Saturday, August 15, 2009

Astroturfing Healthcare from the White House and Congress

"It's Getting Ugly Out There:
  • A town hall in Tampa FL erupted with fist fights and shoving matches
  • A Texas Democrat was shouted down by right-wing hecklers, many of whom admitted they didn't even live in his district.
  • In Maryland, protesters hanged a Democratic congressman in effigy
"Your Donation Will Help Pay For:
  • The skilled grassroots organizers who work with tens of thousands of volunteer leaders in communities across America
  • Cutting edge technology to turn out thousands of MoveOn members to congressional town halls
  • Hard-hitting ads to make sure our message for real change comes through loud and clear."
The above is from a web-based ad for "Real Voices for Change" campaign. This campaign seeks to astroturf "popular support" for government health care and cap and trade. Given the close connection between the White House, Congressional Leadership, and Moveon, I think it would be fair to say that turning out crowds of people at Barack Obama's Town Hall meetings (where he campaigns for his national health care program) has become more important than building consensus among citizens.

The movement to national health care is not selling well, nationwide. It is clear that many if not most most Americans have no interest in putting their future well-being in the hands of government panels and regulation writers. People do not want their lives ruled from Washington, and Washington simply can't get the message.

According to Nancy Pelosi and Steny Hoyer, "[I]t is now evident that an ugly campaign is underway not merely to misrepresent the health insurance reform legislation, but to disrupt public meetings and prevent members of Congress and constituents from conducting a civil dialogue." And how does Peolosi know those who are showing up are members of a campaign? Because the speakers failed to show up in jeans and a T shirt. This is surely the first time in American history that the right to speak out has confused dressing properly with a PR campaign. Pelsoi assumes that her health care proposals are precisely what the American people want due to the time spent on them by Congress, saying, "We are confident that our principles of affordable, quality health care will stand up to any and all critics." While that may be the case, the American people are not yet convinced.

Sending groups of trained organizers (most of whom who do seem to wear matching T shirts) to intimidate citizens exercising their First Amendment rights at town meetings instead of providing specifics is not only foolhardy, it is downright un-American and wrong.

The deaf ears of Washington are joined by the voices of the left who are bound together in a hate-fest of name calling of the worst order. According to one leftist, there are on only five reasons why an American would oppose the Obama health care plan: Greed, Republican party loyalty, Stupidity, Being a follower, and Wonkiness.


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