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Contrary to what was reported here, I’d say there were about 500 people at the Evergreen Commons Senior Center in Holland, Michigan on Monday night to hear from their Representative, Pete Hoekstra.  About 5/6 of them were conservative Republicans.  Maybe 1/3 of them were seniors.  About 7/8 of them were against HR 3200, or what they think it is.  And about ¼ of them were crazy-assed, government-hating nutjobs.

First: props are due Pete Hoekstra.  He continually kept the crowd from becoming a mob.  It was interesting that the rabble was most roused when the pro-health care reformers spoke; not the other way around.  

My favorite:  early on in the proceedings, a gentleman said, "We should look out for each other; we should all have health care", his touchy-feelyness was met with a "Shut up and sit down!" from a fellow near me.  Awww.  Adorable.

[One speaker said]: I fear government control of health care.  Nothing the government runs -- except the military -- works well or is cost-effective.

This was the prevailing sentiment.  These people forget about fire, police, roads and water, and every other damn thing they depend on during the course of a day, not to mention Social Security and Medicare.

Oh, and this just in:  The feds, they lie; the liberal media, they keep the truth from us; those late-night comedians are just plain mean to the Republicans.  Thank God for FOX.

Hoekstra believes a health care bill likely won't pass as one bill in the current session, but suspects a series of bills that focus on specific issues have a chance.

Like, let’s do tort reform and just get that one out of the way.  Good suggestion, Pete.

Essentially, Pete seems to believe that dealing with the entirety of health care is just too cumbersome and confusing to do all at once.  Why rush into this?  Why not break it down and pass legislation in digestible chunks?

Well, that sounds practical.  Except when you factor in that we’ve been waiting since flippin’ Truman for this.  And keeping the status quo is bankrupting us.  And splintering health care reform has the double-your-pleasure benefit of "Waterlooing" the Obama Administration and stalling until the GOP has more seats in Congress to do what they want – which is apparently nothing.

One speaker asked Pete to point to the Republican efforts to reform health care during our lifetimes.  Pete cited health savings accounts.  So there’s that.

But then, and Pete got pissed.

While the meeting was almost entirely civil, one speaker appeared to rile the congressman, accusing Republicans of being obstructionists on the issue.

He claimed we shouldn’t be making this a partisan issue.  But he just couldn’t resist ending his little hissy fit with "Republicans believe in freedom!"  He probably didn’t mean "as opposed to Democrats", but that’s sure the way he left it.  [Props to Muskegon Democratic Party Chair Steve Keglovitz for demanding an apology here].

By and large, Pete did not clearly refute the crazy shit people are reading into the bill i.e., illegal aliens will be covered, abortions will be paid for by the taxpayers, the Health Commissioner will have absolute power over everything, seniors and children will be tossed, screaming, into the gaping maw of the federal government, etc.  He just kept intoning, "The bill is silent on that, so we just don’t know."  I believe the bill is also silent on voodoo and virgin sacrifice, so those may be part of the plan as well.

Pete did, however, cover one Democratic talking point, for which I am grateful.  After one speaker said, "I am not going to pay for somebody else’s health care", Pete replied, "You already do," and cited statistics on what ER visits cost the rest of us.

A classic bit of irony:  An unemployed, uninsured gentleman from Fruitport (who was adamant about not giving his name) stated that he didn’t want everybody to pay for him.  He didn’t want the federal government messing around in his life.  Then he turned around and expressed his disdain for Roe v. Wade – not getting that it’s about individual choice, and that criminalizing abortion would be a big, fat, government intrusion into the lives of everybody.  Plainly, he wasn’t listening to himself.

Originally posted to gauchiste on Tue Sep 01, 2009 at 11:03 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (16+ / 0-)

    Oscar Wilde's last words: "Either this wallpaper goes, or I do."

    by gauchiste on Tue Sep 01, 2009 at 11:03:11 AM PDT

    •  No more demanding apologies!!! (0+ / 0-)

      [Props to Muskegon Democratic Party Chair Steve Keglovitz for demanding an apology here].

      No no no no no!

      You look the fascist motherfucker in the eye and say "And I DON'T believe in freedom? Is that what you're saying? Then what ARE you saying?"

