FOX News edits out the insanity in coverage of healthcare foes

If you watched the television news or picked up a paper today, you likely saw the image of an older man, pushing a wheelchair, yelling into the face of Michigan Congressman John Dingell. The scene took place last night in Romulus, Michigan, during a town hall meeting on healthcare. So far, I’ve seen this particular image on FOX and ABC News. In neither instance, however, do they really give the full context. What you see is a man, deeply upset over the kind of healthcare his son, a 39 year old man suffering from cerebral palsy, is likely to receive under the plan currently proposed by Dingell.

Here, by way of Debbie Schlussel (think Ann Coulter, but without the beauty and warmth), is the video of the encounter as it aired on FOX.

Sounds reasonable, right? The guy, a resident of Milan, Michigan named Mike Sola, wants to make sure that individuals with cerebral palsy are covered under the proposed plan. Or, at least that’s how it looks. Truth is, though, it was a little more complicated than that. It wasn’t just that he wanted to make sure his son was covered – he wanted proof that his son wouldn’t be exterminated. Here’s a clip from a detailed firsthand account:

…He proceeded to scream (literally scream) at Rep. Dingell, telling him that, under this new legislation, his son with cerebral palsy would be euthanized. Although Rep. Dingell assured him that this was certainly not the case, the man became more and more incensed, egged on by the crowd behind him. Dingell staffers were finally forced to move forward to ensure the man did not threaten Rep. Dingell…

As I’m told by others that attended, the man demanded Dingell show him specifically where in the legislation it said his son wouldn’t be put to death.

I found it interesting that this little tidbit of full-on insanity wasn’t mentioned anywhere in the mainstream press.

I’ve said it before, but it bears repeating… When all of this is behind us, individuals like Rush Limbaugh, Glen Beck, and others who have encouraged this climate of paranoia to flourish, should be held accountable for their actions. It’s incomprehensible to me how any individuals, regardless of how strongly they feel about a political matter, could encourage the spread of such potentially dangerous misperceptions.

I have no qualms with Mr. Sola. If I thought that my young daughter was going to be euthanized as part of a government program, I’d sure as hell raise a stink about it, but, as we all know, that’s clearly not what President Obama and John Dingell are advocating. These people that we’re seeing show up at town hall meetings like the one held last night, are terrified, and they’re desperate. They see the economy falling apart around them, loved ones losing jobs, pensions disappearing, and they hear these loud, authoritative men yelling about how it’s all part of a Socialist takeover of our government by a foreign national (Obama) who wants to provide government funded abortions and kill the elderly, and you’re damned straight they’re going to be upset. And, of course, FOX News does their part by showing the fear and rage, and leaving out the insane impetus behind it, leaving the impression across America that these are normal, rational Americans motivated by facts alone.

And, I don’t like where this is headed. I can’t help but think that sooner or later, there will be bloodshed. Someone on this very site left the following message last night:

Why the hell do you think Guns Sales are at a all time high, because people trust these communists, wrong! It is because people do NOT trust the Chicago Gangsters now running this country into the ground that ignorant people like you have given them. Apparently it will now take a good ole style revolution to square this country back up.

These people don’t want to debate the merits of various programs. They want to kill the godless Communists who are out to destroy the American way of life. And this isn’t an accident. This is part of a very deliberate plan to disable the administration. And, the sad things is, I don’t think those behind it really care where it leads.

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66 Comments

  1. Left Cross
    Posted August 8, 2009 at 4:01 am | Permalink

    Nah. I’m not going to pretend to give any sort of respect to these privileged angry white males and those that protect their “rights” to be heard above all the poor folks out there who are routinely used and stepped on. Inequality’s a real thorn when it comes to a head, and it’s just one of those moments in our history that has to occur.

    Obama speaks for the rich white men as much as Limbaugh. He just gets more respect in the hood for at least hearing a little more.

  2. Oliva
    Posted August 8, 2009 at 9:31 am | Permalink

    I think there’s more weapons stockpiling (along the lines of the poster you quoted) than some of us would imagine, or so I’ve heard. The “angry white” contingent is frightening as all get-out. And there is that neuroscience finding about some people being hard-wired never to see shades of gray, just black and white, all or nothing. Trying to talk to people built that way about nuance, complexity, such things, doesn’t go anywhere, so the science says. (Here I hope the science is wrong.)

  3. Posted August 8, 2009 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

    Smart republicans know that they have lost. Too bad they are such sore losers. Their world view has fought mightily against the moderate socialism started by the New Deal, but ultimately, we live in a society, and part of that bargain is ceding some control and individuality for the greater good. We may not end up being exactly like Europe, but we will be more like Canada. For whatever reason this scares them, despite the fact that–an example from the current context–our life expentancy sucks compared to other industrialized nations (we rank about 27th, and infant mortality is similarly poor here). For years they thought they could undo our society by lowering taxes to starve the government, but the problem is that so many republicans are net tax beneficiaries (relative to the large cities where most tax revenue is generated) and this strains even their limits of cognitive dissonance.

    Where were all these “libertarians” when the Bush adminstration wiped its ass with the Bill of Rights?

    As for gun sales, so what? We already have so many guns in this country, it won’t make any difference anyway. If history is any guide, it’s generally the poor and uneducated who end up fighting amongst themselves, now they’ll just have more guns to do it faster.

