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House Democrat Leadership - Healthcare protesters "simply un-American"

From a USA Today op-ed jointly authored by Nancy Pelosi and Steny Hoyer:

Already, three House committees have passed this critical legislation and over August, the two of us will work closely with those three committees to produce one strong piece of legislation that the House will approve in September.

In the meantime, as members of Congress spend time at home during August, they are talking with their constituents about reform. The dialogue between elected representatives and constituents is at the heart of our democracy and plays an integral role in assuring that the legislation we write reflects the genuine needs and concerns of the people we represent.

However, it 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. These tactics have included hanging in effigy one Democratic member of Congress in Maryland and protesters holding a sign displaying a tombstone with the name of another congressman in Texas, where protesters also shouted "Just say no!" drowning out those who wanted to hold a substantive discussion.

These disruptions are occurring because opponents are afraid not just of differing views -- but of the facts themselves. Drowning out opposing views is simply un-American. Drowning out the facts is how we failed at this task for decades.

Health care is complex. It touches every American life. It drives our economy. People must be allowed to learn the facts.

pelosi_stretch.jpg

That's absolutely right, and it's also why millions of average Americans are extremely upset right now. Pelosi and Hoyer conveniently omitted the fact that they tried to railroad this bill through committee and onto the House floor for a vote before anyone -- including the CBO -- had read the bill or could even explain what was in it. The arrogance and elitism of the House Democratic leadership (epitomized by its recent $550 million luxury jet buying spree) is stunning. As HughS recently pointed out, Congress and the White House haven't been this out of touch with mainstream America since the late 1970's.

The Democrats' current attempt to stifle debate and push critics onto the sidelines goes way beyond Ronald Reagan's much-derided "put up or shut up" challenge to his detractors 25 years ago. President Obama himself has explained how his health care reforms are to be "debated": I don't want the folks who created the mess to do a lot of talking. I want them just to get out of the way so we can clean up the mess.

I'm not going to defend all of the shouting-down that has occurred at town hall meetings, because obviously some of it was out of line. But it doesn't take a rocket scientist or Harvard PhD. to figure out that ordinary Americans, especially senior citizens, are angry because they believe they have been sold a bill of goods by Congress. Pelosi, Hoyer, Obama, etc. should have figured out by now that their tired "nothing will change" and "you'll have more choices than ever before" talking points simply don't work any more, because we have President Obama, prominent Democrat lawmakers, and chief health care policymakers all on the record supporting single-payer nationalized health care, and explaining that ObamaCare is simply a first step toward the eventual destruction of private health insurance. Those are facts Madame Speaker.

But instead of making an effort to intelligently explain what is actually in the bill, or what their ultimate goals for health care really are, the Democrats have instead resorted to compiling enemies lists, threatening dissenters both verbally and physically, and sending union thugs to pack town hall meetings and keep disgruntled constituents out.

Obviously none of these ham-fisted power tactics are going to satisfy voters, or make them feel confident about their government. Nor will they scare Americans away from directly confronting and challenging their elected officials. The President and members of Congress serve the American people, not the other way around. If they can't figure out this simple fact, then they need to be sent packing.

(PS - the inspiration for my illustration can be viewed here.)


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Comments (34)

Congress and the White H... (Below threshold)
hyperbolist:

Congress and the White House haven't been this out of touch with mainstream America since the late 1970's.

Granting that conservative and moderate opponents of public healthcare are 'mainstream', would you deny that the sizable portion of the country that supports a public option are also 'mainstream'?

Fifteen years ago, Newt Gingrich had some success demonizing his liberal opponents as somehow less patriotic, less normal, than conservatives. Whether using this sort of rhetoric in 2009 is a good idea is yet to be seen, but the political landscape isn't what it was in 1994. Healthcare costs are a far greater burden for the 'average', 'normal', 'mainstream' American and insurance industry-sponsored faux populism will surely ring hollow with a great many 'ordinary' people.

That said, Nancy Pelosi should take some time and read the f*cking bill. It's not every term that an administration has a real shot at such massive reform, so they should get it right.

