The headlines in today's Drudge Report reveal more than a few nationwide grumblings about proposals to nationalize health care:
Tampa: Protests, passions roiling town hall meeting on health care
St. Louis: Six people, including P-D reporter, arrested at Carnahan meeting
Little Rock: Rowdy crowd grills congressmen over healthcare reform
Miami: Tempers flare in South Florida over healthcare overhaul
Simsbury, CT: Protesters Confront U.S. Representative At Simsbury Supermarket Meeting
Utica: Man Yells "You're A Liar" To House Leader Steny Hoyer: *** "You're lying to me," said Don Jeror as he loudly interrupted Hoyer. "Just because I don't have sophisticated language, I can recognize a liar when I see one." *** "Why would you guys try to stuff a health care bill down our throats in three to four weeks, when the President took six months to pick a dog for his kids?!"
Houston: Physicians speak out on health care bill
Michigan: Tempers flare over health care plan
Denver: Pelosi's visit to Denver a lightning rod
A man in Little Rock raised the John Galt solution: "You Need To Get The Government The Hell Out Of Our Way."
The politicians are fighting back. President Obama has launched a White House Program, which is probably illegal, to identify the individuals who send suspicious e-mails opposing the Democrats’ health care proposals, by asking citizens to rat out their fellow citizens. The White House Press Secretary accused a reporter who asked about the program of “hatching a nefarious plot.” The Democratic National Committee has launched a media (propaganda) campaign, including ads that attack the protesters at town hall meetings. And they have been controlling the debate by retreating from town meetings in favor of conference calls.
It seems that, rather than selling their health care on the merits of change, the Democrats are attacking the opponents of government control with a well-worn but deplorable debating tactic: when you have no arguments on the merits, attack the speaker personally. Nancy Pelosi complains that the opponents of government health care are “carrying swastikas.” (There were some swastikas but they were used by the protesters to compare ObamaCare to Nazism. Pelosi was insinutaing that the protesters are Nazis.). Rep. Brian Baird also conjures up Nazis by accusing protesters of using “Brown Shirt” tactics. Harry Reid “accused the protesters of trying to "sabotage" the democratic process.” And others go after the usual suspects:
The White House and Democrats have called the protests an orchestrated "mob" driven by Republican- and industry-backed groups and conservative talk radio and television hosts.
"They have been sent by their corporate and lobbyist bankrollers to disrupt, heckle and block meaningful debate. This is a desperation move, meant to slow the momentum for change," said Richard Trumka, secretary-treasurer of the AFL-CIO labor group.
Aside from the merits of any proposal, the level of complexity and the vast implications of changing 15% of the economy in a rush by government fiat with an unread 1,000-page Bill – especially the one sector of the economy that is the most personal – simply unnerves people. Peggy Noonan in the Wall Street Journal, seems to have put it succinctly: “You are terrifying us.” In the same article, she also makes an astute observation:
In an odd way [President Obama] sometimes seems not to have fully absorbed the awesome stature of his office. You really, if you’re president, can’t call an individual American stupid, if for no other reason than that you’re too big. You cannot allow your allies to call people protesting a health-care plan “extremists” and “right wing,” or bought, or Nazi-like, either. They’re citizens. They’re concerned. They deserve respect."