  4. Frogman
    Posted August 8, 2009 at 1:26 pm | Permalink

    From Paul Krugman in yesterday’s NYT on the people really behind the group “Conservatives for Patients Rights”-

    There’s a famous Norman Rockwell painting titled “Freedom of Speech,” depicting an idealized American town meeting. The painting, part of a series illustrating F.D.R.’s “Four Freedoms,” shows an ordinary citizen expressing an unpopular opinion. His neighbors obviously don’t like what he’s saying, but they’re letting him speak his mind.

    That’s a far cry from what has been happening at recent town halls, where angry protesters — some of them, with no apparent sense of irony, shouting “This is America!” — have been drowning out, and in some cases threatening, members of Congress trying to talk about health reform.

    Some commentators have tried to play down the mob aspect of these scenes, likening the campaign against health reform to the campaign against Social Security privatization back in 2005. But there’s no comparison. I’ve gone through many news reports from 2005, and while anti-privatization activists were sometimes raucous and rude, I can’t find any examples of congressmen shouted down, congressmen hanged in effigy, congressmen surrounded and followed by taunting crowds.

    And I can’t find any counterpart to the death threats at least one congressman has received.

    So this is something new and ugly. What’s behind it?

    Robert Gibbs, the White House press secretary, has compared the scenes at health care town halls to the “Brooks Brothers riot” in 2000 — the demonstration that disrupted the vote count in Miami and arguably helped send George W. Bush to the White House. Portrayed at the time as local protesters, many of the rioters were actually G.O.P. staffers flown in from Washington.

    But Mr. Gibbs is probably only half right. Yes, well-heeled interest groups are helping to organize the town hall mobs. Key organizers include two Astroturf (fake grass-roots) organizations: FreedomWorks, run by the former House majority leader Dick Armey, and a new organization called Conservatives for Patients’ Rights.

    The latter group, by the way, is run by Rick Scott, the former head of Columbia/HCA, a for-profit hospital chain. Mr. Scott was forced out of that job amid a fraud investigation; the company eventually pleaded guilty to charges of overbilling state and federal health plans, paying $1.7 billion — yes, that’s “billion” — in fines. You can’t make this stuff up.

    But while the organizers are as crass as they come, I haven’t seen any evidence that the people disrupting those town halls are Florida-style rent-a-mobs. For the most part, the protesters appear to be genuinely angry. The question is, what are they angry about?

    There was a telling incident at a town hall held by Representative Gene Green, D-Tex. An activist turned to his fellow attendees and asked if they “oppose any form of socialized or government-run health care.” Nearly all did. Then Representative Green asked how many of those present were on Medicare. Almost half raised their hands.

    Now, people who don’t know that Medicare is a government program probably aren’t reacting to what President Obama is actually proposing. They may believe some of the disinformation opponents of health care reform are spreading, like the claim that the Obama plan will lead to euthanasia for the elderly. (That particular claim is coming straight from House Republican leaders.) But they’re probably reacting less to what Mr. Obama is doing, or even to what they’ve heard about what he’s doing, than to who he is.

    That is, the driving force behind the town hall mobs is probably the same cultural and racial anxiety that’s behind the “birther” movement, which denies Mr. Obama’s citizenship. Senator Dick Durbin has suggested that the birthers and the health care protesters are one and the same; we don’t know how many of the protesters are birthers, but it wouldn’t be surprising if it’s a substantial fraction.

    And cynical political operators are exploiting that anxiety to further the economic interests of their backers.

    Does this sound familiar? It should: it’s a strategy that has played a central role in American politics ever since Richard Nixon realized that he could advance Republican fortunes by appealing to the racial fears of working-class whites.

    Many people hoped that last year’s election would mark the end of the “angry white voter” era in America. Indeed, voters who can be swayed by appeals to cultural and racial fear are a declining share of the electorate.

    But right now Mr. Obama’s backers seem to lack all conviction, perhaps because the prosaic reality of his administration isn’t living up to their dreams of transformation. Meanwhile, the angry right is filled with a passionate intensity.

    And if Mr. Obama can’t recapture some of the passion of 2008, can’t inspire his supporters to stand up and be heard, health care reform may well fail.

  5. Brackinald Achery
    Posted August 8, 2009 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

    I just don’t see the benefit of putting up a fight against inevitable bad legislation when you can just sit back, let it all pass, and watch the economy collapse completely because of over spending, over regulation, central banking, central economic planning, and plain old fashioned stubborn wrong-headedness.

    Shooting up the place seems counter productive when out of control government is on the verge of collapsing under its own weight.

    Economic ju-jitsu. Reaping what you sow. Etc. Just sit back, suffer patiently, and stupid evil fixes itself.

    Don’t even have to fire a shot.

  6. Meta
    Posted August 8, 2009 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

    See also the Beck boycott?

    http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2009/8/8/763611/-UPDATED-4X:-The-Glenn-Beck-Media-Boycott-is-Working!!-Here-is-PROOF.-Now-with-updated-contact-info..

  7. Oliva
    Posted August 9, 2009 at 10:37 am | Permalink

    . . . The recent attacks by Republican leaders and their ideological fellow-travelers on the effort to reform the health-care system have been so misleading, so disingenuous, that they could only spring from a cynical effort to gain partisan political advantage. By poisoning the political well, they’ve given up any pretense of being the loyal opposition. . . .

    Can there be anyone more two-faced than the Republican leaders who in one breath rail against the evils of government-run health care and in another propose a government-subsidized high-risk pool for people with chronic illness, government-subsidized community health centers for the uninsured, and opening up Medicare to people at age 55?

