

Overreacting, The Left Needs To Wake Up To Reality

Tuesday, September 8, AD 2009

GOP overreaction to Obama speechLiberals and Democrats have accused many Americans of overreacting to the speech that President Obama will be delivering to school children today (at 11:00 am Central Daylight Time).

On the surface this would seem a fair evaluation but if you dig a little deeper, those on the Left may well be making another crucial misdiagnosis of the source and cause of this reaction.

First lets examine the prism that those on the Left have viewed this reaction.

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33 Responses to Overreacting, The Left Needs To Wake Up To Reality

  • You, and so many others, are conflating legitimate opposition to policy with lunacy. Just because you’re on the same side of the aisle doesn’t mean you have to defend all of them. The Birthers and now the Uneducators cannot be reasoned with and trying will only be politically counterproductive. Obama and the Democrats gain by keeping alive this perception that Republicans are crazy.

  • Well I am opposed to Obama’s nationwide speech to school kids and I am not an “Uneducator”. I have a teacher’s BA in social studies which I obtained before I ran off to Law School. My wife has an MA in Library Science and an MA in Spanish, and has taught Spanish in a public high school, and she opposes this use of the students of America as a political prop for this floundering administration. All three of our kids attend our local public high school. The superintendant of our school system has decided to burn the speech onto some DVDs and make them available to kids who want to watch it, but not to turn over instruction time to this Presidential nationwide photo-op.

  • I don’t oppose the president’s speech at all, but I do think the teacher’s lesson plan put out by the White House smacked of the cult of personality.

  • The text of the speech is here. On a quick perusal, it appears to be an “eat your vegetables” speech, no different from those given by prior presidents. Not sure what the fuss is about.

  • Blackadder-
    Given that it doesn’t match up with the topics listed even in the re-done study guide, it would be reasonable to assume the speech was significantly re-written. This guess is bolstered by the fact that they didn’t release the speech days ago, instead of the morning prior to the scheduled talk.

  • Lesson plans asking students to write about “Is he challenging you to do anything?” Easily can be lead down the partisan route by a partisan teacher (and plenty of those in public schools.) Doesn’t help that is was written in part by the White House with the Dept. of Education. The faux pas was clear even to the White House and DOE resulting in changes to the lesson plans. Should have also released the content of the speech prior to today. Who’s to say the opposition didn’t change the wording of the speech.

    Some potential problems with the lesson plans:

    http://blog.heritage.org/2009/09/03/politicizing-the-department-of-education/

  • Foxfier anticipated part of what I am saying.

  • Foxfire,

    I’m not sure what study materials you are referring to. The study materials I’ve seen (and that would include the materials referenced in the article Phillip cites to) seems to match up pretty well with what’s actually in the speech.

    My understanding is that the study materials for the Obama speech track pretty closely the materials for Bush’s speech to school children back in the early 1990s. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if whatever Dept of Ed underlying was assigned to prepare the materials just ripped off the prior version.

  • Actually no. The Dept. of Ed admits the lesson plans were written in collaboration with the White House – and not the Bush White House.

  • The topics mentioned were “citizenship, personal responsibility, and civic duty”– only two of those three can sort of be found in the speech.

    Do you have a link to said materials? I’ve heard that statement morphing from “maybe Bush the Elder did it” to “these are exactly what Bush the Elder had” over the course of the weekend.

    Also, we do know who wrote the lesson plans– they were in large part provided by the White House.

  • Folks like MM love to make the hypocrisy point, claiming that everyone was fine when Reagan and Bush made similar speeches. Not so fast: http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/blogs/beltway-confidential/When-Bush-spoke-to-students-Democrats-investigated-held-hearings-57694347.html

  • I’m sure this point will be brought up on NPR this afternoon. Waiting…Waiting…Waiting.

  • SB, you simply don’t understand. The problem is the difference between devils (R) and gods (D).

    Either way though, it’s just one more reason to homeschool.

  • Here’s the lesson plans. Also the Dept of Ed site notes that the plans were written in collaboration with the White House:

    http://www.ed.gov/admins/lead/academic/bts.html

  • Folks like MM love to make the hypocrisy point, claiming that everyone was fine when Reagan and Bush made similar speeches.

    Okay, so liberals are hypocrites for objecting then and not now, and conservatives are hypocrites for objecting now but not then. The question is whether there’s anything objectionable about what the President said. If there is, I’m not seeing it.

  • Is there anything objectionable about the lesson plans as originally formulated – Yes. Is there anything objectionable about what he was going to say before the fuss began – maybe. The protest may have done its job in more ways then one.

  • What was objectionable about the lesson plans as originally written?

  • What *isn’t* creepy about telling kids to write letters on how they can help the president, to be collected and passed out later to see how they’re living up to the goal?

    What if you’re not inspired by Obama, for that matter?

    (For that matter, the idea of a speech being interesting and challenging for pre-schoolers through seniors is kinda bloody weird, too, especially for someone that has kids.)

  • If I want my kids to listen to a politician I’ll take them to see said politician, without the assistance of the school or the White House, thank you very much. (In regard to my kids, however, if Obama wanted to address a classroom in person I would love for the class to contain my three kids. Two of them would ask follow-up questions that would leave a mark! My autistic son would probably be wondering how one of Dad’s boring political shows followed him to school!)
    A factor overlooked in all of this of course is that the National Education Association, the teacher’s union, has been a dominant power in the Democrat party for decades. The idea that a fair share of their membership will not be attempting to make partisan hay out of this is risible.

    The link below is to their story on the Obama address at the NEA website. As the first comment notes the NEA protested Bush addressing four classrooms in 1991.

    http://www.nea.org/home/35721.htm

  • One of the suggested activities in the original was to write about “how to help the president.” It was changed to “how they can achieve their short-term and long-term education goals.” IMO the criticism was fair and it was rectified. Still doesn’t explain why so many are opposed to children even hearing the speech.

  • Restrained Radical,

    I noted your points in my posting. And I explained why there was an overreaction.

    The reaction is to President Obama’s policies itself that manifested since the mainstream media refused to air any of the legitimate news concerning this growing grassroots movement. Add to this that President Obama and his proxies continue to slur and belittle any news that percolates to the surface and you have what happened with President Obama’s video to kids.

    It’s all in my posting.

  • Another problem is that the lesson plans ask older students to look at past Obama speeches on education and post quotes around the classroom. Of course past education speeches of Obama are riddled with errors. This from teh Washington Post:

    “Studies show that children in early childhood education programs are more likely to score higher in reading and math, more likely to graduate from high school and attend college, more likely to hold a job and more likely to earn more in that job. For every dollar we invest in these programs, we get nearly $10 back in reduced welfare rolls, fewer health-care costs and less crime. That’s why [the stimulus law] invests $5 billion in growing Early Head Start and Head Start.”

    Early education is a contentious issue, with many types of programs serving various goals.

    There is research to show lasting benefits for some kids who later move into good schools. There is research to show that such benefits fade if they do not move into strong schools. There is research to show that some programs help kids from low-income families become academically prepared for school. And there is research to show some programs don’t do more than babysit.

    Head Start, the country’s largest publicly funded preschool program, is praised by supporters for providing comprehensive education, health care and other support to low-income families. Critics say some programs are uneven and have little or no impact on academic performance. Finally, there are many estimates about how much money preschool saves in the long run. Obama’s is not the final word.

    DROPOUTS

    “Our high school dropout rate has tripled in the past 30 years.”

    For this statistic, the Education Department says that the president drew on a report from the National Board on Educational Testing and Public Policy at Boston College that was cited by the College Board in December. It said: “The rate at which students disappear from schools between grades 9 and 12 has tripled in the last 30 years.”

    How such rates are calculated is highly controversial. Dropouts are hard to track in part because kids move around. Graduation rates are often cited, but analysts say they have been fudged in some places. According to University of Chicago professor Melissa Roderick, it all depends on how and whom you count. One way is to calculate the people who wind up getting some kind of high school diploma or equivalency degree by their mid-20s. About 87 percent of people ages 25 to 29 are getting such degrees.

    If you look at kids who are getting diplomas on time, after four years of high school, that overall rate is about 75 percent, she said, although it is much lower for black and Hispanic students. States, pushed by the federal government, are moving to standardize the use of this on-time graduation rate.

  • What *isn’t* creepy about telling kids to write letters on how they can help the president, to be collected and passed out later to see how they’re living up to the goal?

    One of my co-workers told me the other day that he remembers watching Ronald Reagan speak when he was a kid in school and was assigned to write about how he could help the President (the co-worker is a conservative Republican, btw, and no fan of Obama).

    It’s only creepy if you want it to be.

  • On graduation rates– don’t forget private or homeschooling might “look” like a kid dropped out, or those folks who join the military early and get their GED in bootcamp.

  • True. My point is that included in the lesson plans was quoting past Obama speeches on education. Even one’s that are quite flawed in their data. So a student might decide to write his legislator about increasing funding for Headstart. Even though there’s no evidence that that works. Except from a partisan perspective. And there’s the problem.

  • Blackadder-
    Was that from the nation-wide, White House provided lesson plan, or did his teacher do it on his own?
    Was this after he directly contacted principals to get them to show his speech?
    Come to think of it, how old was your co-worker? How well does he remember this? (I’ve seen false memories show up for stuff that’s less than a year old, let alonenearly twenty-one years old.)

    November 14th of 88, Reagan did a Q&A for school kids that was carried on C-SPAN. He was nearing the end of his term, had no big irons in the fire, wasn’t hugely controversial, didn’t try to subvert usual channels, hadn’t just chosen a ton of highly controversial advisors and wasn’t accusing the opposition of manufacturing (violent) protests while doing so himself.
    With just one or two of these, the Obama thing might not be a big deal. With all of these things, it’s a big deal.

  • Yes. It would be good to see the lesson plans developed by the DOE and the White House for both the Reagan and Bush speechs. I just can find them on Google.

  • Pingback: Obama Speech: Public Option Now « The American Catholic
  • So after all of this fuss and fuming and hyperbole, and after the speech has been described as good, topical and non-partisan by a great number of independent and moderate Republican leaders nation-wide, the anti-Obama posters here still think there was a great conspiracy to indoctrinate kids – wow, what a shock. I guess it is better to accuse the president of an unproven, unlikely theoretical malfeasance based upon one’s political orientation than to judge what actually happened.

    That

    First, yes the Dept. of Education wrote a series of suggested activities and topics – that is what the Dept. of Education does.

    Second, yes White House staff – not a giant uber-being called the White House, but some White House staffers helped. Why? Because they being in the White House, actually might have known some of the topics of the speech. If the WH had sent no staff to the Dept. of Ed., that would have been really stupid and the Dept. of Ed. would have not known what to activities to suggest. Is this logic difficult to follow?

    Third, all speeches go through a series of revisions (as do ALL lesson plans) up until they are published. Now, maybe Obama originally had the words, “Look into my eyes and join the Democratic party,” or “Hey kids lets all chant, ‘public option, public option, yea public option,” or maybe even “When I was your age, I enjoyed reading such books as Mein Kampf and histories of the Bolshevik revolutionaries,” until right-wingers complained and then he removed them … or maybe he actually wanted kids to stay in school and be responsible for their own education … and then maybe someone said, “Make sure you add something about being careful about coming down with the flu,” and so things like that were added? As Tito demonstrated in the article, it is easy to overlook the simple answer when you are passionately looking for a more sinister one.

    Phillip: So you say that statistics can be difficult to interpret and the methodology of creating them differs from organization to organization and state to state. Yeah, I think we probably already know that. That may be one of the bad effects of local control. When you want to compare things across the nation, it is often useful to use national standards … oops, that darn federal government getting in our business again! There is actually a valid way, though of looking at data that comes from different sources and that is to study it longitudinally. That is, as long as the different statistics consistently use the same techniques from year to year (this is the reason we have state statisticians) then you can look for trends. If these trend show increases and there are what are called “internal or external threats to validity,” then those statistics can give you some insight. It is limited and it is conditional, but I’m sure you as a teacher and a lawyer, you must use some statistics in your work.

    Foxfier, they already know which students are homeschooled and even private schools have to give their data for these studies. The most difficult thing that I came across when I worked for a few years in an urban school, was with the students who changed schools mid-year if their family moved. This is a surprisingly large number of kids (5-10%) and a real problem with their education.

    Foxfier, I think you are a bit disingenuous when you say that Reagan’s talk to students (carried on a network that was broadcast to many schools) was somehow so innocent and apolitical and as if you was just a kindly old man talking to some kids. Well, yes democrats largely kept it apolitical because liberals realized that it was a great thing for the most powerful man in the world to take time out of his day to talk to kids and I guess that was a time of greater respect for the office. However, Reagan was NOT uncontroversial – he had the Iran-Contra scandal that still is reverberating, he had the most advisors of any president ever (until Bush 2) under indictment, he had . He WAS accusing his opposition of a great many things, it was just that his opponents were mostly protesting issues, like moving nuclear waste and clear-cutting redwoods, they weren’t attacking him or arriving to his speeches holding semi-automatic weapons.

    Aside: After the attempted assassination on Reagan, how restrained do you think Reagan’s secret service would have been compared to the way restraint that Obama’s secret service detail has been even as people have waved signs describing how blood should be spilled and that he is the moral equivalent to Hitler? Given that the last few years have shown that it is mostly radical white conservatives how have killed the most people for cultural and political reasons, the authorities have shown remarkable skill and restraint.

