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Be Civil in Protesting Democratic Health Care Overhaul

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 9:46 pm - August 7, 2009.
Filed under: Civil Discourse,Decent Democrats

Despite Democratic descriptions of those protesting the President’s health care as a “mob,” protesters on the whole have conducted themselves in a civil manner.  And despite conservative criticism of Democratic Representatives (and Senators) of painting their critics with a broad brush (as some have done), a good number of Democrats, like the late Jim Hunter, have shown great respect for their political adversaries.

And I’m pleased to report that one such Democrat, Connecticut’s Chris Murphy is a graduate of America’s finest liberal arts’ college.  Although “mobbed” by angry constituents at a supermarket in his district, this good man was unfazed and stood up for citizens’ rights to speak out:

Murphy said it didn’t matter to him whether those attending were part of a coordinated effort or just on their own.

“Any time I’m talking to my constituents in an unfiltered way I consider it productive,” he said in a phone interview afterward.

Murphy acknowledged that a few angry voices dominated the gathering, at least initially. But he said that didn’t bother him. “Was that out of a Norman Rockwell town meeting painting? No. But there are big issues being discussed in Washington … and people have a right to be concerned, even angry about it.”

It’s too bad my representatives in Washington haven’t shown such understanding for their critics’ concerns.  (Heck, they don’t even seem to be open to meeting with us.)  Still, we should act as if all our representatives were as open to our concerns as Murphy has been.

When we protest, we must make our concerns known, but not drown out elected officials (and their representatives) when they are trying to speak.  Allahpundit offers this advice:

If all they’re going to do is scream, they belong outside. Disrupting the event itself when people are trying to listen is a jackass thing to do, and totally counterproductive in terms of handing the left material with which to tar the GOP. (more…)

Liberty, not Racism, Drives Critics of Obamacare

If there was a theme which unites two of the biggest issues bloggers have been reporting, discussing and debating this week, it would be the projections all too many liberals cast on their conservative counterparts.  First, they accused us of backing the “birthers.”  Then, they used various slurs to attack our opposition to the President’s proposed health care overhaul.

They accused us of being tools of corporate interests, not being sincere in our opinions and of instigating violence (when there’s far more evidence linking activists supporting the President’s plan to thuggish tactics at townhall meetings) in publicly expressing our opposition to said overhaul.  One columnist for a major national daily accused us of “poisoning the political well, [becoming] political terrorists, willing to say or do anything to prevent the country from reaching a consensus on one of its most serious domestic problems” without once quoting (save to reference a clever line of criticism) any Republicans opposed to the various Democratic plans.

And then, there’s Paul Krugman, calling us a “mob,” the New York Times columnist suggests that we’re racists with a “substantial fraction” being birthers.  You’d think a columnist for such an esteemed newspaper with a Nobel Prize in Economics no less would have the least bit of understanding of laissez-faire economic and its many advocates in the United States.  But, you’d be wrong.  According to Krugman, “the driving force behind the town hall mobs is probably the same cultural and racial anxiety that’s behind the ‘birther’ movement“.

My friend David Boaz, a strong critic of the Bush Administration, will have none of this narrow-minded left-winger’s nonsense.  In a must-read post, he takes down Krugman:

Paul Krugman can’t understand why people would oppose government control of health care — or skyrocketing deficits, or a federal takeover of education, energy, and finance along with health care — unless they’re driven by racism.

Like those who dismiss the protesters as astroturf, the Times‘ economist must needs reduce the motivation of his intellectual adversaries to racism.  And his ideological allies accuse us of having a narrow view of the world. (more…)

What’s Missing from this Sentence in AP article on Sarah Palin?

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 8:24 pm - August 7, 2009.
Filed under: Media Bias,PDS (Palin Derangement Syndrome)

More biased coverage from the AP:

Palin resigned as Alaska governor on July 26 with nearly 18 months left in her term. She cited not only the numerous ethics complaints that had been filed against her also her wish not to be a lame duck after the first-term governor decided not to seek re-election next year.

I’m sure astute GayPatriot readers can tell us what “reporter” Mark Thiessen left out from the second sentence in the paragraph quoted above.

FROM THE COMMENTS:  Eartha nailed it with two words, “All dismissed.”  You’d think that would be a tiny bit relevant if you’re going to mention “numerous ethics complaints” filed against the subject of your article, that the reporter would note that they had all been dismissed.