    Health reform is a test of whether this country can function once again as a civil society — whether we can trust ourselves to embrace the big, important changes that require everyone to give up something in order to make everyone better off. Republican leaders are eager to see us fail that test. We need to show them that no matter how many lies they tell or how many scare tactics they concoct, Americans will come together and get this done.

    If health reform is to be anyone’s Waterloo, let it be theirs.

    Steven Pearlstein, Washington Post, emphasis added,
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/08/06/AR2009080603854.html?nav=rss_opinion/columns

  8. dp in exile
    Posted August 9, 2009 at 7:06 pm | Permalink

    Remember, just after the last administration lied the US into war in Iraq, how the US military let the Iraqi people riot for days after we bombed their cities?

    You make a good observation, Mark- they (neocons/Limbaugh/etc) don’t care. Kind of harkens back to a conversation not too long ago concerning culpability of O’Riley & friends & the abortion Doctor murder.

  9. Brackinald Achery
    Posted August 9, 2009 at 9:36 pm | Permalink

    Okay, as the right wing militiaman nutjob who hasn’t gotten the memo to disrupt town hall mettings, who can’t make himself care too much even if Obama isn’t technically Constitutionally qualified to be President, who will happily parasitize the system till it crashes if left with no other options, and hardly gives much of a damn about trying to stop health care legislation he thinks is asinine and unauthorized by the Constitution…

    …how are we going to pay for all this stuff again? As the world’s biggest debtor nation in a recession/depression?

    Tax the rich — the people we depend on for jobs, industry, and real productivity — something along those lines? Because it’s okay to steal from rich people just because they’re rich? Is that the moral highground of this whole farce?

  10. Calvin
    Posted August 10, 2009 at 7:58 am | Permalink

    Where were all of these fiscal conservatives when we went to war in Iraq, asking how we were going to afford it?

  11. Lone Wolf
    Posted August 10, 2009 at 8:45 am | Permalink

    Great comment on Socialism:

    http://imgur.com/5RkJK.png

  12. al
    Posted August 10, 2009 at 8:48 am | Permalink

    cant beleive what we have become . Man stands for his son and rights and what i hear is he’s white and over privledged. When the ball starts to roll it will not descriminate between our incomes and race we will all fall under it weight and that will be that

  13. DisabledAndScared
    Posted August 10, 2009 at 9:03 am | Permalink

    I’m having a little bit of trouble understanding what is going on with the so called “health care reform”. Being only 30 and disabled is rough enough. But hearing threats of ending health care for the sick and elderly is terrifying. If the plan is to fix the system, that’s great. But if the potential is there to deny services to myself, the disabled or seniors, communism here we come. At this rate it would be cheaper to purchase large furnaces and send us all letters about the wonderful mandatory “vacation” we will receive at Camp Obama.

  14. Sara
    Posted August 10, 2009 at 9:16 am | Permalink

    I have something to say. I’m almost nineteen, and I’m in a wheelchair. You can’t honestly tell me that we should just sit down and let these people do whatever the heck they want to. I’m not republican, I’m conservative. Do I need to remind people of the group that just recently beat a black conservative man for selling conservative trinkets? Was that okay? I don’t believe so. You can’t really say that only Republicans and Conservatives are wrong, because that would be hypocritical and blind. Conservatives have sat back for a long time and taken this Obama doctrine for as long as we’re going to. I have a hypothetical situation for you, Blogger. Imagine that someone you love more than life itself was facing death that could be prevented, but no one’s listening to your quiet pleads for help. What would you do? You’d do anything to protect your loved one. If you had a soul, anyway. So just think about that..the next time you say Conservatives are out of line.

  15. Oliva
    Posted August 10, 2009 at 9:26 am | Permalink

    Misinformers are visiting this blog (see “Camp Obama” comments and such)–what do they actually gain from fomenting fear and mistruths? Civil strife, danger, anger, stress . . . and that scary thing that’s been besieging us for decades now, the willful embracing of not-thinking. As if ignorant is somehow the preferred way to be. Why?!

    But aside from the public harm, what are they getting personally? No doubt poorer health from the hyperventilating and mad hearts.

  16. Curt Waugh
    Posted August 10, 2009 at 9:44 am | Permalink

    You all can narrow this isssue down to healthcare all you want, but the change the U.S. is going through now is so much bigger than healthcare. Talking about this single issue is taking focus away from the real point here.

    Our country is no longer a white, christianist nation – let’s face it, like is has always been. The really good, hardcore demographics experts have known this for years. THE REPUBLICAN PARTY has known this for years. The average person? Not so much.

    These spasms are the old guard trying to hang on long past its time. You can break it down to race and ethnicity and even religion if you want, but it’s really about this exclusive little club becoming a minority for the first time in history. And they don’t like it. Big surprise.

    They have all the money and power, but they don’t have a majority of votes and that’s a terrifying thought to them. This whole “one person, one vote” thing has become horribly inconvenient. It was inconvenient when men of color wanted to vote. It was inconvenient when women wanted to vote. And it was inconvenient when anybody wanted to vote in the south. In all cases, they could only hold out so long.

    So, we move on and let the minority rule or we push forward with democracy. There appears no longer to be a middle ground. The majority of the country wants us out of the middle easy and Afghanistan. The majority of the country wants insurance reform. Yet, we don’t have it. Curious. Somebody somewhere is holding on for dear life.