    So Obama is really no more controversial than Reagan was, they both inherited problems, though Obama inherited worse ones according to Bush, and they both took principled stands that have made them targets for dissent, but there is a difference. Just like Tito and Foxfier some conservatives are already so convinced of a pattern of behavior, so prejudiced to a perception about Obama that ANYTHING he does is colored. And of course to my mind, the problem is that this perception is false.

    Obama has not belittled his opponents, has never dismissed the tea partiers as unAmerican (find the video!!) or even lashed out at those who whine about his citizenship. He is actually almost to “no drama Obama” about almost everything, except when he jumped the gun on the Gates arrest. If you can’t see that he is the most restrained president in a long, long time than you are mightily biased and you’ve forgotten when Reagan said this:

    I realize that for some, as long as an older, moderately conservative white president tells someone to shut up, that it is a “manly, American” moment, yet if a younger, moderately liberal black president would say the same thing, it would be the act of an arrogant elitist cult figure. I’m not accusing anyone here of this, but I can’t help think of what the “birthers” would say. It is prejudice, it is about culture war politics and it is a symptom of people who have lost or never had a way to be self-reflective and intellectually honest.

    The liberal hecklers who shouted at President Reagan and the two Presidents Bush, were generally young and though vocal were not a large segment of the population – those who actually formed the loyal, liberal opposition were usually respectful. Those who over-reacted to Obama’s speech and attended some of the town halls and tea parties are parents and people who should either know better or be better role models. Not to stop voicing their opinions or to stop articulating their opposition – for that is the messy reality of democracy – but they should at least act like adults.

    To me the thesis of this entire thread seems to be false as I read it.

    1. President Obama was not elected because people were merely protesting a bad economy. That is flat out unsupportable. Both McCain and Obama were BOTH running against the Bush economy and the people actually had a choice of philosophies and a choice of candidates and Obama fit what the people wanted.

    2. The voters did not vote for a greatly expanded bureaucracy, yes, but they did vote for a candidate who was refreshing in several ways, first he actually didn’t blame the federal government for everything. He talked about government in an adult manner, not trying to call it evil while at the same time trying to get the job to run it, and not pretending to cut the expanse of government while actually increasing it. Case in point, the federal government expanded under every president and the single biggest increase in federal jobs occurred under George W. Bush with Homeland Security.

    3. The voters voted for someone who would stop lying to them about Iraq, not break international treatise, end torture of prisoners (which he has done mostly), end intrusion into people’s live by wiretaps and other means as implemented by the “small government” of GW Bush (which he really hasn’t done), improve the diplomatic corps that was decimated by Bush, opened dialogue with our allies without bribing them into helping us … etc., too many things. I hope you get it. He was voted in on a broad agenda of changes that now have been conveniently forgotten about.

    4. The original post is also wrong in stating that he failed “to recognize genuine American concern to deficit spending…” Actually he didn’t. He unlike Bush put the Iraq War back into the budget so people could actually see and congress could be more responsible for its affects on the budget, which Bush liked to hide. He also staunchly would veto any health care reform that would create deficit spending and is the first president in a while to advocate for “pay as you go.” Some here may not know what that means, but it means “don’t add to the deficit.” So that means cut programs or raise taxes. You may agree with his tax plans, but you can not call him unconcerned for deficit spending – two different things.

    5. The article says that Obama failed to recognize how much Americans don’t want “the nationalization of the motor industry.” No one wants the nationalization of the motor industry, Obama has said repeatedly that he doesn’t want to run GM or have the government nationalize any corporation. You may not agree with the tactics but bailing out GM just means having a 60% non-voting investment in it. It is one company, not an industry. It is temporary and GM is already planning to pay it back because they don’t want the government strings that are attached. And why are they attached, because the government (the Fed Reserve and Treasury) by law CAN NOT just give money away without protecting the taxpayer. It is too much to get into hear, but even the financial news pundits who hate government intrusion have come to realize that GM still went out under bankruptcy, but that it did so in a far quicker time frame and it saved all of the thousands of smaller companies and many dealerships (which of course IS the majority of the motor industry) from having to go bankrupt and thus not become nationalized. This was not perfect and I think the unions got a better deal than they deserved and some of it was political (wow, McCain would never have been political!?), but to call that nationalization of the motor industry is so far from reality that it is laughable. Ford is doing just fine and if Chrysler fails or GM has any more problems, it will be gone. The bailout was only deemed necessary because it happened to coincide with the failure of Wall Street and even though I believe in the principle of moral hazard in capitalism, I also feel that once a century the rules of the game need to be bent to prevent needless pain as long as it is temporary – and that is from Thomas Jefferson’s (a great small government guy) views.

    6. The article says, “Then came the town hall meetings where Americans began to voice their displeasure. Again, President Obama and his proxies dismissed them as “astro-turf”. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi derided them as Nazi’s.” This is a particularly biased statement in my opinion. First Obama, again, did not dismiss the town hall protesters … ever!!! Some did of course, because some protesters were way over the top, but there is no cabal of Obama proxies soing anything. There are some pundits and some politicians who think that many of the tea parties and town halls had some outside influences – and they did, but no one said that all or even most of the people there genuinely expressing opinions were that way. As a matter of fact the administration has mostly said that it was only the most vocal that got on TV, but that most town halls went well with plenty of genuine and passionate viewpoints.

    Also I find it interesting that Pelosi (of whom I am not a fan) says the term “Nazi” once in relation to, not protesters, but to the people who yell to the point that no one can speak, she gets blamed for that hyperbole even as hundreds of right-wingers and dozens of conservative talk show hosts actually call Obama a Nazi on a daily basis. Just think use some perspective hear, the Speaker of the House can use it once about one particular instance and every extreme conservative makes a huge deal out, yet when conservatives say the same thing on a daily basis, they are somehow patriotic Americans. I guess some people just don’t get irony.

    There is more that I could write, but this is way too long already. I just think that the premise of the thread is so much ado about nothing. The Obama admin. hasn’t over-reacted or demonized conservatives. It was dealt a bad hand in the way that President Bush 43 was dealt a bad hand with 9/11 and both administrations had political operatives whose job it is to look for ways of dealing with emergencies and even using them as opportunities for change. Bush and Cheney used 9/11 as a reason to invade Iraq and to greatly increase the power of the presidency. It is unclear how Raum E. expects to use the current crises, but Obama has chosen to look at how Reagan era deregulation substantially led to the Wall Street credit problem and the recession is a good time to reform the system. That is actually a responsible position to take. We’ll see if it works. Health care will bankrupt the country if it is left to grow at the existing rate, and in an economic down turn, this may also be the time to reform it as well. Finally, wars and security issues are good drivers for reforming the countries energy policy.

    My point is that you can disagree with Obama’s philosophies and argue his policies and even dislike his personality, but to say he is that much different from most other administrations, both Republican and Democrat, is quite the overstatement. And yes, if he does over-react (which he hasn’t yet) or he takes on too many issues to change (which he probably did), then elections will be his report card. Let’s just keep the hyperbole and biases to the pros, like Beck.

    BTW, his approval rating has fallen from 70% to 50%. A big drop, but 50% is pretty high for any president during a once in a century economic crisis and in the midst of two wars and as a target of plenty of prejudice even as he has maintained by and large his dignity and not simply fallen into the tactics of most other presidents of wrapping himself in the flag and causing people to be scared.

    BTW, the whole point of the cartoon at the top has obviously been missed.

  • You have a lot of time on your hands. Your ignore the bottom line. The lesson plans were changed. The White House itself by its actions admitted they were wrong by doing so. They may very well have changed the speech due to the democratic efforts of Republicans. Can’t deny the truth of this.

  • Would you like a match for your strawman? Maybe a thresher?

    I haven’t seen such a load of hooey since my little sister tried to use “nothing happened” to prove “nothing will ever happen” when she stayed out too late in high school.

  • I do think that the fuss about the school address has been excessive — at the same time, however, I think MacGregor’s extensive comment above falls into the basic pattern (all too easy to fall into) of looking at things through a tribal lens and thinking, “Sure there are some crazies on my side, but there aren’t many and they’re harmless. Now the other guys! They’re bad!”

    Yes, there have certainly been over-the-top reactions to Clinton and Obama, but there were incredibly extreme amounts of hate directed at Reagan and Bush2, and both of them dealt with it in a calm and statesmanlike fashion. Attempts to portray Obama’s critiques as more deranged or dangerous than the sufferers from Bush Derangement Syndrome over the last eight years suggest a certain lack of perspective.

    This is not to say that people are right to behave irresponsibly in response to Obama, but perspective is always necessary.

Debate on Armed Protesters at Townhall Meetings

Wednesday, September 2, AD 2009

[Updates at the bottom of this article]

Though long (my solution was to download the MP3 and listen to it in the background throughout the day) this BloggingHeads discussion between Megan McArdle of the The Atlantic (libertarian) and author Michelle Goldberg (left-ish) about protesters carrying guns at townhall meetings was very interesting. Michelle takes the position (which I imagine we’ve all heard somewhere) that these open carry protesters are trying to exert political intimidation through threat of violence and are indeed likely to commit violence. Megan explains why she thinks it much more likely that they’re simply gun nuts trying to make a point about 2nd Amendment rights. (In a way, incidentally, which neither McArdle nor I support, but still almost certainly not in fact a violent threat to the nation with whose brush the entire right side of the political spectrum can be tarred by association.)

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7 Responses to Debate on Armed Protesters at Townhall Meetings

  • Leave the guns at home folks! People who bring guns to these meetings, and they have been very few judging from media accounts, are playing right in to the hands of their adversaries.

  • I thought the fact Michelle said she would take the bet at 10 to 1 odds, then backed off when Megan said she’d give her those odds was interesting.

  • Agreed, Don. I hope I haven’t given the impression that it’s anything other than idiotic to bring a gun to a political protest, no matter how calmly you behave after you get there.

    I just think the claim that the right wing of the country is on the verge of breaking out into some sort of political violence is not only idiotic and irresponsible, but also probably by people who don’t really believe it.

    BA,

    Yeah, that was pretty impressive.

  • Agreed Darwin. I have been impressed at how orderly most of the townhalls have been, in spite of high passions.

  • I am a believer in the 2nd amendment, but it is idiotic and counterproductive for people to bring guns to townhall meetings.

    The townhalls are not about gun control, they’re about healthcare. Stay on topic, folks, or you look like confused scatterbrains! It reminds me of leftists who would turn up at anti-war protests with pro-abort signs, pro-gay marriage signs, pro-PETA signs, whatever their favorite pet cause was. The message I got was “Yeah, the war’s bad, but what I really, really want you to know is that I’m against fur coats!”

  • As an avid gun owner and shooter who is adamant about the 2nd amendment…. it is absolutely ridiculous to openly carry at a political event, or frankly, anywhere else that you are likely to cause alarm, and embarrassment to gun owners… This hurts our cause.

  • As a retired LEO, firearms instructor, and shooter for half a century now–I am a strong 2nd Amendment supporter for good reasons. But “open carry”, and particularly “in your face” open carry is just dumb. It’s about on the same level as shouting obscenities just because you can.

    Sometimes I think half the population suffered arrested development at about the third grade level. Probably some residual impressions left over from my old job.

ObamaCare Update

Tuesday, August 18, AD 2009

Government Health Care

[Update at the bottom as of 7:39 pm CST for 8-21-2009 AD]

President Obama’s Health Care push has suffered a couple of setbacks.  First they removed the end-of-life provision and Obama Joker Poster Artist Exposed As Liberal-Leaning Palestiniannow the President has removed the public option.

The Democrat and Liberal attempts at demonizing the American people having failed, President Obama could be beginning to understand that we don’t want socialized medicine.

Now come reports that the Obama Joker poster artist is a left-wing extremist, and a Dennis Kucinich supporter to boot.  Not the white, conservative, racist that the mainstream media was accusing the artist of being.

In other news CBS News has reported that the liberal-oriented A.A.R.P. has lost approximately 60,000 members since the video showing an A.A.R.P. representative belittling members at a town hall meeting.  The American Seniors Association has gained 5,000 new members, a rival organization to the A.A.R.P. and significantly less liberal.

CBS News reported that the A.A.R.P. response to the exodus of members as ‘with 40 million members that adds hundreds of thousands each month, losing 60 thousand is just a drop in the bucket.’

Update I:  I forgot to place the American Seniors Association weblink here.

Update II: The 60 Plus Association is experiencing a spike in members following A.A.R.P.’s endorsement of ObamaCare.

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2 Responses to ObamaCare Update

Anger and Astroturf

Wednesday, August 12, AD 2009

democrats_republicans_head_to_head_hg_wht

There are two observations I have noticed during this health care debate that President Obama and Congressional Democrats have been pushing.

One, there is anger from the American people concerning the direction and the destination of health care ‘reform’.  Genuine anger.  The unfortunate problem is that a small minority have chosen to shout down congressional leaders in Town Hall meetings that have proven to be a distraction at best and a public relations disaster at worst.  Those that oppose any health care ‘reform’, especially the socialist laden package that is currently being drafted, should respect the opposition and engage in constructive dialogue.  Showing anger and disrespect to your elected officials is simply wrong and uncalled for and should be stopped now.

Which leads to my second observation and the accusations that this grass roots opposition to health care ‘reform’ is being labeled as astroturf.  Due to the cooperation of the mainstream media in failing to provide unbiased programming of the health care debate in addition to leading Democrats from President Obama to House Speak Nancy Pelosi having mislabeled genuine American concern of government intrusion via health care ‘reform’ as artificial.  If leading Democrats continue to mischaracterize the opposition as such, they will do this to their own detriment.  Meaning a possible loss of one or both chambers of congress in the 2010 Congressional Elections and possibly the executive branch in 2012.  They need to take the American people seriously, not ignore the problem.

