Saturday, August 08, 2009

The Casualties of The Health Care War

I was up in the middle of last night Twittering. Twittering at 2:00 am. But I couldn't sleep for some unknown reason. Lots of other folks are up Twittering at 2:00 am, too. Many are from Europe, where it's actually morning. And a few are my very favorite late night friends from Malaysia, China and Cambodia.

But the tone and tenor of last night's conversations were vastly different. Far to much of the communication was angry or bitter or sarcastic. Health care debate has entered the Twitterverse full force.

Most distressing to me, in both the Twitterverse and the Blogosphere, is the tendency to demonize opponents with nasty, often sexual, racial or ethnic slurs in place of any real discussion of issues and ideas. As a liberal and a Democrat I am most distressed because most of these slurs come from the left. As I witnessed a barrage of hate aimed at one particular conservative woman, I was deeply saddened. I kept thinking, "we liberals are supposed to be better than that."

The woman was attempting to engage in real discussion, raising genuine concerns. I never saw a single genuine factual response. I did see her vilified as "trailer trash" with other comments I'll chose not to repeat. It's sad.

Since I was up anyway, I watched cable news, switching between Glenn Beck and Rachel Maddow. That was a trip! How could two smart people look at exactly the same facts and arrive at such vastly different conclusions? Both, in effect, yelling "FIRE" at the top of their lungs.

I really like Rachel Maddow and I really dislike Glenn Beck. He is tough to watch and tougher to listen to. But I was appalled at Rachel's total inability and total unwillingness to even consider that someone else's concern was genuine. She decided, without benefit of any facts, that the "Brooks Brothers" protesters were bought and paid for by some corporate giant, secretly scripting every comment and busing in every protester. Then she actually REFUSED on air to meet with any of the protesters or to actually talk to them! Damn Rachel, You're Better Than That!!!

I have coffee with these "Brooks Brothers" protesters every morning of the week. You know, they just don't look like the picture on the left.

I've got terrible news for Rachel. They don't even know what "Brooks Brothers" is. They are (around here) mostly Democrats, mostly senior citizens, blacks as well as whites, mostly laborers, and just good folks.

They all like their current health care situation. They all like their current insurance options. They don't want that to change. At all.

They DO WANT the uninsured covered (universal health care), but they sure as hell don't want the government involved. They all want tort reform. They all want insurance to be transportable. Debt scares them. And the government scares them.

And now they are all really pissed off that they are being dissed, lectured, talked down to, and ignored by Barack Obama. Barack Obama yesterday told them, in effect, "to shut the hell up." Barack Obama has really made them angry.

Televisions endless replay of
President Obama's speech isn't helping. Obama actually said, "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."

Barack Obama works for us, one man told me. How dare he think he is just too good to listen to us now?

I'll admit I was appalled at Obama's comments yesterday. I thought they were terribly unwise. I think the President is getting really bad advice. He came off as the arugula eating San Franciscan that accused Ohio residents of clinging to their guns and their bibles.

President Obama needs to listen to all Americans, not insult and ignore them. Or demonize them. Or, worst of all, scold them as foolish children, whose opinions don't matter.

My mother used to say, "You catch more flies with Honey than with Vinegar." If President Obama wants to win the Health Care Debate, he needs to remember that old adage.

What we've lost by waging a Health Care War, is an open exchange of ideas. My long post today SHOULD have been about the simple, elegant and logical approach to Health Care Reform offered yesterday from an unexpected source,
Charles Krauthammer. Yep, Charles Krauthammer. It's worth reading. But in today's warfare environment, it will never be discussed, let alone considered.


Unknown said...

You have just described the reason why I became a Republican, the elite arrogance I encountered from some on the left.

The vilification of the messenger is a tactic that should never be tolerated.

Chris said...

The only problem with your analysis is your assumption that the President's response was from advisers. I would posit that his response is exactly what I would expect from him. I do not see this President as someone who takes much advice.

Vigilante said...

I got a real kick out of Wizard when he wrote about Rachel Maddow:

She decided, without benefit of any facts, that the "Brooks Brothers" protesters were bought and paid for by some corporate giant, secretly scripting every comment and busing in every protester.

Rachel will out this Poster Boy on her Monday show, for sure!

Unknown said...

Vig adds to the hysteria.

Vigilante said...

That's what Lee says (predictable). What do you say, Wizard?

Bob Keller said...

Vigilante, I'd sure love to see anybody on the left (Rachel Maddow included) stop the demonization of the protestors and actually debate the issues being raised by the right.

Pelosi and Hoyer's comments today are tragic. Rather than condemning these concerned citizens, how about actually talking to them (and not at them). As far as I'm concerned, Pelosi has further disqualified herself from being Speaker of the House. She is a genuinely disturbed peoson.

Now, I'd prefer if Lee would temper his rather mild comments to you, but it is hysteria. The link you provided proves nothing except some people work for insurance companies. WOW! Who knew they actually have employees.

And, as the author I'm sure accudentally pointed out, the State of CT actually sets all the insurance rates. WOW! Another shocker.

I've watched two dozen of these so-called protests or more now and dozens of calm, legit and well researched questions are going unanswered. Not because of brown shirt hysterics, but because Congressional Leaders are sidestepping and avoiding the questions.

You simply cannot imaging how angry the real, hardworking, middle class Americans are becoming.

Bob Keller said...

Hilary Clinton, who I supported for President last year, and still greatly admire, said:

"I am sick and tired of people who say that if you debate and you disagree with this administration somehow you’re not patriotic. We should stand up and say we are Americans and we have a right to debate and disagree with any administration."

Kentucky Rain said...

Wiz you are a "liberal Democrat?" You're kidding right?

Secondly how can you, with a straight pen, talk about "demonizing?" The radical right is doing everything but calling for all out war. Then again, since you are a "liberal Democrat" perhaps you don't listen to Right Wing "demonizers," al la, Beck, Limbaugh, Hannity, Coulter, O'Reilly and everyone else who works at Fox News.

Finally, I guess I heard the president (a liberal Democrat) differently. I am actually irritated with him because he keeps insisting that the much needed health care bill be a bi-partisan effort. I disagree. The Republicans are the party of just say "NO" and he needs to dismiss them. They will never cooperate, they have no good ideas, and are hell bent on obfuscating and obstructing. Now I am a "liberal Democrat" and am damn proud of it!

Unknown said...


WaPo has a good read on end of life section

Krauthammers write up reminded me of This

MM, wow you really have lost it, keep tokeing that party line like a good boy... When you keep dredging out the tired "Party of No" rehtoric, which is blatantly dishonest, it looks like you have lost any cognitive ability to do more then Ape those who are not listening to We the People who and do not see this administration as offering "NO" solutions.

Vigilante said...

Ah yes, the bottom line!

"The solution lies in unleashing market forces"

So well said! Let go the running dogs of unfettered capitalism. Let the greed of for-profit insurance provide affordable care for all. Unleash them dogs! Slurp! Slurp!

Bob Keller said...

Mike, I only wish you could see both sides of the debate, instead of just one. You shouldn't overlook the incredibly nasty demonization taking place on the left and only see the demonization on the right.

Plus, TWO WRONGS do NOT make a right. Pelosi's irrational comments shouldn't be acceptable just because Sean Hannity is such a jerk or Beck is such a cry baby.

Unknown said...

Hey Wizard, I thought this would be good for inclusion

It was put together by John David Lewis Duke Professor.

Unknown said...

Vigilante! finally your making sense!

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