  17. Oliva
    Posted August 10, 2009 at 10:07 am | Permalink

    “Conservatives have sat back for a long time and taken this Obama doctrine for as long as we’re going to.”

    Reality check. Obama became president in Jan. of this year. Health care reform has been in the works, and thwarted, for more than a half-century.

    I wonder how many of the people denied adequate health care under the present corporate-run system and now no longer with us also trouble Sara’s soul.

    Curt’s right. The fight right now is bigger and much uglier than simply a fight about health care reform. A version of it was on full display back when George W. Bush ran, especially the second time, and he got the support of many white Americans who were voting against their own self-interests, economic and otherwise. And definitely voting against a civil, decent, democratic society.

  18. DisabledAndScared
    Posted August 10, 2009 at 10:16 am | Permalink

    This one’s for you, Olivia. I agree with you about misinformative fear. But right now all Americans should be scared. We are in a state of crisis and the answers for fixing these fears are equally as terrifying. I pray to God that his plan works. But if it means “potentially” cutting health care from those who need it most, America is gone. Because I don’t know all of the facts (they change based on the news station), I just chose to voice my opinion on the threats I’ve heard. But if there is any truth, we’re screwed. I am a proud American with a long line of family who has fought and continues to fight for this great country. If the rumors of killing off the weak are true (which I DO NOT KNOW FOR FACT because of the news coverage), than all of the lives lost throughout history to preserve our country are all in vain. I am not trying to promote fear or upset. The White House has done enough of that already. But I have been following all of this closely for awhile now and I’d rather have proof all of the threats are not legit than keep my mouth shut until we see the results. It will be too late then. I am not an Obama hater, just a concerned citizen. Maybe if they would answer the questions brought forth by Mike Sola of Michigan rather than elude, we would have no reason to fear.

  19. Curt Waugh
    Posted August 10, 2009 at 10:29 am | Permalink

    “If the rumors of killing off the weak are true (which I DO NOT KNOW FOR FACT because of the news coverage), than all of the lives lost throughout history to preserve our country are all in vain. I am not trying to promote fear or upset.”

    liar

  20. MT
    Posted August 10, 2009 at 10:45 am | Permalink

    The problem right now – today – is that people who are extremely ill are often dropped by their insurance companies. Others cannot get insurance to begin with, due to “preexisting conditions.” This legislation would change that. If anything, more people would live longer, because they would have insurance. This notion that Palin and others are spreading is not true. No one will be killed. It’s nonsense.

  21. Oliva
    Posted August 10, 2009 at 11:00 am | Permalink

    “right now all Americans should be scared”

    Absolutely not, though the townhallers and their friends are spooky as can be.

    We just went through 8 years of “should be scared,” and it cost us many lives and harmed many people’s mental health. We have a chance now to embrace clear thinking and reasonableness, to use our heads, to reject the current efforts staged by powerful members of the right and embraced by people they’ve targeted, who speak for them often without even knowing it, to make us afraid. Acting or trying to think from a position of fear is futile, as one’s basic critical skills go dormant when fear is in charge.

  22. Dirtgrain
    Posted August 10, 2009 at 11:41 am | Permalink

    Here’s what I want to know: where in Obama’s plan does it say that I won’t be killed.

  23. dp in exile
    Posted August 10, 2009 at 12:14 pm | Permalink

    http://www.whitehouse.gov/realitycheck/

    Here is the President’s response via his staffers… a FAQ of sorts.

    Not that I support any of this nonsense, but that’s what they came up with in response to the crazy mobs we’ve been talking about.

  24. Glen S.
    Posted August 10, 2009 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

    Someone above mentioned Kenneth Gladney, the St. Louis, Missouri-area native who alleges he was roughed-up in connection with his participation in an anti-healthcare reform group attempting to disrupt a recent Congressional town-hall meeting. The facts surrounding exactly what happened, and who, if anybody, is to blame, remain a point of contention.

    However, at a follow-up rally on Sunday sponsored by St. Louis-area “teabaggers,” a spokesman for the group made a point to announce that Gladney is now accepting donations toward his medical expenses, because, “he was recently laid off and has no health insurance.”

    http://www.stltoday.com/stltoday/news/stories.nsf/stlouiscitycounty/story/7C2B91CFCB7B4D398625760D0008E6EA?OpenDocument

    Folks, you just can’t make this stuff up.

  25. Oliva
    Posted August 10, 2009 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

    Another, following Glen S., for the hypocrisy files:

    This Alaska news story from July, before Palin stepped down as governor, perhaps sheds light on why she is feeling defensive and lashing out. Her own administration dropped the ball and inadvertently created a “death panel” of sorts, and frail and elderly people were directly harmed.

    From Anchorage Daily News, 14 July 2009, http://www.adn.com/front/story/864670.html?storylink=pd:

    State programs intended to help disabled and elderly Alaskans with daily life — taking a bath, eating dinner, getting to the bathroom — are so poorly managed, the state cannot assure the health and well-being of the people they are supposed to serve, a new federal review found.

    The situation is so bad the federal government has forbidden the state to sign up new people until the state makes necessary improvements.

    No other state in the nation is under such a moratorium, according to a spokeswoman for the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.
    In the meantime, frail and vulnerable Alaskans who desperately need the help are struggling. . . .