Just my two cents worth.

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27 Responses to Anger and Astroturf

  • Tito,

    The unfortunate problem is that a small minority have chosen to shout down congressional leaders in Town Hall meetings that have proven to be a distraction at best and a public relations disaster at worst. Those that oppose any health care ‘reform’, especially the socialist laden package that is currently being drafted, should respect the opposition and engage in constructive dialogue. Showing anger and disrespect to your elected officials is simply wrong and uncalled for and should be stopped now

    I think there’s 2 misperceptions here. One is that there is a general shouting down of the politicians. If you watch the whole presentation in context, I suggest that what happens is the politicians refuse to allow alternate points of view to be presented, refuse to answer, obfuscate and/or outright lie about the bill. Sometimes it is necessary to get loud to be heard. Granted it doesn’t always make good press when it’s cut by the liberal media to try and discredit the protesters. Caution is necessary to be sure, and there may have been excesses at times.

    Secondly, there is not many people who oppose reform of the health care funding system we have. Most support tort reform, and leveling the playing field between employer and privately purchased plans, as well as freedom of choice as to levels of coverage.

  • I don’t subscribe to bizarro news network, so I don’t know which town halls you are referring to.

  • I don’t subscribe to bizarro news network, so I don’t know which town halls you are referring to.

    It’s interesting that you (rightly) castigate the media for not fully reporting what’s going on, and yet you’re mocking Matt because he has a more accurate understanding of the complete picture behind the town halls. What you see on the nightly news or are hearing reports of are small snippets. People are asking thoughtful questions, and people are being respectful. However, people begin to get agitated once their representative begins to hem and haw, and then simply lie.

    I agree that there’s no use in yelling for the sake of yelling, and we should allow our opponents time to speak – after all, in many cases, they do a fine job of defeating their own cause. But it’s simply wrong to say that the protesters are not allowing Congressmen the opportunity to speak at all before the shouting begins.

  • Paul,

    Only a small minority is needed to make our arguments look bad.

    The mainstream media, as I wrote in my posting, is doing a terrible job covering what is actually happening.

    We all know that the MSM tilts heavily towards the left, don’t you think it would be wise to be a bit more careful when articulating our arguments.

    The MSM will give liberal protesters a pass when they portray Bush as Hitler, but will play up Pelosi’s “swastika” comments. And she was lieing!

  • Paul,

    thanks. Taco Tito has already apologized deeply and profusely for his error, he’s just too ashamed to do so publicly.

  • Matt’s been drinking kool-ade again.

  • Could somebody kindly explain Tito’s rather sarcastic dismissal of Matt’s previous comments?

    I thought the whole point of Tito Taco’s post was concerning the poor depiction of what is actually transpiring in these Town Hall meetings, which I thought Matt’s own comments attempted to provide a more accurate portrayal thereof.

    Was there some sort of rhetorical irony I might have missed in Matt’s comments that I may have missed which seemingly sought to make a mockery out of Taco’s post?

  • Never mind.

    I see Matt & Tito are simply flirting with one another.

    Still getting used to this “modern” world.

  • If leading Democrats continue to mischaracterize the opposition as such, they will do this to their own detriment. Meaning a possible loss of one or both chambers of congress in the 2010 Congressional Elections and possibly the executive branch in 2012. They need to take the American people seriously, not ignore the problem.

    These nutjobs are all hardcore Republicans. The Dems lose nothing. Still, it’s generally wise for a politician to at least pretend like the wackos are saying something worth listening to.

  • e.,

    This is to much fun, but since you may not be aware, Matt and I work together. In fact our offices are right next to each other.

    So we rib each other from time to time.

    Hopefully that will calm you down and relieve some of the anxiety you have.

  • unrestrainedradical,

    like the typical leftist elite you completely misunderstand the American people, the majority who are opposed to ObamaCare.

  • The nutjobs are all hardcore Republicans.

    I’m afraid the only nutjob here happens to be the commenter making this comment.

    Still, it’s generally wise for a politician to at least pretend like the wackos are saying something worth listening to.

    Wackos being the Demo-n-Caths and all wackjobs of fellow adherents of that sordid political party that merely pretends to usher in change on behalf of the general populace all the while under this veneer of healthcare for the common man lies a most devious atrocity which can only be conceivably advanced by the democrat death squads.

  • Yeah, it’s just the Republicans who are opposed to a single-payer system and are generally fearful of a government take-over.

    You guys keep telling yourselves that. Complete denial of public disapproval worked so well for the GOP in 2005-06.

  • Highly recommend the attached article by Camille Paglia. She, of course, is in favor of health care reform, but she correctly places the blame for the heated discourse where it belongs on the Democrats and Obama for attempting to hastily push through poorly explained and thought out legislation.

    http://www.salon.com/opinion/paglia/2009/08/12/town_halls/index.html

    She states:

    “But who would have thought that the sober, deliberative Barack Obama would have nothing to propose but vague and slippery promises — or that he would so easily cede the leadership clout of the executive branch to a chaotic, rapacious, solipsistic Congress? House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, whom I used to admire for her smooth aplomb under pressure, has clearly gone off the deep end with her bizarre rants about legitimate town-hall protests by American citizens. She is doing grievous damage to the party and should immediately step down.

    There is plenty of blame to go around. Obama’s aggressive endorsement of a healthcare plan that does not even exist yet, except in five competing, fluctuating drafts, makes Washington seem like Cloud Cuckoo Land. The president is promoting the most colossal, brazen bait-and-switch operation since the Bush administration snookered the country into invading Iraq with apocalyptic visions of mushroom clouds over American cities.

    You can keep your doctor; you can keep your insurance, if you’re happy with it, Obama keeps assuring us in soothing, lullaby tones. Oh, really? And what if my doctor is not the one appointed by the new government medical boards for ruling on my access to tests and specialists? And what if my insurance company goes belly up because of undercutting by its government-bankrolled competitor? Face it: Virtually all nationalized health systems, neither nourished nor updated by profit-driven private investment, eventually lead to rationing.

    I just don’t get it. Why the insane rush to pass a bill, any bill, in three weeks? And why such an abject failure by the Obama administration to present the issues to the public in a rational, detailed, informational way? The U.S. is gigantic; many of our states are bigger than whole European nations. The bureaucracy required to institute and manage a nationalized health system here would be Byzantine beyond belief and would vampirically absorb whatever savings Obama thinks could be made. And the transition period would be a nightmare of red tape and mammoth screw-ups, which we can ill afford with a faltering economy.”

    She even has sympathy for Sarah Palin’s recent statements about Death Panels:

    “As a libertarian and refugee from the authoritarian Roman Catholic church of my youth, I simply do not understand the drift of my party toward a soulless collectivism. This is in fact what Sarah Palin hit on in her shocking image of a “death panel” under Obamacare that would make irrevocable decisions about the disabled and elderly. When I first saw that phrase, headlined on the Drudge Report, I burst out laughing. It seemed so over the top! But on reflection, I realized that Palin’s shrewdly timed metaphor spoke directly to the electorate’s unease with the prospect of shadowy, unelected government figures controlling our lives. A death panel not only has the power of life and death but is itself a symptom of a Kafkaesque brave new world where authority has become remote, arbitrary and spectral. And as in the Spanish Inquisition, dissidence is heresy, persecuted and punished.”

  • Awakeman,

    You and I enjoy reading the same articles.

    You beat me to the punch, I was going to post this article later today, but this is just as good.

    Good job!

  • “If leading Democrats continue to mischaracterize the opposition as such, they will do this to their own detriment. Meaning a possible loss of one or both chambers of congress in the 2010 Congressional Elections and possibly the executive branch in 2012. They need to take the American people seriously, not ignore the problem.

    These nutjobs are all hardcore Republicans. The Dems lose nothing. Still, it’s generally wise for a politician to at least pretend like the wackos are saying something worth listening to.”

    Do you actually believe this? I talked to a friend of mine that is a Senate staffer in the most least populated area of the State ,In the most obscure areas it is standing room only and trust me these are not RUSH LIMBAUGH Republican Ditto heads

    I am always amazed on the left or right how some see some plot. I have been through this enough times to see that is a purely bipartisian affair.

    It is slighlty amusing, though with a bit of sadness, that SOcial Justice Catholics that proclaim themselves above such petty things as party fall into the same ole tiresome thing they rant against. No these people have legitimate concerns. They want answers. To call them “nutjobs” right off the bat shows a particular disconnect. Like I said I have seen this on both sides. Right now it is just you.

  • Oh, please, gents–

    Surely by now you’ve all seen the SEIU squad beat up a conservative activist (posted below, if I recall), the bullhorn-toting Obamacare supporters trying to intimidate the opposition at Pelosi’s visit of a Denver clinic:
    http://www.lookingattheleft.com/2009/08/pelosi-astroturf-healthcare/
    and the guy with the Obama with Hitler mustache poster (evidently obtained from Lyndon LaRouche’s organization) who was later spotted handing out literature for Rep. Dingell:
    http://theblogprof.blogspot.com/2009/08/busted-obama-as-hitler-poster-was.html

    There’s poor footing to argue that the vocal nutjobs are all on the right, especially when some of those rightists turn out to be plants. Be wary of opening your mouth precipitously; you may find later you have inserted your foot!

    For the record, I went to a town hall earlier this week and the one attendee there who distinguished herself by attempting to interrupt the speaker and trying to rumble with the police security was an Obamacare supporter.

  • I do believe the “death panel” portion of the current bill has been blown way out of proportion — and I have actually read it, by the way.

    It states simply that the healthcare plan will pay for senior citizens to have consultations with their doctors regarding advance directives (such as living wills or healthcare powers of attorney) at least every 5 years. Such consultations would be paid for on a more frequent basis if the person becomes seriously ill — not necessarily because anyone is trying to hasten their death, but because the person themselves may want to make changes or adjustments in their advance directive as their condition changes or worsens. Bringing the doctor into the discussion makes sense because many times, advance directives are drawn up by and filed with lawyers and the doctor may be the last person to know that a patient even has an advance directive.

    Federal law already requires hospitals to ask patients whether they have advance directives and inform them of their right to have one — but it doesn’t REQUIRE anyone to actually have a directive if they don’t want one. Mandating that insurance pay for a service is NOT the same as mandating that the policy holder actually take advantage of the service. Most if not all of us probably have health insurance that by state or federal law has to cover things we never personally take advantage of.

    Now, it is true that National Right to Life and other pro-life groups would like to see stronger language in this bill to protect seniors and the handicapped from being pressured by their doctors, family, or others into signing away their right to life-saving or life-sustaining treatment. That is a legitimate concern which must be addressed, but it is a far cry from asserting that the bill creates an all-powerful “death panel.”

    I know it is very easy for conservatives, and particularly pro-lifers, to assume the worst about the Obama administration given his record so far. However, that does not excuse intentional distortion or hasty misinterpretation of the healthcare bill for purely political reasons.

    Now, all that being said — there are still very, very many serious questions to be raised about this bill and attempting to rush it through Congress without giving Congresscritters themselves — let alone the public — time to understand what it really does, and instruct them to stick to canned talking points, is the WORST possible strategy the Democrats could take. The more they attempt to dismiss and discredit criticism of the bill, the more they come off looking like dictators and playing right into the fears of those who are opposed to the plan. It’s enough to make me think they WANT to lose control of Congress next year… maybe they’ve discovered that being the party in power isn’t as much fun as they thought!

  • It is confusing to have any discussion, when the elected officials can’t refer to any facts. There are so many versions and variations of health initiatives crafted by staff and lobbyists, we can’t keep track. How can there be a discussion on smoke and mirrors! They are blowing the smoke, by confirming “my version doesn’t say that!”
    The media choose to ignore this mutliple layers and versions as adding to anger and confusion. It’s like buying a car with 3 different contracts in front of you.

  • Elaine,

    I’m sorry, with this bill the bureaucrats have the power to require such consultations and possibly to sign directives that the patients don’t agree with. There’s nothing in the bill which enforces the voluntary nature, it’s in the hands of government, we just have to trust them.

  • I’m not talking about mere opponents of Obamacare when I say “nutjobs.” I’m not a supporter of Obamacare. Those who support or oppose the plan on its merits are a small intelligent minority. I’m talking about the Glenn Beck groupies that show up at the town hall meetings with their birth certificates in zip-lock bags yelling about how the big black socialist is going to kill their grandmas. Dems can mock them with political impunity.

  • elitistunrestrainedadical,

    Matt McDonald Says:
    Wednesday, August 12, 2009 A.D. at 1:06 pm

    unrestrainedradical,

    like the typical leftist elite you completely misunderstand the American people, the majority who are opposed to ObamaCare.

  • Saying that the end of life consultation provision could be open to abuse in the future is accurate — just about ANY provision of any law is open to abuse, and the potential abuses have to be considered when the law is written. However, saying this bill actually creates “death panels” is NOT accurate. In fact it may be even less accurate now that the Dems are seriously talking about removing that whole provision from the bill, which is fine with me.

  • RestrainedRadical,

    I’m talking about the Glenn Beck groupies that show up at the town hall meetings with their birth certificates in zip-lock bags yelling about how the big black socialist is going to kill their grandmas.

    You have to admit that that is a leap of logic of connecting genuine grassroots opposition to socialized medicine to racist birthers.

    Elaine,

    It has been removed, but don’t you think they removed it because perception is reality? Meaning that it could be used to implement Aktion T4 like directives?

