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The Republicans’ responsibility to American democracy


 

In recent days, Democrats have charged that the Republicans are behind an organized faux-grassroots movement aimed at derailing the healthcare initiatives of the Obama Administration. Some evidence, disputed by the GOP, has surfaced supporting this claim. The meetings are well-attended, but individuals are often seen shouting down supporters of healthcare reform. Some have been arrested, others have been assaulted, and there have even been cases of people showing up with firearms. The television pictures have occasionally been downright alarming, leading House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer to write a devastating Op-Ed charging that those shouting shown proponents of the Obama plan are acting in an “un-American” fashion.

Right-wing talk-show hosts have countered with charges that Democrats are stifling debate and using scare tactics to prevent any real dissent by inciting citizens to report on reform opponents. They argue further that the Obama campaign apparatus is in full force to boost turnouts at these town hall meetings and that other leftist groups are exploiting the Internet to falsely discredit the “grassroots” groups. The situation is increasingly chaotic just as the Congressional summer recess is beginning.

It is becoming more difficult to assess which side is acting responsibly as the volume rises. The Democrats deserve some blame because they have not taken control with their agenda. Some would go as far as to claim they have abandoned it altogether. People are arguing over parts of different bills which are in different stages of approval. Sound confusing? It certainly is and the opposition has effectively exploited that confusion by making specious arguments against any reform plan.

The talk of “death panels” (courtesy of Sarah Palin’s Facebook page), the charges of health rationing, the suggestions that a public servant will stand between a doctor and his or her patient, and the use of the Canadian system as the bogeyman by a pro-Republican group—all suggest that the irrational has taken over. No wonder people are screaming and attacking their Congressmen and Senators. Incomplete and false information does not serve the purpose of an enlightened democratic debate.

The Republicans have recently taken to calling Obama a “socialist,” Glen Beck calls him a “racist,” and Rush Limbaugh has compared Democracts to Nazis. Add to this the silliness coming from the “birther” movement and we are far from conducting an exercise in healthy and productive public discourse. Name calling, distortions, scare tactics, and meeting disruptions have dominated the current climate. For this, Republicans should shoulder a large part of the blame. In a democracy, an opposition party must do more than just oppose—it must propose alternatives, point to the weaknesses in the proposals of a governing party, and contribute responsibly to the dialogue necessary to advance the common interest. Unfortunately, the Republicans are stuck in ‘oppose’-mode and seem not to care about contributing to the reform of what most agree is a broken system.

Many right wing bloggers and talking heads like Beck and Limbaugh react strongly to any potential search for compromise or accommodation with the Democrats. It may be  politics to drown out the opposition, but is it good politics to drown out the opposition within their own party? Where are the caring, compassionate conservatives who believe in healthcare reform, the ones who understand that leaving 47 million people uninsured is intolerable, and who have over the years supported Medicare and Medicaid? Where are the moderate Republicans who have successfully fought for reforms to child healthcare at the state level? People like Orrin Hatch, Lindsay Graham, John McCain, Mitt Romney—all bonafide conservatives—dare say nothing out of fear of the wrath of Beck, Hannity, O’Reilly and Limbaugh. The GOP is deservedly a proud party but it is being hijacked by narrow ideologues. It is no longer viable to blame the current disarray on the aftermath of the Obama victory. Republicans lost badly in 1964 but worked to pass Medicare, Medicaid and civil rights in 1965.

American democracy has best been served through a battle between healthy, alternative points of view. The two-party system is more than two labels or two organizations. It is a collection of different points of view acting in the common and public interest. In the early years, federalists like John Adams were able to have a reasoned debate with Democratic Republican Thomas Jefferson on the nature of federalism. JFK and Nixon were able to debate cold war policy differences without sacrificing national security. Ronald Reagan was able to govern for two terms by striking deals with a liberal partisan Democrat like Speaker Tip O’Neill. But today, far-right Republicans condemn a young moderate like Megan McCain, the daughter of John McCain, and ask whether she should remain in the party.

