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I do not begrudge the middle and lower class workers and laid-off workers that come to the healthcare townhalls to scream, hoot and holler.

They just don't know any better.

They have put their faith in their congressmen, AM hate radio hosts and Fox News. Those institutions have let them down by lying for the political purpose of bringing down the Democrats and Pres Obama in order to put big business and health insurers back in charge of the debate.

I post this today because I really enjoyed the Frank Rich op ed in the NYT today.

But there seems to be evidence that their hatred of Obama, not healthcare reform, will drive these right-wing mobs to come out with their pitchforks and nasty signs against every single action taken by Obama.

... More after the jump ...

... There is an important point to understand, I beleive.

That is that the MSM and our American press has given false credibility to the healthcare "debate" by saying that anger has "boiled over" at the townhalls by people AGAINST healthcare.

Let's be honest here: the benefits being considered for health care reform will benefit these same people.

But what the MSM is missing is that these are the same signs, the same nasty epithets and the same Obama haters that started shouting things like "he's a terrorist", "kill him", "he's a socialist" and "he's Hitler" back in the 2008 campaign and the Palin rallies.


Bottom line is this: It has nothing to do with healthcare. These faithful right-wing Obama haters will bring out their same hate signs against EVERY SINGLE effort that Obama proposed for the next 4 years.

Originally posted to mk3872 on Sun Aug 23, 2009 at 07:33 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  These are the people that still cannot (9+ / 0-)

    accept the fact that America has overwhelmingly elected a black man to the oval office.  They won't admit it openly, but many of them are not-very-thinly-veiled racists.

  •  The part that drives me crazy (5+ / 0-)

    is the rabble rousing (and even incitement to violence) by organizers whose own health care is secured - often by the government - when the attendees are those who would most benefit from a change.  And that will happen on every issue, as well.

    If you think you're too small to be effective, you've never been in the dark with a mosquito.

    by marykk on Sun Aug 23, 2009 at 07:39:52 AM PDT

  •  The media has done us a HUGE disservice! I (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Orinoco, Kristina40

    watched CNN as they reported on the "anger" from town hall meetings by following and interviewing an acknowledged Republican.

    On an aside (and not to go off topic mk.) I am watching Reich on ABC criticizing Obama's handling of HCR and looking at Krugman for support. LOL! To Krugman's credit, he seems more intent on criticizing Republicans.

    Max Ehrmann (author of Desiderata): Whatever else you do or forbear, impose upon yourself the task of happiness; and now and then abandon yourself to laughter.

    by JoanMar on Sun Aug 23, 2009 at 07:40:58 AM PDT

    •  Oh, I yearn for the day when abstract reason (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Orinoco, JoanMar

      can be discussed on TV.  Oh that's right it is already, it is just ignored by the national right wing media since reason has so little influence on right wing "thinking".

      "The alternative to thinking in evolutionary terms is to not think at all" Sir Peter Medawar

      by J Edward on Sun Aug 23, 2009 at 07:53:40 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The United States is not very politically united. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    post rational

    The political divide is surprisingly large for an industrialized country. The worst part is that it is only going to get worse, maybe to start resembling a 3rd world country.

    I voted with my feet. Good Bye and Good Luck America!!

    by shann on Sun Aug 23, 2009 at 07:44:02 AM PDT

    •  Uncle Sam is a paranoid schizophrenic (0+ / 0-)

      at least in his GnOP incarnation.

      "The alternative to thinking in evolutionary terms is to not think at all" Sir Peter Medawar

      by J Edward on Sun Aug 23, 2009 at 07:49:05 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I Think So Too (0+ / 0-)

      and having said that, I wonder if there is anything
      that will ever bring both sides together or will
      the current GOP trend toward over-the-top partisanship
      paralyze the Country?

      •  I am no fan of the Democrats (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Gooserock, post rational

        but the mess the USA is in is primarily the responsibility/fault of the Republicans and they are really obstructing the clean up. Eventually, they will be voted out of office, but it is taking far too long.

        My objection to the Democratic Party is that they should have fought a lot, lot harder to prevent the damage of the Republicans - this is a 2 party country and niether one is ever completely innocent.

        I voted with my feet. Good Bye and Good Luck America!!

        by shann on Sun Aug 23, 2009 at 08:37:18 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  It Has a Surprising System of Government for an (0+ / 0-)

      industrialized country. I don't think anyone who came after us in democracy copied our system did they?

      They also don't have our 1st Amendment to the extent we do.

      We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

      by Gooserock on Sun Aug 23, 2009 at 09:15:09 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I have a conservative friend (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Orinoco, chigh

    who is disabled. She receives every 'hand-out' the government has to offer, yet is ready to answer any health reform question with the talking points rhetoric about government coming between her and her doctor.

    She is a steadfast and true trooper. It's like she cannot have an independent thought or opinion. I really believe her world would collapse if the 'machine' that drives her suddenly chasnges course.