    Aktion T4: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Action_T4

  • During this whole debate, nobody consulted Michael Moore on his documented health care in Cuba. If we opened relations with Cuba,and sent cruiser ships with seniors for health care to Cuba, then we could find a happy solution.
    Grandpa could retire there with a bottle of viagra, lots of cigars, and plenty of rum! That’s what I call a great way to end your days!
    If I had to choose between Canada and Cuba, there’s no question I want Cuba!

AARP Vice-President Denies Problems With Members

Tuesday, August 11, AD 2009

The American Association of Retired Persons, A.A.R.P., Vice-President Drew Nannis refused to apologize for how his organization treated their members in a recent town hall meeting.  In that town hall meeting, the A.A.R.P. representative refused to listen to the members and abruptly ended the meeting after what seemed to me as frustration on her part.

Drew Nannis referred to those A.A.R.P. members that voiced their disagreement with A.A.R.P.’s support of ObamaCare as “a bunch of people yelling.”

If you take Mr. Nannis’ word, he did say that they recently had another town hall meeting, which he refers to as a listening tour, in Dallas where the same moderator and many of the same members did meet and have a much more cordial exchange of views and ideas.

Philip Klein of The American Spectator noted A.A.R.P.’s cozy relationship with President Obama:

Its CEO, Barry Rand, who was a major Obama donor, has gotten cozy with the administration, and along with the rest of the top brass at the Washington headquarters, has decided to support liberal policies.

Continue reading...

Nancy Pelosi Calls Protesters Un-American

Monday, August 10, AD 2009

[Updates at the bottom of this posting.  Most recent update at 6:54 pm CST 8-10-09]

Nancy Pelosi, the liberal Democratic Representative from San Francisco, wrote early this morning in a special USA Today Nancy Pelosi 1editorial that those protesting against government run health care are “un-American“.

It is clear to Representative Pelosi and her cohorts that the majority of Americans do not want further government intrusion into their lives, hence Mrs. Pelosi’s attempts at demonizing ordinary Americans.

Drowning out opposing views is simply un-American.

She is referring to the many town hall meetings where Americans were voicing their displeasure to government run health care.  Deliberately smearing Americans for voicing their opinions.

Sadly, the mainstream media is doing their part in painting these town halls as darkly as possible, regardless of the evidence that SEIU goons, Blueshirts, have already attacked health care protesters.

Let’s wait until the 2010 congressional elections and see their opinions voiced in turning back European style socialism by voting these malefactors out of office.

Update I: House GOP Leader John Boehner (Ohio) ripped his Democratic counterparts Monday for labeling those disrupting lawmaker town halls as “un-American.”  Read the rest of this here.

Update II: The guy that beat up Mr. Gladney:

Elston K. McCowan is a former organizer – now the Public Service Director of SEIU Local 2000 – and board member of the Walbridge Community Education Center, and is a Baptist minister, has been a community organizer for more than 23 years, and now, he is running for Mayor of the City of St. Louis under the Green Party.

McCowan accused the Mayor of setting fire to his van . . . because that’s what big city mayors do in their spare time, I guess.  He also called [St Louis Mayor Francis] Slay a racist.  And, on election night, McCowan thanked the family who voted for him.  It was quite touching, actually.

McCowan is not a rank-and-file, card-carrying union guy.  He is a director with SEIU. He IS the union.  He ISSUES the cards. Andy Stern himself might as well have kicked Gladney.

Read the rest here.

Continue reading...

71 Responses to Nancy Pelosi Calls Protesters Un-American

  • Nancy Pelosi is un American to say what she said. Our founders scuffled all the time. Time to come down from your ivory tower congress and listen for a change instead of shoving things as us we dont want. The protests will not stop til you listen and do what the people in your areas want.

  • Be fair, for heaven’s sake… You don’t have to like Nancy Pelosi (I don’t) and yu can be against the health care plan, but she did NOT call the protesters “Un-American” She said:

    “Drowning out opposing views is simply un-American”

    Let’s discuss this issue and quit trying to put words in the mouth of anyone…

  • m.,

    Read my article carefully.

    I mentioned what you said and I explained how she referred to protesters as un-American.

    She doesn’t distinguish between mob attacks (which have been done by the Dems) and actual grassroots protesters.

  • Quit spinning. Nancy Pelosi is against anyone who wont take her poison pill. You must think Americans are stupid. Go USA. She works for us and will soon be fired.

  • Nancy Pelosi is trying to drown out our opposing views by calling it un American. She is trying to punish us for not agreeing with her horrific lack of healthcare plan

  • Well, if you go to the source, you’ll notice that the sentence in context points pretty directly at anti-Obamacare protesters, some of whom have had the unmitigated gall to chant slogans (!) at Pelosi and her buds.

    Funny, since from where I’m sitting it looks like an awful lot of that trying to drown out opposing views is coming from Pelosi, her buds, and some of their hired or coopted punks.

  • obamas union thugs have brought the violence to the scene. they beat up a black man at one rally and yesterday shoved a camera in a ladys face. they are bringing the violence to the scene and they have been endorsed by the whitehouse to go stir things up. there was no violence before just yelling

  • OK, so the people show up and don’t have something like Acorn T shirts, or union Ts and professionally manufactured signs and such are the typical Americans? I get it…If you have one of those Ts then you can drown them out.

    It is after all a one party system and we are to sit down and shut up. I get it.

  • i have been to 3 tea parties. i went on my own with my senior citizen car. absolutely no organizing. you go if you want. you go informed and that is what is killing congress. they expect us to be stupid and too busy to follow the issues. congress if first time meeting their voters and they know more than them. Americans will win this cause we are patriots and we fight to win.

  • Obama & Pelosi aren’t the only ones who like perfectly scripted townhalls and speaking engagements. Did Bush ever have a public forum to which tickets were not restricted to only fawning sycophants – only one that I can think of that press conference in Iraq where he had a shoe tossed at him. If these forums dealt with the “WAR” on terror and there were persons speaking out US policy in the middle east who would be calling people un-American then – who did call people un-american when they spoke out against the war – go to your back issues of National Review dealing with those Un-patriotic Conservatives who dared to opposed Bushes war in Iraq.

    I think both sides are terribly hypocritcial.

  • Did Bush ever have a public forum to which tickets were not restricted to only fawning sycophants

    I don’t recall Bush and Cheney calling people who disagreed with them un-American. Oh, but there was that one article in NR (written by the guy that most conservatives have long ago written off as being a total sellout idiot). I guess that makes the two sides equivalent in some weird, wacky way,

  • Welcome to Bizarro world Paul.

  • bush is gone. move forward zummo. america is speaking and congress must listen or get the boot pure and simple. it is not about how nice anyone speaks it is about how well the congressman listens and answers. simple stuff

  • Errr, mommalu, I was responding to awakaman.

  • Sorry Paul & Tito:

    I am obviously Un-American (or bizzare) for not recognizing the greatness of the Bush presidency and the War on Terror. You have proven my point – engage in strawman agruments as opposed to addressing the facts.

    Did Bush or Cheney call people who opposed their policies Un-American I don’t know or remember – but their agents Limbaugh, Hannity, Mark Levin, O’Reilly, Beck, The Weekly Standard, FOX News, and NRO sure did. Either that or “you didn’t support the troops”. It wasn’t just David Frum it was the entire Mainstream “Conservative” Media.

  • “I am obviously Un-American (or bizzare) for not recognizing the greatness of the Bush presidency and the War on Terror.”

    Oh yeah —

    I forgot about all the devestating terror attacks that took place on U.S. soil subsequent to 9/11 due to the remarkable incompetency of that very administration.

  • (written by the guy that most conservatives have long ago written off as being a total sellout idiot)

    Mr. Frum is a libertarian of a sort atypical among journalists and academics but (one suspects) fairly common among rank-and-file voters of a libertarian orientation inasmuch as he does not attribute the disagreeableness of the world abroad to the bumbling of the governments of the United States and Israel and tends to share Arthur Vandenberg’s view that we are no longer innoculated by geography to this disagreeableness. I would doubt he is a sellout; he was just never your ally (or mine) bar on a restricted range of questions.

  • I forgot about all the devestating terror attacks that took place on U.S. soil subsequent to 9/11 due to the remarkable incompetency of that very administration.

    None of Mr. Bush’s discretionary appointees were in charge of the Massachusetts Port Authority, nor did they generate the Chinese walls within the FBI.

  • Did Bush ever have a public forum to which tickets were not restricted to only fawning sycophants – only one that I can think of that press conference in Iraq where he had a shoe tossed at him.

    Which of us (including you) was keeping a catalogue of the public appearances of either man?

  • Art Deco:

    Perhaps you would’ve been much more relieved had another 9/11 occurred during Bush’s presidential terms; perhaps then you could glory on how incompetent his administration was in preventing a subsequent attack on U.S. soil all throughout his extended terms — the again, such leftists are known to glory in the deaths of innocent civilians so long as their political aims are celebrated in the end!

  • Awakeman,

    Don’t stop engaging in dialogue. Just because we disagree we don’t have to be disagreeable.

  • am obviously Un-American (or bizzare) for not recognizing the greatness of the Bush presidency and the War on Terror. You have proven my point – engage in strawman agruments as opposed to addressing the facts.

    Umm, do you even know what a strawman argument is? From this paragaph, obviously not, especially since it is you who just created one.

    Did Bush or Cheney call people who opposed their policies Un-American I don’t know or remember –

    The answer is no. The rest of your comment is therefore gibberish.

  • I suspect the point of Pelosi’s comments weren’t to name call, rather to distract American’s for actually debating the health care legislation. If she can demonize the protestors their concerns become less important. Amercan’s see this bill as another step towards socialism, where our liberties are slowly being eroded. For real health care reform, it must start with tort reform. The medical malpractice in the US has assumed crisis proportions, and is the single largest contributor to insurance and health care waste, estimated over $200B every year. Fear of litigation pervades all aspects of medical practice, if forces our doctors to act and behave in ways that are contradictory to their medical profession. This is because the spector of lawsuits erodes professional integrity and promotes the practice of defensive medicine. Forty years ago only 1 in 7 physicians were sued during their careers. Current estimates indicate that 1 of 7 physicians are sued every year. Recent reports indicate that half of all physicians make clinical decisions that are influenced by either an extreme or a strong desire to minimize the possibility of lawsuit. With the money that is saved on Tort Reform we would be on our way to paying for many of the uninsured.

  • Pelosi is an embarrassment, not only to her party, but to her country.

  • This article misrepresents Nancy Pelosi’s comments. She is not against disagreement. She is talking about the rude, shouting, unwilling to let others talk behavior that is being fostered and encouraged by some front groups for a conservative lobbying firm, Fox News and some Republican sites. Nancy Pelosi is not saying disagreement is anti-American, she is stating the disruptive behavior which interferes with the actual discussion is anti-Amreican because it is not allowing discussion. It’s unfortunate that a Catholic site would so clearly misrepresent the Speaker’s words and intent.

  • Solarzar,

    If you read the context that she wrote the article in, she is implicitly denigrating the point of view that contradicts her world view.

    Secondly, the fact that you refer to anyone protesting government intrusion in peoples lives as ront groups for a conservative lobbying firm, Fox News and some Republican sites clearly demonstrates your disdain towards others that hold views dissimilar to your own.

    You’ve outed yourself as one of those that finds it difficult that there are others out there that actually have views different from your own.

    That is the fallacy of those on the left. You’re allowed to disagree, just as long as you don’t disagree with your point of view.

    To use your condescending words, it’s unfortunate that a liberal would so clearly show contempt towards other Americans that don’t share your politics.

  • Fox News

    I have no particular love of Fox News, and frankly I think all television news is complete crap, but why does every single person who derides conservatives bring up Fox News? Do they really think that we’re all just sitting there awaiting our marching orders, oblivious to any other information out there?

    Well, they probably do, but that only speaks to their limited sources of information and constrained worldview.

  • Art:

    1. Please see the following article from that “balanced” news source FOX News:

    “There is an active campaign underway to try and disrupt and disturb his [President Bush’s] events in hopes of undermining his objective of fixing Social Security,” White House spokesman Trent Duffy told FOXNews.com. “If there is evidence there are people planning to disrupt the president at an event, then they have the right to exclude those people from those events.”

    http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,153720,00.html

    2. I would not refer to David Frum as a libertarian. He like most Neo-Cons have a love for the State, at least one that they control and have no problem with big government and higher taxes so long as it advances their agenda. I suppose you are only addressing his position on abortion, but a pro-choice position on abortion does not a libertarian make.

  • Paul,

    What rankles liberals is that most Americans, not conservatives, watch Fox News instead of CNN or MSNBC, which is their favorite source of biased programming.

    With that said, I don’t watch Fox News either.

    Though it is interesting the bitterness and contempt that many liberals do have for Fox News.

    Awakeman,

    Thank you for rejoining the conversation.

  • I bring up Fox News because they specifically encourage protestors to challenge the town hall discussions of Health Care. You are correct that I don’t agree with Fox News but I do agree with disagreement. I did read the interview with Nancy Pelosi, I’m not outed as anything. I agree with free speech, but that is not the same as people shouting and disrupting the discussions preventing the dialogue. Also, Fox News tells not relate news, it fosters misinformation. In addition, I have never been anything but a registered Republican who served 21 years in the Marine Corps and currently works for the Department of Defense. But I do believe whether you like Pelosi or not, this article misrepresents her point. I do despise Fox News, because it is not news, it is propaganda and it is against free speech. So if you choose to define me, I will help. I am someone who has served and continues to serve this nation. I am not against any view, I am only against views based on false information and lack of fairness to the truth.