The GOP is now primarily a southern-based, white male party—hardly a demographic that will lead it to majority support. Yes, Democrats bear some responsibility for the current context but, unlike the Republicans, they actually have something to lose. The GOP, on the other hand, appears fixated on salting the earth instead of working to produce policies that go beyond narrow ideological interests. American democracy thrives in a healthy two-party system. Right now, the Republicans are not carrying their weight and it shows.


 

The Republicans’ responsibility to American democracy

  1. There is little doubt that some talking heads have taken this to an extreme, however (and I have been to town hall meetings), most of the people who are speaking up for AND against health care reform are ordinary citizens representing their own views, fears and issues.

    It is the most American thing to do (Mrs. Pelosi) and tens of thousands have perished defending the right to assembly, press and speech. Thankfully intimidation of various groups (on both sides I might add) is not dissuading ordinary citizens from voicing their points of view on a critical topic such as health care.

    Follow the debate and many other health care delivery issues at http://www.ilovebenefits.wordpress.com

  2. "It is becoming more difficult to assess which side is acting responsibly as the volume rises."

    It is? The way I see it, Democrats are not managing their messaging effectively in the face of this chaos. Republicans are lying to people directly (Palin and Grassley on "death panels") and indirectly (Beck, Limbaugh and a bunch of behind-the-scenes lobbyists and party agents). THey're organizing fake grassroots campaigns, getting gullible people terrified with outright lies, then sending them in to shut down public debate.

    Doesn't seem difficult to assign responsibility at all. Fer chrissake, a Republican senator is telling people that they "have every right to fear". He's endorsing the "death panels" lie!

    • agreed TJ. while i agree with 95% of the column, comparing the Dems having done a poor job of messaging and some remaining debate within factions of the party (relatively peaceful debates btw) and the games that the GOP and it supporters are playing here is false equivalence.

      the other point that is missing in the column is that the degree of gullibility and how far people are willing to go acting on their ignorance is, truly, scary.

      This Krugman post is strong.

      http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/08/12/berni

  3. Funny, you liberals referred to Bush as Hitler enough. Dead silence from your trained media. Why the panic to stifle dissent? Shouting? Ever heard of Moveon.org? Their methods were BASED on disruption.

    Meghan McCain is the Joe Clark of America. Not a conservative but pretending to be one. What's this far-right nonsense? You can't get as far left as Obama and his media friends. Sorry John, we oppose liberalism/socialism, especially this radical kind in the White House today.

  4. Who was that conservative black man assaulted in St. Louis? You're mighty silent on that John. What a load of lies you're peddling here. You make it sound as if Pelosi's "un-American" comment was completely justified. Label opponents as un-American and crazy, that's the Obama strategy.

    People like you have an inherent fear of the red staters, you sit smugly sipping your lattes, tut-tutting at the "common people" who don't know any better. That's what it is, anyone who thinks outside of your liberal box is obviously misguided or deranged. And you wonder why conservatives get angry at you people.

    • "I'm a Republican, it isn't about the health care system, it's about turning the country into Russia, into a socialist country,"
      Link

      Misguided and deranged.

      • Perhaps you could elaborate. What part of the implied sentiment "I do not wish for my country to enact policies that tend more towards socialist market controls (similar in character to those enacted in the past by socialist nations, for which "Russia" synecdocheally represents the notable experiment in socialism known historically as the USSR) than the alternatives" is deranged, exactly?

        "Misguided" you can argue for. "Deranged" requires a little bit more than bad-faith misinterpretation of a fairly straightforward statement.

      • Perhaps you could elaborate. What part of the implied sentiment "Due to my philosophical beliefs about the appropriate role of government, I do not wish for my country to enact policies that tend more towards socialist market controls (similar in character to those enacted in the past by socialist nations, for which "Russia" synecdocheally represents the notable experiment in socialism known historically as the USSR) than the alternatives" is deranged, exactly?

        "Misguided" you can argue for. "Deranged" requires a little bit more than bad-faith misinterpretation of a fairly straightforward statement.

    • Conservatives are just angry , period . They do not need liberals .
      If ignorance were a commoodity , you would be rich ,JRR.

  5. "Democrats have charged that the Republicans are behind an organized faux-grassroots movement aimed at derailing the healthcare initiatives of the Obama Administration."

    I seem to remember the Dems nominating a community organizer as their nominee for the presidency last summer. I wonder what happened to him.