    Doctors and other health care providers wrote to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid with concerns that the state wasn’t responsive. Some alleged that the lack of state controls “has resulted in the death(s) of the active clients,” the federal review said.

    While the people served are frail and suffer from chronic health issues, the state never investigated to determine if any failure in service contributed to the deaths, the federal review found.

    “Thus, if someone passed away because a (personal care assistant) did not show up, for example, there was no indication this would have been reported or investigated,” the report said. . . .

  26. Oliva
    Posted August 10, 2009 at 2:33 pm | Permalink

    (Whoops, forgot to show it was a quotation.)
    Another, following Glen S., for the hypocrisy files:

    This Alaska news story from July, before Palin stepped down as governor, perhaps sheds light on why she is feeling defensive and lashing out. Her own administration dropped the ball and inadvertently created a “death panel” of sorts, and frail and elderly people were directly harmed.

    From Anchorage Daily News, 14 July 2009, http://www.adn.com/front/story/864670.html?storylink=pd:

    State programs intended to help disabled and elderly Alaskans with daily life — taking a bath, eating dinner, getting to the bathroom — are so poorly managed, the state cannot assure the health and well-being of the people they are supposed to serve, a new federal review found.

    The situation is so bad the federal government has forbidden the state to sign up new people until the state makes necessary improvements.

    No other state in the nation is under such a moratorium, according to a spokeswoman for the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.
    In the meantime, frail and vulnerable Alaskans who desperately need the help are struggling. . . .

    Doctors and other health care providers wrote to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid with concerns that the state wasn’t responsive. Some alleged that the lack of state controls “has resulted in the death(s) of the active clients,” the federal review said.

    While the people served are frail and suffer from chronic health issues, the state never investigated to determine if any failure in service contributed to the deaths, the federal review found.

    “Thus, if someone passed away because a (personal care assistant) did not show up, for example, there was no indication this would have been reported or investigated,” the report said. . . .

  27. Curt Waugh
    Posted August 10, 2009 at 4:09 pm | Permalink

    “Here’s what I want to know: where in Obama’s plan does it say that I won’t be killed.”

    Oooo…. When the guards ask you “cake or death”, you should have taken cake. Duh.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BNjcuZ-LiSY

  28. Brackinald Achery
    Posted August 10, 2009 at 5:07 pm | Permalink

    “Where were all of these fiscal conservatives when we went to war in Iraq, asking how we were going to afford it?”

    Quite a few were, actually. I listened to reason, learned from them, and changed my ways. Not everyone is so reasonable.

    … too bad your enemies’ failings, real or falsely accused, don’t change reality: we’re the world’s largest debtor nation in a recession/depression, and our overbearing government is all going to come tumbling down for economic reasons, as did the USSR. And there’s not a damn thing anyone can do about it.

  29. dan
    Posted August 10, 2009 at 5:41 pm | Permalink

    Here’s the latest Fox interview of the guy who yelled at Dingell. He reports that people came to his house late at night to intimidate him, and that he might shoot them next time.

  30. Oliva
    Posted August 10, 2009 at 6:57 pm | Permalink

    “Where were all of these fiscal conservatives when we went to war in Iraq, asking how we were going to afford it?”

    Quite a few were, actually.

    Well, not visibly. Not too many. I remember going to various meetings and townhalls held by Congressman Dingell back before the war, and there were sometimes big crowds, sometimes just a handful of people there–that when the meeting was midweek in the middle of the day and hard for people to attend–and the people were not there citing fiscal conservatism as a reason not to go to war, though I think only because there were so many other urgent reasons not to. (It was an important piece of the antiwar argument, when the funds were needed so badly elsewhere.)

  31. Brackinald Achery
    Posted August 10, 2009 at 7:36 pm | Permalink

    “Well, not visibly. Not too many.”

    True. Most of us ideologically small government Republicans were too caught up in the phony small government rhetoric, fear of the other party, and fear of terrorists. It took the noninterventionist Republicans a long time to get any press… didn’t really happen until the last primaries, really. And Fox wasn’t too happy about that, either.

    I don’t see why snapping out of one big government deception should somehow morally obligate us to swallow another, or else we’re hypocrits. That doesn’t make any sense.

  32. Kevin T
    Posted August 11, 2009 at 9:24 am | Permalink

    Here’s the full video of the man yelling at Dingell. He says very clearly, “You are sentencing this person to death under the Obama plan.” Watch for yourself.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GJyMpAcLVV8

  33. Oliva
    Posted August 11, 2009 at 9:37 am | Permalink

    I don’t see why snapping out of one big government deception should somehow morally obligate us to swallow another, or else we’re hypocrits. That doesn’t make any sense.

    Making war on Iraq was immoral, deadly, harmed us greatly in myriad ways–millions of people around the world knew it and fought hard to prevent it. Establishing quality, affordable health care for all Americans is hardly comparable, as it’s a highly moral move, will make many lives better, will dismantle the dysfunctional relationship between health care providers and insurers, allowing medical care providers to do the jobs they were trained to do and are being paid for. The list goes on . . .

    I’m curious about where those fiscal conservatives were when Bush and the Republican Congress pushed through tax cuts for the very wealthy.

    The situation is really so outrageous. As happened under Bush, we have beleaguered Americans losing more and more ground (some of them losing their marbles too, evidently–as shown in clips from recent town hall meetings) yet fighting again against their economic self-interest, duped by people with bundles of money and power. It does seem kind of hopeless, but I wonder if that’s not the point. Must resist that, of course.

