If We Reform Health Care, the Terrorists Will Win

What the hell is going on in this country? Comparing Obama to Hitler? Attacking disabled ministers?

Glenn Beck, Americans for Prosperity and other conservatives who are encouraging these violent protests at health care reform town hall meetings should be ashamed of themselves. The situation seems to be spinning out of control, and only a thin veneer of media complacency (or in some cases, complicity) is keeping the truth of what’s happening out of American living rooms. It is political violence of the kind Americans regularly condemn when it occurs in other places around the world. And it is very, very serious.

Particularly chilling is the level of rage being expressed over an issue like health care, which one would not think likely to provoke people to physically attack one another. To us this is a sign that at least some of these protesters are willing to become violent over just about any issue they’re pointed at. However relatively few in number, any group of people so disposed who manage to disrupt en masse public events around the country, as we’ve seen in the last few days, should be viewed as an truly ominous development.

Check the video below, which shows more teabaggers converging on health care reform town hall meetings last Thursday in Tampa, Florida and St. Louis, Missouri. In St. Louis, a reporter from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, a disabled minister and a staffer for the labor union SEIU were attacked by protesters, who were then arrested.

Where does this end, folks? And will it still look like America when we get there?

160 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. Go Blue says:

    claims Obama’s “death panel” will kill her parents and down syndrome baby.

    Boss Limbaugh has been upstaged by Palin!

    This folks is your republican party on steroids.

  2. Barron X says:

    .

    my impression yesterday was that SEIU people attacked and hospitalized a conservative protester at the Carnahan event in Missouri.  

    Unless you mean that the small black conservative protester selling/ handing out “Don’t tread on me!” flags ran his face so hard into the clenched fist of the SEIU guy twice his size that it constituted assault ?

    .

    • cologeek says:

      who attacked a conservative protester and were arrested for it in St. Louis.  Pols is talking out of his ass on this.  Violence is instigated by those who know that they can no longer win without it, and that defines the left in this debate.

      • redstateblues says:

        The Republicans have already publicly said that they plan on using political violence–if not physical violence–to disrupt own hall meetings.

        If you think violence defines the left, and not the right, then you’re ignoring over a century of political history in this country.

        • cologeek says:



          It’s clear that some one of the attackers caught at the beginning is wearing an SEIU t-shirt.  There is currently no  evidence that similar tactics are being performed by the right, just a lot of bs from the left about it.  But if this sort of violence continues I wouldn’t count on that being true.  The left can’t stand debate, they just want everyone else to shut up and obey.

          • Laughing Boy says:

            Pols, what a bunch of bullshit. There was a Carnahan staffer, SEIU members and a reporter arrested in St. Louis. Why make shit up?  Sorry it’s embarassing, but freaking own it.  

            • JeffcoBlue says:

              There are others who say this guy was an instigator if your read local reports. Let the cops sort it out.

              But that’s not even what matters. It is TOTALLY OBVIOUS all over the country who is showing up to these Democratic town halls looking for trouble. It is obvious which side is interested in dialogue and which is interested in shouting down rational debate.

              You appear to want it both ways, LB: you want to absolve yourself of any responsibility for the crazies, or their nonsensical rants about “death panels” and their GROWING VIOLENCE, but you revel in these people showing up to ‘express their rights.’ It’s the same two-faced shit you tried with the ‘birthers’ a few days ago and you failed miserably.

              And weren’t you trying to say Friday that Limbaugh somehow wasn’t likening Obama to the Nazis? Where have you managed to win any of these arguments? And yet here you are as if you have a shred of remaining credibility. It’s ridiculous.

              • Laughing Boy says:

                But that’s not even what matters. It is TOTALLY OBVIOUS all over the country who is showing up to these Democratic town halls looking for trouble.

                Right.  The White House called out the SEIU and the violence began.  In Tampa and in St. Louis.

                Thank you for the fewest amount of personal insults in a single post of yours since 2006, though.  It’s a new record.

                • JeffcoBlue says:

                  These townhalls were getting disrupted for days, jokes made about members of congress “almost getting lynched,” for days before this happened. You rearrange facts to fit whatever you came in wanting to prove, like your undying hard-on for Sarah “Death Panel” Palin, so it doesn’t really fucking matter what you say.

          • PolitianWatch says:

            cologeek, if healthcare reform doesn’t pass it really doesn’t matter who the protesters are or which side they are on. America is going down fast. When you take out the middleclass in a society you take out the people who support the filthy rich.  The filthy rich are going to suffer as well because more and more people will be thrust into poverty due to exorbitant healthcare costs.  Remember the world works better when prosperity is shared. The filthy rich are better off when prosperity is shared.

            We have already learned this from the Great Depression that when wealth is concentrated in the hands of a few the entire country goes down including the rich and you too cologeek. It looks like we are repeating the same scenario.

            I don’t mean to bring up Hitler but I found an interesting book called For Your Own Good.  The author, a German psychoanalyst talked about Hitler and why he did what he did but the most provocative and revealing part of the book was that a million people followed Hitler.  A million people were wrong.  They either participated or were complaisant in the horrific acts perpetrated against humanity. When I see Glenn Beck on TV I think he is a lunatic and I am not worried about him.  Who would believe anything he says but then I hear three million people watch his show and my concerns are with these followers. Like the million who followed Hitler these people are motivated by their hate. They really don’t have an agenda only hate in their hearts. They really don’t care about America or Americans only their fear of losing their white privilege.  