My God - Doesn't Ms. Pissol... (Below threshold)
Madalyn:

My God - Doesn't Ms. Pissoli realize she works for US? We don't work for her or her narrow-minded boss. Here I go again....can't help myself when I feel we are being sh*t on. First thing is if there is going to be a new health care system, EVERYBODY should be on it. Not just us peons. What's good enough for us bosses should be good enough for the employees. Remember what I said earlier? We employee these disgusting excuses for humans. What we are getting is not what we were promised when they were running. Remember the old joke about "How can you tell if a politician is lying"? "His lips are moving". I saw a lot of Obamas lips smacking up and down, and by golly, he was lying. What a concept.

Obama was lying? Please ela... (Below threshold)
hyperbolist:

Obama was lying? Please elaborate, and be specific.

hyperbolist - "...insurance... (Below threshold)

hyperbolist - "...insurance industry-sponsored faux populism..."

Please elaborate, and be specific.

I figured the image was ins... (Below threshold)
Jeff Blogworthy:

I figured the image was inspired by the movie "Brain Dead". Just as apt.

Obama was lying? Please ... (Below threshold)
Jeff Blogworthy:

Obama was lying? Please elaborate, and be specific.

Obama Administration: Home of the Whopper

Hyper: How about "Selma go... (Below threshold)
SCSIwuzzy:

Hyper: How about "Selma got me born"?
in 04, before sworn in as Senator: Said he wasn't going to run for President in 08?
Without me there would be no ethics bill?
I don't have lobbyists?
I happen to be a proponent of single-payer universal healthcare coverage. That's what I'd like to see. -OR- I never said that we should try to go ahead and get single-payer?
I will serve out my full six-year term?
In case you missed it, this week, there was a tragedy in Kansas. Ten thousand people died -- an entire town destroyed?
While our fuel standards haven't moved from 27.5 miles per gallon in two decades, both China and Japan have surpassed us, with Japanese cars now getting an average of 45 miles to the gallon?
I'll only use public funding in the presidential election?
I never heard Rev Wright say anything racist?

hyperbolist - Regarding a "... (Below threshold)

hyperbolist - Regarding a "public option," I have always believed that there is a good market for a public health insurance plan, namely self-employed individuals or workers without employer-provided group coverage, who are not in perfect health and have difficulty either obtaining individual health insurance from private companies, or paying the expensive premiums quoted by major private health insurers due to pre-existing health problems.

If the government offered a public group insurance plan that would cover these individuals with reasonably-priced premiums and benefits similar to those offered to members of private group health insurance plans, then I would probably support such a plan. Of course such a reform would also have to leave private insurance companies the hell alone in order to win my support.

Between state and federal MediCare and MedicAid, private insurance, and a public group insurance plan, affordable health coverage would be available to everyone. Health care should never be "free", and the government should never force people to buy health insurance. We should always have the freedom to say 'no.'

HOWEVER - this is NOT what ObamaCare is designed to accomplish. ObamaCare will completely break down and rebuild the entire American health care delivery system and, if we are to believe the policy wonks who have written the bills, it will eventually destroy private insurance and place the entire health system under the control of a giant government bureaucracy that will be the sole entity regulating and paying for medical treatment. There will be no options, because the Federal government will be the sole health care decision maker.

It's easy to find people who want "affordable health care" (just like it's easy to find people who want "clean air and water" or "better education for their children", or any other meaningless, feel-good catch phrase) but very few Americans want to turn over the entire medical decision making process to government bureaucrats, even if it meant "free" medical care. Ask an 'average' Cuban about the quality of their 'free' government health care.

...simply un-American...... (Below threshold)

...simply un-American...

Wow. I'm actually stunned that they had the temerity to put that into words.

A chill wind is blowing in ... (Below threshold)
Eric:

A chill wind is blowing in this nation. A message is being sent through the White House and its allies in the media and MSNBC and Hollywood. If you oppose this administration, there can and will be ramifications.

Every day, the air waves are filled with warnings, veiled and unveiled threats, spewed invective and hatred directed at any voice of dissent. And the public, like so many relatives and friends that I saw this weekend, sit in mute opposition and fear.

Tim Robbins (2009?)

I hope Hoyer and Pelosi did... (Below threshold)
Dennis D:

I hope Hoyer and Pelosi didn't get the idea to publish such a dumb OP ED from a savvy political expert because its political suicide.

