Congressman Joe Donnelly was planning a sit down with a few constituents at a local supermarket today, but instead a couple of hundred people showed up to talk about health care reform (or not).
I would estimate that about 70% of the crowd was anti-health care reform. In my pictures below, many of them wore red t-shirts that suggested health care reform was all about government tyranny. In all my life, I have never heard such uninformed, paranoid and downright ignorant discussion of an important issue as the conversation that went on before Donnelly arrived.
One woman I was standing next to went on at length about the Democrats and Obama being Nazis -- she claimed she watched the Nuremberg trials on TV when she was a teenager. She complained that people nowadays had forgotten about that, and they didn't see how much like Hitler Obama is. She had some chain email written by a former marine who had gone through the bill and listed dozens of items in the bill that are unconstitutional. She continued by claiming that the elderly would be euthanized since there would not be enough money in the program to cover them. This health care bill must be stopped or we would all end up as slaves (what?) At the point, I edged away from her...
While many of the people that actually spoke during the meeting were not quite as crazy as that woman, there was a lot of misinformation being spread -- the usual things about coverage of illegal aliens, mandatory end of life counseling, coverage of abortion, health care rationing, the current bill being a trojan horse for eventual single payer, and so on.
Nancy Pelosi got a lot of criticism during the meeting - in particular, two men claimed that she had called Republicans Nazis. I was a bit puzzled by that one so I checked when I got home and found that, of course, she did not call anyone a Nazi, she was talking about protestors who bring signs with swastikas (and picturing Obama as Hitler) into health care meetings elsewhere in the county. There was a lot of support at this meeting for making her apologize and step down as speaker. Donnelly sidestepped that one nicely. Overall, he did a great job keeping the meeting under control -- in a stroke of genius, he decided to answer questions from a point in the center of the crowd, which I think made it more difficult for anyone to be rude.
Anyway, here are my pictures. First, a high point -- a woman who is a cancer survivor thanks Lyndon Johnson for government run health care: Link to video
--for some reason, the video will no longer embed :(
Here's Congressman Donnelly
The local chapter of Organizing for America has done a good job getting people to come out and show support.
This one is my favorite. The lady on the right is clearly giving the nut on the left a piece of her mind!