Aug 7, 2009
The thugs come out at night
What a class guy Congressman John Dingell is. Despite the abuse and crap he took from the fake Astroturf tea bag thugs at his townhall meeting on health care Thursday night in Romulus, he opted for a second session so everyone could get inside.
As expected, the thugs, egged on by the corporate, Rightwing lobbying groups and think tanks “Americans for Prosperity” and “ “Freedom Works,” - the same people who brought us the fake “tea parties” - did their best to intimidate and harass people they disagree with. A colleague called me from there to tell me how was crazy it was, and as out of control as I expected. There were the usual disgusting signs comparing Democrats and President Obama to Hitler, and they tried to shout down anyone who disagrees with them.
I watched the 11 p.m. local news, and a guy who gave his name as Mike Sola of Milan to the media interrupted Dingell repeatedly as he pushed his son, Scott, in a wheelchair to the podium and got in the Congressman’s face and screamed at him until he was finally escorted out by the police. Frankly, I was a little confused by what he was angry about. I’m pretty sure his son is getting SSI checks every month (Supplemental Security Income), and his health care will be taken care of my Medicaid. This will not affect him. Plus, there is no such person as Mike Sola in Milan; or at least he is not a registered voter.
They have excellent coverage and photos of the event over at Michigan Liberal, as well as Blogging for Michigan.
I almost fell out of my chair when I read the official unofficial rightwing blog, who said “Wayne County Democrats did a great job of stacking the meeting, while simultaneously angering the large number of people who were in attendance this evening.”
Hello. This was a townhall for constituents of the 15th Congressional District, and the Downriver area is predominantly Democratic. However, this person is right about one thing though: we do need to “stack the meeting” to let people know insurance providers are making huge profits, rates for family plans have gone up 73 percent in just a few years and more than 50 million Americans are without access to quality health care is unacceptable. We also need to stack the meetings so that people know they are just a small, fringe minority. A loud, vocal minority, but still a minority. Most civilized people don’t want to get in the kind of mosh pit these people have created, but we need to for the good of our country and its citizens.
The good news is people are getting a good look at how low the GOP has sunk. We also know they will do anything to stop real reform.
It was also interesting to read the accounts from the corporate media.
Booth Newspapers reported:
“The meeting wasn't announced until Thursday morning, but word quickly spread.
Freep.com, Aug. 7: Scott Hagerstrom, the Michigan director for Americans for Prosperity -- a group opposing President Barack Obama's health care initiative -- said that after he learned about it, he sent an e-mail alerting 18,000 members in southeast Michigan.”
That’s a complete lie. Their affiliate web sits have been pushing this since at least Monday, but it does show that the corporate lobbyists are pushing this. After all, the insurance lobby is spending $1.4 million a day to stop this needed reform, but they are getting a bargain with these thugs. It’s a shame the way these people have been used, and that they have actually bought into the lies they have been told about assisted suicide, socialism and socialized medicine. Fear and ignorance can easily be manipulated.
Update: I was wrong about Mike Sola when I said he was not a registered voter and even suggested that may not be his real name. He is a Croatian immigrant, and because Mike is apparently an Americanized version of his first name I was unable to find him. In a good story in the Free Press, he claims he is now getting death threats, so I won’t tell you his real first name. But just like many of he other people disrupting townhalls who were duped by conservative lobbying firms and Republicans, he was set off by an outrageous lie. In this case is was a since debunked op-ed in the NY Post by Betsy McCaughey, a Republican former Lt. Gov. of New York, a fellow at the “free market” conservative think tank called the Hudson Institute and a member of the Board of Directors at Cantel Medical Corp.