    She honestly doesn't see the hypocrisy.

    Growing old is inevitable...Growing up is purely optional

    by grannycarol on Sun Aug 23, 2009 at 07:58:28 AM PDT

  •  So, you think that even though (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Orinoco

    people believe that HCR will benefit them personally, they are willing to give up those benefits to them personally just because they hate Obama?  

    Maybe a some, but I think to say most are against HCR, even though it will benefit them personally, primarily because they hate Obama -- that is just wrong.  I think that this is key:

    Let's be honest here: the benefits being considered for health care reform will benefit these same people.

    You take this as undisputed truth, people at this site take this as undisputed truth, but those who are against HCR in the polls, for example -- you haven't convinced them of this.  Maybe they are relying on disinformation, maybe they are willing to believe the worst of Obama and are willing to believe it when they are told that he is trying to take away something that they have, whatever it is, they don't believe that HCR is going to be significantly better for them personally. You have to convince those who have good employer provided health insurance right now, and who are happy with it (and there are some polls showing that those who have employer provided health insurance now are generally happy with it) that HCR will benefit them personally -- that those who are happy with their employer-provided insurance will be better off after HCR than they are now.   Maybe it is true, but there's a segment of this country who haven't been convinced of that fact.  Maybe it's because there is not concrete single bill out there so that proponents can show them exactly what is in the bill for them.  In my opinion, that's the way that you get them to your side.  Not to accuse them of (1) knowing that HCR will benefit them personally, but still (2) opposing something that they know will benefit them personally just because they hate Obama.  

    •  You are right that we need to get the msg (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ybruti, Orinoco

      out & frame it in a way that people understand what it will do for them before the GOP defines the message. All people don't protest against HCR for the same reason-- some believe the lies. Others are against anything Obama does. Some are corporate & others are ideological. The GOP & others whose intent is to bring down Obama will find corporate allies for any major issue-- energy will be up soon & they have see that the HCR tactic is working. We wonder how anybody can believe GOP lies. We miss the point... the GOP works by muddying the water. People don't have to believe their lies for them to effectively raise doubts, especially with endless repetition. They don't care if anybody believes there are death panels as long as they can get people to distrust Dem leaders & policies.

      We need to get an earlier start at presenting a clear message at the grass-roots level. It's not too late on HCR, but it didn't have to be this hard.

      •  I omitted the people who are undecided or (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Orinoco

        are confused by the muddied waters. You are correct that we haven't presented the message clearly. The GOP has taken advantage of it... it's not all there is to it, but we need to look at how we handled it & improve in the future

    •  The hatred for Obama is behind much of (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Orinoco, hannahlk, Micheline, grannycarol

      the irrational uproar. Yesterday, a friend told me she really wants socialized medicine, she'd move to Canada if she could, she worries about her daughter's ability to get health insurance, but she doesn't want any programs from Obama shoved down her throat. She hates Obama, calls him the anti-Christ and "the dictator."

    •  I hope you are playing devil's advocate ... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Orinoco, Micheline

      ... because putting the blame of prevelant misinformation on Obama or Dems is nonsense.

      The bill is out there to read. Obama has townhalls and messages sent out almost DAILY.

      The problem is that the MSM gives a megaphone and platform to the GOP and their conservative misinformation machine without challenging them.

      The media use this because they want to gin-up conflict and drama.

      There should be no doubt that these assertions are FALSE and that the people at these rallies will hate Obama no matter what they propose.

      Since their statements at the townhalls are all incorrect, that is all the media should need to know that there is something wrong here.

      •  I am not blaming anybody (0+ / 0-)

        The problem is that the MSM gives a megaphone and platform to the GOP and their conservative misinformation machine without challenging them.

        This may very well be true.  Whatever the reason, the bottom line is that a lot of people who have employer-provided insurance now are not convinced that HCR is going to do anything for them.  That, I think, is what is driving the recent slip in the polls.  The people who hate Obama and will be against everything he does were always against HCR.  The recent slip in the polls is because some people who were once more open to HCR (when the polls were more in favor of it) have changed position.  The fact that some segments of society were once in favor of HCR and Obama's position on HCR have now turned against it is not because they hate Obama.  That might be true with respect to those who were always against HCR, but something is behind a shift in the polls -- some who were orginally responding positively to Obama and HCR are now responding negatively. The issue I am addressing is why.  And I think it is because some have become convinced that HCR is not going to better their own personal situation.  Yes, it may be entirely based on misinformation, but the bottom line is that there has been a turning against it.  These people don't read the House bill online -- how many here, in this ultra-engaged environment have done that?  These people are not nearly as engaged in the details of this thing as those at political sites like this.  They latch on to one belief, one sound bite, and go with it.