  • I seldom ever watch broadcast news either, but when I do I go to Fox news.

    One, even though most of the commentary personalities would fall on the right, the actual reporting isn’t seething with a particular bias, and you’ll actually see negative things said about the Pubs, where you won’t see negative things said about the Dems on other networks.

    Two, as much as I dislike Hannity and O’Reilly, I have never seen such despicable commentators as those who lead up MSNBC.

    Three, and perhaps most important, Fox is at the forefront of having a wide lineup of extra-talented woman anchors and commentators.

  • Solarzar,

    What part of “front groups for a conservative lobbying firm, Fox News and some Republican sites clearly” did you misread?

    I didn’t accuse you of being a Democrat nor of not serving your country… which has absolutely nothing to do with my original point.

    You’re a liberal for bringing up “conservative lobbying firm(s) and Republican sites”.

  • I bring up Fox News because they specifically encourage protestors to challenge the town hall discussions of Health Care.

    Here’s Charles Krauthammer, on Fox last night riling up the protesters:

    he Democrats are pulling a rabbit out of a hat, and the Republicans (or conservatives) are handing the Democrats the rabbit. The Democrats have no argument. They have no facts. They don’t even really have a bill.

    And if people were just to stand up and quietly and civilly raise questions — “the money doesn’t add up,” “the CBO has said that you say it is going to control costs, but it increases it by $1 trillion,” all of this stuff, it’s really out there — they would be winning this debate as they were before the town halls.

    What’s happening is this is causing a backlash. It’s completely unnecessary. It is shooting yourself in the foot. If you want to demonstrate, you want to shout, you do it outside carrying signs. When you walk inside [the town hall meeting], you ask questions.

    This is going to have two effects. Public opinion will make people, if anything, rather unsympathetic to those who oppose the bills.

    And secondly, it’s going to give a great excuse for the Democrats, when Congress returns, to push a partisan bill with no Republican support and say it’s because the opposition is not — is simply oppositionist without any arguments and is acting in an irresponsible way.

    Yeah, really sounds like he’s egging people on there. And Mort Kondracke, another loony right-winger of course, was even more critical.

  • If I choose to dislike Fox, that is still not the point. Let me be more clear, Hannity specifically has encouraged misinformation and false informatin and encourage people to challenge the Health Care debate, as had Glenn Beck. Now if Fox wants to encourage fair and balanced I’m not asking it to censor news reporting, but it has an obligation to correct misinformation. Locally I prefer my Fox channel, but I do not appreciate corporate Fox programming under the banner of news. That’s my preference, and when I state they have encourage the disruption you will find it with several of the woman anchors you mention, Hannity, Beck and O’Reilly. That’s more than an occassional item. Whether you like any other news or not is your choice, however, I hear many sources of information and read. My decisions are based on that. This article is biased again Nancy Pelosi in language and intent which makes it unfair. Notice how quickly I was labelled a liberal, I didn’t like others point of view and how quickly I had to be wrong in my point of view. I didn’t challenge anyone’s point of view only the bias of this article.

  • Excuse the typos on the last post. I often think ahead of my fingers.

  • Solarzar,

    Many of us here at AC do not like nor have much respect for Hannity or O’Reilly.

    And to be fair, I don’t have cable period, hence why I don’t watch FOx News, nor CNN, nor MSNBC.

  • Also, Fox News tells not relate news, it fosters misinformation. In addition, I have never been anything but a registered Republican

    Bash Fox? Check.

    Claim to be a life-long Republican? Check.

    Do I think this person is a seminar commenter? Double check.

  • Solarzar,

    Please disregard the last two lines of my comments towards you for the 11:41pm comment posting.

  • and encourage people to challenge the Health Care debate,

    Oh no, he’s telling people to “challenge” the supporters of HC reform. The man is truly a Nazi in disguise.

    Also, Glenn Beck and Sean Hannity are not and do not claim to be straight news anchors in the traditional sense. They are opinion journalists – no different in that sense than Olberman and Mathews on MSNBC.

    Anyway, from the sounds of it you spend a lot more time watching Beck, O’Reilly and Hannity than any of the people who actually are conservatives on this site do. Unless of course you’re just spewing talking points from leftist websites, and there’s no way that could possibly be true.

  • What is a seminar commenter? And why am I a troll?

    Also, you there is a direct line to a lobbying firm that began the instructions on how to disrupt the town hall meetins. I’m not in a place to relay the specific information but I didn’t make it up I saw the interviews and read the articles. Does it have to be false if you don’t believe it?

    When you name a person as a liberal with disdain, when you choose to use terms with dismissal are you being open to discussion? You don’t know me, and I don’t know you, but I didn’t challenge anyone on this forum. I challenged the article as being biased, and the language is.

    And I challenged media misinformation. This why the discussion gets sidetracked, it turns into a personal attack or dismissal instead of a discussion of differences.

  • Solarzar,

    “front groups for a conservative lobbying firm, Fox News and some Republican sites clearly”

    Liberal talking points.

    Whether you got it from HuffPo, Daily Kos, or Vox Nova, liberal is is liberal say or do.

  • And I challenged media misinformation. This why the discussion gets sidetracked, it turns into a personal attack or dismissal instead of a discussion of differences.

    You haven’t made a single substantive comment. You’ve made vague assertions about Fox News, and spent the rest of the time whining about how people choose to respond to your comments.

  • Since when did Fox’s Hannity, O’Reilly and the like pass off for the News of the Right — especially given the fact that these are largely the feeding posts of the Neo-cons?

    Also, you don’t see me mocking the biased leftist shows like Stewart’s Daily Show, which often actually passes for legitimate news for most, if not, all liberals!

  • I will agree that using Hannity, OReilly and Beck in the same breath as Fox News is unfair on my part.

    Tito I think I know which comments you are asking me to ignore. Fair enough.

    Also to Paul’s comments I have a talk radio show so I do spend time researching many of these issues. I came across this site because of research I was doing and only chose to comment because I believe the Catholic church should spend more time presenting the information with less bias.

    Since you don’t know me I am also a biblical scholar who spends a great deal of time reading and studying the bible. As a former Catholic I do find many of the views expressed in the political arena to be counter to a Christian view. Can they disagree, absolutely. But first present the unbiased facts.

    What are facts.

    1. Many groups are disrupting Town Hall meetings.

    2. Repulbican sites (not all), are listing Democratics town hall meetings (not Republican) as sites to debate the Health Care issue.

    3. The lobbying form run by Dick Armey has put together a program on how to disrupt the Democratic town hall meetings.

    4. The health insurance companies have put together a campaign to fight against the Health Care initiative by calling it socialism (how many times have you heard that).

    5. An M Street conservative lobbying firm has sent Health Care information buses to various states and they have been captured on film reciting the “euthenasia” mantra that is not in the House bill on Health Care.

    6. Do you have to believe anything I day – No. However, this isn’t an emotional rant. It’s a different view of the Speaker’s comments based on these points.

    So we can agree to not agree.

  • Solarzar,

    Thank you for engaging us in this conversation.

    There may be links from a lobbying firm, but you have to admit that this is a small group when you look at the whole sample.

  • Tito,

    You may be right. Back to my original point, whether you like Nancy Pelosi or not the framework of her statements are some of the overt “disruptive” behavior, not disagreement.

    That was my disagreement with the article, and not with others views. Since you seemed to know each other I just attempted to put my views in context.

    Thank you for sharing your views.

  • Actually, some of your facts are disputable, and others are hardly damning. People are organizing protests? Shocking!

    But yes, let’s agree to disagree.

  • Solarzar,

    I still don’t have the foggiest idea what you’re attempting to demonstrate, especially given the opinions (rather than “facts”) which you’ve presented before us as what should solidify some God-only-knows contention concerning some saintly depiction of Pelosi as anything other than arrogantly biased.

    Tito Taco and Paul Zummo might agree with whatever fertilizer you’re selling them as “facts”; however, I am still quite awed how easily they’re taken by your style of argumentation which seems more so likened to a peasoup fog; yet, I guess what passes off for legitimate debate these days is this kind of refuse.

  • e,

    I didn’t think they agreed with what I said, only agreed with our disagreement.

    Also, my only point was I felt the article was biased to Nancy Pelosi’s opinion, and I don’t believe they agree.

  • however, I am still quite awed how easily they’re taken by your style of argumentation

    Heh. I thought I was being overly aggressive with solarzar, but evidently I wasn’t being clear enough in my dismissal of his points.

    I’ll try harder next time, e.

  • e.,

    I’ll try to be more condescending and obtuse next time as well.

  • paul zummo:

    Good for you! I’d expect better from a person of your stature.

    You shouldn’t let falsehood get by so easily.

    Sure, by all means, be courteous; however, that doesn’t mean neglecting what your very intellect is advising you and, not to mention, surrendering your very dignity to the likes of such petty opponents — especially those whose arguments are a little more than merely makeweights.

    Leave that to the likes of Tito Taco.

    Based on past comments I’ve surveyed from you, you’re certainly better than this.

  • e.,

    Thank you for that Eddie Haskell comment.

  • Tito Taco:

    Well, sorry to disappoint, but I’m not the “Thank-you, Sir, May I have another?” kind of person.

    Bad enough that somebody is putting forth what hardly seems an argument in the first place; worse, to treat such a person as if his very point was somehow so dignified!

    You gents might prefer such humiliation and treat such insulting adversaries as if they were God’s-Gift-to-the-World; however, back in the ole days, when Right was right, we didn’t let off such falsehood so easily and, even further, thanked them for not only their insultingly risible argument but also for their apparent ridicule, too.

  • e,

    I didn’t believe I ridiculed anyone here. You don’t like my opinions, fine. I didn’t attempt to insult anyone, only the article.

  • awakaman,

    That there are lobbies and other organized activity is neither sinister nor an indication that they are the motor for most of those in protest.

    Mr. Frum about fifteen years ago published a book with the title Dead Right. The contents certainly looked like an extended libertarian argument to me, but perhaps a deficient memory or my Neo-Con love of the state has addled me.

  • Solarzar:

    Adducing as your supporting “fact” that Fox News is biased, etc.; for the still dubious contention that the article itself is somehow “biased” because it doesn’t rightly portray Pelosi et al. in some sort of spectacularly positive light and expecting us to take such “facts” as valid corroboration for such contention is indeed (even if somewhat) of a ridiculing nature.

    You are either being deceptively disingenuous or perhaps, at the very least, remarkably naive.

  • I have never been anything but a registered Republican who served 21 years in the Marine Corps and currently works for the Department of Defense.

    ….

    I have a talk radio show

    I am also a biblical scholar

    I don’t buy this guy for a second. He comes on attacking the majority conservative/republican approach to bad legislation, defends the democrat leadership, attacks conservative commentators, defends the bad legislation… claims to be a US Marine and a lifelong Republican, talk show host and biblical scholar…. wow…

    if it walks and talks like a duck, it’s probably a duck.

    I call QUACK.

    No further discussion until you provide some bona-fides, how about the name of your “show” and station it airs on?

  • Why must I defend everything I say. How come I must be either lying or wrong.

    Here is the fallacy: I was researching the Pelosi interview. This link appeared. I mistook the blog entry for a news report of Pelosi. The blog is certainly biased against Pelosi and what she said. It has the point of view of the blogger – I didn’t realize that.

    I never said I was lifelong Republican. It is the only party I have ever belonged to. I left the Republican party in 1994 because of it’s affiliation with the Religious Right. I believe in the separation of Church and State and the integration of a religious platform into the Republican platform doesn’t suit me.

    I research these topics for discussion on my show, which I don’t have to prove. It’s unfortunate that only one view is the right view. Life is actually nuanced. Not right or left.

    My service was 21 years from machine gunner to Director of a benefits and customer service agency for the Department of Defense. I went from enlisted to officer during my 21 years. Currently I am a subject matter expert for the DoD and I coordinate and provide benefits to the active, retired and reserve Service members and their family members. I support over 37 million people, as well as manage projects that support the exchange of information and benefits between the VA and the DoD.

    I walk my talk and believe in free speech, not the stifling or limitation of opinions. I also believe everyone has a right to express based on the facts. Pelosi was expressing a dissatisfaction with the disruption and shouting at town halls and said it was un-American for either side of the discussion to stifle discussion by shouting or not allowing the people to express their views. It was not a biased or partisan position.

    I did not paint some spectacularly positive lights for the Democratic Party, Pelosi, or even the Health Care issues. I do consider myself a Progressive, but on some issues I’m conservative, on some I’m moderate and on some I’m liberal. None of that matters if the discussion is only framed around one side. There is no single answer to anything.

    It took until e’s last comment for me to recognize that I was naive that this was a blog and not a Catholic sanctioned site so I was interferring with a secular house that only accepted a particular view. The discussion often generated into an attack of me, not my opinions, although I have to admit my general criticism of Fox news sure lit a firestorm.

    Dick Armey has a lobbying firm called DLA Piper. He accepts clients and then generates “grass roots” support throught his group called Freedom Works. Freedom Works generated guidelines for how to “disrupt” (their term, not mine) town hall meetings on Health Care it is called the “August Recess Action Kit”).

    Members of DLA Piper include Matt Kibbe, former RNC Chair, and Richard Stephenson, CEO of Cancer Treatment Centers of America. Frredom Works also supported the “Tea Party Patriots”. You might like the work they do, but they are disgusing how they do it and proclaiming it as grass roots when it is financed, funded and sheilded. That is the false part. Can they object – sure.

