It’s August, time for the much anticipated month long summer break for the House and Senate, usually a chance for our elected representatives to kick back and relax. However this could be know as the LONG, HOT SUMMER. I am not talking about the weather. With an unpopular healthcare reform bill looming the vacationing reps may get anything but a vacation. Instead they are headed home to face angry constituents at town halls or protesting at their local offices.
There is a major battle brewing between the Obama faithful and the rest of the country. Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi admits we are in “the fight of our lives.”
Current polls indicate that the president and his forces are losing the battle for the right to move forward with healthcare reform as they have defined it.
“The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 47% are in favor of the reform effort proposed by President Obama and congressional Democrats while 49% are opposed. Those figures include 25% who Strongly Favor the plans and 41% who are Strongly Opposed” – source: Rasmussen Reports
This uncertainty about health care reform is based at least in part on the plan’s cost and who will pay. Just over half of Americans (54 percent) think it is unlikely major health care reforms can be passed without increasing the federal deficit and a slightly higher number (60 percent) think it is implausible to do so without raising taxes.
In fact, majorities of Democrats (52 percent), Republicans (69 percent) and independents (61 percent) doubt the reforms can happen without tax increases. Source: Fox News
So as the volume and intensity of the debate increases so does partisan rhetoric with the Democrats accusing the Republicans of organizing an “Astro Turf” or fake grassroots backlash to “undermine Barack Obama”. At the same time they are making these accusations, they are calling out their own brigade of union and ACORN thugs to support their healthcare agenda.
“Organizing for America, President Obama’s political organization, is urging supporters to visit the district offices of their local member of Congress to urge support for healthcare reform — another move by Democrats to counter the loud opposition being voiced by conservatives at town halls.
In an email message sent Sunday, Organizing for America director Mitch Stewart tried to motivate Obama backers by warning that “insurance companies and partisan attack groups are stirring up fear with false rumors.”
He adds: “We can’t let extremists hijack this debate, or confuse Congress about where the people stand.”
To push back, Organizing for America has created a sign up where supporters pledge to visit their House member. Democrats have compiled the address, phone number and office hours for the members and tailored it to each email depending on where their supporter lives.
“We’ll provide everything you need: the address, phone number, and open hours for the office, information about how the health care crisis affects your state for you to drop off (with the option of adding your personal story), and a step-by-step guide for your visit,” writes Stewart, assuring those who’ve not previously visited their local member of Congress’s office that their staff is “there to listen.” Source: Politico
Clearly this is an example of a real “grass roots turn out” not to be confused with the “Astro Turf” type being waged by the opposition to healthcare reform! Huh, Really? Apparently the Chicago Boys do not like seeing the opposition try to respond with an organized effort of their own.
And from Nancy Pelosi and Steny Hoyer we hear……………..
“In the meantime, as members of Congress spend time at home during August, they are talking with their constituents about reform. The dialogue between elected representatives and constituents is at the heart of our democracy and plays an integral role in assuring that the legislation we write reflects the genuine needs and concerns of the people we represent.
However, it is now evident that an ugly campaign is underway not merely to misrepresent the health insurance reform legislation, but to disrupt public meetings and prevent members of Congress and constituents from conducting a civil dialogue. These tactics have included hanging in effigy one Democratic member of Congress in Maryland and protesters holding a sign displaying a tombstone with the name of another congressman in Texas, where protesters also shouted “Just say no!” drowning out those who wanted to hold a substantive discussion”. Source Joint OpED in USA Today by Pelosi and Hoyer
Yet, ironically to date the only real violence at the town halls has been initiated by SEIU supporters of the administration. Maybe they should reread their own statement and take to heart the part about listening to the people they represent. Oh wait, never mind they didn’t say listen they said dialogue, which apparently means “they talk, we listen”! After all they know what is best for us.
As the President said he’ll clean up the mess but he “doesn’t want to hear a lot of talking from those that made it”. Last time I checked the PEOPLE attending the town halls DID NOT make the mess – the government did. The mess is called Medicare and Medicaid which creates a huge under funded burden on the balance of the system. There are the legislators and lobbyists (many of whom are lawyers) that just can’t find their way to tort reform and writing laws that would prevent frivolous lawsuits. The government I refer to includes people from both sides of the aisle many of who are still in Congress or the Administration.
Good News America, they are finally HEARING US! Now we have to get them to LISTEN. ATTEND a town hall and turn up the heat! This is far from over!