Just when you thought the health reform debate in this country couldn’t get any more absurd. A group of Billionaireshad to come out of the closet and go stick their two cents into the debate, geez. Those lowly millionaire Republicans must feel a bit insignificant about right now, don’t ya think?
God bless em, Billionaires for Wealth Care are taking the high road when it comes to the “I can scream longer and louder than you” mentality of the party formerly known as the GOP. But most importantly they are having some fun mocking the teabaggers, birthers, deathers and whatever else they decide to pull out of their arse in the name of health care reform in the coming weeks.
Sadly though the rhetoric and tone of these rightwing fearmongers has reached new highs, bordering on sedition but clearly now their racial prejudice and hatred is in the forefront of their protest. Consider this account from East County Magazine, a nonprofit, nonpartisan community magazine that covers San Diego County.
Davis staffers passed out information on healthcare reform including answers to common questions—answers many in the crowd apparently had no inclination to read. Although the majority of the crowd seemed in favor of healthcare reform, those opposed were not content to wait their turn to be called upon to ask questions. Instead, many shouted out insults to the Congresswoman and some uttered racial slurs including “nigger” against President Barack Obama.
When Davis attempted to assure the crowd that Congress does not plan to take anybody’s healthcareaway(instead considering a public option for those who have no insurance or are dissatisfied with their coverage), booing ensued.
One protestor (photo, right) carried a sign reading “Healthcare=gas chamber for seniors and babies,” an apparent reference to claims that the bill’s provision offering coverage for end-of-life care and counseling would encourage euthanasia. The American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) has issued a statement denouncing that claim as false.
One UCSD student, dismayed that anti-healthcare protesters prevented her from asking a serious healthcare question (regarding coverage for women’s reproductive health) posted her account of the town hall meeting here: Disruptive tactics by anti-healthcare reform protestors appear to be counterproductive. A new national poll conducted by the American Association of Retired Persons has found that 80% of those surveyed now support a public option.
The young woman at the Bitching BlogBites whose post “Town Hall Chaos”, East Country referred their readers to, is a good read. As it turns out the bitchingblog poster had a serious question she wished to ask but the town hall was a bit different than she expected. Put yourself in her place; you’re going to a town hall meeting, hoping that it won’t be boring and just maybe, you’d actually witness a little of the craziness you have been seeing play-out in the media for weeks. Then walking into this;
Poor Susan Davis. She got called a liar, got bombarded with uninformed and often irrelevant questions. Actually, there were probably only two real “questions” and the rest were just people shouting at her. Indeed, there were a number of times where Susan Davis did not address the person’s statement but just moved on, because there wasn’t anything to address. I feel like a disproportionate amount of angry people got their numbers drawn, which really sucked. Women’s health did not come up at all, and I really wanted to ask my question 😦
Some highlights of the event (but more like “lowlights,” really):
- “Obama is a communist! This is communism! I’ve worked hard against commnism all my life!”
- “I don’t want taxpayer money going to fund abortions!”
- Susan Davis: “No one is going to take away your health insurance.” Angry People: “LIES!” “BOOOOOOO!” and *derisive laughter*
This was the most offensive, and it wasn’t even about health care: “Why does the hate crimes bill not give protection to white ministers, white police men, [more groups of white people but I forgot what she said], but gives protection to homosexuals, Jews, MUSLIMS [emphasis hers], black people, Hispanics. Why doesn’t the hate crimes bill protect the MAJORITY OF THE POPULATION?”
- “The government is taking over health care, they’ve taken over the banking industry, the automobile industry…” Susan Davis’s response: “Ma’am, you have Medicare, right? It’s going to be hard to take the government out of that.”
WTF! Do these GOPbots think their medicare check drops out of Glenn Beck be-hind? Even critical thinking Conservatives are calling these town hall clowns out for their horsecrap. In a recent essay in Time, Joe Klein called the GOP; “nihilists and hypocrites more interested in destroying the opposition and gaining power than in the public weal. He continued:
The same people who rail against a government takeover of health care tried to enforce a government takeover of Terri Schiavo’s end-of-life decisions. And when Palinfloated the “death panel” canard, the number of prominent Republicans who rose up to call her out could be counted on one hand.
Can you imagine what would of happened to these jokers under Bush’s reigh? Which adds a re-enforcing shot of irony regarding the GOP’s historic hypocrisy, or more specifically how the Republicans treated or viewed dissent when they were the “majority” party on Capital Hill. Remember these incidents?
- 2004- On July 4th, 2004, Jeffery and Nicole Rank attended an public Independence Day event in Charleston, WV where President Bush was to speak. Despite the fact that the event was open to the public and was held on public land, the Ranks were arrested for wearing anti-Bush t-shirts.
- 2004- two 55 year old school teachers were arrested in Iowa for attending a Bush campaign rally while wearing John Kerry shirts and buttons. Did they yell, shout, scream and disrupt? Nope. Their crime was not supporting the President of the United States.
- 2005- three people were forcibly removed from a so-called George Bush public town hall meeting. Did they disrupt? Yep. But remember these people are un-patriotic for opposing the most unpopular president in American history.
- 2008- a 61 year old librarian forcefully removed and arrested at a John McCain rally in Denver for holding a sign that read McCain=Bush. Did she yell, scream, shout and disrupt? Nope. Her crime was she didn’t support another four years of George W. Bush.
A small irrational minority has hi-jacked our ability as a country to have a constructive debate regarding something that gives life. The GOP has fought for years against abortion, their pro-life agenda and their Christian beliefs have driven the party’s politics and yet now they fight against something that is morally right? What would Jesus do? Whatever happened to the mentality that tried to keep Terri Schiavo on life support no matter what? Health care seemed to matter then but of course profits and campaign contributions weren’t threatened. Kudos to the Billionaires, their street theater sarcasm and the mockery of these racist, insane genitol posse (my phase). At least somebody at these town hall meetings has some class.