Speaker it is Time to S... (Below threshold)
hcddbz:

Speaker it is Time to Speak Truth to Power

I'm sick and tired of people who say that if you debate and disagree with this administration, somehow you're not patriotic. We need to stand up and say we're Americans, and we have the right to debate and disagree with any administration.

You got to love DEM
The party of projection.

"Nancy Pelosi should take s... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

"Nancy Pelosi should take some time and read the f*cking bill. It's not every term that an administration has a real shot at such massive reform, so they should get it right."

LMAOROTF! Read it? Why? Her people wrote it!
You think she gives a shit about a piece of legislation that does not affect her one bit? All Nancy wants is CONTROL!

To Hyperbolist - Obama lie?... (Below threshold)
Madalyn:

To Hyperbolist - Obama lie? What a concept. How about No tax increases for anyone making less than 250K a year. He would not tax health care benefts and called out John McCain for saying he would. Now he wants to tax health care benefits. Another thing is his stance on Single Payer Health Care.........He just lies on top of lies on top of lies. Hope you aren't so stupid you believe any of it. I don't. Now, is this specific enough for you. AND don't you dare say this isn't true. I heard it and so did millions of others.

SCSI, I'm not surprised tha... (Below threshold)
hyperbolist:

SCSI, I'm not surprised that you were able to produce some examples, but I wasn't talking to you. I was talking to a hyperventilating crazy person who thinks that the government is going to start harvesting conservatives' organs or something like that.

Michael: you're interested to find out which organizations are paying people to disrupt town hall events and piss on democracy:

http://thinkprogress.org/2009/04/09/lobbyists-planning-teaparties/

I know, ThinkProgress--yuck! progressive websites have cooties!--but you asked, and there is a specific example.

Here is a more sinister example, at 6:30 in this video:

http://crooksandliars.com/john-amato/when-liberals-protest-its-facism-when-c

A Republican lobbying firm has admitted to forging letters on behalf of minority interests groups to ask their Democratic congressman to oppose Cap & Trade legislation.

"Orchestrated mob mentality intimidation." Seems about right. And no, the SEIU doing it is not okay either, but don't act like it's righteous American citizens pitted against the Marxist union hordes because that isn't what's happening in your country. It's just corporate America vs. organized labour, which is certainly nothing new.

hyper - Re: the Tea Parties... (Below threshold)

hyper - Re: the Tea Parties being controlled by "organizations," that's a pretty old link (April 9, 2009). It also says nothing about the current town hall meetings.

Here in Oklahoma City, Americans for Prosperity and the Ron Paul brigade showed up for our first Tea Party in February. After it became apparent that some organizations were trying to influence the agenda of the Tea Party protests, our OKC Tea Party leadership banned any organized PAC participation and turned down all offers by politicians to speak at the April 15 rally. We had about 300 people in February. But on April 15, with no PAC influence, or participation from politicians of either party, we had 3000 to 5000 in attendance. What does that tell you?

There is still zero evidence of vast "big money" influence over the citizens who show up at town hall meetings angered about the government take-over of health care. If every major town hall assembly is being infiltrated by senior citizens and others who have been coached in disruptive tactics and paid to attend the meetings, then evidence should be plentiful.

So far, liberals have failed to produce a single witness who can testify that he and many of the other attendees were paid to disrupt the meeting. If such a witness is ever found, and their story is proven to be truthful, then I'm sure it will be headline news in every major newspaper and on every cable news channel.

Madalyn: here's the thing. ... (Below threshold)
hyperbolist:

Madalyn: here's the thing. A liberal Democrat won an election and now he's your President. That might make you very unhappy, but that's democracy.

At least when Obama is being dishonest, he isn't doing so in order to persuade people that it's a good idea to invade and occupy a foreign country. Healthcare reform, if done properly, will provide a government-run option. When you look at other countries that have public healthcare, it's pretty safe to assume that making this option available will improve your system in terms of making it more efficient (cheaper!) and with better outcomes (longer life expectancy on average). Rich people will still be allowed to buy premium care, but good care will be available for any citizen whether or not they have any money. Hallelujah, and welcome to the 21st century.

