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AUGUST 12, 2009 7:45PM

Obama Makes Me Puke and Other Tidbits from Town Hell

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So the first thing I noticed was that over half of the yahoos that had gathered outside of the Biomedical Research Tower at Ohio State University to protest against "socialized" medicine were old enough so that they rely on Medicare.  In other words, socialized medicine is just fine for them, but if you don't have healthcare because you've been laid off or because you're too poor to afford it, well, sorry bub, fuck you.  One woman being interviewed by a documentary filmmaker was busy telling him that liberals are "brainwashed" because Rush Limbaugh told her so.  Her jackass son was wearing a t-shirt emblazoned with the words "Obama Makes Me Puke" and she went on to opine that Obama's daughters were "ghetto trash" and that social security and medicare and public education should be completely defunded.  Another man shouted loudly that the government was holding a "gun" to his head because it would force him to pay for other people's healthcare and that he shouldn't have to pay taxes at all.  "It's a moral issue," he yelled when someone asked him if he'd taken one of the tax-funded highways to the protest.

An older woman, also on Medicare (I asked her) told me that she wasn't part of any "astroturf" outfit, that she was there to protest healthcare reform purely on her own volition, even while admitting that she'd been coached by "the Glenn Beck tv show."  She claimed that Obama was being advised by one of those "Rahm brothers" who want to deny healthcare to children under the age of two and to old people.  She based her claims on the utterly dishonest and debunked NY Post article written by a rightwing hack who took Rahm's scholarly work out of context.  People shouted out "Death Panels" and "Socialist" and "Marxist."  The spittle flew from their mouths as they screamed that Obama was a Nazi.

Meanwhile, inside the Town Hall, Sherrod Brown, tried patiently to explain how healthcare reform was necessary and why a public option would keep the lying, cheating insurance industry from completely screwing us over.  But the forces of ignorance are strong, and they are loud, and they will stop at nothing to discredit any reform attempts.

Here's the thing that became abundantly clear to me today:  the majority of these people don't give a rat's ass about healthcare reform or its costs.  They care about derailing the Obama presidency.  They are obsessed with tearing his administration down and they don't give a damn if it means that you or your grandmother or your child dies in the street because they can't get proper medical treatment.  As long as Obama fails, they'll see it as Mission Accomplished.  

If Obama has made a mistake, and he's made more than a few, it's to put any faith in the idea that there can be bipartisanship with the jackals that make up today's GOP.  It's naive to think that the Republican Party which spent the last eight years thoroughly fucking everyone but the rich over (and that "everyone" includes the morons so easily manipulated that they'd call moderate reform "socialism") is EVER going to do anything remotely cooperative for best interests of the nation.  These bastards are playing for keeps and they'll scare the bejeezus out of your loopy grandma if that's what it takes to get the job done.  So if you're sitting on the sidelines hoping against hope that Congress will eventually do the "right thing," chances are way better that you'll die of some sort of horrific cancer, penniless and bankrupt before that happens.  

Remember this: over a million bankruptcies a year in the U.S. are due directly to the insane costs of catastrophic illness, and the majority of those poor buggers now living in the poor house thought that they had adequate "health insurance."  Perhaps folks ought to pick up those phones and give their senators and representatives a thirty-second phone call and demand that real reform get done--that it include a strong public option and strict regulation of the bloodsuckers running big pharma and health insurance.  Let me tell you, the anti-government, racist, militia-nuts are sure as hell doing their part to make sure that fifty million Americans don't get any healthcare.

At the very least, forward real information to misguided relatives and friends who are being lied to day and night by the likes of Hannity, Limbaugh, Beck, and Savage.  Send them to: 
http://my.barackobama.com/RealityCheck

Speak up now before it's too late and all you can afford when you or yours gets sick is a bottle of generic Robitussin and a prayer.

