Aug 10, 2009

Mobs continue to disrupt townhalls

The weekend political talk shows were filled with talk of health care reform and the extremist right-wingers stirred up by the health insurance lobby to disrupt townhall meetings.

MSNBC’s Chris Matthews took a rightwing tool from one of the rightwing Washington, D.C. lobbying groups feeding tea at baggers lie to task. Matthews asked some great and tough questions, like when they chant “just say no” to disrupt a townhall meetings what exactly are they saying no to?

Are they saying no to covering people with pre-existing conditions like for-profit insurance providers routinely fail to do? Are they saying no to portability so people can take their health care with them when they change jobs, lose their jobs or start their own business?

Another amazing thing is how can so-called “freedomworks” be a nonprofit and nonpartisan? Even though Matthews is not a journalist, real journalists should take a lesson and actually ask some tough questions for a change. Everyone says we need - at least 75 percent do - to reform health care, but only the Democrats have a proposal, and all the Republicans can do is say no.

The attempt at health care reform has been around since the Truman Administration. We have had six GOP Administrations since; including when Bush controlled all levers of government, and we still have no health care reform.

The only thing Republicans want to do is stop President Obama at any cost.

I watched one show where some guy from the rightwing Weekly Standard said Democrats came out winners because of the townhall hijackings, but his reason makes no sense. I agree we came out ahead after the American people saw what these extremists are rally like, but his reason is way off.

He claims Democrats came out winners because it changed the subject and people were talking about the thuggery and not the contents of the bill. Say what?

Democrats want to talk about the contents of the bill, but the tea baggers will not allow it. He said opponents of reform are more passionate. I agree with that.

If someone told me there would be a “death panel” to decide if senior citizens would live or die I would be riled up, too. The problem with that is that is an outrageous lie, and I’m amazed anyone could actually believe that lie. So, what they have done is whip up a disruptive mob with lies, and now they are using the fact people are calling a mob what it really is as a fundraising gimmick.

No one has ever said these tea baggers were paid to disrupt the meeting. The fact is they are being manipulated with lies from the insurance lobby spending $1.4 million a day. Saying this is a nonpartisan grassroots effort is another lie.

We need to get our people out to these townhall meetings, and if there is violence people need to remember it wasn’t us that tried to shout anyone down.

I wonder when my Congressman, Mike Rogers, is going to hold a townhall meeting.


kevins said...

so...are you predicting violence, or are you advocating violence to put down the protests?

What's not being talked about is the cost. How is this going to get paid for? If we are spending more now and getting less, why will the "reform" cost more?

I don't think these are informational meetings. I think they were planned to be staged propaganda meetings to sell the program...not to seriously answer questions.

Unfortunately, they have turned into ugly shouting matches where emotional people only want to yell their hard-to-understand points and shout-down the speaker. Terribly unproductive.

To blame it all on lobbyists, though, is another example of how dismissive you are of common people. They are riled up because they feel they've been lied to before and they don't trust what they are hearing now. I don't like their tactics. But I think Democrats could do a lot better job of telling their story. When it sounds like another snow job, people get angry. (It's a plant when a guy shows up with someone in a wheelchair, but it's good policy when Dingle trots out his prop.)

I think to some extent they like the distraction because they don't want the price tag to become part of the story.

As for the failure of Republicans to pass health care reform, answer this: Since Truman, Dems mostly controlled Congress; during those years when they also controlled the White House, why was there no national health care reform? After all, your man-crush Dingell introduced it every session since 1955. Why didn't the Democrats pass it when they held the majority? By your reasoning, they must have been paid off by lobbyists.

Communications guru said...

There’s already been violence. What I’m advocating is to not to let the tea baggers hijack a meeting and threaten Democratic elected officials.

Funny, no one was worried about how we would pay to rebuild Iraq? There will be savings in the long run.

“Staged propaganda meetings?” You are really displaying your ignorance, brett. Townhall meetings are commons during summer breaks, especially for a man like John Dingell who makes it a habit of keeping constituents informed. That’s one reason he has been re-elected every two years since 1955.

Like I said before, if I believed senior citizens had to go before a “death panel” to see if they were to live or die, I would be up in arms, too. It’s the insurance lobby, rightwing think tanks and Republicans pushing those kinds of lies that have got people so angry. Plus, they are not just telling people to show and express their opinion and sit down and listen, they are instructing them how to disrupt it.

What prop did Dingell trot out? You mean the little woman? She has a genuine story on how she is living without health care. The guy in the wheel chair is basing his anger on a lie. Plus, she didn’t disrupt a meeting or threaten anyone.