By the way, which taxes have been raised on those earning

By the way, Michael, why would I ask a Cuban about their quality of care? They're a 2nd world dictatorship. Of course their healthcare system is terrible! Why don't you ask a Japanese person, a Swede, or a Frenchman what it's like to have a truly advanced, universal health care system?

Hyperbolist:I am s... (Below threshold)
Patrick:

Hyperbolist:

I am still waiting for the evidence that Bush knew in advance that we would not find the WMDs everybody in the world thought Saddam Hussein had. That whopping allegation has never been proven - that was just one of a series of lies that the liberal left cooked up for pure political reasons and the net result was they stirred up a hornet's nest over there because that kind of brainless opposition gave the insurgency hope that such political dissent might force us to pull the plug on the whole thing. This politically motivated opposition I am safe in saying led to the needless deaths of thousands of American soldiers. The lies people like you told and retold were what killed the majority of the members of our military in that conflict. The bulk of the casualties occurred after the liberals geared up their anti-Bush/Cheney smear machine. I am sure that makes you very proud - winning elections in 2006 and 2008 I am sure was well worth the price of all that blood. I doubt you will ever acknowledge that reality because personal responsibility is not a concept liberals are fond of or are remotely familiar with. For them, their good intentions should always be enough to excuse all the negative consequences that result from all their blatant dishonesty and slander.

As for Obama, we have loads of evidence that he is a pathological liar and he practically uncorks a new one every day of the week. Conservatives don't have to come up with a bunch of lies and forged documents like Dan Rather and CBS did about Bush's National Guard service - Obama and the Democrats hand us fresh evidence that they cannot be trusted on a regular basis. Obama and Democrats such as Kathleen Sebelius and Barney Frank support a single payer system and have admitted on camera that the system they propose will eventually lead to that reality. So when they say that you can keep your health plan and your doctor they are lying to you. Eventually, private health insurance will be unsustainable and the vast majority of Americans will be forced onto the public option - the same care lawmakers refuse to accept for themselves. Because private insurance companies will not be allowed to enroll new patients it will force their costs to go up and once that happens employers will drop their health insurance plans for their employees and more and more will be forced to accept ObamaCare. It will also make health care more expensive for those who cannot deal with the realities of crappy universal health care and want additional coverage so they can actually make an appointment to see a doctor in less than two months. You can offer all the platitudes you want about how the poor will get health care insurance but if it screws up the quality of care most Americans already receive you can see why people are getting angry. There is a better way to cover those who don't have insurance without screwing it up for the rest of us. I and millions of other Americans are not as gullible as you in thinking that we will at least be as well off as we were before. And I don't appreciate being called un-American just because I won't just shut up and blindly support their stupidity.

Your bias towards universal health care belies the facts as they are known about how these systems actually work in reality. I notice you avoid the British and Canadian examples in favor of other systems which Americans are less familiar. I am not sure the French example is the best one to cite in any case. I seem to recall a heat wave in France about six years ago that claimed the lives of nearly 15,000 (!) people due in no small part to the fact that government ministers and physicians were on holiday! You liberals likes to fret about the number of lives lost during Hurricane Katrina yet even a disaster of that scale did not even approach casualty figures as bad as that in France when the weather merely got hot and that was despite the stupidity of tens of thousands of New Orleans residents who refused to evacuate an area that was below sea level. Fewer lives would have been lost and the suffering would have been far less if so much time had not been spent plucking people off rooftops by rescue crews in helicopters. The smearing of the Bush Administration here was yet another successful example of the left's dishonest propaganda tactics. Far more blame was due for state and local officials yet it was somehow all Bush's fault.