            • Laughing Boy says:

              Like the million who followed Hitler these people are motivated by their hate. They really don’t have an agenda only hate in their hearts. They really don’t care about America or Americans only their fear of losing their white privilege.  

              That is the biggest load of crap I’ve ever read on this site.

              First of all, Beck’s a goof. Can’t stand him.

              But you make it sound like it’s impossible to oppose Obama on policy issues without being a hateful racist?  

              Please get real.

              • PolitianWatch says:

                What matters is if we don’t restore the middleclass in this country our country will continue to decline. Healthcare reform would go a long way to restoring the middleclass. Fair trade would also do a lot to restore our country.

                This other stuff is just a distraction and sometimes these violent racist distractions result in deaths like the death of Dr. George Tiller and that of the Holocaust  museum guard killed by white supremacist Von Brunn.

                Disagree with Obama’s policy you say? I say the issue is non-negotiable; we are declining and will continue to decline and we will only have ourselves to blame and that racist and stupid segment of society that continues to perpetrate the lies surrounding healthcare reform.  

                • Laughing Boy says:

                   I’m racist and stupid for opposing this particular healthcare bill.

                  Brilliant.

                  • JeffcoBlue says:

                    I think you believe you can thread the needle politically on this one, deflecting blame for the protester’s indefensible factless rantings about the health care bill while somehow using those same protests as a legitimate vehicle to attack the bill.

                    Translation – you’re a two-faced cynical piece of shit willing to excuse lasting harm to the American political system, and rioting Luddites intimidating politicians, in order to save rich health insurance companies a few percentage points of profit. But that does not necessarily make you stupid.

              • Cartesian Doubt says:

                But when some of the people who oppose him start using racial stereotypes and comparing him to Hitler, they poison the discourse.

                As a Democrat, I disagree with the President occasionally. More by degree than by philosophy, but I prefer an intellectual disagreement to name-calling and baseless accusations.

            • cologeek says:

              Will forcing government controlled healthcare on the vast majority of Americans who have private options now restore the middle class?

              Sorry, this isn’t about class, or race, or covering for the “filthy rich” (gotta love those far lefty catch phrases).  And it certainly doesn’t fit the “racist hatred” meme that is now being thrown around.  

              I’ll bet everything I have that by pointing out the union violence against a black man on this forum, I’m being more active on his personal behalf than Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, or the NAACP will be.

              It comes down to how much control over your life you want the government to have.  There are those who believe that the more control that is exerted over our lives the better.  I’m not one of them.  I believe in freedom of choice, not the government restriction thereof.

              PS: Godwins law.

              • redstateblues says:

                I’m sorry cologeek but that’s just wrong. It’s propaganda. Under the proposed law, everyone who wants to keep their private insurance can keep it.

                Enough with the talking points. Read the bill. Point to a specific page or line, and then come back with your backed up, sourced point.

                • JeffcoBlue says:

                  They use, or at least hide behind like LB, the insane arguments of the teabaggers because they don’t have any rational ones of their own.

                  And unless they own stock in a health insurance company it’s totally opposed to their own interests. They’re what’s the matter with Kansas, willing to go completely nuts so United Health can have another quarter of fabulous dividends.

        • BlueCat says:

          Even LB. Regardless of any one particular incident, they will stick to the following:

          Almost all the violence is from the left and only a few nutjobs on the right are carrying swastikas and screaming about how Obama is a Nazi, a racist and not even a citizen. The majority of these angry righties are just nice grass roots citizens voicing their views with no encouragement from any astroturfers.  It’s the left that is all about astroturf.  Just ask LB.

          Any incidence of left generated violence, no matter how rare, will be used by them, to prove their point and 99% of the garbage from the right will be studiously ignored.

          Then they will call us naive or knee jerk or what have you.  That’s the drill. They smell blood and are looking forward to a win by which they mean, don’t change a thing. I’ve got mine (or so they think – talk about naive),  Screw you.

        • Karate Kid says:

          When has the Republican Party in Colorado or the RNC ever called for political or physical violence?

          • harrydoby says:

            … insert assorted foriegn objects into the posterior zone of a particular Democratic candidate’s torso isn’t Political Violence?

            • Ralphie says:

              Therefore, it’s not political violence, it’s bullshit.  Wadhams is good at that, at least.

            • DavidThi808 says:

              Innane response like this turn this away from what is a very serious problem. I think KK has a good point – we probably have a couple of the right-wing nut jobs on the radio, and Jeff Crank’s group, that are pushing for mob action. But I don’t think any Colorado GOP official or elected has done so.

              Lets focus on where the serious problem is. So far based on what has occured at both Jared’s and Ed’s events, in this state people are keeping it within bounds.

              • harrydoby says:

                I guess I have a lower tolerance for persons in a position of leadership fostering a culture of verbal violence in public.

                As you and I both know, corporate culture is often defined by the charismatic leadership at the top, for good or bad.

          • Cartesian Doubt says:

            When Rush Limbaugh was calling for riots in Denver during the DNC.

            And he’s as close to a leader that the Republicans have, since Michael Steele only speaks in sound bytes and talking points.