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It always sickens me that those who scream the loudest against government anything, including health care, are the first to line up for anything they can get for "free." I seriously wonder if there is hope for the human race given all the evil, corruption and stupidity at play.
Just this evening, I saw video of a woman screaming because she didn't get a turn to ask a question. Turned out, she wanted to say that she thought she would be one of the "ones thrown away" (believing the kill-disabled folks lie). And I wondered about all who get thrown away now, and will in the future if we can't do this. . .
well, exactly:

Here's the thing that became abundantly clear to me today: the majority of these people don't give a rat's ass about healthcare reform or its costs. They care about derailing the Obama presidency.
"Here's the thing that became abundantly clear to me today: the majority of these people don't give a rat's ass about healthcare reform or its costs. They care about derailing the Obama presidency. They are obsessed with tearing his administration down and they don't give a damn if it means that you or your grandmother or your child dies in the street because they can't get proper medical treatment. As long as Obama fails, they'll see it as Mission Accomplished."

Yes. That is it, and that is all it is. They want to de-legitimize this man and his presidency.

I don't know how much more un-American you can get.

Highly rated.
I read and I read and I watch and with each passing day I despair more and more that the American public, at large, has any idea how to really inform themselves as to what is needed in this country when it comes to health care--or anything else positive. I have been trying myself to write about this but it gets me so ovewrought that I don't even know how to begin. You are right: this is a concerted effort, led by Republicans and conservative radio and television, to completely derail the presidency of a man elected by the people because they wanted change. And it seems, once again, that the bad guys--the ignorant, the uninformed, the racist, the angry, the compltely stuipd sheep who take their news from horrible people and don't bother to check it out, have ramped up the rhetoric so much that violence seems imminent. I fear for our country, our president, and our souls.
well..what can i say? absolutely perfect..we should send this to Robert Gibbs to say at the next press conference...yes..

Thank you.
Elisa
I agree 100%. But how do we counter it best? Ignorance often trumps rationality unless leadership if fierce. Let's hope Barack gets fierce and can take the heat.
They care about derailing the Obama presidency.

Bingo. It's exactly like the Clinton years. I honestly thought it would be different.
PS: The "astroturf" accusations that have been thrown around strike me as the wrong note for liberals, so I've been avoiding them. Is it really that different from moveon.org or the Obama campaign organization in terms of orchestrating events and then motivating people to go? (For example, there was a town hall here in Cleveland I was encouraged--by email--to attend, but it was at an inconvenient time. Still, I worried about the meeting being overrun by protesters, so I called her office to ask if they thought there would be any trouble and if they felt they wanted supportive citizens there. Point is, I wouldn't have done any of that without the email coaching me about the particulars).

These tea-bagging right wingers are dreadfully misinformed but willfully so (which makes me think of both racism and the tribalism entrenched in partisan politics). I think we should stick to combating their arguments (or lack thereof) rather than their right to assemble and protest. I'm a little uncomfortable with the "mob" characterizations because I think of liberals as generally more willing to listen to the voices of those outside the structure of government, even if those voices seem disingenuous. I suppose there is genuine fear among the duped.
I'm disgusted with the woman who called Obama's daughters "ghetto trash". These nutjobs can't make a logical, reasonable argument as to why they don't agree with the president's policies, so they make personal jabs instead. It's just like the GOP men who are scared of a woman with an opinion, but instead of going after her politics that they don't like, they go after her hair, or her way of dress or her age or yadda, yadda, yadda...
Fear has been running the show for so long in this country - people have actually made a lifestyle out of it. And most are the same people who claim to be religious, that's the part that torments me. The BIG RICH hypocrites used "fear based morality" to manipulate the MIDDLE RICH hypocrites (like Rush Limpbone), who then intimidate the AVERAGE, NOT REALLY RICH hypocrites, and finally we get to the DUMB ASS POOR hypocrites...only they don't know they're "poor"....by the time the fear mantra trickles down to them they don't know which end is up. It's no use being a Christian if you're gonna buy into all that fear.
Yes, the "ghetto trash" line is just so unbearably vile and ugly. But, it proves that these people are truly unhinged. So, I think we need to watch the ugliness and make sure everyone else sees it to, in order to show it for what it is.
At least they didn't bring drones. Please click on my icon for more info
You nailed it. What we are witnessing in the health care debacle is long-term manifestation of the Rovian playbook, and a clarion call for education reform. Incredible absence of critical thought. In the words of Ta-Nehisi Coates - "It's the racism, stupid."
Hear hear!