    "Some have been arrested, others have been assaulted, and there have even been cases of people showing up with firearms."

    Interesting that you forgot to mention that the only people arrested so far for violence are Dem bully boys from the SEIU but somehow it's conservatives who are the scary ones.

    "all suggest that the irrational has taken over."

    People are rightfully afraid that Dems want to kill their grannies, which I can understand because Ont was trying to kill my nan a few years ago until we got her away from the ghoulish docs and nurses who were keen to see her pass away. Or maybe voters are listening to Obama when he talks about saving money and how 80% of health care costs are at end of life.

    "In the early years, federalists like John Adams were able to have a reasoned debate with Democratic Republican Thomas Jefferson on the nature of federalism."

    Adams v Jefferson in 1800 is famous for being one of the most vitriolic campaigns ever.

    And what exactly is so Un-American about populist campaign against elite/congress? Seems to me that's very American indeed.

    • And the winner for the most hyperbolic statement today goes to;

      "People are rightfully afraid that Dems want to kill their grannies"

      I doubt anyone will top it, so might as well award it early.

      • Put down your latte smarty pants… plastic coffins… half a million… Georgia.

        • That is about 1/1,000,000,000 the evidence that Truthers have, and they are considered crazy.

        • Ahh latte; haven't had one of those in ages (like 4 hours). Last I had was an extra hot soy chai…. was great after my meeting discussing the best way to oppress and exploit hard-working ordinary Canadians down at the university. We are planning a gala.

          Good times. You like lattes too?

          • Double tall Cappuccino is my fix.

          • So Bush wanted to snuff us out too…

            heh,

            "extra large coffins, specially made for extra large americans… maybe this one is yours"

          • they are big enough for you and me.

      • Since Obama is now actively denying precisely that premise, I'd say it's something he must be worried is a spreading meme.

        • Denial = confirmation?

          Can't beat that logic.

          • Don't be obtuse. He's worried that the underlying worry represented by the idea is spreading, not the premise of roving granny-firing squads – the concept of (as noted right-wing death best Camille Paglia wrote yesterday) "…the electorate's unease with the prospect of shadowy, unelected government figures controlling our lives. A death panel not only has the power of life and death but is itself a symptom of a Kafkaesque brave new world where authority has become remote, arbitrary and spectral."

          • Don't be obtuse. He's worried that the underlying concern represented by the idea is spreading, not the premise of roving granny-firing squads – the concept of (as noted right-wing death best Camille Paglia wrote yesterday) "…the electorate's unease with the prospect of shadowy, unelected government figures controlling our lives. A death panel not only has the power of life and death but is itself a symptom of a Kafkaesque brave new world where authority has become remote, arbitrary and spectral."

          • Don't be obtuse. He's worried that the underlying concern represented by the idea is spreading, and is trying to punch back. It's not the premise of roving granny-firing squads, but (as noted right-wing death beast Camille Paglia wrote yesterday) "…the electorate's unease with the prospect of shadowy, unelected government figures controlling our lives. A death panel not only has the power of life and death but is itself a symptom of a Kafkaesque brave new world where authority has become remote, arbitrary and spectral."

          • Misinformation easily spreads and takes on a life of it's own when the target unintentionally breeds such contempt. The deep-seeded hatred of Obama has more magical power than his critics sarcastic assign him.

            When dealing with people who think health reform is actually designed to create death panels, remove services and a 'brave new world,' I feel anything more than an obtuse reaction would be granting false credence to such silliness.

            I'm not willing to jump off such bridges just because a collection of village idiots think it is a good idea. You may find it smug, but I cannot perform the intellectual disconnect required to believe that health reform is a conspiracy involving hundreds of thousands of politicians (on both sides), civil servants (of every level of government), corporate employees, health care administrators, etc, etc. with the desire to create a new world order.

          • "who think health reform is actually designed to create death panels"

            It seems to me that If Dems don't want people to think they are forming death panels, maybe they they should not have included Section 1233 in their bill.

          • And what does Fed law say about not doing everything possible to save someone's life?

            avr has it about right. If Dems hope to save money, which they do, that means meds and services have to be reduced. But Americans are supposed to believe that won't affect treatments in any way. Pull the other one, Nich.