  34. wetdolphinmissile
    Posted August 11, 2009 at 10:27 am | Permalink

    Oldest trick in the book, “divide & conquer”. As long as the poor and/or stupid are all divided over misconception and lies they cannot join in support of their better interests.

  35. EOS
    Posted August 11, 2009 at 11:51 am | Permalink

    Oliva,

    Some people believe that acting in their own self-interest by taking what others have rightfully earned is immoral. Many believe that Obama’s plan will not establish quality affordable health care for all Americans. What makes you so confident that it will? Can you think of a single government program that has eliminated the problem it set out to fix? Many believe that we are at war in Iraq, but not at war with Iraq. The end goal just might be to preserve the country and the oil profits for the people of Iraq and prevent it from becoming part of an expanded, nuclear Iran. Do you think it is possible that there are people with good intentions who don’t share your point of view?

  36. Brackinald Achery
    Posted August 11, 2009 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

    My freedom is my own best interest, even risking all hazards and personal failings. I can’t be bribed by lesser good interests into surrendering it. You think that’s stupid. I think it’s not stupid.

    People enter into society with others to better protect their rights and property from violation, not to surrender their rights and property for what is sold as the greater good, but which typically isn’t.

  37. Oliva
    Posted August 11, 2009 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

    EOS, I want to reply, but you put a bunch o’ words in my mouth, and I’d rather just go with the actual words and meanings. I welcome thoughtful debate with those I don’t necessarily agree with but think it’s only fair to have my words represent my ideas, etc. Your post does show how slippery words can get, alas. (For example, your first sentence, though confusing, approximates my own view, but I just see things quite differently than you do about who has been taking what was rightfully earned.)

  38. kjc
    Posted August 11, 2009 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

    oliva, don’t you see it’s better to preserve “individual freedom” over all else? that’s why we let wall street, private insurers, lobbyists, etc. run our country. to protect us!

  39. EOS
    Posted August 11, 2009 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

    Oliva-

    I’m sorry you perceived that I was trying to put words in your mouth as it wasn’t my intention. I was merely pointing to other possible perspectives. I like to discuss the issues rather than what’s wrong with the people who don’t share my views. Those with differing views may not have lost their marbles and may not have been duped, but quite possibly may be acting on what they sincerely believe is both morally right and in their best interest. Present evidence to support your views and you just might change someone’s opinion.

  40. kjc
    Posted August 11, 2009 at 1:17 pm | Permalink

    EOS, please present evidence to suggest that you have ever changed your opinion based on listening to the views of others who don’t share yours. I don’t recall any such thing ever happening on this blog. It makes your condescension toward Oliva both disingenuous and disgusting.

  41. Dang!
    Posted August 11, 2009 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

    God, I love that Brackinald! “Economic Ju-Jitsu”…hahaha!

  42. EOS
    Posted August 11, 2009 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

    kjc –

    I was an atheist for 25 years of my adult life before I accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior. Talk about change – it was a 180. And I used to be an angry, militant atheist. I would throw any tract I found into the nearest trash can, slam the door on evangelists… But that change was nothing short of miraculous.

    I don’t recall personally attacking anyone on this blog. Maybe I have responded in anger and can’t remember, but I try not to attack. I admit I can be obnoxious with my opinions but I try to stick to the issue. I like this blog even if most people don’t share my point of view. I like this blog because I can listen to the views of others who think differently. It can be very enlightening if people talk about the issues and the reasoning for their decisions. At the very least I have gained a measure of understanding from reading some posts. There are some who post thoughtful and logical arguments. And I think Oliva has the potential to be persuasive so I encouraged her.

  43. Oliva
    Posted August 11, 2009 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

    I appreciate you trying, EOS, to “point to other perspectives”–I crave new perspectives, hoping for especially brilliant ones every time. For example, I like that Krugman and Obama and others have publicized the kind of worried statements they’re hearing, such as an elderly person crying, “Keep the government’s hands off my Medicare.”

    It seems like your comments are designed to infuriate or intimidate rather than illuminate, but I’ll assume that’s wrong and that you really are open minded and wanting to exchange ideas, invite new perspectives. Neither one of us benefits when words and ideas get arranged merely for rhetorical tricksterism, though I know it can be tempting. I like it when words are reliable and make sense and trust you do too. (Poor words these days, so porous and loose, almost not strong enough to hold their intended meanings.) But I do appreciate the try and the apology. I’d be happy to post figures of the gargantuan $$ waste in our present health care system or documents about who’s backing the town hall protesters, but it’s available now even at CNN, so I don’t think you need me to.

  44. dan
    Posted August 11, 2009 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

    25 years of adult life… so that’s 18+25=43 years old at least, and a pool boy. That narrows it down quite a bit, actually.

  45. Brackinald Achery
    Posted August 11, 2009 at 5:03 pm | Permalink

    Hahaha, this cracks me up. That dude’s got fully legal balls of steel.

  46. Brackinald Achery
    Posted August 11, 2009 at 5:03 pm | Permalink

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f876GOd_CKM

    this video, I mean.