          • WesternSlopeThought says:

            is about as clueless as they come.  You may want to ask Alex Young, Leslie Weise and Karen Bauer about the GOP thugs.  Or why not just sit down with Steve Howards and ask about the Dick Cheney thuggery.  Or simply ask me about the Republican thugs in Bob Beauprez shirts who physically tried to prevent me from recording a Club 20 debate.  Though, as brain dead as KKK is, I know truth has no use in his Skinhead world.

  3. DavidThi808 says:

    Bill Maher makes some very good points.

    did you know only about half of Americans are aware that Judaism is an older religion than Christianity? That’s right, half of America looks at books called the Old Testament and the New Testament and cannot figure out which one came first.

    At a recent town-hall meeting in South Carolina, a man stood up and told his Congressman to “keep your government hands off my Medicare,” which is kind of like driving cross country to protest highways.

  4. Go Blue says:

    Right wing evangelical author Frank Schaeffer:

    So what’s being said here is really two messages: there’s the message to the predominatly white, middle-aged crowds of people screaming at these meetings trying to shut them down; but there’s also a coded message to what I would call the “looney tunes” – the fruitloops on the side – that’s really like playing Russian roulette. You put a cartridge in the chamber and you spin and once in a while it goes off, and we saw that with Dr. Tiller, we’ve seen it happen numerous times in this country with the violence against political leaders whether it’s Martin Luther King or whoever it might be… we have a history of being a well-armed violent country. And so, really, I think that these calls are incredibly irresponsible.

    The good news is is that it shows a desparation. The far right knows they’ve lost. They’ve lost the hearts and minds of most American people… But they also know that they have a large group of people who are not well-informed, who listen to their own sources, who buy the lies…and these people can be energized to go out and do really dreadful things and we’ve seen it in front of abortion clinics – I’m afraid we’re going to see it with some of our political leaders. And the Glenn Becks of this world literally are responsible for unleashing what I regard as an anti-democratic, anti-american movement in this country that is trying to shut down legitimate debate and replace it with straight out intimidation.

    That really about sums it up. The right wing is out to intimidate, assault and literally taking up arms against their fellow Americans – all being insighted by the Republican Party Leaders like Limbaugh, Beck, Palin, Boehner, et. al.  

    • cologeek says:

      it’s the left that’s been doing all of the physical violence.

      • redstateblues says:

        Are you saying the man beating the union member on tape was a lefty?

        • Ralphie says:

          He’s repeating the same shit over and over again so that eventually it will become “true.”

        • cologeek says:

          The one I posted had a man on the ground being kicked by a man wearing a Health Care 09 t-shirt, and another wearing an SEIU t-shirt being identified as an attacker.  Which union member did you see being attacked?

        • Laughing Boy says:

          The SEIU guy is on the ground because he was pulled off the black conservative flag guy.

          This is why people hate unions.  Total bully dogcrap behavior.

          And you guys call us neanderthals.

          • BlueCat says:

            Only a left on right incident can possibly be real and even one proves LB’s point.   Angry violent righties are figments of our imagination. We are all blowing things out of proportion, not LB. There is absolutely nothing to look at on the right.  A few mean signs and swastikas are nothing compared to all the lefty brutality.  Yeah, right, LB.  See me sadly shaking my head.

    • Barron X says:

      .

      in the set-up, Rachel made it amply clear that he has “seen the progressive light” and abandoned his right wing ways.

      This is not a right-winger admitting to anything.

      It is a left-winger putting a new gloss on old accusations.  Accusations which appear to be only partially right.  

      Conservatives getting desperate ?  I think they might be inclined to quote John Paul Jones to you.  The progressive movement does not want to rile these people up.  If they have to skip American Idol or Monday Night Football, they will want that sacrifice to be worthwhile.

      .  

    • PolitianWatch says:

      We will never change the minds of the lunatic right wing fringe. You can’t argue with crazy. But we can shine a light on their insanity.

  5. SSG_Dan says:

    As relayed by The Nation Magazine and Rachel Maddow…

    http://www.thenation.com/doc/2

    But, wait, that’s not all! How about a ‘Grassroots Protester’ that’s Actually a GOP Official:

    http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo

    I esp like the part that she worked for the Represenative’s GOP opponent in the last election. But remember, she said she wasn’t a GOP operative!

    (If you choose to disbelieve the link as posted, I’ll go back to the NBC affiliate that did the story and post that.)

    And as a special  bonus, let’s include the Churches flauting Federal law and getting involved in the fake protest movement in (illegal) conjuction with the GOP:

    http://minnesotaindependent.co

    So, once all you indignant Cons and Repubs can come up with similar proof that President Obama is deploying secret LIberal/SEIU hit teams across the county, I invite you to shut the hell up.

  6. Go Blue says:

    The right issues death threats, make calls to pack guns at HEALTH CARE forums, intimidate and physically assault their own neighbors, yet some apologists like cologeek on here have the balls to claim it’s the lefts fault?

    YOURE FUCKING INSANE. Wake up. Face the Facts. Acknowledge reality you extremist freak.

  7. Go Blue says:

    What right wingers hate America?

  8. Go Blue says:

    Please, keep defending your extremists who are terrorizing not only their neighbors but also sending death threats to the President and members of Congress sending death threats to the President and members of Congress.

  9. Laughing Boy says:

    You’re lucky the people you’re calling an angry mob weren’t.

    • Canines says:

      Except to reinforce that both sides exchanged verbal hostilities.