          • I don't know what federal law says about not doing everything possible to save someone's life. This discuss had, up until you mentioned it above, absolutely nothing to do with such provisions.

            Section 1233 is for end-of-life counseling and is 100 % optional. It would take a conspiracy of millions of doctors along with the hundreds of thousands of politicians (on both sides), civil servants (of every level of government), corporate employees, health care administrators, etc, to read 'death panels' between the lines.

          • I don't know what federal law says about not doing everything possible to save someone's life. This discuss had, up until you mentioned it above, absolutely nothing to do with such provisions.

            Section 1233 is for end-of-life counseling and is 100 % optional. It would take a conspiracy of millions of doctors along with the hundreds of thousands of politicians (on both sides), civil servants (of every level of government), corporate employees, health care administrators, etc, to realize 'death panels' from that section.

          • Yes, clearly this is the Democrats' fault for including a policy proposal that could be twisted into a ridiculous lie and used by Republicans to terrify gullible people.

            Personally, I think the fact that people are terrified of death panels (that nobody is proposing) is the fault of the Republicans who are lying to them. But that's just me – I'm funny that way when it comes to personal responsibility.

          • Yes, I think you're still being obtuse.

            What conspiracy? The problem is a hypothetical bureaucracy that, faced with certain goals (reduce costs, stop "wasteful" end-of-life spending) is able to convene, determine that for public policy reasons, patient X is no longer worth the expense of certain treatments, and point to the mission statement as a way of depersonalizing the decision; it's not like they personally caused the chain of events leading to X's death, but just Applied the Rules in a way that unfortunately causes X's family to be unhappy. No conspiracy is necessary, only the habitual rules-obsessed, CYA-enamoured behaviour of governmental bureaucracies everywhere.

          • Yes, I think you're still being obtuse.

            What conspiracy? The problem is a hypothetical bureaucracy that, faced with certain goals (reduce costs, stop "wasteful" end-of-life spending) is able to convene, determine that for public policy reasons, patient X is no longer worth the expense of certain treatments, and point to the mission statement as a way of depersonalizing the decision; it's not like they personally caused the chain of events leading to X's death, but just Applied the Rules in a way that unfortunately causes X's family to be unhappy – and in a context where it might not be possible to spend out-of-pocket to go around that rationing decision. No conspiracy is necessary, only the habitual rules-obsessed, CYA-enamoured behaviour of bureaucracies everywhere.

          • Yes, I think you're still being obtuse.

            What conspiracy? The problem is a hypothetical bureaucracy that, faced with certain goals (reduce costs, stop "wasteful" end-of-life spending, apportion care to establish universal basic coverage with limited resources) is able to convene, determine that for public policy reasons, patient X is no longer worth the expense of certain treatments, and point to the mission statement as a way of depersonalizing the decision; it's not like they personally caused the chain of events leading to X's death, but just Applied the Rules in a way that unfortunately causes X's family to be unhappy – and in a context where it might not be possible to spend out-of-pocket to go around that rationing decision. No conspiracy is necessary, only the habitual rules-obsessed, CYA-enamoured behaviour of bureaucracies everywhere.

          • "in a context where it might not be possible to spend out-of-pocket to go around that rationing decision."

            Where in this proposal does it say that you MUST opt in, and cannot go around the rationing process?

            I think that you are the one being obtuse.

            Is there no bureaucracy in health insurance companies?

            I believe more private insurance should be allowed in Canada BTW, so I am not a pollyanna about our system.

    • Interesting that you forgot to mention that the only people arrested so far for violence are Dem bully boys from the SEIU but somehow it's conservatives who are the scary ones.

      Note also that "showing up with firearms" – in a country with a constitutional right to possess them, and in state jurisdictions where carrying one in public is either unrestricted or allowed by permit – isn't nearly as scary as such fearmongering would suggest. Use of actual physical violence by union goons is far more problematic than peaceful citizens exercising a perceptually "scary" constitutional right, no?

      • I was wondering about the firearms thing but I don't know what Parisella has in mind.

        • That would be the problem with free-form synthesis of the media Common Wisdom in Parisella's typical form: unless you've been following along elsewhere, bizarre assertions just appear in a vacuum, without explanatory context, retaining only the consensus essence of what frightens journalists.