    Any American can disagree, have opposing views, and as citizens any member of DLA Piper can object to any position. However, they use Freedom Works as their front organization claiming grass roots action based on the client list of DLA Piper. You don’t have to take my word. Just take the time to look into Freedom Works, DLA Piper, and Dick Armey. It’s all avialable if you look hard enough.

    My show is Good Vibrations Radio: Tools for Transformation on AM 540, KRXA in Monterey, California. I’m certain you wouldn’t like it since it is progressive. As for my biblical studies, I’m working on my Doctor of Divinity, have spent the last 18 months on New Testament studies with many more months to go. Notice I said scholar, not expert. But I speak only what I believe to be true. Yet, there are many truths to many people, we learn by listening.

    I won’t bother you gentleman again since this is a public, yet private forum that I mistook for an affiliated Catholic site. Now that I’ve explored I do agree I was naive in what I thought the site was.

  • Matt McDonald:

    I don’t buy this guy for a second.

    Thank God — finally, a voice of reason!

  • Solazar,

    I have never been anything but a registered Republican

    you basically started your posting here with an intentionally misleading statement. Whatever you were up until 15 years ago, you are now an progressive/liberal. So that’s why I called quack, I knew something wasn’t right.

    As to your other points, it’s clear that you’re reading the talking points put out by the Soro’s funded elements so it’s a little bit of pot calling the kettle black. In any event, that some group is disseminating information does not change the nature of the opposition. Most people opposed to health care have an instinctive reaction to it and then follow up with research and seek like-minded organizations to work with. Unlike many Soros funded “activism” no reimbursement or assistance beyond information is provided to the groups who are opposing health care and so it’s far more legitimate.

    Your points on the health care bill are all based on the best presumptions about how the executive and bureaucracy will perform their duties. It’s clear from past history that this is a very naive approach. Consider that 2 of Obama’s key advisers have come out in favor of euthanasia and eugenics, positions they have never dissavowed… who is running the bureaucracy?

  • One can find out the basics of military service from public records such as Military.com if one has a real name. There are several things that can be Googled about Solarzar starting with his radio broadcast. One wonders about what his divinity dissertation will be like given this:

    http://www.solarzar.com/

  • One can get a sense of his political views on his blog:

    http://www.solarzar.blogspot.com/

    Somehow I don’t think he is a Republican.

  • Not a little self-serving biography:

    Solarzar is an expert in Leadership, Communication & Customer Service, Goal Planning, and Stress Management. He’s a Master Trainer, award winning Speaker, and Psychic Entertainer who has lived many lives in one: from living on the streets as a teenager to going through the enlisted to the officer ranks in the U.S. Marine Corps during a 21 year career. He is a high school droput who became the Principal of a publicly traded company and brings a wealth of experience that he shares in his powerful, life-changing, magical presentations.

  • So Solarzar is a Psychic entrepreneur that performs magical presentations?

    That makes since, given that the general outline of his argumentation herein is just about as magical as his ironically “biased” contention.

  • Abacadabra: “since” become “sense”!

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  • You have to understand that the “New Democratic Party” is now a party of the “Elitists”. They used to represent the average “Joe In The Street” but now are only concerned in a, shall we say, Socialist point of view and if you don’t agree with their view, get out of the way. Look at the sweet hearts of the Democratic Party. Would you like to have them in your house? Pelosi, Reed, Dodd, Frank, Boxer?

  • Dean Carlson:

    As Fr. Groeschel himself once remarked, it wasn’t former democrats who betrayed the Democrat Party; it was actually the Democrat Party itself.

    Your above comments are the best thus far that not only addresses this but the rather unfortunate fact that is the Democrat Party.

The Anchoress On Fire

Saturday, August 8, AD 2009

government

The Anchoress is on fire here about the ham-fisted efforts of the Obama administration to stifle dissent.  Eventually someone in Obama’s administration is going to have a “Yamamoto moment” and turn to him and say words to the effect of:    I fear all we have done is to rouse a sleeping giant and fill him with a terrible resolve.

Continue reading...

6 Responses to The Anchoress On Fire

  • The Anchoress is one of those bloggers that continues to be an inspiration to me. There is a duty for Christians to speak out and champion those individuals that are simply asking questions and voicing their opinions about systems that they think are inhuman and/or unfair. I think our President and Congressmen, in order to disguise their greed and lust for glorification of power, are attempting to befuddle us and chaos has resulted and will intensify. But we all share responsibility for the state of the world today. Why haven’t there been such intense town meetings and outrage over the sacrifice of our most defenseless? We angonize over the possibility of the executioner’s axe hanging over our heads, but where is our zeal about speaking out over the millions of children we have murdered? Those seniors who might face the death panel at least have had the chance to love and be loved. Is it not poetic justice that the very generation that sacrificed millions of children might ultimately be sacrificed themselves? Worship of the State will not save us, but perhaps we will be saved by the prayers and sacrifices of devoted souls. I think Christianity still has the capability of producing martyrs.

  • “Why haven’t there been such intense town meetings and outrage over the sacrifice of our most defenseless?”–Moe

    Why? Because pro-abort legislators are too cowardly to call a so-called town meeting to sell constituents on the “benefits” of their government-sponsored abortion programs, that’s why.

    Had Obama’s acolytes in the legislature suspected that their great munificent gift of government-approved “health insurance” would be opposed, the cowards wouldn’t have dared to open their meetings to the public.

  • death panel?
    please. you need better info than Sarah Palin.

  • Do you think I could get better info from Ezekial Emmanuel?

  • Just as society is undaunted by a physician performing a “surgical procedure” to terminate a pregnancy, likewise we will become inured by euthanasia. Murder of our most defenseless is merely a “surgical procedure,” and murder of our elderly and mentally handicapped will be described as a “socially sustainable and cost effective” act. A panel deciding care based on these criteria sounds quite benign and less likely to offend our sensitivities than “death panel”. I rather like Sarah Palin’s jargon better than Zeke’s.

Blueshirts, Pelosi, and Mobs, Oh My!

Saturday, August 8, AD 2009

It’s been an interesting week in the world of American politics.  With the arrogance of congressional Democrats and the White House attempts at discrediting a grassroots movement, the passions will certainly continue to climb after the weekend is over.

Here are some highlights from these past few days:

1. At a town hall last week in Dallas, an elderly “mob” with “manufactured” outrage questioned AARP’s support for nationalized health care, asking: “Do you work for us or do we work for you?”

There were no swastika-wearing grannies at Tuesday’s meeting, as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi might claim. Nor were they “taking their cues from talk show hosts, Internet rumor-mongers . . . and insurance rackets,” as Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has said.

But they were mad as hell at the perception that AARP was selling them out in the name of government-run medical insurance. That perception was not helped when the AARP town hall on the subject was shut down by the seniors outfit once the members dared to ask questions. The AARP representatives did not want to hear from the members at all. Just send in your dues, granny, and be quiet.

To read the rest of this IDB Editorial click here.

2. You’ve heard a lot about this crazy, scary, vicious mob on some shadowy GOP payroll. By the way the DNC, Rachel Maddow, and President Obama talk, you’d think it was a motley crue of Hell’s Angels.

Let me introduce you to the mob:

scary mob 1

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20 Responses to Blueshirts, Pelosi, and Mobs, Oh My!

  • A superb roundup Tito! You have a real talent for putting these together!

  • It’s funny we hear Republicans say that they do not want “faceless bureaucrats” making medical decisions but they have no problem with “private sector” “faceless bureaucrats” daily declining medical coverage and financially ruining good hard working people. And who says that the “private sector” is always right, do we forget failures like Long-Term Capital, WorldCom, Global Crossing, Enron, Tyco, AIG and Lehman Brothers. Of course the federal government will destroy heathcare by getting involved, Oh but wait our military men and women and the Senate and Congress get the best heathcare in the world, and oh, that’s right, its run by our federal government. I can understand why some may think that the federal government will fail, if you look at the past eight years as a current history, with failures like the financial meltdown and Katrina but the facts is they can and if we support them they will succeed.

    How does shouting down to stop the conversation of the healthcare debate at town hall meetings, endears them to anyone. Especially when the organizations that are telling them where to go and what to do and say are Republicans political operatives, not real grassroots. How does shouting someone down or chasing them out like a lynch mob advanced the debate, it does not. So I think the American people will see through all of this and know, like the teabagger, the birthers, these lynch mobs types are just the same, people who have to resort to these tactics because they have no leadership to articulate what they real want. It’s easy to pickup a bus load of people who hate, and that’s all I been seeing, they hate and can’t debate. Too bad.

  • If you don’t know who Rick Scott is then you don’t know who is duping you. This is the false prophet. Scott is the money-changer you let into your temple. Scott is a big health care CEO (whose company by the way was fined $1.7 billion for fraud) who is financing the disruption of the town hall meetings. He is the temptor who has cause you to stumble into the gospel of hatred for your fellow man. His “salvation” (money) is to get you to serve corporate profits instead of your fellow man.

    One Master said “Feed my sheep,” “As ye do to the least of these my brothers, you do unto me.” Perhaps you can appreciate how that would be served by universal health care?
    The other “master” says, “shout them down,” and “voice your anger.” Does that really serve your mission to be the spreader of the Good News?

    I truly feel sorry for good-hearted people who have been drawn into the hatred of political extremism and who honestly think they are serving Christ, when in fact they are serving corporate lobbyists. What a shame!

    Check it out: http://thinkprogress.org/2009/08/06/rick-scott-sanchez/

  • Paul,

    Those were very hateful elderly people in those posts.

    I guess the GOP Hate-van picked them at an early bird dinner and bussed them over to these town halls.

    It’s called grasping at straws.

  • I really don’t care how great the proposed healthcare bill is, even if it give cradle to grave care to all at the same level Congress enjoys (don’t mention the military, our healthcare isn’t all that great). I don’t care if B.O. & Company summon up a genie to pay for it all with no expense to the taxpayers. I don’t care if there is absolutely no provisions for funding abortions in it.

    If it doesn’t expressly forbid coverage for abortion and euthanasia it isn’t good enough. Period.

  • The health care plan on offer provides for government funding of abortions. Pointing to shady corporate lobbyists doesn’t change that gruesome fact. Who’s the temptor who put that murderous, needless and revolutionary language in the bill? Mr. Scott may be a fraud, but he hasn’t snuffed human life on the scale contemplated by this health bill.

    It has no place in a “health care” bill. Demand that it be taken out and I’ll stand with you, CL. Ignore it, and I’ll ignore you.

  • Paul,

    Do you have a citation for your assertion that the military receive the ‘the best health care in the world’?

    I am not aware that anyone has asserted that private enterprise is infallible, merely that it generally performs more efficiently in the provision of merchandise and services unless the good in question is one that cannot be vended on a market (e.g. law enforcement, or natural environments) because the costs and benefits of the provision of the service are very poorly aligned, payer and recipient being different parties (for the most part). A secondary problem you have is that often the use of markets to provide certain goods and services leads to a distribution of same that people find unpalatable. Medical services is one of those goods.

    People’s demand for goods and services (including medical services) is invariably going to exceed the capacity of producers to supply these services. From the perspective of the consumer, if you spend more on x, you have to spend less on y. Rationing of the fruits of productive capacity may be done through price systems or through administrative controls, but it must occur. Neither the individual household, nor the commercial insurer, nor the government have unlimited resources, so some party must be in the business of ‘denying coverage’ (i.e. refusing to pay for it). The commercial insurer charges you a premium which is derived in part from an understanding of a particular benefits configuration. If you change the benefits configuration post hoc, the insurance program is not actuarially sound and eventually goes bankrupt.

    The program as proposed is hideously rococo, is proposed to be enacted when there are severe demands on public resources from the banking crisis, and is being enacted when simpler alternatives that allow for more decision-making by consumers and providers are available. People also tend to be rather risk-averse in these sorts of situations, preferring a devil they know. That there is opposition is unsurprising. Get used to it.

  • Paul,

    the plan at offer bears no resemblance to the plan which congress generously offers itself, it’s more akin to medicare or the veterans administration. Active military enjoy excellent trauma care, but their “routine” medical system leaves a lot to be desired.

    ChristianLiberal (an oxymoron),

    and your well-crafted talking points are financed by George Soros. Whatever the agenda of Rick Scott’s organization, they fund NOBODY to attend any townhalls, they, along with many other conservative groups help to analyse the proposal (it’s >1000 pages for legalese and Orwellian “newspeak”) and communicate their findings. It’s the well funded SEIU that is far more in line with what you’re accusing us of.

  • Advocacy groups, at ALL points on the political spectrum, exist for a very good reason: because most ordinary people cannot take the time to thoroughly perform completely original research and personally lobby their legislators on EVERY single issue of interest to them.

    That’s why we have issue-based organizations that do it for us — National Right to Life, the NRA, AARP, the Sierra Club, etc. If they organize an event and provide transportation, meals, etc. for people to participate, does that automatically mean that every individual who attends is being “manipulated” or “bought” and therefore their views don’t deserve consideration? Do people’s views “count” only if they happen to find out about an event completely on their own and attend totally at their own expense, without using any arguments or “talking points” that have ever been used by anyone else?

    The mere fact that an advocacy group organizes an event or actively invites people to participate (no one has, as far as I know, claimed that anyone on either side was ordered or forced to attend) does NOT mean that the views expressed by those attendees are insincere or not worthy of attention. I think that applies just as much to SEIU as to any alleged GOP political operatives — if they care enough to show up for an event, they have a right to be heard AND a responsibility to let others be heard as well.