      And you do NOT take your eyes off them until you get an answer.

      They WANT us to demand apologies. Then they will give their apologies with a wink and crossed fingers, and their followers will snicker at our thin skins and the fact that we're stupid enough to think that an apology from any of these assholes is worth shit.

      Sorry; I'm sure Steve Keglovitz is an excellent man in a lot of ways. But we have been demanding apologies for 30 years and these fuckheads have been loving every minute of it.

      Fight until we win. Then we can begin arguing about the details. - Kwickkick (RIP) 2009

      by RickMassimo on Tue Sep 01, 2009 at 01:06:27 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Military? Cost-effective???? (4+ / 0-)

    What planet do these lons reside in? How on earth could anyone even mention the $500billion/year (not including separate appropriations for the 2 wars) military, and 'cost-effective' in the same sentence?

  •  HSA- such a brilliant idea! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sockpuppet, Simply Agrestic

    Coz, you know- we can all foresee our medical needs one year in advance! Like that year I planned for a bout of prostate cancer, and my wife got jealoused- she insisted on having her breast cancer that year! We had to settle for both of us having skin cancer instead. Don't you just love the freedom?

  •  Amazingly, CA townhall like that, too! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    leema, Arkieboy
    Last evening I went to the townhall meeting with our very progressive, supporting-the-public-option Representative, Lynn Woolsey, (D-CA06).  I wrote my report about that event here last night:

    It was an eye-opening experience for me.  I've just been so complacent that, oh, I live here in northern California, we're just soooo liberal-blue here, no need for me to get out and do anything.  But I did, because of how hard others have been working in all our behalfs for quality, affordable healthcare, all across the country.

    Well, I was mistaken.  This was a difficult townhall, and it was definitely well-attended by the winger, teabagging, Obama-hating mania mob.  Yeah, I was shocked by this.

    And the thing is, your post, gauchiste, could well be mine as well about last night here in northern California.  Obviously the teabaggers everywhere are working from the same talking points and playbook.

    Yes, I heard all about how we should "read the Constitution", (as if that would show us their justification for ruthless disregard for the health and well-being of their own neighbors); about how our elected Congressional reps and senators are lying and not to be trusted anymore with anything (but where were all these "faux-Constitutional-patriots" all during the BushCo years, when they really were being lied to and were spending billions and billions of our tax dollars with no oversight whatsoever?); and about how we need "tort reform" to "reform health care" (this got enthused reaction from the baggers); and how we should just let "the free market regulate health care" (as if that's worked whatsoever so far).

    Even here in our very liberal enclave of north of the Golden Gate Bridge, it's a good thing every one of us liberal progressives showed up last night to hold our own and to support Rep Woolsey.  It would've been our side that got washed out, if we hadn't been there to equalize the situation.  gaaaaaaah....

    •  Lived in El Cerrito for 20 yrs (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      and found out the hard way that Northern Calif isn't the bastion of progressives it's cracked up to be.  

      Keep hammerin'

      •  Yeah, b-b-b-b-but (0+ / 0-)

        This was the Marin County crowd.  And the southern Sonoma crowd.  I hardly saw any "McCain/Palin" stickers on cars through the entire election season in 2008.  Obama just crushed here in Marin in Nov. '08.

        I've been living in such a cushy liberal progressive bubble.  That really was a shock yesterday evening.  

        I'm wondering how many of those folks are on "the circuit" from SoCal, like Palm Desert and San Diego.  Not bussed in. Didn't see any buses.  But maybe I'm just naive about that kind of wrangling, too.

  •  I'm starting to think of this as (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Simply Agrestic

    "The Grand Summer Celebration of American Paranoia."

  •  "Thank God for Fox" (0+ / 0-)

    I no longer have any doubt that Fox is intentionally trying to destroy America by inciting anarchy, fear and hate.    The Foxists are growing in number.   In the "shock & awe" tradition we are becoming accustomed to, the corporate bodies for which they work can retain supremacy and continue to feed on a $$ bleeding out America.  

  •  I notice Petey Boy (0+ / 0-)

      didn't hold one in Democratic Muskegon Heights.

      Holland is preaching to the choir for a right winger.

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