        • That would be the problem with free-form synthesis of the media Common Wisdom in Parisella's typical form: unless you've been following along elsewhere, bizarre assertions just appear in a vacuum without explanatory context, retaining only the consensus essence of what frightens journalists.

          • Thank you. I agree it is outrageous that people are following the law.

          • Thank you. I agree it is outrageous that people are following the law.

            However latte liberals getting bees in their bonnets does not surprise me because all libs/progs care about are how it makes them feel, facts/laws be damned.

          • jwl above: "People are rightfully afraid that Dems want to kill their grannies…"

            Facts/laws be damned indeed.

          • That guy with the gun at the church was also holding a sign talking about "watering the tree of liberty".

            It's from a Jefferson quote, talking about the tree of liberty needing to be watered with the blood of patriots and tyrants.

            What does is he trying to say about health care?

            That a-hole can prance aroud all he wants like that but he will now (hopefully) have the FBI watching him very closely, as they should, threatening the president (even if you don't like him) is serious buisness.

      • That guy with the gun at the church was also holding a sign saying "Its time to water the tree of liberty".

        Is threating the president with death – "watering the tree of liberty with the blood of tyrants" (to paraphrase Jefferson) – protected by the 2nd amendment?

        This guy is a loon and should have his handgun permit revoked, followed by intermittant observation by the FBI for as long as Obama is POTUS.

        Imagine if a muslim tried that kind of BS at some anti-Bush rally. What would've happened to him?
        The same thing should happen to this piece o' crap.

    • "Interesting that you forgot to mention that the only people arrested so far for violence are Dem bully boys from the SEIU…"

      Can you back up this assertion?

  6. Interesting that you forgot to mention that the only people arrested so far for violence are Dem bully boys from the SEIU but somehow it's conservatives who are the scary ones.

    Note also that "showing up with firearms" – in a country with a constitutional right to possess them, and in state jurisdictions where carrying one in public is either unrestricted or allowed by permit – isn't nearly as scary as such fearmongering would suggest. Use of actual physical violence by union goons is far more problematic than peaceful citizens exercising a perceptually "scary" constitutional right, no?

  7. Fair enough avr. Misguided.

    Deranged.

    • Misguided doesn't seem strong enough though, even if deranged is not medically accurate. Deceitful and misguided, maybe.

    • Ah, but now we're far off the topic of health care reform or the governing tendencies of Democrats generally; fail. We could trade examples of random lunatics on the other side all day – it does feel good to be able to vomit up evidence that so clearly shows your enemies are all insane or evil, doesn't it? – but that has very little relevance to the issue at hand, which is that political disagreement in itself is neither prima facie misguided or deranged.

    • Ah, but now we're far off the topic of health care reform or the governing tendencies of Democrats generally; fail. We could trade examples of random lunatics on the other side all day – it does feel good to be able to vomit up evidence that so clearly seems to show your enemies are all insane or evil, doesn't it? – but that has very little relevance to the issue at hand, which is that political disagreement in itself is neither prima facie misguided or deranged.

      • "Ah, but now we're far off the topic of health care reform"

        Who on this thread is actually talking about the need for American health care reform? (Do you live in America? )

        Interesting facts,

        "Each year, more than 70,000 young adults in their 20s and 30s are diagnosed with cancer…"
        – cancer.net

        and according to commonwealth fund…

        "Young adults, ages 19 to 29, are one of the largest segments of the U.S. population without health insurance: 13.7 million lacked coverage in 2006."

        And as most people know early detection is the best way to fight cancer. You can see how being uninsured would be a problem.

        but yes, i do like having a little fun with these birthers (and now deathers?).

  8. A very interesting question is being posed here. Does a political party of a country have a repsonsiblity to the country over that of it's members? … hmmm … I would propose NO – the only responsibility a political party has is that which it's members dictate. A poltical party is only a group of people who come together to and agree to cooperate for a common goal and that goal is power to either manage or influence a political system.

    • I think the better question is why do Democrats think it's up to Republicans to sell their policies? The Democrats have a clear majority in both Houses and occupy the Oval Office yet somehow it's those dastardly Republicans that keep getting in the way.