  • Elaine,

    you’re right of course, but in the case of the townhall ‘mobs’ the only support provided has been information as far as we know, and that’s generally the case with conservative causes. On the other hand, there is a LONG history of leftist groups using all sorts of enticements, including cash payments to individual protesters. Furthermore, it’s curious that the SEIU is showing a lot of interest in this matter, since union negotiated health care plans are largely exempted from interference under this law. Also notable is the special treatement afforded SEIU and other democrat activists at these supposedly “open forums”.

    I remember SEIU “protestors” involved in a janitorial contract dispute a couple of years ago marching around Cincinnati. I asked one of them what it was about and after a short discussion he acknowledged that he had no idea what it was about he just got paid to come out.

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  • I probably should have added that I have very little if any sympathy for SEIU, since they were among the biggest supporters of and donors to Illinois’ disgraced Governor Blago, and also among the most strident groups now pushing for a massive tax increase to cover the state deficit. I believe their efforts to organize home health care workers and demand taxpayer support for them are doing more harm than good to their cause and those of the elderly and disabled people they are supposed to be helping. Also, it is true that completely original arguments offered by someone acting on their own will carry more weight than canned “talking points”.

    What I take issue with, however, is the notion that participating in ANY kind of organized effort or campaign regarding an issue somehow invalidates one’s point of view or makes it less genuine.

    Also, Pelosi obviously doesn’t know what “astroturfing” means. In my experience as a journalist, it referred to instances in which an advocacy or lobbying group creates fake grass roots support for its point of view by getting its own members or clients to write a bunch of letters to the editor, op-ed pieces, blog posts, etc. in a way that makes them APPEAR to have come from ordinary citizens moved to write purely out of personal conviction — with NO mention of the authors’ group affiliation or personal or financial interest in the matter. However, the mere fact that a letter-writing campaign or public event is organized by some group does not make it “astroturf.”

  • Tito Edwards, Art Deco, Matt McDonald: It is very American to want to help our fellow countryman. I believe in my government especially our men and women in our military, firefighters and police. You, not so much. Lets face it the previous administration did nothing (except start two wars of choice that are bankrupting our country with all the “war profiteering” contracts to Halliburton) well you and I will just have to agree to not agree. I did not believe any of the Republican rhetoric before the last election and I do not believe them now. I do not believe that your sentiments are in line with the majority, but your comments, funny stuff.

  • Paul,

    Tito Edwards, Art Deco, Matt McDonald: It is very American to want to help our fellow countryman.

    yes, and we do. In fact, if you are a typical liberal, and we are typical conservatives then we do far more to help our fellow countrymen than you do… shame on you.

    I believe in my government especially our men and women in our military, firefighters and police. You, not so much.

    I believe in God Almighty. I appreciate and thank our military, firefighters, and police. The FEDERAL government bureacracy which you worship, not so much. State and local governments I appreciate and trust more because they are closer to the people.

    I do not believe that your sentiments are in line with the majority

    based on all the liberals you hang out with it’s not surprising that you have no idea what the majority think. Check the polls buddy.

  • “I believe in my government especially our men and women in our military, firefighters and police. You, not so much.

    And this comment was meant to prove what exactly?

    It reminds me of a corrupt company when faced with possible prosecution for dumping toxic wastes into rivers; they all of a sudden introduce the rather conspicuous red herring: well, our company, as you know, believes wholeheartedly in the greatness of these United States and, in fact, donate regularly to charitable causes!

    Well, quite frankly, much like the Demo-n-Caths and other like-minded felons who capitalize on the veneer of societal goodness, professing such remarkable love of country and their fellow man, all the while, advancing deterimental policies that only hinder and even injure the common citizen; I don’t buy the seemingly noble facade even for a second.

    Go sell your liberal goods elsewhere; while McDonald might play gracious host to you, I, on the other hand, see you for who you truly are: an actor disguising sheer demagoguery in mere sentimentalism but, as even evident in the agenda and actions of the current administration, nothing substantive or even noble where the average American Family is concerned, which policies as these can only prove injurious as regarding any purported benefits such policy claim to advance and can prove even fatal, especially in light of end-of-life issues which will certainly be truncated — not so surprising given the fiercely Pro-Abort administration bent on only advancing the merits of the Culture of Death.

  • e.,

    very eloquent!

  • Matt & e: Sticks and Stones……. Stick and Stones

    I do not believe that your sentiments are in line with the majority, but your comments, funny stuff.

  • Paul:

    I do not believe that your sentiments are in line with sanity; but, hey, such is the sorry state of the world.

    All things besides, interesting that you should flaunt your views as being the right one simply because you make the rather tenuous claim that it happens to be the majority, which doesn’t necessarily make them right even if so.

    That notorious ad populum is an old fallacy that even your own ignoble confreres have used time and again.

    Please do visit us again should you have something more substantive to share. Thanks.

  • e: Snore….Snore

You May Be A Member of An Angry Mob If…

Friday, August 7, AD 2009

With apologies to Jeff Foxworthy.

You may be a member of an angry mob if:

1.   You think your Congresscritter works for you and not the other way around.

2.   You’re real sure that the First Amendment protects your right to free speech.

3.   You believe that townhalls are something more than photo ops for members of Congress.

4.   You recall that the right to vigorous political debate is one of the reasons why this country was founded.

5.   You remember something in the First Amendment about the right of the people to petition the government for redress of grievances.

6.   You have always regarded this picture as one of your favorite Norman Rockwell paintings:

Freedom of Speech

7.   You agree with President Reagan that one of the scariest phrases is, “I’m from the government and I’m here to help”.

8.    You are pretty sure that a lot of brave Americans didn’t die for this country so you would just keep your mouth shut and do what you’re told.

9.   You strongly agree with this quote from George Washington:  “If the freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter.”

10.   You think that it might be a good idea for Congress men and women to actually read bills before they vote to make them laws.

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3 Responses to You May Be A Member of An Angry Mob If…

SEIU Blueshirts Attack Health Care Protestor

Friday, August 7, AD 2009

SEIU Blueshirts

[Updates at the bottom of this posting.  Most recent update at 7:41 pm CST]

On Thursday, August 6, the White House call to arms by Deputy Chief of Staff David Axelrod, “punch back twice as hard“, at the growing grass roots movement opposing government single-payer health care produced the first violent incident later in the day.  During a Town Hall Meeting with U.S. Rep. Russ Carnahan at Bernard Middle School gym in south St. Louis County, Service Employees International Union (SEIU) members dressed in dark purple shirts, though they look blue in the video below, attacked a black American protester by savagely beating him.  The protester ended up in the Emergency Room of St. John’s Mercy Medical Center.

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13 Responses to SEIU Blueshirts Attack Health Care Protestor

  • I just realized that Donald had posted about this incident earlier on one of his updates, but it goes without saying that these protests are drawing violent reactions from proponents of government intrusion.

  • It’s an important event Tito and it needs all the exposure it can get. Great post!

  • Just flat-out disgusted.

    No less because I’ve already seen folks blaming… dum dum dum… opponents of the healthcare boondoggle for the violence. (How dare that fellow violently attack the union members’ shoes?)

  • I rather be called an American, but for the sake of argument…

    Latinos are predominantly more conservative, traditional, and orthodox in their Catholic faith than liberals lead on. Once we find someone who can break this liberal stereotype, the floodgates will open when Latino’s realize that there are more platforms within the GOP than in the Democratic Party that reflects their own values.

  • This whole health reform mess gets uglier by the day.

    At what point do the Democrats back off?

    Mr. H
    http://www.allhands-ondeck.blogspot.com/

  • At what point can any Catholic in good conscience and of good-will be associated with the party of death?

    At first I was outraged by the barbaric violence found on this video but on further reflection this is a predictable natural outcome for a party that accepts abortion as the paramount plank in its platform. If you accept murder, then on what grounds would you object to anything that amounts to less?

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  • Marlene,

    Please be more careful in stating your opinions and refrain from what may be perceived as racist remarks.

  • Wait, I’m confused. Gladney is the black guy lying on the ground where the white guy is trying to kick him, right? Why is Gladney wearing a “Health Care 09: We Can’t Wait” t-shirt? That’s an SEIU shirt.

    Or is Gladney the guy who gets knocked down right after, while he’s rushing over to the downed SEIU guy? Because that guy gets right back up and is walking around throughout the rest of the video. Did he get some sort of delayed-onset injury, where you can walk around, chat with a cameraman, flag down the cops, and speak just fine on Fox News the next day, but then the day after that you can hardly move?

  • Gladney is the *skinny* black guy wearing a tan polo shirt; the one that purple-shirt-blue-jeans-hat on the right throws to the ground again at about 0:05, while the camera guy is trying to get what the heck is up.

    Can’t see who you think is rushing over, because you can see Gladney being pulled to his feet (and swaying) by the guy who looks like retired military, the one that directs a lady to pick up the button-boards.

    The fat guy in the purple shirt is the one that called him a n****r and first attacked him, if I understand it correctly– he’s on the ground because folks pulled him off Gladney. (and if that’s an attempt to kick, they suck– cheap shot would be dead easy there)

    I’m wondering– have you ever been hurt? It often takes at least five minutes after an attack before you realize how hurt you are. I know that when I got bucked off and dislocated my shoulder, I didn’t know it was damaged until I couldn’t lift it to climb the fence.

    Unless you’re going to claim that the hospital treated him for imaginary injuries….

  • Update on the guy mistaken for Gladney:
    Elston K. McCowan is a former organizer – now the Public Service Director of SEIU Local 2000 – and board member of the Walbridge Community Education Center, and is a Baptist minister, has been a community organizer for more than 23 years, and now, he is running for Mayor of the City of St. Louis under the Green Party.

    He’s…kind of known for nutty behavior, since he accused the mayor of setting fire to his/church/Green campaign van….

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Townhalls Out of Control! The Unions to the Rescue!

Friday, August 7, AD 2009

Lots of videos of townhalls here where members of Congress face outraged constituents.

Liberals can relax however.  The AFL-CIO is going to send out union members to restore order at the townhalls.  I look forward to the footage when a union leg breaker decides to take a swing at someone who is not enamored of ObamaCare.  In the age of cell phone videos nothing will escape being placed on video.   Conservative union members, your dues money at work.   My late father was a member of Allied Industrial Workers for 30 years, and it used to anger him intensely that his dues were used to support political causes he adamantly opposed.  If you don’t like this and you are a member of a union, you might want to attend a townhall meeting!  Although maybe they won’t let you in.  At the Russ Carnahan town meeting in Saint Louis over a thousand protesters were locked out and only Carnahan supporters were allowed in. Similar tactics were used at a townhall in Tampa.  That will solve the problem!  Lock people out who disagree with the person purporting to represent them in Congress!

The Left  is completely misreading this situation.  This isn’t a matter of just Republicans and Conservatives.  There is a prairie fire of anger burning in this country, and it is not going to be stopped by biased media, attempts at intimidation, White House calls for informants or locking citizens out of townhall meetings.

Update: An  update here from Gateway Pundit on the violence at the Carnahan town meeting.

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14 Responses to Townhalls Out of Control! The Unions to the Rescue!

  • That’ll be interesting to see Obama’s goons try and strong-arm red-blooded Americans into silence.

    Technology will reveal the true colors of these Government Health Care ‘enthusiasts’.

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  • Just finished reading the ‘prairie fire’ article by the insightful Victor Davis Hanson. What a damning report on left-wing elitism that is demonizing hard working Americans and stoking class-warfare in order to push what is essentially socialism in all disguises upon the American public.

  • Stongarm I deleted your comment. Come back when you have something intelligent to contribute.

  • To quote the SEIU member in the video: “We didn’t attack him for nothing . . . He attacked America.”

  • While I am not a fan of Obama or his health plan by any means, after reading a variety of articles and opinions on this subject (not just the ones I tend to agree with) it seems to me that some of the more dangerous aspects of the healthcare reform plan have been blown out of proportion by their opponents — most notably, the “end of life” care clause.

    From what I gather, it does NOT mandate or encourage euthanasia but provides a mechanism (government funded of course) by which seniors are kept informed of their rights concerning advance directives and are given the opportunity to communicate their wishes regarding end of life care (whether via living will or by granting healthcare power of attorney to a trusted relative or friend). Most hospitals do this already for people having surgery or other procedures. There are also differences of opinion regarding whether the current reform plan will actually force the government or any private insurer to pay for abortions. All these things need to be monitored carefully, of course, and any healthcare plan that includes explicitly anti-life measures must be defeated.

    That being said, it seems to me that the Dems are throwing gasoline on a “prairie fire” that could be contained simply by slowing down the process of passing these bills — so that the Congresscritters and public could actually have a chance to read and debate them — and by EXPLAINING, carefully, 50 or 100 times if they have to, what is really in the most controversial parts of the healthcare bill. Why does it HAVE to be passed in the next 30 or 60 days? If a timetable for passage must be set, why not make it January, or next spring, or next summer? (Worried about reelection prospects perhaps?) Instead they just insist on shoving it even harder down everyone’s throat. No wonder people are so upset — and the sad thing is, it MIGHT turn out to be over

  • issues that were’nt really there in the first place.

  • As shown by the “we won’t pay for treatment, but we’ll pay to kill you” examples out of Oregon, it’s amazing how quickly a relatively inexpensive “option” becomes the only funded option…that’s why mandatory counseling by the bureaucracy paying for treatment to discuss “options” is such a bad idea.

    As for not explicitly funding abortion– do you hear the pro-abortion folks complaining about the bill? No? Pretty clear they think it’ll fund it just fine, then….

