Thursday, August 13, 2009

Are You a Sensible Person and Oppose Obama's Healthcare Plan? Sorry

Congressman Frank Kratovil (D-MD) hung in effigy (DailyKos)
Given all of the hullabaloo going on about the health care town hall debates (and the ensuing mainstream media soap boxes being handed to crazy healthcare protestors), I thought to myself, what do you do if you're a sensible person who opposes healthcare because of the facts contained in the bill and not because of some irrational, made-up fear of euthanizing people once they get their AARP brochures?

The behavior of some of the members of the Republican Party the past couple of days has been pretty discouraging. I discussed last week Rush Limbaugh comparing the Obama administration to Hitler's Germany, as well as Palin's thinly veiled eugenics comparison and your run-of-the-mill town hall protestors likening Obama to one of history's most evil villains. But these folks have gone beyond the Hitler comparisons (that was soooo last week) and have moved to straight up racism. While those looking to harass Rep. David Scott (D-Georgia) started out with the played-out swastika graffiti, they really stepped it up with their correspondence:

I think Claire McCaskill may have missed the boat on that one.

But mere words, unlike sticks and stones, do relatively little damage to a person. Some town hall protestors have taken to packing heat when getting emotional and angry about America's inevitable plunge into socialism, then communism, then making a roundabout to fascism and killing everyone over 55. Take William Kostric, who openly displayed his piece outside of Obama's town hall in Portsmouth, NH (and then subsequently got an interview on mass media outlets to talk about healthcare). Another protestor in Arizona dropped his gun at a town hall (did we learn nothing about sweatpants and firearms from Plaxico?).

But it's not just the protestors who are a few sandwiches short of a picnic. Clearly there's Sarah Palin, who (through her new medium - Facebook) called Obama's health plan something akin to eugenics with "death panels." There's the Investor's Business Daily editorial stating that British citizen and resident Stephen Hawking would not have a chance to flourish because of his ALS (despite the fact that Hawking has lived and flourished under Britain's socialized healthcare system). And then there is Senator Chuck Grassley, who after being praised by Obama, went back to his state of Iowa and told a crowd there that the government's plan can determine whether or not to "pull the plug on grandma."

So what do you do if you're a reasonable fellow who disagrees with Obama's plan to introduce a government option, but don't necessarily want to paint Hitler mustaches on our President's likeness, carry a loaded gun to town halls, ignore what's in the bill and argue on made-up death panels, or call black politicians "niggas"? You're certainly not going to be given airtime on one of the networks or cable news stations, because you're not incendiary or loud enough to draw in viewers. As soon as you tell someone you disagree with Obama's healthcare proposal one of the first things that comes to mind (if you follow the news) is swastikas and loaded guns. It's sad that the actions of a few have smeared the reputation of the many (like Islamic extremists casting a dark shadow over Islam), but unfortunately it seems like in this era of mass media ratings and toeing the line between controversial and pulling-all-of-our-advertising controversial, the most outrageous and ridiculous voices get heard while the reasonable or well-grounded are labeled boring and unworthy of debate. Maybe the Republicans can go with Nixon's silent majority scheme - internally.

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