      Also, to answer your question, the question is basically yes since elected officials should represent their constiuents before their party. However, it's totally an open debate as to what is in the interest of the country.

      • I do find something humorous though in watching this process for years now … How the same talkng points are used by all the parties at the same time – I seem to remember awhile back that everything the Dem's are now saying as being said by the Repub's and vice versa – I wonder if there is a master template somehwere where you can just do a search and replace – Democrat -> Republican -> Democrat that way you save a fortune on the cost of recycled paper.

  9. The GOP is now primarily a southern-based, white male party—hardly a demographic that will lead it to majority support…[they appear] fixated on salting the earth instead of working to produce policies that go beyond narrow ideological interests. American democracy thrives in a healthy two-party system. Right now, the Republicans are not carrying their weight and it shows.

    Yes, yes, they're totally irrelevant, hateful, ignorant, clearly a twitching corpse, etc. Just keep reassuring yourself with that line of thinking as 2010 gets closer. It's not like the centre is getting more sympathetic to protestors' sentiments or Obama's approval rating keeps hitting new lows every other day, right?

    As for the "devastating" nature of Pelosi and Hoyer's editorial, I suspect it's done more to discredit the congressional leadership than anything else lately. Hysterically squealing that your opponents are unpatriotic? Yeah, that's gone over well in the past.

    (Note that I'm not saying anything is guaranteed – just that as ever, it remains foolish to muse about how your side of the political spectrum has obviously attained permanent victory forever, and the opposition is clearly stupid, evil and dying. The wheel of public opinion keeps turning, and will continue to do so, despite periodic imaginings that the 'new status quo' is immune to becoming the new 'old status quo.')

    • "Hysterically squealing that your opponents are unpatriotic?"

      As you know, the editorial actually said "Drowning out opposing views is simply un-American." It didn't call healthcare opponents unpatriotic, nor did it attack any specific person. It called out the tactic.

      But you know this, and yet you continue to parrot a lie. Not unlike the Republicans who continue to parrot lies about "death panels", taking doctors away from old people etc.

      • It called out the tactic.

        The implication was obvious; which is a bit rich, considering which side is actually attempting to drown out their opponents. I'll give you a hint: it's probably the one currently possessing all the megaphones connected to controlling the levers of power.

        But you know this, and yet you continue to parrot a lie.

        I parrot no lies. Pelosi and Hoyer are by clear implication attacking average citizens who are (angrily and theatrically) participating in public discourse, attempting to define down what has long been acceptable behaviour into being essentially illegitimate and "un-American." If memory serves, identically loud, angry and theatrical mass protesting was considered by the left to be downright heroic during the Bush administration. What changed, exactly?

      • It called out the tactic.

        The implication was obvious; which is a bit rich, considering which side is actually attempting to drown out their opponents. I'll give you a hint: it's probably the one currently possessing all the megaphones connected to controlling the levers of power.

        But you know this, and yet you continue to parrot a lie.

        I parrot no lies. Pelosi and Hoyer are by clear implication attacking average citizens who are (angrily and theatrically) participating in public discourse, attempting to define down what has long been acceptable behaviour into being essentially illegitimate and "un-American." (Unpatriotic, un-American; same difference, in context.)

        If memory serves, identically loud, angry and theatrical mass protesting was considered by the left to be downright heroic during the Bush administration. What changed, exactly?

        • "considering which side is actually attempting to drown out their opponents."

          I take it to mean you believe the Democrats are trying to drown out your opponents. Perhaps you could provide evidence?

          I think the Republicans, having no winning outcome, are trying to drown out their opponents. As evidence, I can point to the near-riots at Town Hall events, driven by rightwing groups like FreedomWorks, whose instructions to their suckers include:

          "- Artificially Inflate Your Numbers: “Spread out in the hall and try to be in the front half. The objective is to put the Rep on the defensive with your questions and follow-up. The Rep should be made to feel that a majority, and if not, a significant portion of at least the audience, opposes the socialist agenda of Washington.”

          – Be Disruptive Early And Often: “You need to rock-the-boat early in the Rep's presentation, Watch for an opportunity to yell out and challenge the Rep's statements early.”