      • harrydoby says:

        … was quite civilized.  The crowd was probably at least 300 strong — split 2/3rds supporters of reform, and maybe 1/3 opposed.

        I heard the occasional heated discussion, but the rest of the conversations seemed vibrant to me.

        One younger fellow (maybe 30 at most) arriving late came up to me to see how things were going.  He said he came out from Lakewood, didn’t vote for Perlmutter, and his biggest concern was that the legislation was getting rushed through Congress.  I gave him my liberal-pragmatic view that we need to draw a line in the sand now, since this has gone on for over 50 years.  

        The insurance companies currently have no incentive to modernize or cut overhead.  They certainly have no incentive to reduce executive compensation or expand coverage to those most in need.

        The fine-tuning will happen first in the conference between the House and Senate anyway.  Congress isn’t designed to craft “perfect” bills, so we need to get the best deal we can.

        He agreed that the status quo isn’t working, but didn’t know what the answer should be.  After a few minutes, he thanked me and waded into the crowd to try and talk to his congressman.

        • Karate Kid says:

          Wow.  That’s real reform!

          How about we change the system so that people and doctors are in control and make price conscious decisions instead.

          • BlueCat says:

            rationed by big corporations whose only motive is profit, like the one that denied a nurse with very aggressive breast cancer because they lucked out and found out they could over her past acne treatment?  That’s refreshing.

          • harrydoby says:

            …  rather than the $80k GS-13.  Oh, wait, the government bureaucrat won’t be making medical coverage decisions. A medical best practices board comprised of doctors most likely will.

            The bureaucrats are tasked with expanding coverage, not spend their time figuring out the best strategy to boost their annual multimillion dollar bonus.

          • Road Runner says:

            “How about we change the system so that people and doctors are in control and make price conscious decisions instead”

            Because these decisions will either be nested in some market-mediating context (and thus not really be the “decisions of people and doctors,” as you so quaintly put it), or the price for medical care (including emergencies) will be an out-of-pocket expense affordable only to the very rich.

            Here on Sesame Street, Grover, we’re able to handle such “complex” ideas.

            • Karate Kid says:

              We have a third party payer system currently, in which insurance companies make decisions about where/when/how, etc.  

              Obamacare doesn’t change the 3rd party payer problem.  Even if you trust bureaucrats (crazy, but some people do), why not pursue real reform, in which we have a first-party payer.  

              Consumers shop for the best care at the best price.  If you want the government to subsidize it, fine.  But don’t let them run it.  Just give them a voucher or something.

              That’s real reform.  Obamacare just makes the problem worse.

              • Road Runner says:

                despite the fact that it’s very easy to get.

                If government subsidizes it in a way external to all market interactions, then to every American is distributed some voucher according to some fixed algorithm (independent of the market for medical care), from a pool of money that came to the government from Americans according to some fixed algorithm. So this portion of your suggestion has nothing to do with health care subsidies: It’s simply a tax-reduction, and possibly a redistribution of wealth (depending on the differences in the two algorithms).

                And, through your blind appeal to some benevolent market, all you accomplish is to eliminate the innovation of pooling resources to reduce risk (in other words, “insurance”). Unless your above idea to redistribute wealth involves a massive redistribution from the rich to the poor, you deepen even further the problem of inaccessability of health care services to the poor (as well as to the middle class when the health care services are particularly expensive, as they often are).

                There are four challenges to health care reform: 1) increasing accessability, 2) controlling costs, 3) maintaining or increasing quality, and 4) doing so in a politically feasible manner. Your suggestion 1) decreases accessability, 2) allows costs to grow with complete disregard to equity, 3) may or may not affect quality for the shrinking pool of people who can afford the services, especially when they are most needed, and 4) is politically impossible.

                Other than that, it’s brilliant.

                • Yokel says:

                  Is the problem.  Because of A) malpractice suits and insurance, and B) the deep pockets of such pooled insurance companies, medical personnel are strongly pushed to reduce medical risk in procedures to 0% because of A and not discouraged from doing so in the least because of B.

                  You cannot reduce risk to 0%.  But the medical community is effectively forced to, and we pay the price.  

                  This is the only way to control medical costs in the long run, and the simplest and most economic way to fix the problem of medical costs and coverage, as well.  

                  • Road Runner says:

                    but only one problem in a stew of problems.

                    If your suggestion is that we reduce the costs imposed by medical liability, I agree. But when most people talk about tort reform, they are referring to a change that would decrease accountability, something that would have tragic results.

                    There is no panacea here. Costs are growing not just due to medical liability, but, more importantly, due to increasingly sophisticated technologies (including pharmeceuticals) that are increasingly expensive to develop and deliver, that everybody believes that everybody should be entitled to. That’s an untenable combination.

                    • Yokel says:

                      I’m just merely pointing out that this right here is probably the biggest contributor to skyrocketing health care costs.  

                      You can blame the rising cost of technology, but then you ignore the fact that, from a market standpoint, more people have more access to that technology, spreading its development cost over a greater base of users.  

                      But the same concept of greater access that causes a reduction in cost due to technology will increase cost due to practice under the 0% risk model.  

                      People can (and do) argue using .01% examples of hypothetical success due to the 0% risk mentality.  But, oddly, that’s merely evidence of another factor in the same problem:  A cultural denial of all medical risk for “me,” at any cost.  

                      I wonder if that’s not the real, unknown, unspoken reason behind the concept of government health care.  “I want whatever medical care it takes to keep me alive, no matter the cost, and I want everyone to help me pay for it.”  