  • If it takes the health care issue to force Americans to realize just how much control over their individual lives, their money and their government they’ve lost, so be it.

    I’m personally hoping for a massive backlash against the Democrats… however, its also likely that any Republicans that win in ’10 will be of the statist variety. The struggle will be far from over…

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  • Elaine,
    From what I gather, it does NOT mandate or encourage euthanasia but provides a mechanism (government funded of course) by which seniors are kept informed of their rights concerning advance directives and are given the opportunity to communicate their wishes regarding end of life care (whether via living will or by granting healthcare power of attorney to a trusted relative or friend). Most hospitals do this already for people having surgery or other procedures.

    Have you read the language? It REQUIRES seniors to meet with a end-of-life counselors every 5 years or if they go downhill. After the session a “DIRECTIVE” will be issued, it is not at all clear whether the victim, er patient will have the authority to dictate the directive or it will be simply imposed upon them. When asked about this Obama dodges it shamelessly, why? Because it does exactly what we fear it does.

    All these things need to be monitored carefully, of course, and any healthcare plan that includes explicitly anti-life measures must be defeated.

    That’s not a the right test at all, we as Catholics must work towards defeating any policy which explicitly OR implicitly contains anti-life measures. Good heavens, what do you think “reproductive health care” means?

    We need to be clever as serpents here and look for the evil in this man’s policies because we know his nature. Time to drop the politics and get ALL CATHOLICS to oppose this expansion of the abortion and euthanasia regime.

  • Don’t forget “women’s healthcare” and “healthcare education.” Oh, and “dignity.”

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Hey Pelosi, Are Senior Citizens Well Dressed Nazis?

Thursday, August 6, AD 2009

[Updates at the bottom of this story]

While the Democrats continue to dig holes big enough for their smarter-than-thou heads to plant in and ignore the rising public outrage of government intrusion, regular Americans continue to raise their voices of displeasure to President Obama’s health care “reform”.

On August 4, 2009, an A.A.R.P. Town Hall meeting was being conducted for members when a group of well-dressed Nazi’s carrying swastika banners sabotaged the meeting.

That’s the Nancy Pelosi/CNN version of events, here is what actually happened:

Here are some highlights from the above video:

1.  Spokesperson: “I think we can agree that health care is in need of reform…“.

AARP Attendee’s: “No, we don’t agree!”

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6 Responses to Hey Pelosi, Are Senior Citizens Well Dressed Nazis?

Lying Worthless Political Hack Calls Opponents of ObamaCare Nazis

Thursday, August 6, AD 2009

I must say, although I have never been a fan of the Lying Worthless Political Hack, I was surprised at this latest example of the depths of her political ineptitude and detachment from reality.  As to her comment about “astroturfing” ( creating a fake, rather than a real, grassroots movement), David Axlerod, the campaign manager of Obama, built a large fortune by mastering the techniques of astroturfing as this article here relates.  Alas for the Lying Worthless Political Hack, as the polls amply indicate, the opposition to ObamaCare is real and growing.

Update: The indispensable Iowahawk has the White House Under Minister for Truth, former ABC and CBS reporter Linda Douglass, explaining here all about those evil townhall mob agitators!

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22 Responses to Lying Worthless Political Hack Calls Opponents of ObamaCare Nazis

Sebelius and Specter Respond

Wednesday, August 5, AD 2009

Save_Freedom_of_Speech

Hattip to the ever reticent Lads and Lasses at the Lair of the Catholic Cavemen. Yesterday I had a post celebrating the warm reception that Secretary Sebelius and Senator Specter received at a town hall meeting.  Now the indispensable Iowahawk has thoughtfully penned here, a response to the voters for Secretary Sebelius and Senator Specter.  No doubt they will be duly appreciative of his efforts, and Iowahawk will probably enjoy his time on the no-fly list.

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2 Responses to Sebelius and Specter Respond

It Couldn't Happen to a Nicer Guy and Gal

Tuesday, August 4, AD 2009

Ah, it does my heart good to see Senator Arlen Specter (D.Pa) and Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of Health and Human Services exposed to the verbal anger of the public!  Now why is that?

Well as to Snarlin’ Arlen, he was for decades a pro-abort Republican and now is a pro-abort Democrat.  My reaction when he jumped parties earlier this year was good riddance.  He jumped parties of course because he was an almost certain loser to pro-life Pat Toomey in the Republican primary.  The hilarious thing is that Specter will face a Democrat primary challenge from Congressman Joe Sestak who announced his candidacy yesterday.  If he survives the primary challenge he faces an up-hill fight against Toomey.  In a Quinnipiac poll on July 22, Specter leads Toomey by a single percentage point 45%-44%.  This is a devastating poll for an incumbent facing a well-known challenger.

As for Sebelius, she is a fanatic pro-abort, as I detailed here, and a close political ally of the late Tiller the Killer.  Just before her confirmation it came out that she had received three times the donations from Tiller than she had claimed.    Of course this is only the tip of a large ice berg of campaign funds that Tiller used to aid Sebelius as this letter here from Tiller indicates.  Her ties to Tiller were outlined by Bob Novak last year here. When confronted about Tiller she was always in full ” Tiller?” mode:

Yep, I can watch these two being booed with a fine enjoyment!  Schadenfreude?  Indeed!

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36 Responses to It Couldn't Happen to a Nicer Guy and Gal

  • I too take some comfort in knowing the likes of Specter and Sebelius are being challenged. However, my real delight was in the substance of those two clips from the town hall meeting. They demonstrate the common sense of the common man, and the futility of trying to stump it. The common man may not be slick or sophisticated like those who desire to lord over them, but he is far wiser because he chooses to deal with reality rather than delude himself.

  • Agreed Rick. This was the classic case of two con artists suddenly learning to their dismay that “the marks” of their con weren’t quite the rubes they thought!

  • Like Hitler watching the Reichstag.

  • I’m confused… Your theory is that Donald will burn down the administration and then get himself elected chancellor of the US in a tight three way election?

    Or is it some sort of vague aspersion that although the Democrats may be bad, the Republicans are infinitely worse?

  • It’s funny that MZ is getting his “talking points” from a website where the main contributor (Marshall) in 2005 openly stated that the social security reform package should be “demagogued” to death. So now it’s four years later and suddenly the left is upset about passionate rhetoric and instilling fear as a method of squashing reform. Convenient.

  • That being said, the comparison to Hitler in this context is revolting, but it’s MZ so it’s not surprising that he said something intentionally inflammatory. His hair shirt has to be chafing.

  • I could be wrong, but didn’t M.Z. vote for Obama?

    Also remember that when people start comparing Republicans or Conservatives to anything Nazi or Hitler, that’s a strong indication that they are losing (or have lost) the argument.

  • Oh, I get it… The point is supposed to be that the booing is orchestrated and therefore doesn’t count. (And the Nazis are simply thrown in for extra rhetorical spice.)

    Of course, the booing could be orchestrated. These things happen. Goodness knowns, given the much greater preponderance of bored students on the liberal side of the aisle we’ve been dealing with this for decades. But given that support for the health plan has dropped solidly in the polls, it’s hardly surprising if adverse reactions are seen regardless of whether they’re orchestrated or not.

  • Does that mean we can call liberals communists when they use the same tactics?

  • I thought that’s how you say communist in American?

  • We have no idea whether or not the lady in the audience who spoke up was there to be a disruption or was there due to her own concern. Nothing in what she said would indicate that she was trying to be a trouble maker – unless of course, one considers challenging the wisdom of the ruling elite as being such.

    Oddly enough it was Specter’s own words, voluntarily given, that were damning. Anyone who thinks it is good or appropriate to ram through legislation of such magnitude without studying what effects it may have or to do it so it can’t be scrutinized really has no business making such decisions. Alas, I know we elected them, but it doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try to keep them in check.

    Personally, I’m suspect of any decision made by someone who would classify abortion as health care. Even if the proposed reform was mostly a good and workable idea, I’d be against it because of the inclusion of abortion. One absolute mandate of the justification of the state is to defend innocent life – not take it. While the state has a duty to the common good, properly understood, forcing people to buy health insurance and creating alternative insurance organizations is not mandatory – especially when the state considers abortion health care and a right and starving the infirm to be a private matter. These moral and intellectual faults make for horrible foundation to build “health care” upon. It is easy to see how euthanasia and the disabled could easily become marginalized by these people.

  • Hey, what ever happened to dissent being patriotic?

  • Phillip,

    It’s ok to dissent if you’re an extremist liberal. It’s not ok if you’re an ordinary American.

  • I encourage people on the Left to engage in the fantasy that these eruptions of citizen rage taking place at townhall meetings are simply the work of some grand right-wing conspiracy. Reassure yourselves that all is well, that Obama and the Democrats in Congress are on the right course, and that there is absolutely no chance that in 2010 angry voters will be clambering over each other to register their displeasure at the polls.

  • I seem to remember that just last week at VN they were claiming that conspiracy theories are a characteristic of the right but not the left. Huh.

  • Like Hitler watching the Reichstag.

    It’s a bit early in the day for the sauce, MZ.

  • Art Deco,

    M.Z.’s a teetoler, he drinks only Kool-Ade.

  • Donald,

    There is absolutely no chance of any change™ occurring in 2010.

    For example, ACORN at this time are combing cemetery’s to register new voters in order to prevent change™ from happening.

    They’ve even began discrediting Tea Party protesters as ‘right-wing-tea-baggers’ with Janeane Garofalo leading the cheers.

    What next? Cow-towing to dictatorships that imprison innocent Americans such as the two journalists in North Korea or the three hikers in Iran? So we can be sensitive to our enemies, but damn American voters for voicing their disagreement with government run health care?

  • It was a stupid comment, but let’s not go overboard on the inside baseball jibes.

  • I’m actually enjoying all the comments. True, I’m saddened for our nation and what’s left of the right.

  • Darwin,

    This gentleman’s explanation you may find more persuasive.

  • Consider it community organizing.

  • True, I’m saddened for our nation and what’s left of the right.

    We know, MZ. All those uppity people speaking back to their superiors. They should know better.

  • MZ,

    Not really.

    All,

    My apologies. Resume pummelling.

  • On a side note, I’m amused that some on the progressive side are claiming to be shocked (shocked!) that criticisms voiced at “town hall meetings” are not sufficiently learned from their point of view.

    Does anyone really imagine that getting a bunch of random voters to ask politicians questions about a complex and contentious topic will produce learned questions — or answers for that matter? “Town hall” meetings to discuss anything other than how to run a local town are unlikely to result in deep analysis from either the citizens or the politicians involved. To get upset that it’s not your pat and simplistic arguments being aired seems odd.

  • Are you pawning yourself off Paul as the everyman?

  • MZ:

    Yes, MZ. Clearly walking by the SEIU headquarters every day on my lunch break is finally getting to me.

  • The rift between the common people and the know-it-all’s widens…

  • From the comment MZ linked to:

    “These town hall shut downs have been orchestrated by the same Washington lobbying firm that was behind the tea parties. I assume those of who who don’t depend on Fox know that by now.”

    I rejoice that such a complete misreading of the current situation is what passes for analysis on the Left. Of course the proposals of Obama and the Democrats in Congress can’t really be unpopular with the public; this all has to be orchestrated by a sinister right wing cabal.

  • Hillary Clinton nailed it over 15 years ago as a “vast right-wing conspiracy” Donald.

    Why people are incapable of making up their own minds without help from “others”.

    Frankly, if this is what the White House offers as an objective analysis, then President Obama is in for a real awakening come 2010.

  • Hmmm Republicans lead by 5 points on the Rasmussen generic Congressional ballot:

    “Support for Republican congressional candidates has risen to its highest level in recent years, giving the GOP a five-point lead over Democrats in the latest Congressional Ballot and stretching the out-of-power party’s lead to six weeks in a row.
    The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey shows that 43% would vote for their district’s Republican congressional candidate while 38% would opt for his or her Democratic opponent.

    Democrats held a six- or seven-point lead on the ballot for the first few weeks of 2009. That began to slip in early February, and from mid-April through June the two political parties were roughly even. Republicans have held a lead on the ballot since the last week in June, the first time they’d been on top in well over a year.

    Women who have consistently favored Democrats now prefer the GOP by a 40% to 39% margin. Men continue to favor Republicans over Democrats 47% to 36%.

    Voters not affiliated with either party prefer Republicans two-to-one – 43% to 22%.”

    Well Rasmussen must obviously be in the pay of the Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy. Of course that doesn’t explain why NPR shows Republicans ahead on their generic Congressional ballot poll by one point. Even the full mooners of the Left will have some difficulty portraying National Public Radio as in any sense right-wing.

    There is a long way to go of course until November 2010, but this is a crucial time for recruiting candidates and raising war chests, and this type of news gives a big boost to the GOP and a big problem for the Democrats.

  • Oh, I’m sure Toomey’s campaign manager danced a jig around the office when he (or she) saw that clip. PA voters are going to see the sound bite helpfully provided by Arlen “I don’t actually read the bills” Spector over and over in the fall.

    Look, in your own personal life you know you’re a darn fool if you don’t bother to read important documents you put your name to, whether they’re mortgages, leases, wills, insurance policies or what have you. Every responsible adult understands that what’s in the fine print might come back to bite you. And yet we have the surreal spectacle of our lawmakers pushing for a momentous change – and yet they haven’t even read the bill (or else it hasn’t been written yet, so they don’t know the specifics.) And yet we’re just supposed to trust them to do the right thing? This is ridiculous.

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