On AAA South, Gay Groups Gets One Right

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 5:40 pm - August 7, 2009.
Filed under: Gay America,Gay Politics

Since I criticize the statist, Democratic-friendly agenda of the gay groups on a regular basis on this blog, it behooves me to credit them when they get something right.

You see, a private organization, AAA South (the affiliate of the American Automobile Association serving Florida, Georgia, Middle & West Tennessee and Puerto Rico), recognized “couples in same-sex relationships for an array of benefits and services.”  (Apparently, this only applied to same-sex couples whose marriages have been recognized by a state.)  In conversations with the group, Equality Florida had persuaded its management to offer such benefits.

They didn’t go to the government and demand that the state mandate such coverage.  Instead, they lobbied the organization on their own.  Exactly the right way to do things.

Well, once AAA South decided to do the right thing for gay and lesbian members, anti-gay groups raised a stink.  So, the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) sent out an “Action Alert” to those (including yours truly) on its mailing list:

Please let AAA South you appreciate their fair and principled policy. Send a thank you note now; and while you are at it, personalize your letter and ask AAA South to consider extending this service to all registered domestic partners.

This is exactly the way to handle this, one private organization lobbying another, without getting the state involved.

Kudos to Kate Kendell and the folks at NCLR (and those at Equality Florida) for promoting social change through private institutions.

Hey, Harry & Nancy, this is what Astroturf looks like

Both House Speaker Nancy Pelose and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid have called those protesting Democratic health care plans as astroturf or fake grassroots, with the increasingly unpopular Nevadan even waving some actual astroturf to make his point.

Now, we’ve learned that has “hired skilled grassroots organizers” to fight back as citizens spontaneously gather at townhalls across the country to express their opinion.  Why would MoveOn need to pay them if they’re real grassroots organizers?   (When you “hire” someone, you do tend to pay them.)

So, if it’s Astroturf when conservative groups encourage their members and supporters to speak out against the President’s policies, why is it when left-wing groups do speak out on in favor of those policies, hiring “grassroots” organizers to help them out?

RELATED:  “Flashback: When the Left Protested Bush, the Media Saw Only “everyone from grandmothers and students to veterans and mothers pushing strollers

ALSO RELATEDMICKEY KAUS: “If an ‘astroturfing’ campaign gets real people to show up at events stating their real views, isn’t it … community organizing?

Appoint Jeb Bush as Interim Florida Senator

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 4:18 pm - August 7, 2009.
Filed under: Congress (111th)

In the wake of Mel Martinez’s decision to resign from the United States Senate, Governor Charlie Crist could do no better than to appoint his accomplished predecesor to fill the seat for the remainder of Martinez’s term.

This would give the articulate conservative a larger platform to address the issues of the day.   And for fifteen months, the Sunshine State would be represented by a man who served it well for eight years.

On Democratic Intimidation of Health Care Critics,
Athena Gets It:
“People are not automatons. They show up only if they care.”

In her column today, Peggy Noonan takes issue with attempts  by the President and his team to denigrate and discredit those who dare to speak out in opposition to Democratic efforts to overhaul our health care system:

All of this is unnecessarily and unhelpfully divisive and provocative. They are mocking and menacing concerned citizens. This only makes a hot situation hotter. Is this what the president wants? It couldn’t be. But then in an odd way he sometimes seems not to have fully absorbed the awesome stature of his office. You really, if you’re president, can’t call an individual American stupid, if for no other reason than that you’re too big. You cannot allow your allies to call people protesting a health-care plan “extremists” and “right wing,” or bought, or Nazi-like, either. They’re citizens. They’re concerned. They deserve respect.

You’d like someone practicing that new kind of politics might show some respect for his ideological adversaries, but, well, that’s not what they’re taught in Chicago where the President and his minions got his political education.

Oh, and, as with anything by this columnist who embodies the qualities of the far-sighted goddess of wisdom and just warfare, just read the whole thing.

Nancy Pelosi Betrays her Prejudices

Since House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has no evidence whatsoever to back up her claim that protesters have been carrying “swastikas and symbols like that” to townhall meetings on health care as evidence of their political affiliation or sympathies, it appears she’s projecting her image of what she thinks these protesters her onto reality.  She just assumes that those protesting Democratic policies would carry such symbols.

