Peggy Noonan at the Wall Street Journal wrote a commentary about the town hall meetings and what is happening there. While she makes the case that the folks protesting are out there because they are scared, she also, unwittingly, makes the argument that this is all getting out of hand.
What the town-hall meetings represent is a feeling of rebellion, an uprising against change they do not believe in. And the Democratic response has been stunningly crude and aggressive. It has been to attack. Nancy Pelosi, the speaker of the United States House of Representatives, accused the people at the meetings of “carrying swastikas and symbols like that.” (Apparently one protester held a hand-lettered sign with a “no” slash over a swastika.) But they are not Nazis, they’re Americans. Some of them looked like they’d actually spent some time fighting Nazis.
Way to go Pelosi! Go straight into the gutter by golly!
At the same time, Noonan seems to forget that what we are seeing is not new, but it is much more energetic.
All of this is unnecessarily and unhelpfully divisive and provocative. They are mocking and menacing concerned citizens. This only makes a hot situation hotter. Is this what the president wants? It couldn’t be. But then in an odd way he sometimes seems not to have fully absorbed the awesome stature of his office. You really, if you’re president, can’t call an individual American stupid, if for no other reason than that you’re too big. You cannot allow your allies to call people protesting a health-care plan “extremists” and “right wing,” or bought, or Nazi-like, either. They’re citizens. They’re concerned. They deserve respect.
The Democrats should not be attacking, they should be attempting to persuade, to argue for their case. After all, they have the big mic. Which is what the presidency is, the big mic.
I haven't read Noonan before, but I hope she was equally unhappy with Bush/Cheney when they questioned the patriotism of those Americans who argued against the war and other actions taken by the White House.
And lest we think only the Republicans are ginning people up, here come the Democrats with their own version;
As this column is written, there comes word that John Sweeney of the AFL-CIO has announced he’ll be sending in union members to the meetings to counter health care’s critics.
That should spice things up even more!
If anything, Ms. Noonan's commentary reflects again my own concern about the level of civility in public discourse. Larouchetruth thinks this is leading us down the slippery slope towards fascism. Let's consider something here in the form of a crude attempt on my part to connect some dots, emphasis on crude attempt.
Although Theresa Amato, writing in Grand Illusion, does not specifically suggest the two major parties are in deliberate collusion, she does emphasize that they are happy with, and supportive of the status quo of a 2 party system. The harder it is for voices outside that system to be heard, the happier they are. The OpenSecrets web site has previously documented that both parties receive donations from the same large corporate donors, thereby ensuring that the donors get heard.
Health care reform is a hot button for people on both sides. What if the protests get out of hand, resulting in some sort of crackdown? Bush 43 has already tested the frontiers of expanding government secrecy and control. Obama has not fully undone what Bush 43 has done. The creation of an email box to receive and counter bad information on health care reform has also been alleged as the opening salvo for creation of an "enemies" list. I am not a tinfoil hat conspiracist, but people are people and the road to hell is paved with the good intentions of people. All of this leading up to this question: What if Larouchetruth is right?