                      Culturally, perhaps it’s a symptom of a cosmopolitan, as opposed to rural, society that has put its faith in natural science rather than supernatural religion.  

                      Anyway, if you want “the way” out, my suggestion is a medical emphasis on risk management and mitigation, rather than risk elimination, to go with real reform of the malpractice process.  Also, we’re all going to have to get used to the medical fact that we’re going to die, and no art or science will stop that.  

                      But that won’t win any votes.

                  • DavidThi808 says:

                    I go to see my Doctor about a bump on my neck. He says it’s nothing but… he wants to have a surgeon look at it.

                    I go to see the surgeon. He says it’s nothing but… he wants to do a biopsy. Takes his nurse 45 minutes on the phone to get approval from the insurance company.

                    And the results of this “preventive medicine?” The biopsy shows I have stage IV cancer. I’m damn lucky to be alive (statistically I’m now “cured”).

                    You can call it defensive medicine, I call it doctors using their judgement to check.

                    • Road Runner says:

                      by the exorbitant cost of liability insurance that pays not only for actual medical practitioner error, but also for many heart-wrenching bad outcomes that are statistically both improbable and occasionally inevitable. Doctors are motivated to reduce these costs by performing tests that they would not otherwise consider it worth the costs to perform.

                      The notion that any and all defensive tests are a good idea can be disproven by an extreme example: If a given test costs 90% of GDP to perform one time, and has a .00001% chance of extending a single life .000001 years, then that test would not pass any reasonable cost-benefit analysis. This example demonstrates that there is a line to be drawn. Ideally, we would be drawing it by balancing the actual costs and benefits of the test itself. The huge extraneous costs of not only making mistakes, but also of errorless bad outcomes in the absence of having performed excessive testing, skew this cost-benefit calculation in dysfunctional ways.

                  • dwyer says:

                    Excuse my french, I am really pissed.  Colorado has had tort reform for more than 20 years…..how has that lowered the cost of health insurance, cost of medical care and improved quality of medical care?  

                    It is legitimate question.   But I am betting you will simply ignore it because you have no answers.

                    It is all about hurting kids and families in order to win political advantage.

          • Cartesian Doubt says:

            They already do, by declining people with pre-existing conditions.

        • MADCO says:

          The House/Senate conference will do the first rough tuning. ANd then. maybe, some first fine tuning.

          The real fine tuning will occur after it passes- just like with Medicaer.

          And there is no attempt to “rush”- there is urgency for all the reasons discussed previously.

          But there is a real attempt to delay – because we all know – oddly- that delay means death to reform.

          Example

          Why was W attempting to “rush” the privatization of Social Security? Hard political reality. The President must attempt to pass any big, hairy deals in year one- especially if they were part of the campaign.

          Year 2 is lost to the mid-terms – 100% of the House and 1/3 of the Senate

          Year 3 is lost to a new Congress.

          Year 4 is lost to re-election, 100% of the House and 13 of the Senate

          Year 5- is another Y1- but only for the BHDs that were in campaign to re-elect- any BHD from the first campaign are now lost to the sands of time

          Y6- see Y2

          Y7- see Y3 and lame duckism starting to settle in- perceived anyway

          Y8- fat lady is singing, stick a fork in it  

          • davebarnes says:

            Time to repeal the 22nd Amendment.

            I hate term limits.

              • BlueCat says:

                I can’t source it because it’s a study I read about years ago but what it found was this.  Once a president is in power for more than 12 years the chances of that president giving up power in a peaceful transition are slim.  Of course these were presidents of the kind of democracies we see in South America, where democratic institutions are weak, presidents often function as elected dictators and transition is always tricky.  Even so the 12 year barrier as a possible point of no return is something to think about.

                As far as term limits on legislators at the state level, I think that’s turning out to be not such a great idea.  For one thing term limited legislators are increasingly resigning early so they can be replaced by a party selected appointee who will (arguably) have an advantage as an incumbent in the next election.  The result is boatloads of unelected legislators.  

  10. Laughing Boy says:

    Caption:

    A supporter of health care reform, left, who did not want to give her name, pushes forward to rip a sign out of Kris McLay’s hands outside the Stout Street Clinic visited by Nancy Pelosi. (THE DENVER POST | RJ SANGOSTI)

      • Laughing Boy says:

        All this whining about dangerous anti-health bill lunatics, and the only violence I’ve seen is coming from your side.

        I honestly hope nobody gets killed.  This whole debate has turned into the bottom of a birdcage.

        It’s like immigration.  I’ll bet we could solve it here on Pols.  And it will never ever get fixed by our government.

        • MADCO says:

          Ok- make labor as mobile and international as capital.

          And tax the border crossing equally

        • Cartesian Doubt says:

          http://www.huffingtonpost.com/

          I’m with you in the hope that no one gets killed. There are too many people, and I won’t argue what side of the political spectrum they’re on, that are wound up too tightly and could snap.

          I fear that rational discourse is dying in politics, being replaced by heated rhetoric, threats, and insults.

        • BlueCat says:

          comes from our side?  Seriously? See this is why I don’t want to discuss this with you any more LB. Talk to again when the subject changes.

          • Laughing Boy says:

            Of violence perpetrated by someone not wearing an SEIU shirt in this healthcare debate.