I would not be so displeased with Obama as my president if he would actually represent people like me once in awhile. He is the most divisive president we have ever had and it is not even close. He goes out of his way to try to demonize and discredit those who disagree with him to the extent that he will call people out by name. That is not presidential in any way, shape or form. He refuses to defend this nation when he travels abroad - he more often than not trashes the country he now is the leader of and I find that kind of behavior disgusting and unseemly. I think he does it because he wants to put himself ahead of his country so that he appears to be at a higher moral level while the United States as a nation lies somewhere underneath him. But a President of the United States owns his nation's history and it is his duty to defend that history because more often than not this country has been a force for the good and it would be nice to hear it from him once in awhile instead of hearing so often how bad we are and how bad his predecessor was. It is very low class in my view. I also think that his support of the war in Afghanistan is another one of his lies - one told by many Democrats merely to prove they will support at least one of the wars we are engaged in since they completely trashed our efforts in Iraq. They said this is the war we must win but if things get tough and casualties begin to mount does anybody truly believe they will have the stomach and the courage to see us through to victory? I don't - and that is why Obama refuses to use the term victory because even he knows he is not one who could ever lead us there. He does not care about the war on terror which is why he does not call it that anymore. It is just another one of those distractions he hates having to deal with. But he seems to relish the idea of going to war with regular Americans who have the audacity to disagree with him and I find that deeply disturbing and if you were honest with yourself you would admit to being troubled by that reality as well.


"Those are facts Madame Spe... (Below threshold)
retired military:

"Those are facts Madame Speaker"

What the author fails to note are these facts.

a. Pelosi will get reelected since she is in a safe district.

b. Obama will probably get relected thanks to ACORN and the amount of people he is paying off and the MSM spin machine.

c. If the dems lose big in 2010 they have enough time between the elections and the swearing in of the new congress to push through 2 more supreme court justice positions to pack the court.

d. It is all about the AGENDA for Obama and company, not what the American people want, need or care about. THey have demonstrated repeatedly it is about their agenda. Nothing else matters and everything else is to be sacrificed for that purpose. THey know in the end that if EVERYTHING GOES WRONG they will be affected very little by it and if everything goes their way then they will be set up as little tin gods. A win win for them.


It's all about the AGENDA..... (Below threshold)
Still An Unrepentant Democrat:

It's all about the AGENDA....." Yes it is. The one he was elected on. Nitwit.

Simply being elected into o... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

Simply being elected into office doesn't mean everything the Prez wants gets enacted. Obama's finding out details do matter - and what sounds good in a campaign isn't acceptable in the real world.

How about a few:I'... (Below threshold)
epador:

How about a few:

I'M UNAMERICAN*

*according to Democrats

T-Shirts?

To Hyper - WMD's not in Ira... (Below threshold)
Madalyn:

To Hyper - WMD's not in Iraq? Are you out of your mind? Do you remember all those big trucks lined up at the Syrian border for miles on end? Remember even the MSM stating in their broadcasts "They are moving all the WMDs out of Iraq". All the stations were carrying it. Now, when Bush goes into Iraq, the MSM is going crazy about how there were no WMDs in Iraq. OF COURSE NOT!!! THEY SAW THEM BEING MOVED OUT. You do not have to be a rocket scientist to understand why there weren't any thre. Give up on Bush. He never hurt you. He kept you safe from terrorists after 9/11. You should get down on your knees and thank him. Unfortunately, I can't say the same for BHO. He would sell us out in a heartbeat. He took six months to decide on what dog to get, but us peons get 2 weeks worth of health care scrutiny. What a pig he is. And NO, I am not a racist. I will say the same thing about him I said about a lot of people of all races who have no conscience or morals "He is so full of SH*T his eyes are even brown". There, I said it, go ahead and report me as being "fishy".

hyperbolist,<blockqu... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

hyperbolist,

It's not every term that an administration has a real shot at such massive reform, so they should get it right.

That's one of the main reasons conservatives are protesting. Let's get healthcare reform right and incorporate conservative ideas as well, such as tort reform and making it easy insurers in all 50 states to compete for business in every state. Also, the public option shouldn't have the authority to set its own prices as that just pushes costs onto private insurers.

Patrick, what colour is the... (Below threshold)
hyperbolist:

Patrick, what colour is the sky in whatever dimension you call home? Blaming people opposed to the war for coalition casualties--as though the war simply had to be fought! Who cares if Bush and most other world leaders thought that Saddam Hussein had WMDs? They said that they knew he had them; I believe Rumsfeld said that they were located "to the north, south, east, and west of Baghdad". I was surprised as anyone that they couldn't find a single piece of evidence to justify the invasion post hoc, but there it is: they claimed to have knowledge that they did not have, and thus they lied to the American people and the rest of the world. But yeah, blame liberals and conservatives (real ones, not neoconservatives) who opposed the war for how expensive it has been in blood and treasure. Blame liberals and conservatives (again: real conservatives) for the massive loss of civilian life and destruction of infrastructure that has set Iraq back fifty years in terms of development; and has regressed in terms of rights for women because now the country is controlled by Islamic thugs, instead of secular ones. Fucking anti-war traitors! It's all their fault!

