by Tim Dunkinhttp://www.renewamerica.com/columns/dunkin/090810 This health care debacle which Obama and the Democrats in Congress are currently trying to foist off onto us is turning into a, well, debacle for them. From a political and public relations standpoint, it is backfiring on them big time, and you can tell that it's starting to grate on them. The latest example would be from a town hall being held by Rep. David Scott (D-GA13). During an open question-and-answer session, one of Scott's constituents, a medical doctor, asked a perfectly reasonable question about the health care bill presently before Congress. Rep. Scott's response? He went absolutely bonkers, accusing the doctor of "astroturfing," insinuating that he wasn't one of his constituents (which he actually was), and even threatening him. For asking a simple question. Sounds pretty unreasonable, right?
Despite all the nonsense being peddled around by the MSM and left-wing bloggers, this is usually the way these town hall meetings work. Concerned citizens show up, ask questions, and get shouted at by elected officials, when they're not being beaten up by SEIU thugs.
It must be a tremendously frustrating time to be a Democrat right now. See, the plan was for all 1,000+ pages of Obamacare to have been rammed through the Congress and to the President's waiting pen before the August recess. This was supposed to be over and done by now. It was all supposed to go so smoothly â€” write the bill and vote on it before anybody read it, before anybody had time to raise any opposition, before the people had time to figure out what was being shoved down their throats. Obama wasn't supposed to take any heat for this or lose points in the polls. Congressmen weren't supposed to actually have to answer any questions about the stupid thing. No, it was perfect, until the wheels came off.
And the Democrats' response to all this has been â€” as is typical for those on the Left â€” whiny, petulent, childish, and completely inappropriate.
Yes, you heard me right â€” it's the Left that has been completely inappropriate in all this, not the town hall protestors.
Obama and the Democrats, apparently believing their own propaganda, are in a state of disbelief that there could really be this much opposition to the nationalization and destruction of our health care system. So, in their narrow little minds, it's obviously "astroturf" â€” fake grassroots opposition being ginned up by a few well-financed special interest groups. Because the American people would never oppose the things that Obama and Co. know are best for them, like waiting lists, taxpayer-funded abortion, and "end of life" counseling. It's obviously all fake.
Except that it's not. The polls are showing how deeply unpopular ObamaCare is, and how it is becoming more so over time. I've talked to people who I know were never political, and others who are generally center-left, and they're vociferously against this thing. People who I didn't even know voted are majorly angry about this bill. The anger level about ObamaCare is palpable, and it's real. If the Dems want to stay inside their self-contained fact space and ignore the reality out there on the ground, then they will suffer the consequences at the polls in November 2010 â€” and they'll probably whine about "vote fraud" when it happens, too.
Apparently, these Democrat Congressmen are still unclear on the concept of "representative government." And they obviously don't have a clue what a town hall meeting is supposed to be. Town hall meetings are for the citizens to air their concerns to their duly-elected representatives, not for the representatives to talk down at their constituents and lecture them on what they can and cannot think and speak about. In that sense, it's absolutely idiotic to talk about ObamaCare protestors "hijacking" these events. Supposedly, the whole point to these events is for citizen protestors to air their grievances to their elected officials. It's that little thing called "freedom of assembly." It's in the First Amendment. You might have heard of it.
But let's face it, "democracy" and "freedom" have never been strong points for those on the Left, and it's showing as their frustration level mounts. Responding to Obama's recent call to "get in their faces," we see SEIU union thugs beating up American citizens in St. Louis and Tampa for having the temerity to oppose ObamaCare. And of course, you have nimrods on the Left who are defending this, saying the protestors "were out of line" since they were being louder than usual. Of course, that is typically not the case. Usually, the protestors are simply asking the Lefties questions they don't want to answer, and doing so in a reasoned manner not unlike this doctor in Georgia. But even in cases where protestors are being loud and raucous, guess what? That's part of free speech. The First Amendment doesn't just guarantee the right to speech the content and tone of which you approve. My goodness, you want raucous, try reading some of the things that were written and said by our Patriot forefathers back before the Revolution. It makes anything done today look like a Quaker prayer meeting.
But I guess only those on the Left are allowed to loudly protest something that has their blood boiling. Which leads us back to the hypocrisy that characterizes the Left.
And now, we see the President of the United States and his staff actually creating a website and email address to which other lefties can "snitch" on people who won't get with the program. In other words, they can send an email in to the White House to narc on people who are spreading "disinformation" about the health care proposals before Congress, a setup which is not unlike the anonymous snitching that people were encouraged to do in Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union. To date, the White House has defended this program, despite the fact that it is completely illegal under the US Code. It is telling that, to date, the Administration has been completely unforthcoming about what the "disinformation" being turned in even is.
So no, I don't think that the town hall protesters are at fault. Who is at fault? The Left. The people who think being asked questions they don't want to answer is "undemocratic." The people who think that citizen participation in the democratic process is "hijacking." The people who think that it's perfectly legitimate to send in union thugs to bust heads on senior citizens concerned about the direction their health care will be taking. The people who think they ought to be the only ones allowed to protest the actions of their government. They people who think we're "selfish" for wanting to keep our own hard-earned money instead of seeing it wasted on a health care boondoggle that will result in waiting lists, reduced quality of care, "end of life" counseling for grandma, and full funding of elective abortion with public monies. The people who think that it would be even remotely acceptable to create a website encouraging citizens to anonymously "turn in" other citizens who hold differing political views.
They â€” the Left â€” are the ones who ought to be ashamed of themselves.
Â© Tim Dunkin
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Tim Dunkin is a pharmaceutical chemist by day, and a freelance author by night, writing about a wide range of topics on religion and politics. He is the author of an online book about Islam entitled Ten Myths About Islam, and is the founder and editor of Conservative Underground, a bi-weekly email newsletter focusing on foundational conservative worldview and philosophy. He is a born-again Christian, and a member of a local, New Testament Baptist church in North Carolina.