        My point is not that these people were right.  It is more directed toward what is motivating them -- the diarist implies it is nothing more than hatred for Obama (see my blockquote in the first comment).   And my point is that, while hatred for Obama may have motivated some of those who were always against it, I don't think it explains those who originally said, in the polls, that they were open to HCR but are now shifiting positions.  I think a segment of those people who were once more open to the notion have become convinced -- through misinformation, through Fox News, through statements from Republicans, whatever the source -- that, if they like their employer provided insurance, there is nothing in this bill to benefit them.  It may be wrong, but that's their belief, I think.

        •  We must remember that it's seniors who have (0+ / 0-)

          sour on hc reform than anyone else.

          Conservatives are not necessarily stupid, but most stupid people are conservatives. John Stuart Mill

          by Micheline on Sun Aug 23, 2009 at 09:21:37 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Frankly, with respect to seniors (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            mk3872

            I think the line that $500 billion will be "cut" from Medicare has turned a lot of them.  Yes, "cut" is the wrong word, the President is using "savings" as in "$500 billion in savings from Medicare," but to seniors, it is pretty easy to for opponents to turn that into "cuts to Medicare."  It is kind of ironic, isn't it, that Republicans are scoring points with seniors by conivincing some of them that the Democrats want to "cut" Medicare -- when for generations, it's been the other way around.  

    •  They can't be convinced. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      hannahlk, Kristina40

      Speakers at town halls say there are no death panels in any of the proposals, they yell "You're lying!"

      People are told, straight out, "If you're happy with your current plan, you can keep it," and they yell, "That isn't so! My health insurance company will be forced out of business! Tell us the TRUTH!"

      People are told a public option will be paid for by premiums, just like private insurance, and they continue to rail about unfair competition from tax subsidized public health care insurance.

      Literally: their minds are made up, don't confuse them with facts.

      Barney Franks has it right, trying to have a conversation with these people is like trying to talk to the dining room table.

      "The problems of incompetent, corrupt, corporatist government is incompetence, corruption and corporatism, not government." Jerome a Paris

      by Orinoco on Sun Aug 23, 2009 at 08:57:21 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Exactly. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Orinoco

        This is just what I was going to write: How can these people ever be "convinced" when they literally shout down explanations of how it WILL benefit them with shouts of "LIAR!!!" or "READ THE BILL!!" (yelled at the folks who WROTE the bill!)

        The problem is that these people have a bigger need emotionally to hate someone than to give Democrats a fair hearing about something thatundeniably would be in their best interests.  They need an "outgroup" to hate, and right-wing talk radio and Fox have made Democrats into that for them. They won't give up the high of hating the "Democrat" party for anything.

        Support the greenest energy of all: EFFICIENCY

        by hannahlk on Sun Aug 23, 2009 at 10:10:04 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  The energy companies already have plant (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Orinoco, grannycarol

    to proceed in this way when energy legislation comes up again

  •  It's very simple, really (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    redstatemike, Orinoco, Kristina40

    To them, Obama is an affirmative action hire they simply cannot get over. I honestly believe that is at the core of every outburst. "Their" country is gone (along with their privileges) and they want it back.

  •  The combination of close-minded (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Kristina40

    ignorant people, the lying conservatives and the useless MSM are the main causes of why this country can't get anything done to help the vast majority of Americans.

  •  But Obama won't say this (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    hannahlk, Kristina40

    I really wish he would engage a protestor TO HIS FACE.
    I really wish he would just run the numbers on the protestor:  "What was your income last year?   Do you own a house?  Can you afford health insurance RIGHT NOW?  Do you have it?  Is the private sector doing you right?  HAVE YOU EVER USED your insurance?  What do you think would happen to you if you fell and broke your hip, or got sick?"
    Rep. Sheila Jackson-Lee had to confront (but didn't) a SUPREMELY ignorant shill who WAS A CANCER SURVIVOR and was ABOUT TO GET DIVORCED who claimed (FALSELY) that SHE WAS LOOKING FORWARD to going back onto the private market to get insurance BECAUSE her previous/existing insurance had done so well by curing her cancer!  If that insurer is keeping her, then fine, but if she was getting insurance THROUGH HER HUSBAND'S job......

    People are just lying.

    The issue IS NOT EVEN WHAT the new program is going to do:  The issue IS how BADLY the EXISTING PRIVATE program is doing!  ANYthing you think would be wrong with the government program has the property that thing IS ALREADY WRONG with the private one!!

    The road to hell has not YET been paved with Republicans, but it SHOULD be -- Corrected BumperSticker

    by ge0rge on Sun Aug 23, 2009 at 09:23:24 AM PDT

    •  Obama should confront protestors (0+ / 0-)

      I completely agree in regards to confronting these phonies.

      I would like Obama to say something along these lines:

      "I am glad that you are against the government taking over health care. So am I. That's why we will not have a single-payer system such as in Canada".

      or

      "I, too, find the idea of death panel adhorent. That is why we would never allow that to be a part of the bill."

      It would show an attempt by Obama to be on their side instead or always being against their message as just plain old

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