Madalyn: Bush didn't keep people safe from terrorists. 9/11 happened while Bush was President. Also, after 9/11, people were killed by anthrax. Is your memory really so awful? Do you not remember someone--likely someone from within the Department of Defense!--mailing weapons-grade anthrax to Tom Daschle's office? People died during these domestic terrorist attacks, and George W. Bush did not keep them safe.

As for taking six months to choose a dog: why do you care? Choosing the First Pooch is incredibly unimportant. Reforming the healthcare system, on the other hand, is something that requires immediate--but effective and thoughtful--action.

Seriously, Madalyn, when I read your comments, you come across as someone who genuinely thinks that the world is about to end. If you've ever been to a country with a higher standard of living than the United States--ever been to Scandinavia? Japan? Switzerland? Germany?--then you would see first-hand that people who enjoy world-class healthcare do not struggle under the jackboot of tyranny. You need to turn off talk radio and go outside.

Mac: thumbs up for tort ref... (Below threshold)
hyperbolist:

Mac: thumbs up for tort reform. However, liberals--who are setting this agenda, having won the last election due in part to their pledge to offer a public health insurance option--are not interested in protecting private insurers' rights, and nor should they be if that's incompatible with a robust public option that will drive the cost of care down while improving outcomes. Private insurers should be relegated to offering supplemental coverage, a.k.a. premium coverage, for those who can afford it and want the same quality of care that Congress or Hollywood enjoys. For the rest of the population, though, private insurance companies should no longer be relied upon to deliver affordable coverage. That's very different from what conservatives want, obviously, but then this conversation would be going in a much different direction had conservatives fared better during the last election. Not trying to be smug about it. Remember Bush's "mandate"? Liberals do.

Madalyn:I have alw... (Below threshold)
Patrick:

Madalyn:

I have always thought that Saddam Hussein may well have moved his WMD to Syria or he hid them in a place that is very difficult to get to. People forget how large a country Iraq really is and it would take a VERY long time to search every possible location. Hopefully we will eventually get definitive answers as to what actually happened. But this fallacy that Bush rushed us into war is an utterly ridiculous charge when you consider the effort his administration went to to line up coalition partners and how he tried to convince the UN to adopt a new resolution despite the fact that existing ones gave him all the authority he and the United States needed to move forward and topple the tyrant's regime. The left for also never acknowledge that there was ever any risk in leaving Saddam Hussein alone. He was not targeted because he had anything to do with 9/11 but because he had proven terrorist ties and he was a constant irritant that needed to be disposed with and the time was right to finally do that. You cannot have a true war on terror yet leave people like him on the playing field. The guy used to pay the families of suicide bombers $25,000 each and that does not even begin to tell the story of all his other links to terrorist organizations including Al Qaeda.

But an even bigger issue is in play here. And that is the systematic effort the Obama Administration and liberal Democrats are taking in targeting and demonizing people who disagree with them. For nearly eight years we had screeching and howling from the left that the Bush Administration was threatening to take away freedoms and liberty from the American people and now that the radical left is actually doing it we hear nothing but silence from these same people. What is happening now is reality whereas when Bush was president it was mere paranoid fantasy. Remember after the Patriot Act was passed and the left began going crazy about how the government would then know what library books they were reading and so on and so on? Have there ever been ANY proven abuses of these new investigative techniques that were designed to make it easy to keep close tabs on terrorists? Yet when people like Joe the Plumber dared to challenge The One you saw a systematic effort to invade that private citizen's privacy by his far left supporters and no words of protest were EVER spoken by these same people who were falling all over themselves to criticize George Bush. These people are utter hypocrites. Before they were in a blind rage of hatred and now they are drunk on power and every bit as blind to the reality of what is going on - or they just don't care which makes them all the more scary in my book.

So how much longer do we ha... (Below threshold)
Flu-Bird:

So how much longer do we have to put up with their mindless braying from the stupid liberal dummycrats?