We all need to speak up in support of reform and contact our representatives. And more importantly, Obama needs to remember who sent him to Washington and fight the good fight. I hope he does... and i believe he will.
Since 1986 we have been in an environmental sustainability deficit. We are now running at about 125-130% of capacity, a figure estimated to rise to 200% by 2050 or sooner (and anthropomorphic era climate change is inextricable in that). Literally, we are eating/consuming the future. Now, add to that the recent exposure of a Potemkin financial sector, one where more than 40% of corporate profits this decade have come from the "financial services" sector -- meaning they were largely phony -- built on now unenforceable paper obligations many iterations removed from any underlying recoupable tangible assets, as evidenced by the recent unprecedented bursting of the bubble (I have written at some length about that, having worked in subprime securitization risk modeling).

Add to all of THAT what I would call an accrued "intellectual/sociopolitical capacity deficit." Recall the documentaries of a generation ago recounting the failures in our educational system? Kids who couldn't find a country or foreign capitol on a map, and didn't care? Kids who couldn't do basic arithmetic, and didn't care? Aliterate kids who couldn't formulate a coherent sentence, and didn't care?

These people are now in their 30's and 40's and are seen angrily drooling 120 decibel rhetorical spittle inanities at "Town Hell" meetings. (Yeah, that's unkind, and a generalization. It's more complex than just that.)

I taught undergrad "critical thinking" for several years recently at UNLV. Fully 60% of incoming freshmen had/have to be remanded to remedial English. My students HATED to read analytically -- but all expected at least a "B" simply for showing up. They came to critical thinking class simply because they wanted to endlessly, narcisssitically shout about their own pet peeves (and because it partially filled a "math requirement"owing to the minimal logic/set theory component -- which they hated equally).

We approach a world population of 7 billion, all in competition for increasingly scarce resources, many of these people ignorant, impoverished, and increasingly angry (and all capable of being taught to pull a trigger). In the U.S. in particular, we have never had to shlep through our own bombed-out cities, never had to deal with the kind of persistent miseries that have long characterized the lot of much of the rest of humanity. We comprise 5% of world population while consuming 25% of its resources, a circumstance we have come to regard as our birthright.

A reckoning draws nigh, ever so slowly, but with a quickening pace. The awareness of this remains largely inchoate, but I think peoples' blind, irrational resistance to any kind of change may be a function of it. A sheltered society such as ours, long accustomed to having whatever we want, could easily descend into unimaginable savagery once push comes seriously to shove.

Read Jared Diamond's book "Collapse." Also, view a recent talk he gave:

http://www.ted.com/index.php/talks/jared_diamond_on_why_societies_collapse.html

I would love to be wrong regarding my anxieties here.
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And all of us liberals (who sit on our asses and don't work and collect welfare) are going to hurt the right wing even more if there is healthcare reform! Fucking idiots.

Here's another link to the facts about the healhcare reform thing...
http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/Reality-Check/

Great post!
Do those buffoons protesting socialized medicine really think that their dollars spent on premiums are set aside for them to use and nobody else? Newsflash, you're already paying for someone else's treatments... but in the current system you're also paying for extraneous fatcat insurance company bullcrap, as well. Ugh. And... don't even think that the irony of someone on Medicare or Medicaid complaining about government-funded medical coverage is lost on anyone. Pathological hypocrisy should be just cause for random bludgeonings.
Right on, RavingBits. As you stated, what do these freaks of nature think all the tax-funded programs are? More examples are car insurance, life insurance, homeowners/renters insurance, etc., etc., etc. People pay into the pot, and people take out of the pot when something happens.

My massage therapist just told me yesterday that one of his clients, who is a doctor, told him that part of his responsibility in the practice he is a part of is bringing in a minimum of $30,000 per month in income for the practice. I asked my therapist if that means that they tell their patients that they need something when they don't. He said no, but what it means is that the practice HIGHLY overcharges insurance companies in order to bring in that income. And, of course, THAT is passed on to all of us... yet, the right wing nutjobs can't see that.