  47. Dirtgrain
    Posted August 11, 2009 at 5:39 pm | Permalink

    Former Christian activist, Frank Schaeffer, on political manipulation of the lunatic fringe and stupid

  48. Mark H.
    Posted August 11, 2009 at 5:56 pm | Permalink

    Olivia and KJC, you clearly have EOS’s number. He’s being polite with you now, but his methods of argumentation are at root and consistently based on distortion and exaggeration, putting words in other people’s mouths, and frequent unilateral changing of the topic of debate. When the debate gets tough, he ducks! His ground shifting is evident in his response to KJC’s s challenge to EOS to please “present evidence to suggest that you have ever changed your opinion based on listening to the views of others who don’t share yours.”

    His reply is that he shifted from being a dogmatic atheist to what many believers would call a dogmatic Christian; but he credits no one with having persuaded his to do this “180.” Doesn’t God get the credit for this shift, according to what EOS has revealed of his worldview on this blog? So this change, and it’s a real one, is not evidence at all of his having been persuaded of anything by having listened to other people: he just shifted the object of his dogmaticism, due to God’s will, not due to ordinary human persuasion.

    Being persuaded to change a belief due to a miracle is not evidence of listening to others’ differing viewpoints carefully! It may be considered evidence of faith, but it’s not evidence of being persuaded by other people’s ideas on issues of the day.

    Not that I’m knocking God’s role in anyone’s life, not at all. But if I read KJC’s challenge correctly, EOS’s reply is a non-answer, an evasion, albeit dressed up to make him look reasonable and humble. But an evasion just the same. And in my book, evasions aren’t acceptable.

  49. EOS
    Posted August 11, 2009 at 6:28 pm | Permalink

    Mark H. –

    Evidence of a changed viewpoint? Evidence of listening to others’ differing viewpoints carefully? How about earlier today in the teabagging post:

    “You’re right Mark. I was mistaken in my interpretation of what you had written. I’m sorry. It’s clear from your last post that you understand COBRA….”

    I can’t imagine how anyone could interpret that as dogmaticism.

    I’ve tried very hard to deal with your constant personal attacks without retaliation. I’m sorry for whatever part I played in causing you to have a personal vendetta against everything I write. Let’s move past personalities and discuss the issues.

    Truce?

  50. Brackinald Achery
    Posted August 11, 2009 at 6:57 pm | Permalink

    My enigmatic post above was supposed to contain a link to a video. The follow up post (with the link) is awaiting moderation. You won’t be disappointed.

  51. Brackinald Achery
    Posted August 11, 2009 at 7:09 pm | Permalink

    Okay I couldn’t wait. Here’s the follow-up to the video. Hopefully the link works this time.

    I love this guy. Really makes ya think.

  52. Dirtgrain
    Posted August 11, 2009 at 8:14 pm | Permalink

    Anybody in that crowd could have had a concealed weapon on them, right? At least the SS knows he has one. But that poster? Maybe that guy is a potential assassin.

  53. Mark H.
    Posted August 11, 2009 at 8:31 pm | Permalink

    EOS, I hadn’t read your comments from that other thread that you quote here. I take it as proof that you admit to error; the only issue in the piece you quote is that you were attacking my statements on one issue, and when proven to have attacked on an incorrect (unfair?) basis, you backed down. But that’s not the same as example of being persuaded to alter your viewpoint on some large issue.

    As for a personal vendetta against you – hardly. I don’t even know who you are. I only know what you post here, and I join the fry in pointing out the errors and dogmatism of those comments. My God, you are a birther and an advocate of suburban sprawl, and a foe of providing health coverage to every American; but i don’t know you at all aside. So no truce is in order – unless a stop to debate is called for on MM.com.

    But who is EOS, really? Is he the right wing know it all he presents himself as….or is he just someone baiting people with ridiculous arguments, for the sake of fun? I’m more and more persuaded EOS is the later, and is not a real person at all. Maybe EOS is a creation of Mark Maynard!

  54. dragon
    Posted August 11, 2009 at 9:04 pm | Permalink

    EOS says:I accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior.

    EOS said:Many believe that we are at war in Iraq, but not at war with Iraq. The end goal just might be to preserve the country and the oil profits

    **Thou shalt not kill except for a long list of good reasons is like saying you should not covet your neighbor’s wife unless she’s hot**

  55. EOS
    Posted August 11, 2009 at 10:03 pm | Permalink

    Mark H.-

    O.K. Have it your way. The truce wasn’t meant to stop the debate, merely to stop the personal attacks. Go ahead and continue with the ad hominem if you want. I choose the higher ground.

  56. Ardvark
    Posted August 11, 2009 at 10:56 pm | Permalink

    To me it seems there are so many incredibly frustrated racists out there right now, who see their country having a black president, and now a hispanic on the supreme court. Their lily-white world is falling apart right in front of them.

    I see this even in my own family. Emails that my sister forwarded on to me became so racist that I put a block on any other emails from her. I can’t even stand to go and have lunch with a group of relatives anymore as thats all they can rant about is “that damn n****r in the White House” and how at least Bush “prayed to God for guidance”.

  57. Brackinald Achery
    Posted August 11, 2009 at 11:00 pm | Permalink

    Okay, seriously, it’s “thou shalt not murder,” which is not the same thing as “thou shalt not kill.” Read what happened after they made the Golden Calf idol at Mt. Sinai. Lotsa killin’. Then, of course, is the book of Joshua. Lotsa killin. David? Killer. God didn’t get mad at him until he murdered Uriah vicariously at the hands of the Philistines to cover up his adultery. Not all homicide is murder. It’s a distinction backed up by thousands of years of law, tradition, and common sense.