Hyperbolist:Just b... (Below threshold)
Patrick:

Hyperbolist:

Just because you think something is true does not mean it is. And once again we get the charge from the left that Bush is 100% responsible for 9/11 despite the fact that the perpetrators planned the entire operation under Clinton's watch and most of the terrorists were already in the country before Bush was sworn in as president. How many terrorist attacks against American interests occurred when Clinton was president? Should he be responsible for those or is that Bush's father's fault? We have lost MILLIONS of jobs since Obama took office so using your theory of ultimate responsibility I hold Obama 100% responsible for all those job losses. It is happening on his watch so he needs to suck it up and stop blaming Bush. Did Bush ever blame Clinton personally for not doing enough to slow the rising terrorist threats to the nation? No, after 9/11 happened he took steps to make sure it would never happen again and let the record show he was successful. But the difference is Bush took responsibility whereas Obama to this day continues to whine like a baby about the problems he has to deal with and how they are all his predecessor's fault. That is not being presidential - that is what is known as shirking responsibility. Times like these call for a leader and he clearly is not up to the job and after little more than six months it is obvious that his election was a HUGE mistake.

You can say what you want about Iraq but most Iraqis will agree that they are better off now than before because they have hope which they did not have before. In Saddam Hussein's day his Sunni regime discriminated and persecuted the Shias and Kurds but the current government is represented by all sides and that is real progress. I know people who currently serve and have served over there and they say things are not as dire as people like you and the media make them out to be. Saddam Hussein killed hundreds of thousands if not millions of his own people (we will probably never know the true total) so for you to talk about civilian casualties is utterly galling. And the vast majority of civilians that were killed were not by members of the coalition but by elements such as Iranian-backed insurgency groups and Al Qaeda. Yes, we did not find the WMDs we thought we would find but just because we failed to do so does not mean they knowingly lied about it because that is quite a leap in logic. People like Bill Clinton, John Kerry and Edward Kennedy said that Saddam Hussein had WMDs and was a threat so were they lying also? So either the weapons were moved elsewhere before the war or he did a terrific job of fooling the world. Being conned does not a liar make. What does one do exactly when your own CIA director (a Clinton appointee by the way) tells you that Saddam had WMDs and it was a "slam dunk" case? But I will never convince you in how you feel about the Iraq War anymore than you will convince me that you are right. But my opinion about it is no less valid than yours. We will have to agree to disagree. I think the facts show something completely different than you continue to assert. And when you use these lies to build a case and the enemy chooses to feed on these lies and use them as a source of propaganda to recruit willing terrorists it can be legitimately argued that kind of misguided dissent had grave implications for those who were in harm's way. That is reality. Real dissent should be based upon truth not wild hypothesis because such untruths can have dire consequences.

I have been to EVERY country you cited and lived in some of them and do not wish to trade what they have for what we have. I am sure you say you have been or lived in these places but I seriously doubt it. And how do you define standard of living exactly? And how are you defining world class health care? And who is saying that every person that has universal health care is living under the jackboot of tyranny? All I am saying is that millions of Americans don't want to give up the quality health care they have and if they are forced to do so how is that promoting freedom and liberty? Is doing so in the best traditions of America? People should not be forced to give up their freedoms and liberties for others. The better idea is to give more people freedom and liberty without taking it away from others. Taking away from one to give to another is socialism.

I never said that Bush was ... (Below threshold)
hyperbolist:

I never said that Bush was "100% responsible for 9/11", smart guy. Learn how to read. I said that it happened while he was President--so, he failed to prevent the attack. So he bears less responsibility for the attack than, say, the hijackers themselves. Jerk.

What does one do exactly when your own CIA director (a Clinton appointee by the way) tells you that Saddam had WMDs and it was a "slam dunk" case?

Well, Bush gave him a medal, whereas I would have fired him. Being appointed by Bill Clinton does not mean that liberals have to love the person.

And Patrick, by asserting that Saddam had ties to Al Qaeda, you make it a lot harder for me to take you seriously. This is a false claim.