            • BlueCat says:

              of the incident you are building your argument on:

              http://videosift.com/video/Ant

              Here’s a link to death threats:

              http://www.huffingtonpost.com/

              We’ve all seen images of the hangings in effigy and swastikas in the hands of babes in strollers as well as video of yelling and screaming that drowns out any chance for debate, some right here on this site. Try searching this site on your own. I’m not your gofer.

              There are also plenty of instances of righties telling venomous lies about the plan including death panels, granny killing etc. just made for inciting kooks.  Just google Sara Palin and Newt Gingrich for starters.  

              Also various GOP congressman trying to gin up anti-Obama hysteria based on his not being one of us and not being legit, along with being a nazi, commie and just general all round evil enemy, who probably isn’t even American, an invitation to wackos to do something about that.  Here’s a recent one among many, many that have been widely circulating on the web so you really don’t need my help:

              http://briefingroom.thehill.co

              Here’s a cute one where Michele Bachmann complains that a public plan will be better and more affordable but fortunately Obama is dropping in polls and that’s what’s really important:

              http://www.alan.com/2009/07/25

              For more, don’t be so lazy. You can do your own googling.

              Oh and lets not forget the people who have actually been shot dead by anti-choicers if you really can’t think of a single instance of rightie violence.

              Now don’t bother me for a while.

    • DavidThi808 says:

      I’ll agree that some on the left has escalated it past what is proper in a democratic society. And that is absolutely wrong.

      But what we have coming from the right is a number of major talking heads encouraging the shutting down of debate at town halls. I don’t see anyone on the left proposing that.

      In fact, many of us on the left wnat to go to those same town halls to also disagree with our reps. Granted, we disagree from the other direction, but we are not trying to stifle debate.

      • Laughing Boy says:

        But what we have coming from the right is a number of major talking heads encouraging the shutting down of debate at town halls. I don’t see anyone on the left proposing that.

        • Cartesian Doubt says:

          http://www.huffingtonpost.com/

          “Instead, hundreds of vocal critics turned out, many of them saying they had been spurred on through the Tampa 912 activist group promoted by conservative radio and television personality Glenn Beck. Others had received e-mails from the Hillsborough Republican party that urged people to speak out against the plan and offered talking points to challenge supporters.”

          • Laughing Boy says:

            to “shut down the debate”?

            • Cartesian Doubt says:

              “You need to rock-the-boat early in the Rep’s presentation,” said one e-mail memo from a Connecticut activist and member of the Tea Party Patriots organization. “Watch for an opportunity to yell out and challenge the Rep’s statements early.”

              (Cited in the Huffington Post article, with my own emphasis)

              Another:

              ‘Health Care for American Now, a national pro-health care reform group, advised its members in a memo, “Arrive earlier than the other side,” “Be more visible than the other side” and “Stack our folks in the front to create a wall around the member [of Congress holding the event].”‘

              http://www2.tbo.com/content/20

              This isn’t promoting discourse. It’s an attempt to keep people from discussing an important topic.

              Whether you agree or disagree with reform, everyone deserves a chance to discuss the issue without fear.  

  11. BoulderRepublican says:

    …who realizes the irony in liberals claiming that the protesters on the right are “manufactured” while those who support Obama’s plan are all wearing SEIU shirts or hats, or waving a sign printed off the Organize for America, SEIU, etc… websites?  Sure, obviously conservative groups are gonna say, “hey, your congressman is gonna be at this place at this time.  Why don’t you go give him a peace of your mind?”  But that doesn’t make it “astroturf.”

    And I agree–the only violence at this event was against the protesters on the right.  Why else would the six arrested all be the ones either running the event or showing up in support, and the one person in the hospital a conservative who was there to show his disgust with the current legislation?

    • BoulderRepublican says:

      …in claiming I’m an idiot for saying this never happens the other way around.  Sometimes it does, although it appears to happen far more often this way.  The unions in particular seem to have more than 50% market share all on their own.

    • Canines says:

      Two were health care supporters, one was a reporter for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch:

      http://www.stltoday.com/stltod

      Who was the organizer arrested? Any links available?

      • BoulderRepublican says:

        …to link to something when you can see that stooge with the mustache in the SEIU shirt AND hat being cuffed in the video (skip ahead to 2min40sec).

        And the reporter was arrested because he was interfering, and not to protect the BLACK guy who was being beaten so bad he was sent to the hospital.  Apparently if you hand out flags that say “Don’t Tread on Me,” you’re a racist, evil, right-wing GOP hack…even if you’re black.  No wait, ESPECIALLY if you’re black.  Why is it that nobody is crying racism here?  Other than the fact he’s conservative…

        • BoulderRepublican says:

          …that the SEIU was an official host of this event, although they have hosted others with their Democrat “brothers and sisters.”  http://images.redstate.com/ree

        • Canines says:

          because at least one of the alleged attackers was black:

          Gladney, who is black, said one of his attackers, also a black man, used a racial slur against him before the attack

          http://blogs.abcnews.com/polit

          Not saying it’s right, if it happened as so. Just saying…

        • Canines says:

          I haven’t been able to confirm that, from my readings. Given that no footage of the scuffle was posted by that reporter, I have my doubts. But you can blame him for not breaking up the fracas, if you like.

          • Canines says:

            The reporter was filming the woman who had been pepper sprayed, before he was arrested. Here’s his video of his own arrest:

            http://www.stltoday.com/blogzo

            • Laughing Boy says:

              And she’s a real peach.