    Not that I agree with the Iraq War, or think those justifications amount to justifiable homicide. But seriously, the distinction is important.

  58. Scott K
    Posted August 12, 2009 at 8:35 am | Permalink

    I’m reveling in all of the opposition to Obamacare…listen to the people! (and no I am not a Republican….more like a Blue Dog Democrat, but I’ve worked in and studied healthcare for 21 years)

  59. Brackinald Achery
    Posted August 12, 2009 at 9:25 am | Permalink

    I know there are a lot of pathetic racists out there… but do you guys really think that ALL opposition to anything that smacks of socialism or watered-down marxism is secretly motivated by racism?

    That “socialist” is code for the n-word?

    That everyone who’s against big government is just cranky about having a Black President?

    Because if you really think that, you’re going to play right into Beck/Palin/Limbaugh’s hands, and way more people will join their side.

    All you have to know to understand the motivation of much of your opposition is that in their/our minds, we see the word “socialist” appear in the following phrases: “National Socialist Workers’ Party,” and “Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.” We look at the body count and/or economic problems and/or loss of freedom of those two nationalized socialist political parties, and we say, “fuck that.” Essentially.

  60. kjc
    Posted August 12, 2009 at 9:43 am | Permalink

    “All you have to know to understand the motivation of much of your opposition is that in their/our minds, we see the word “socialist” appear in the following phrases: “National Socialist Workers’ Party,” and “Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.” We look at the body count and/or economic problems and/or loss of freedom of those two nationalized socialist political parties, and we say, “fuck that.” Essentially.”

    so these kinds of broad oversimplifications are to be the standard by which political discourse operates in this country? the dumbing down of the health care debate being the most recent example?

    I’d rather go back and reread Michael Harrington’s classic on socialism. Some intelligence has gotta be inserted into this debate.

  61. Glen S.
    Posted August 12, 2009 at 9:51 am | Permalink

    I don’t think that everyone who opposes health care reform is a right-wing nut, nor do I think they are necessarily “birthers,” or even outright racists.

    However, I do think that if you plotted these groups as circles on a venn diagram, there would be a tremendous amount of overlap.

  62. Meta
    Posted August 12, 2009 at 10:27 am | Permalink

    I just left this in another thread, but I believe it fits here as well.

    The Southern Poverty Law Center has released a new report on the resurgence of the militia movement. You can find it here.

    http://www.splcenter.org/news/item.jsp?aid=392

    Here’s how it begins.

    The 1990s saw the rise and fall of the virulently antigovernment “Patriot” movement, made up of paramilitary militias, tax defiers and so-called “sovereign citizens.” Sparked by a combination of anger at the federal government and the deaths of political dissenters at Ruby Ridge, Idaho, and Waco, Texas, the movement took off in the middle of the decade and continued to grow even after 168 people were left dead by the 1995 bombing of Oklahoma City’s federal building — an attack, the deadliest ever by domestic U.S. terrorists, carried out by men steeped in the rhetoric and conspiracy theories of the militias. In the years that followed, a truly remarkable number of criminal plots came out of the movement. But by early this century, the Patriots had largely faded, weakened by systematic prosecutions, aversion to growing violence, and a new, highly conservative president.

    They’re back. Almost a decade after largely disappearing from public view, right-wing militias, ideologically driven tax defiers and sovereign citizens are appearing in large numbers around the country. “Paper terrorism” — the use of property liens and citizens’ “courts” to harass enemies — is on the rise. And once-popular militia conspiracy theories are making the rounds again, this time accompanied by nativist theories about secret Mexican plans to “reconquer” the American Southwest. One law enforcement agency has found 50 new militia training groups — one of them made up of present and former police officers and soldiers. Authorities around the country are reporting a worrying uptick in Patriot activities and propaganda. “This is the most significant growth we’ve seen in 10 to 12 years,” says one. “All it’s lacking is a spark. I think it’s only a matter of time before you see threats and violence.”

  63. Brackinald Achery
    Posted August 12, 2009 at 10:28 am | Permalink

    Approving LoL at Glen.

  64. Scott K
    Posted August 12, 2009 at 10:32 am | Permalink

    Glen, you’re right you would find much overlap and that is becuase of the Right wing tactics to defeat anything proposed by the Democrats now. My opposition is purely on what I know of the business of healthcare that I have passionately chosen as my career path with the end result of care of patients. The whole birther thing is ridiculous and sad that they try that approach. I voted for McCain…many of you saw the sign on my lawn and even used it as a landmark to give directions. I wanted it to say Democrats for McCain. I voted purely on the issue of healthcare. And the market is working at controlling costs patient by patient. I get letters daily across my desk from HMO’s and other insurers advising our doctors where we can use less expensive medications with the same efficacy and what patients need preventive care based on a chronic condition in an effort to prevent more severe and expensive care later on.

  65. kjc
    Posted August 12, 2009 at 10:35 am | Permalink

    “And the market is working at controlling costs patient by patient.”

    And on that note I gotta stop distracting myself from work. I’ve heard it all.

  66. Scott K
    Posted August 12, 2009 at 10:53 am | Permalink

    kjc…and why do you think that is such an absurd statement?

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  1. […] So, with all that by the way of background, is it really any wonder that we have people like people like Mike Sola showing up at town hall meetings accusing Democratic legislators of “sentencing people to death.” Here, by the way, is the whole exchange between Sola and Congressman Dingell, and not just the edited footage shown on FOX News: […]

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