Yes, we can't have socialized programs of any kind, because our current system is working so well!
Well, insurances aren't paid by taxes, but they're an example of a bunch of people contributing to the pot and then receiving from the pot when something happens.
Beware of ignorant people in large groups. They've been doing the bidding of the GOP for as long as I can remember. Why they blindly and continually buy into all the negative rhetoric contrary to there own self interests is a mystery that may never be understood.
I like the tone of this post. It's dopes like the ones you describe who have catapulted us into the position we are now in. I remember them from the Reagan days. "Well I am better off now than I was when he came into office." Because now you use credit cards. Grow a brain. Half a brain is a very dangerous thing indeed.
Very well said....!

Rated!
Great post, and great comments by Bobby. While we listen to the few million scared whites who watch fox and listen to rush, korean and many other young folks are studying fractal geometry, and, learning to speak english. The kids today who lack curiosity, and their parents, don't have a chance in the long run ...

Rated
There are times like this when it's embarrassing to be an American.
MUST READ

http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/200909/health-care
Brilliant -- love this!
I spent the better part of yesterday writing emails to the Gov. Affairs group of my local Board of Realtors. In spite of the fact that most self-employed - read Realtors in this case - do not have access to group health plans, and often cannot qualify for or afford an individual plan, this local group is not in favor of health care reform. They are convinced that the President's goal is a take-over of health care, walking us further down the path to socialism.

I sent David Axelrod's email, but it won't help. I explained the concept of a public option in terms a nine year old could understand. I compared the public option to the successful state run homeowner's insurance option that we have in Florida. This is not a good analogy, I guess, because Florida is in no danger of becoming a socialist state under a white Republican Governor, or something like that - who knows? Logic and reality are not in play in these discussions.

Until Fox News and Rush Limbaugh are reined in, we appear to have no effective weapon against their narrative. The lies spread in to work in favor of corporate interests by the networks and on the airwaves are a shameful abuse of power. I remain disheartened on a daily basis and cannot wait until this period of time is behind us. With all the good intentions of the President for change, I hope there are enough of us that will allow for it so that health care reform can happen.
We all need to stop sitting around discussing the ignorance and stupidity of the right wing. What we need to be doing, is writing our members of congress, of letting our idiot neighbors know what we think about their stupidity.

There has been a war br...ewing for some time. It is time to get out there and fight.

Obama has made the mistake of thinking, these people would be open to discourse. The simple fact is, the GOP knows it's days are numbered. It has given in to doing, whatever it can to stay in power. If that comes to lying, deceiving, and inciting hatred and violence. So be it. They have sunk to the lowest tactics, used by the Nazis in the thirties. There is no more dealing to be done. These people have shown their true side. It 's time for War!
Ahhh yes I got the unsolicited White house email about the Reality check. The reality is that our country cannot afford this right now. We need to slow down, take a breath and make some careful plans that do not wreck this country. We are so screwed if we keep spending money like it grows on trees rather than coming out of our pockets and the pockets of our children. I am not against President Obama and I don't think it is a left or right issue. I am not in agreement with a lot of what the republicans have done either.

I think this culture of hate needs to end. We need to come together and plan good legislation that actually solves problems rather than just putting band-aids on them. I vote no on many of the current legislation that is bailing out and proposing enourmous dept for our country...and by the way...I am not of Medicare, and I don't have insurance, though I would like to have some, just not at the cost of the security and stability of our country.
I just read Boby G's comments which make a nice addendum to your article, Tejano. The savagery that beats within our hearts is on display in places like Rwanda, The Sudan, just to name a few. Here we see a living tutorial on how those in power can use and manipulate an angry, ignorant public to do its bidding. I do believe this is part of our future as well. Why should we escape? Because we have 56" LCD television sets?

It's like the tide; it's coming in and nothing we can do will hold it back. What angers me is not the tide, but the fact that we have known about it for such a long time, and have, as a first world people, refused to deal with it.
My hair stylist is a young Republican and proud of it. She is pregnant and has no health insurance and is trying to get on Medicaid. I said that if we had a public option, she wouldn't have to worry about it and she replied "I don't want government run health care." I'm still trying to figure out how to break it to someone with scissors that close to my head that Medicaid is government run health care.