Does she really paint her adversaries with such a broad brush, believing them akin to Nazis while at the same time the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, whose job it is to keep Democrats in the majority and thus Mrs. Pelosi as Speaker has been whining that Rush is calling them Nazis!  Talk about pots calling kettles black.

Basically, we’ve got a leading Democrat who ascribes fascist sympathies to her political opponents.  She is one prejudiced lady.

And once again, why can’t a Democrat accept that there is legitimate — and passionate — opposition to her policies?  Why must must she dismiss those who speak out as “astroturf”?  Can anyone point to any evidence of her recent Republican predecessors, Dennis Hastert or Newt Gingrich, so portraying their political opponents while in office?

(Via Gateway Pundit who has more, including actual footage of protesters pasting the swastika on their placards.)

UPDATE/FROM THE COMMENTS:  One of my critics contends that yes, indeed there were swastikas at some of the rallies.  And he’s right.  Only problem for his argument is that the protesters had signs showing that Nazi-appropriated symbol with a slash through it–to indicate opposition (or the actual word “No,” also to indicate opposition.

Given that the Speaker was comparing the protesters, as James Taranto’s observation below indicates, to Nazis, I have tweaked the post slightly to show my intent with the expression, “no evidence whatsoever.”

Let’s review her words again: “I think they’re AstroTurf. You be the judge. They’re carrying swastikas and symbols like that to a town meeting on health care.” Who carries swastikas? Nazis. Pelosi did not complain that the protesters were comparing ObamaCare to Nazism; she insinuated that they are Nazis.

The most charitable thing that can be said about the speaker’s comment is that it was no better than the speech she was criticizing. She likened her political opponents to Nazis, just as a handful of them had done to their opponents.

Why Can’t Obama Democrats Agree to Disagree with their Adversaries?

In the 1990s when I lived in Arlington, Virginia and served on that county’s Republican committee, I would regularly attend meetings of the Democratic-controlled County Board and express my concerns about their tax increases and meddlesome policies.  On occasion, I would talk to the vaious Board members in person.

Once when I ran into Democratic Board Member James B. “Jim” Hunter, III walking through the hallway on his way to the meeting.  I approached him and in a rather confrontational manner, urged him to vote against the meals tax increase which he and his colleagues on the all-Democratic Board were considering.  Given the manner of my approach, I was stunned (and humbled) by his courteous response.  He showed more respect for me than I did for him, looking right at me, listening (without interrupting) to my spiel, then thanking me for expressing my opinion.  He reached his hand out to shake mine.

I would never again approach that good man in a confrontational manner.

In subsequent years, as I remained active in the Arlington County Republican Committee and various civic organizations (I was a member of the Arlington County Commission for the Arts) I got to know him better, still asking him tough questions but with the same courtesy he had showed me.  (He taught me a lesson, that good man did.)

Once when he spoke to the Arlington Gay and Lesbian Alliance, he responded to my question as he always did, with respect.  He thanked me for speaking out, then addressed my concerns.  (I thanked him for his civil response.)  After the public portion of the meeting, we chatted amicably during the sorical hour, with him placing his left hand on my back and shaking my extended right hand with his and said,  “Dan, we’ll have to agree to disagree.”

Other Republicans reported a similar reaction when they met with that good man to discuss their differences with the Board.

When he died, enough members of the County Republican Committee attended his funeral to make a quorum.

Obviously Barack Obama Democrats have not learned from their late partisan from the one part of Virginia which was briefly part of the District of Columbia.  Instead of trashing Republicans who raise their concerns with elected officials as tools of special interest or of maleficent corporations and dismissing our concerns, they should show us the same respect Jim Hunter showed to his political opponents. (more…)

Doubt AP Would make the down economy sound rosier if W were still president

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 2:07 am - August 7, 2009.
Filed under: Economy,Media Bias

As I read their latest headline, I recalled all the gloomy articles on the economy when, during the better half of the Bush Administration (before the election o a Democratic Congress), businesses were expanding and creating jobs.  And in those dark and difficult days, the media tried to pooh-pooh the economy.

Today, however, with a bold new leader in the White House, a man with vision and charisma and lacking an (R) after his name, the lede is fewer job losses expected, with “reporting” that focuses more on forecasts of an imminent recovery than on the details of the continuing downturn.  Back then, it was forecasts of an imminent downturn.

It took the election of a Democratic Congress to make that imminent downturn real.

Guess that glow cast by Obama’s presences furthers the desperate seeking of silver linings.