Right, it’s the Democrats fault. Funny, Medicare and Medicaid came in under Johnson, a Democrat. Clinton, a Democrat, tried to reform health care, and now Obama, a Democrat, is trying to reform health care.

kevins said...

Right. He's trying to "reform" health care with a package that most of his party hasn't read and fewer understand. He also has already cut a deal with Big Pharmacy...if a republican did that you'd blow a gasket. But Obama did it, so it's okay. You seem upset at insurance company profits...but pharmacy profits are all right.

Dingell gets re-elected because he's in a safe district. In fact, the state GOP redrew the districts to give him an even safer district and getting rid of Lynn Rivers to boot.

Dingell is OK. But you are the one that said he's introduced a bill to reform health care every session since 1955. Why did it never go anywhere, even when Dems had all the power?

Oh, say, I noticed that trumped-up argument in the State Capitol elevator that you got so heated up about went nowhere. I can't wait to see how you will spin that. You had the senator convicted of a heinous crime. But witnesses said it was merely a heated argument. One more lie by the guru.

Johnny C said...

Again I wish people on the right end this act, these people are not going to these town halls to debate. It's clear from the videos these saps post on YouTube, they're either yelling the slogans the health care industry told them to say or they're just trying to shut down the town hall by screaming bullet points at the congress person or drown out people that favor President Obama's health care idea.

They don't offer any ideas while they scream their nonsense and they ironically showing off their ignorance.

And I love Fox News hypocrisy they attack George W. Bush's critics calling them anti American, terrorist sympathizers etc but they whine about how these faux protesters are perceived in the media.

Speaking of violence there was one of these nuts at the town hall where Obama was at that had a gun strapped to his leg and he was holding a sign saying the tree of liberty needs to be water(leaving out the whole saying of its need to be water with the blood of patriots and tyrants)

kevins said...

Johnny said "speaking of violence." What violence was committed by the guy you described?

As I read it, he was totally within his legal rights in that state.

You ask: When is the right going to end this act? I ask: When are people like you going to quit criticizing people for legal behavior?

(By the way, I find many of the protests to be such much hot air. They yell generalized slogans with no substance and then some end up on Hannity that night. I don't give them much credence. But I would like to believe that the Dems have at least read the bill; I would like to believe they understand it. And I would like some more candor on its cost. And, so you can sleep better, I don't have a gun strapped to my leg.)

Communications guru said...

“Most of his party haven’t read?” John Dingell wrote one of the bills. The fact remains that there was a national referendum on health care reform last November, and health care reform clearly won.

“He cut a deal with Big Pharmacy?” You’re thinking of Bush and the gift of the Medicare drug benefit that bars negotiating price.

“Dingell gets re-elected because he's in a safe district?” There’s two points here. First, he can be challenged by any Democrat. Second, when the Republicans gerrymandered the Congressional districts in 2001, they made it a point to pit two popular Democrats against each other: Dingell and Lynn Rivers.

That just shows you how powerful the health insurance lobby is, and we’re seeing it with the way they have ginned up these fake Astroturf townhalls. The only time we have had an attempt at health Care reform is under Democrats, beginning with a successful effort under LBJ.

I already covered Kahn’s whitewash. I’m still waiting for you to prove I lied. Don’t hold your breath, brett.

kevins said...

Why would I hold my breath?

For as much as you say you know, you don't really know that much. My guess is that you are being force fed talking points at your taxpayer funded job and then regurgitate them here.

Do some basic research. Obama cut a deal that will cost taxpayers a lot and save big Pharma a bundle. He's been criticized for the deal even within his own party. Didn't your talking-point sources tell you that?

You keep saying stupid stuff. How does that fact that Dingell wrote a bill prove anything about the concern that most Democrats haven't read the bill and don't understand it. Dingell is one man. Whether he's read it or not doesn't mean others have.

What's your point on the Dingell-Rivers gerrymandering? I already pointed that out.

You didn't answer anything on the supposed whitewash. A bipartisan and lengthy investigation showed there was no merit to Coleman-Clark's allegation. All 3 independent witnesses in the elevator...including Democrat Sen. James Barcia...said that both got agitated and had a verbal argument but that there was nothing that approached a physical assault or attack. That's the truth. You don't like it; but it's the truth.

The event was so uneventful that Barcia didn't even interupt his cell phone call. Even you admit that.

Sorry, but you whiffed big time on this one. You can say something over and over and over, but that doesn't make it true.

He was cleared not only by a bi-partisan investigation but even by the Dem senator in the same elevator.

If it's a whitewash, then Barcia was part of it.

Johnny C said...