              Oops!

              Double oops!

              • Laughing Boy says:

                Putting “woman” in quotations wasn’t a dig at her, I was referring to her being named in the posts above.  Sorry, should have been more clear.

                I’ll dig at her behavior but not her appearance.  It was a bad choice of words.

              • Canines says:

                But the St. Louis Post-Dispatch report (linked above) doesn’t list her as a Carnahan “staffer.” That’s something the press would have a field day over, I’m sure. I doubt an actual “staffer” would be waiting in line to get into her boss’ shindig.  

                • Laughing Boy says:

                  “Carnahan Crew”.

                  Did you like the way she was acting?

                  • Canines says:

                    http://www.stltoday.com/blogzo

                    Things moved slowly. As the presentations proceeded, [the aggressive opponents of health care reform policies being advanced by President Barack Obama] booed and heckled when they heard something they didn’t like. On several occasions they stood in unison and turned their backs on the speaker…

                    Many of the opponents took offense when they were shushed for interrupting the speakers. Some of the men would puff up as though they were spoiling for a fight…

                    But, from the start, the climate was so poisonous, and the behavior so persistently rude and childish – and increasingly menacing – that after a little more than an hour I decided there was no point staying.

                    • Laughing Boy says:

                      Those RACISTS!!!!  LUNATICS!  Terrorists!

                      Hey, at least they didn’t mob-attack a guy handing out flags.

                      I am honestly amazed at how many of you guys are trying to spin this as though the opposite of what really happened.  Not you, so much, Canines.

                      What happened was that the Unions tried to stack an open town hall forum by allowing its members in a side entrance, then after the meeting some goons went out looking for a fight.  It’s rare the left is embarrassed like this on video, but it doesn’t get much better than capturing an assault by guys wearing the same ugly purple shirts attacking someone.

                      And I agree with Yokel.  This is the most disingenuous post I’ve ever seen from Pols.  Maybe they have a new Dead Gov or something, but come on.  

                      What happened in St. Louis was obvious and wrong.  The Dems and Unions lose one.  Get over it, but at least be honest about what happened.

                      If something like this had happened under Bush, and some similarly outfitted Young Republicans had beaten a Dem protester who was within the law, you’d be calling for armed rebellion.

                    • BoulderRepublican says:

                      …posting a video that was actually made by the SEIU (the real “mob” in this case).  Gee, I wonder what they’re going to say.

                      Disingenuous doesn’t even begin to describe this piece of $hit post.  You guys often play evil spin doctor on the news, but this is a complete and utter lie.  Virtually 100% the opposite of the truth.

                      I’ll be sending a link to this page to flag@whitehouse.gov now.  I’m sure they’d like to hear about this misinformation regarding the health care debate.

                    • redstateblues says:

                      BTW still waiting for that “policy debate”.

                    • BoulderRepublican says:

                      …because that allows me to hear both sides of every argument and make my own decisions.  There’s lying tools in each party, so I can’t rely on anybody to tell me the whole truth.

                      And as for that debate you’re waiting for, you’re still simply ignoring my original comment on that page, dismissing it as “talking points.”  I don’t know what exactly you’re looking for, but I assure you that I raised issues worth discussing.

                    • redstateblues says:

                      I asked you a simple question: what, specifically, in this bill do you not like, and what is your specific policy alternative to what the Democrats are prescribing?

  12. Yokel says:

    Aside from the obvious points made above regarding who’s really been actually violent at these “meetings,” there was something else you said that bugged me:

    Particularly chilling is the level of rage being expressed over an issue like health care, which one would not think likely to provoke people to physically attack one another. To us this is a sign that at least some of these protesters are willing to become violent over just about any issue they’re pointed at.

    If you had given it a second of thought, you would realize why people on both sides of the issue can get so incensed about health care:  

    It’s about life and death.

    Even more than that, people can get mad about war or abortion or the death penalty or assisted suicide, and they often do.  But in this case, it’s not just abstractly about life and death, or about the lives and deaths of other people.  It’s about your life and death and about mine.  

    I would be more “chilled” if people didn’t care about the government changing all of the rules on health care as we know it.  Yes, angry words are bad, mmm’kay, and actual violence is significantly worse.  But they’re unfortunate by-products of an active and vocal electorate, at a time when many bemoan  our society as becoming too politically ill-informed and apathetic.  No, sir, violence aside, this is a good thing in the greater scheme of things.  

    I’m sure someone will accuse me of being an angry, violent wingnut.  I didn’t say that, but if that’s your skill at reading comprehension, don’t burden the rest of us by bothering to say it.  Thanks.  

    • The realist says:

      Various theories have been published — opponents are angry because their Party lost so much last fall. . . opponents are angry because deep down they cannot accept a person of color as President. . . etc.  Perhaps all it really is, is that people believe if health care is expanded to more people, they will lose the access THEY currently have, i.e. perhaps they view it as a struggle over a limited resource – health care.  It really isn’t that, of course.  If you can help us dig a little deeper to understand the true reasons for the extreme anger, it would help us all.

      • Yokel says:

        The government is beginning a takeover of our health care, and you’re curious as to why people are rather unhappy about it?  Perhaps you’ve forgotten other fine branches of the government, like the IRS.