Hyperbolist:I did ... (Below threshold)
Patrick:

Hyperbolist:

I did not say Saddam Hussein assisted Al Qaeda in the 9/11 attacks. But there have been links that have been asserted between Saddam's regime and Al Qaeda:

http://www.worldtribune.com/worldtribune/WTARC/2009/me_terror0344_04_30.asp

It is also a known fact that Al Qaeda terrorists had been offered and accepted safe haven in Iraq and had transited through that country unfettered by his regime. His links to other terrorist organizations is undeniable and for you to seemingly assert that terrorism begins and ends with Al Qaeda is astonishing. Bush NEVER said Iraq had anything to do with 9/11 - that is another one of the lies liberals made up out of whole cloth.

As far as George Tenet goes, I would not have given him a medal. But if I president and my CIA director told me what Tenet did what should I do if it is my goal to stop potential threats to the nation? Do you know what might have happened by now or in the future if we had left Saddam Hussein in power? Is that the kind of risk you would have been willing to take? I always laugh when liberals say that Saddam was a bad guy and it is good that he is gone but... But what? It never would have happened if we didn't do that and you know it.

Okay, you did not say Bush was 100% responsible but you did not say he wasn't either. You did not bother to bring up Clinton's utter neglect of the threat and his establishing an intelligence system that made it almost impossible to investigate the potential threats because the FBI and the CIA were forbidden from cooperating with each other. If you were honest you would have pointed that salient fact out for us instead of misrepresenting the whole issue.

hyperbolist,<blockquo... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

hyperbolist,

However, liberals--who are setting this agenda, having won the last election due in part to their pledge to offer a public health insurance option--are not interested in protecting private insurers' rights, and nor should they be if that's incompatible with a robust public option that will drive the cost of care down while improving outcomes.

The problem for Democrats is that about 50% to 60% of the electorate likes their current healthcare and they risk the wrath of that huge voting block if they pass a healthcare reform that's inferior to what most of those people have. Do a bad job and voters will elect Republicans to an even bigger majority to pull it out by the roots. That's why liberals should dame well care that they get it right the first time because they never will have a second chance.

The idea that a public option can drive the cost of care down while improving outcomes is a myth. The only reason it looks cheaper in Canada and the UK is because US companies sell their drugs there for half price and expensive care is rationed in favor of younger people. If we do get government healthcare in the US one of the first cost savings plans on the drawing board is to pass a law that requires US companies to sell their drugs in the US for what they sell them for in Canada and the UK. That will force prices up in Canada and the UK and a bit down in the US. That hasn't happened yet because we still believe in a free market, but once healthcare is nationalized, there's no point holding on to that ideal for drug companies.

Mac: I'm currently working ... (Below threshold)
hyperbolist:

Mac: I'm currently working on a large market mapping study for a company that produces anti-hypertensive drugs, so I do understand something about the pharmaceutical market in Canada and how it differs from the United States. That said, I have lived here all of my life; have a lot of older relatives; have known quite a few people to have been sick with serious illnesses including AIDS and cancer; and don't know anyone who has had to a) go elsewhere for treatment, or b) pay out of pocket for it. My grandfather is pretty decrepit, and probably wouldn't care if some bureaucrat said "No more oncological care for you!"--and yet, someone keeps booking him for appointments, and he keeps getting medication and surgical procedures that have prolonged his life well into his 80s. He's probably lived ten years longer than if he would have had to pay for the care himself, cheap Dutchman that he is.

While I do appreciate your concern that drug prices in Canada and Britain may increase as they decrease in the United States, I'm not sure that most Americans would have a problem with that. I wouldn't, and I'm a Canadian. If healthcare becomes more nationalistic in the United States, great--maybe then my shitty government will stop underfunding our own system and implicitly telling people to drive to Buffalo for treatment, and start addressing the systemic deficiencies in Canada!

Patrick - I think you and I... (Below threshold)
Madalyn:

Patrick - I think you and I are on the same page. I was just trying to explain to hyperbol that Bush kept us safe, and he should be grateful. I was not trying to say Bush rushed us into a war regarding 9/11. I could be wrong on this, but didn't Clinton have the option of getting Osama Bin Laden and passed on it? So, this is to hyperbol; it was Clinton to was responsible for allowing Bin Laden to continue running his terror camps, thereby leading up to 9/11. If I am wrong, I will apologize.
Madalyn




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