          – Try To “Rattle Him,” Not Have An Intelligent Debate: “The goal is to rattle him, get him off his prepared script and agenda. If he says something outrageous, stand up and shout out and sit right back down. Look for these opportunities before he even takes questions.”

          I refer you to ample video evidence of mobs of people shouting rightwing lies and shutting down debates. Which is the *tactic* that Pelosi decries in her editorial.

          Perhaps you can show me where Democrats are doing anything like this in order to "drown out" their opponents.

          • "shouting rightwing lies"

            Congratulations; you've just proved I don't need to bother rebutting anything you say.

          • "shouting rightwing lies"

            Congratulations; you've just proved I don't need to bother rebutting anything you say from here on out.

          • Finally, one of you wankers has the integrity to concede rather than continue to defend a truly absurd argument.

          • shouting rightwing lies

            Congratulations; you've just proved I don't need to bother rebutting anything you say from here on out.

        • Also: "If memory serves, identically loud, angry and theatrical mass protesting was considered by the left to be downright heroic during the Bush administration. What changed, exactly?"

          Your memory doesn't serve. If you do some actual research, you'll find that Republican events during the Bush admin were normally restricted to local Republican supporters. The few protesters who managed to sneak in to hear their elected officials speak were swiftly ejected.

          But nice try.

    • Can you recall any lefties bringing guns to town hall events and/or protests?

  10. Republicans are scare mongers . THERE ARE NO DEATH PANELS . But it does not matter to them .
    As for their base of support , John , you could add racist .

  11. Latest crazy talk from Glen Beck

    Health care reform will lead to eugenics (and possibly swastikas flying over the white house)

    Becks insanity reachs new highs all the time. (which is unfortunately is part of his plan to get people to pay attention to him)

  12. The Dems are on the defensive because the whole world knows the majority (or the loudest) members of the GOP are against public healthcare. I wish they were more organized but it's a bit off putting with the GOP RIGHT there looking for every flaw. Makes ones a bit self conscious. The GOP are not interested in discussion. I am fairly certain that many of them don't even know WHY they oppose public healthcare, they just do. This is an instance where Obama has to rise above the GOP and work for the 47m Americans who are desperate for public healthcare (whether they know it or not). He needs to do what is best for THEM. I am certain that once those 47m Americans realize that waiting a few hours for treatment is better than paying $10K for it, they will be "converts". It is in the best interest of Americans and Obama knows that and he must be the parent and force it. Of course there will always be dissenters, just like there are in Canada. But those dissenters still have no problem using the system, so really, it can't be that bad, can it? (Canadian dissenters COULD go to the US for treatment if they REALLY hated ours). Nothing ever makes everybody happy, such is life.

  13. The Dems are on the defensive ?? Damn right and they should be . I would yell , scream and disrupt any town hall if a reform brought in a Death panel as Sarah Palin put it . This reform will be stopped because America still possesses the best healthcare in the world . Canadians flocking over the border is evidence of that .
    So TJ can be an Obama and parisella clone all he wants . We conservatives and Republicans are RIGHT on this one . Senator Grassley is our guarantee on this .
    we are the real democrats in this debate .

  14. "I would yell , scream and disrupt any town hall if a reform brought in a Death panel as Sarah Palin put it ."

    And I would be right there beside you yelling and screaming too, if that were the case. Fortunately nobody has proposed anything like the "death panel" that Palin and Grassley talked about.

    These people are lying to you.

  15. Mr.Parisella__As a political commentator you strive to be as neutral as possible but as a canadian it is almost impossible not to spin your comments, when addressing US political issues, in favor of democrats or left of center ideology.My wife and i had graphic proof of that yesterday when we saw you getting in your car on which there where no less than three Obama stickers attached to the rear and front bumpers.Is this excessive behavior a result of eight years of republican control or of great belief in the hopy-changy following.__P.S.__If it was not your car or if you are also an american citizen than i kind of understand.__Rodstang

  16. really, the republicans can do no more to save america than the democrats can. there is a growing number of americans who identify with neither party. the democrats and the republicans are both thoroughly corrupted. both parties deserve the confusion and consequences of failed policies in america for more than 100 years.

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