What was the purpose in bringing the gun in the first place Kevins? I clearly remember a person couldn't even get close to a Bush rally if you wore Kerry/Edwards or any anti Bush shirt. This guy had a gun strapped to his leg to everyone to see and carried a sign with a quote that Timmy McVeigh wore as a shirt.

As for health care when people learn more about President Obama's plan the more they support it. The problem is the media is giving these know nothings a platform when they know the health care industry is funding them, prepping them with talking points and ideas to shut down town halls with the full support of the right wing media.

I don't remember any of these people worried about cost or debt when Bush and the Republicans were passing spending bills.

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kevins said...

I'm a little tired of this "I don't remember people complaining when Bush was president..."

I complained about Bush policies but that's beside the point. That endless refrain is just another way of saying: Yeah, Obama's policies are flawed but so were Bush's.

Obama is president now. Not Bush. Look it up.

Read the piece by Bill McGraw about Mike Sola, the guy who brought his son to the Dingell townhall. The guy is a Croatian immigrant who admits he gets "riled up" and was angered by what he thought was a ploy using a handicapped woman. He was inspired by misinformation written by a former NY politician. He says he's voted for Dingell and thinks he is a decent guy. He is worried about his son.

This is the guy that Democrats used to say they stood up for. Now guru calls them thugs, extremists and whackos. You say they must be racists. Real nice.

He was misinformed. He is scared. And he doesn't trust government. Can you blame him?

Communications guru said...

If you held your breath until I was caught in a lie, you would pass out and die because I have never lied.

You would be wrong again because I am not being fed anything, except a line of BS from you. No, why don’t you do some basic research. You’re the one trying to make a point. Amazing isn’t it; he’s being criticized by people in his own party. That never happened with Bush. I’m not so sure a savings to taxpayers of $80 billion in exchange for not having the drug companies spending anything like the $1.4 million a day health insurance providers are spending to kill real reform is real bad deal. We can always go back and repel Bush’s gift to drug companies when we get health care reform passed. I don’t get talking points. I don’t have rightwing groups like afp and “freedomworks” providing me scripts and talking points like they do for you.

You’re accusing Dingell of not reading a bill he wrote. That’s “stupid stuff.” Even if they didn’t read the bill, the nonpartisan agencies like we have in the Michigan Legislature – like the Senate and House Fiscal agencies – read and analyze the bills. The scare tactics you are using are simply not true.

My point about the Republican gerrymandering is that your claim that Dingell is in a safe seat is not totally accurate.

I’ve already answered your lame attempts to defend Bishop’s whitewash on the thread where it belongs.

Communications guru said...

Of course you’re tired of hearing "I don't remember people complaining when Bush was president..." No one wants to be reminded of their hypocrisy.

I call him a thug because his behavior was thuggish. How could anyone believe the government would put to death a person against their will? There is no doubt the majority of the tea baggers are racist whackos.

Can I blame him? Yes. There was no excuse to act like that. Plus, he didn’t want an answer to his question. The Democrats are standing up for guys like him. The SSI and the Medicare his son is receiving is because of Democrats.

kevins said...

Bush was never criticized by his own party? That's another lie. He was harshly criticized, particularly by conservatives who didn't think he stayed loyal to their core. That's a fact...something foreign to you.

You've been wrong and you've lied repeatedly. You know it's true and you've admitted it. You are just making claims now because...well, I'm not sure why. Nothing else to do, I suspect.

But your true colors show when you call this guy a thug. He's a frustrated American. He likely was misinformed. He admits he gets riled up. But he's not a thug...that's a word you use to defame people you disagree with.

Will health care be rationed? Of course it will. It is now.

Communications guru said...

Bush wasn’t criticized by his own party until his approval ratings hit the floor and the election was approaching. Then, they tried to get as far from him as possible. Sorry, brett, I have never lied. He acted like a thug and a bully. Frustrated by what? The lies rightwing lobbying groups, think tanks and Republicans are feeding him?

Johnny C said...


This is one issue right wingers shouldn't lie about, before Bush became the political equivalent of Cancer not one Republican either elected or in the right wing media criticize him.

Heck if you want proof do you remember when Bush was riding high in the polls after 9.11? Anytime a person said something remotely negative about Bush the right wing media jumped on them.

I would bet you Kevins the same people who make up the birthers, deathers and these town hall mobs were the same people smashing up Dixie Chicks Cds or protesting Michael Moore movies because they were critical of Bush.

And again the problem is the media isn't calling these mobs what they are these people are being spurred on by the health care industry and the right wing media.

And from the signs they're carrying they're not really interested in debating about health care. Again Kevins I wish you right wingers just admit you don't like having a black man as the president. Yes it's racist as hell to admit it but at least it's being honest.