The Empire Strikes Back

As we predicted, the President’s speech to Congress may actually have resulted in decreased popularity of the Health Care Reform effort. A new Washington Post poll indicates that 54 percent of Americans say the more they hear about the plan the less they like it. Only 41 percent of Americans say they like the program better the more they hear Mr. Obama talk about it.

In the face of this continuing unpopularity of Health Care Reform, some Democrats and many media commentators seem to be resorting to a familiar, but unfortunate, formula – opponents of the President’s program are being characterized as “racists.” In the last several days, we have seen the initial denial of the importance of the Washington D.C. protest, followed by a slowly growing chorus of voices on the left describing the protestors as people who simply cannot accept an African-American President.

At first the message from the media was that ” a small but disturbing” fraction of the protestors were “racists.”  But then, on September 15,  former President James Carter described this fraction as “the majority” of the protestors.  Other Democratic voices have echoed this sentiment, and the media are running with it. 

The “skeptic” being a “fact nerd,” does not ususally engage in such nebulous discussions, however, this is a blatant attempt to turn the conversation away from the truly disastrously bad legislation currently being considered by Congress which threatens to ruin Health Care in this Country.   Therefore, this scheme must be whack-a-moled right back down into the fertilized dirt from which it emerged.

The reason so many people are so upset about health care reform has nothing to do with Mr. Obama’s race, and only a little to do with Mr. Obama’s politics. (However, interestingly, the remainder of Mr. Obama’s political agenda is indeed threatened by the unpopularity of Health Care Reform and his refusal to tone down his selling rhetoric ). Rather, it is the classic reaction that can be observed when something very  important to people is taken away from them, and is replaced with something totally unknown. Polls show that people generally like the quality of their current health care, but they believe it is not so good for others who are less fortunate. People are willing to help others, provided it does not result in a degradation of the quality of their own health care. Recently, many people (especially Seniors) have started to realize that the new program has the potential to disastrously degrade not only their own health care, but also the health care provided to the poor, whom this reform effort is intended to benefit.  In fact, the only sure winners seem to be the Federal Bureaucracy and the very largest Drug, Hopsital, Insurance, Union, and Pharamaceutical giants.  As this realization emerges,  a good portion of the Public has become outraged that Health Care, as we know it , is being forcefully wrested from our grasp, to no ultimate purpose except to expand the power of the already-powerful, and there is tremendous frustration at our relative powerlessness to keep this from happening.

That is why Maureen Dowd’s aural hallucination regarding Joe Wilson’s “You lie!” (‘You lie Boy!’ according to Ms. Dowd) is so absurd.  The term “boy” is generally used in a contemptuous manner to display rank and power over the object of the term. Mr. Wilson’s outburst, on the other hand, is the sort of spluttering, shocked, outraged, “You can’t possibly have said that!” response associated with true powerlessness.  As described in a previous post, Mr. Obama bears a lot of the responsibility for these sorts of reactions because he has been relentlessly resorting to campaign rhetoric and populist exhortations to his followers to “cheerlead” these flawed bills to victory (“We can’t wait!”). Mr. Obama, from the first Town Hall at the White House, has carefully excluded opposing voices from the conversation, and therefore his repeated misrepresentations  have gone largely unchallenged. The speech to the Joint Session of Congress was just another in a long string of events staged in controlled environments where “cheerleading” is encouraged while the possibility of honest debate is totally quashed. 

Representative Wilson’s act of defiance resonated with us not because we are “racists,” but rather because it seized back the conversation, if only for a brief moment, and put the authoritarians on notice that even their cherry-picked, controlled environments are not “truth-free zones.”  The message is that this debate will indeed go forward, despite the President’s insistence that it is over. 

That seizing of the conversation (which incidentally resulted in changes to the Senate bill which tend to validate Mr. Wilson’s point), coupled with the huge D.C. protest turnout, was a heavy blow to the proponents of Government-controlled health care.  We can now expect the “Empire” of the Left, and their minions in the media, to continue their vicious smear campaign which uses “racist” as the new N-word to characterize critics who oppose the proposed “reform” measures.

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