        But, speaking of angry, I see a lot of people rather conveniently ignoring the actual violence carried out by the folks on the left after being “astroturfed” by their own labor organization.  The “anger” isn’t just one way, and I’d argue that it’s officially only actually manifest itself on the part of the left, as opposed to the right.  

        (Hell, typical union thuggery notwithstanding, I’m willing to give them a pass, as they feel their health care will end unless the government takes it over, which is, oddly enough, the inverse of the right-wing take on the issue)

    • DavidThi808 says:

      then what’s the proposal from the right? Because all I hear from that side is a shout of NO!

  13. Go Blue says:

    Yep, leading Republicans are on board with attacking the President as a baby and granny killer. What the fuck is wrong with these people? This is what has become of the Republic party? You’ve been taken over by birthers, teabaggers and other bat shit crazy conspiracy theorists… and you embrace them!

    • Cartesian Doubt says:

      When the party is turning to Eric Cantor to be its future. He’s out of the Congressional game, but still fighting as if he was still top dog in the party.

      • BlueCat says:

        when he delivered divorce papers to number one (so he could marry number two whom he later dumped for number three) in her hospital bed where she was recovering from cancer surgery.

        Neither Gingrich nor the President is a granny or baby killer but there’s no question who has the superior morals and most solid family values.

        Gingrich makes even Bill Clinton look the very picture of personal moral rectitude by comparison.  Compared to Obama he’s less than pond scum.

  14. democritus says:

    …they have nothing serious to say. All this talk of death panels and Hitler-fetishism. It points to a party that completely disrespects intellectualism and intellectual debate. Truthiness in action.

    When nearly every single OECD country with universal health care has a higher life expectancy and a lower infant mortality rate, it is absolutely proven than universal health care would save lives.

    When a large number of republicans don’t even believe in evolution, including at least three of their presidential hopefuls, they have closed their minds to rational debate.

    When they cannot even admit that an administration where the gov’t owns 0.2% of all business assets is not socialist, particularly when this is a temporary measure brought on by a lack of government oversight encouraged by conservative political philosophy, there’s no hope for rational debate. Ronald Reagan was a socialist if this is true.

    When even many of the conservative members of this board cannot admit that the vast balance of scientists and scientific evidence point to a dire threat caused by global warming, they have no respect for reason.

    Widespread birtherism is just a symptom of the disease, this is not the party of William F Buckley anymore. This is the party where George Will’s anachronistic global warming denial is considered ‘intellectual debate’ for conservatives. When you people have handled your own house, maybe we can sit down and chat. Until then, it ain’t worth the breath.

    • BoulderRepublican says:

      …mangling, or at least mishandling, of facts.  The life expectancy and infant mortality rates, among others, are impossible to compare across international lines.

      For one, life expectancy is entirely dependent upon the lifestyle you live.  Americans, in general, tend to have far, far higher obesity rates than other countries.  They don’t die because their doctors are incompetent or because their insurance wouldn’t cover their care.  They die because they eat too many damn cheese burgers.

      So instead of this particular brand of health care reform, maybe you should be fighting for sin taxes.  Although that is just another increase in the size and scope of government.

      As for infant mortality, many countries outside the U.S. don’t count babies who are born below a certain size or weight, or who live less than 24 hours.  Neonatal care is more widely available, is of higher quality, and has greater accessibility here than in any nation in the world.

      Very nice try, but I would caution you to pay more attention to statistics like these:  http://www.hoover.org/publicat

      And for more on all of this, don’t take my word for it.  Read this CBO staff memorandum:  http://www.cbo.gov/ftpdocs/62x

    • Yokel says:

      This cracks me up.  

      When the GOP shows up in droves, it’s gotta be “astroturfed.”  When the Dems show up in droves, it’s “grassroots,” and certainly not unions and ACORN doing the organizing.  

      Astroturfedly, Sockpuppetly Yours,

  15. Go Blue says:

    The teabagger that was supposedly attacked by “union thugs” as you would put.. HAS NO HEALTH INSURANCE and is looking for handouts.

    Brown finished by telling the crowd that Gladney is accepting donations toward his medical expenses. Gladney told reporters he was recently laid off and has no health insurance.

    That’s what I call a Con.  

  16. cologeek says:

    And the rest of the “Unions are the font of everything good” brigade that usually come charging out when something bad about unions is revealed?  I’m more than a little surprised they aren’t posting on this thread, calling us corporate stooges for believing our lying eyes rather than the BS ad posted by Pols.

  17. Canines says:

    The Washington Monthly reports:

    http://www.washingtonmonthly.c

    At least one prominent conservative blogger said Gladney was “brutally attacked” by SEIU members outside the event. After watching the video, there’s ample reason for skepticism. Gladney was, in fact, pulled to the ground during the fracas, but he seemed to bounce back up quickly, and is seen walking around soon after without any obvious injuries. His attorney has argued that Gladney was beaten during the fight, but there’s nothing in the clip to support that.

  18. Canines says:

    http://www.stltoday.com/stltod

    Gladney did not address Saturday’s crowd of about 200 people. His attorney, David Brown, however, read a prepared statement Gladney wrote. “A few nights ago there was an assault on my liberty, and on yours, too.” Brown read. “This should never happen in this country.”

    Supporters cheered. Brown finished by telling the crowd that Gladney is accepting donations toward his medical expenses. Gladney told reporters he was recently laid off and has no health insurance.

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