Diary

Thin Ice? Seriously?

Friday, White House flack Robert Gibbs finished off the Obama administration’s journey into Chicagoland muck politics by suggesting that radio host Rush Limbaugh and others opposed to the federal seizure of the health care industry were on “thin ice” and that the administration’s opponents should “take that temperature down a bit.”

This comes after the Obama administration shocked the nation by suggesting Americans fink on their friends and neighbors who disagree with the federal seizure of the health care industry by reporting “fishy” opinions to [email protected], prompting Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) to inquire whether the president was compiling a Nixonian “enemies list.” Memo to Cornyn: of course he is. He’s been doing it ever since he was elected. Before the president’s opponents were an “angry mob” in the words of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Botox), they were “right-wing extremists” as named by Obama’s Department of Homeland Security, which was a pretext to begin taking names – as suggested in DHS’ memo at the time.

Meanwhile, while Pelosi, Gibbs and others in the Obama machine were suggesting that the conservative movement against the federal seizure of the health care industry, which is an outcropping of the Tea Party movement which put over a million Americans on the streets to protest government encroachment in our lives, is “Astroturf,” the president’s allies were deploying muscle from the Service Employees International Union to beat up and intimidate their fellow citizens who spoke out at town hall meetings this week. One such citizen, St. Louis resident Kenneth Gladney, was put in the hospital by SEIU gorillas. Gladney, who is black, bore the special additional insult of being called a “nigger” by his tormentors during the attack. And in a town hall meeting put on by the SEIU and Congresswoman Betty Reed, conservative protestors were roughed up and given the bum’s rush by union goons as they spoke out against the federal seizure of the health care industry.

This, apparently, is just beginning. On Wednesday, after all, Obama campaign guru David Axelrod and deputy chief of staff Jim Messina told Democratic senators to “hit back twice as hard” against opponents of Obamacare at this month’s town halls. The Democrat National Committee put out an offensive and thoroughly dishonest internet ad demonizing Obamacare opponents as a lunatic fringe. The AARP, which this week abandoned any pretense of nonpartisanship and officially endorsed Obamacare despite its quite-apparent leanings toward denial of care for seniors along the lines of the British and Canadian model, had its functionaries walk out of meetings at which members expressing dissenting views of the federal seizure of the health care system.

Also, AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Richard Trumka shot forth this gem on Thursday:

“Every American has the inalienable right to participate in our democratic process. Our politics is passionate, heartfelt and often loud — as was the founding of our nation. But that is not what the corporate-funded mobs are engaging in when they show up to disrupt town halls held by members of Congress.

“Major health care reform is closer than ever to passage and it is no secret that special interests want to weaken or block it. These mobs are not there to participate. As their own strategy memo states, they have been sent by their corporate and lobbyist bankrollers to disrupt, heckle and block meaningful debate. This is a desperation move, meant to slow the momentum for change.

“Mob rule is not democracy. People have a democratic right to express themselves and our elected leaders have a right to hear from their constituents — not organized thugs whose sole purpose is to shut down the conversation and attempt to scare our leaders into inaction.

“We call on the insurance companies, the lobbyists and the Republican leaders who are cheering them on to halt these ‘Brooks Brothers Riot’ tactics. Health care is a crucial issue and everyone – on all sides of the issue – deserves to be heard.”

There are lots and lots more examples of the left-wing pushback to opponents of the federal seizure of the health care industry. In the interest of brevity I’ll not go further.

The fact is, there was no violence at any of these town halls until the union goons showed up after being deployed by Obama and his allies. None. There had been no violence at any of the Tea Parties on or around April 15 or July 4. Heated rhetoric? Perhaps. Passion? Without question. After all, you have a president who is suggesting radical, unwise and quite unpopular changes to how our country works – despite fears that America was slipping into apathy and acceptance of a leftist lurch in its polity there is still a great commitment on the part of its citizenry to liberty. Those two forces were bound to collide eventually.

Obama acted stupidly in attempting the seizure of the health care industry in his first year. Virtually everyone understands that now. He would have been better advised to allow his regulatory and tax policies to drive unemployment above 15 percent, so as to further the creation of an army of fearful Americans predisposed to begging for federal health care benefits; by early next year Obamanomics will likely have us at double-digit unemployment with rising inflation and interest rates, and that triple whammy will have turned a once-proud nation into a quivering, pliant herd the president could steer into whatever vision of socialist utopia he wanted. Even after the auto bailouts, stimulus and Cap and Trade, all incredibly stupid policies only a leftist autocrat would dream of attempting, Obama still had ample popularity to present himself as a great healer of our nation in the manner of the Franklin Delano Roosevelt that he fancies himself to be, and thus propose the seizure of the health care sector.

But he has overreached, and badly. Obama allowed the leftist stooges in the House Democrat leadership to draft quite possibly the worst legislation in American history – a hot mess of unworkable governmental mandates, economic frauds, assaults on liberty and confiscation of private sector wealth and endeavor. No American politician with an ounce of economic literacy could possibly support this disaster, and public disapproval of the package has swelled with every disclosure of what is in the Obamacare legislation. The Congressional Budget Office has exploded every myth the administration has attempted to spin regarding its cost, American doctors and nurses are fighting mad about it despite the support of the American Medical Association’s leadership (which, like the AARP, has not reflected the will of that organization’s membership in some time) and senior citizens are beginning to understand that the inevitable rationing which will come out of the plan means that for them, Obamacare means Deathcare.

The president hasn’t helped his cause. He has suggested that 100-year old heart patients ought to be given pain pills rather than pacemakers and that doctors perform tonsillectomies in an attempt to churn revenue. Yesterday, in attempting to say the opposition to his health-care gambit is ginned up by insurance companies, he issued forth an even dumber quote: “But I don’t want the folks who created the mess to do a lot of talking. I want them to get out of the way so we can clean up the mess. I don’t mind cleaning up after them, but don’t do a lot of talking.”

Thankfully, all of this is going down in flames. From the release of this week’s Quinnipiac poll on health care:

“Independent voters, perhaps the key voting group, are more worried about the deficit rising than congressional inaction, 54 – 37 percent. These voters say 59 – 36 percent that overhaul should not occur if it would “significantly” increase the deficit.

“Independents oppose 63 – 33 percent passing a bill with only Democratic votes.

“Independent voters also don’t think Obama can keep his promise to avoid increasing the deficit and pass health care by an overwhelming 77 – 17 percent.”

So Obama is going to lose on health care. It’s possible he might get a bill through Congress, though right now I’d be surprised if he could get enough so-called “Blue Dog Democrats” in the House to agree to vote themselves out of office by passing this thing without a major downsizing of the current legislation. Even if he does, though, the president is destroying his approval ratings and driving his and his party’s credibility down the drain. And without the support of the American people or any political capital, he’s likely going to be powerless to stop a Republican takeover in the House after next year’s mid-term elections, which will effectively destroy this lurch to the left we’ve seen so far.

I think Obama and his people know this. I think they’re very surprised by it, but they can read a poll just like the rest of us can. They know America is a center-right country and the majority of its citizens reject leftist statism honestly presented – that’s why Obama did everything he could to craft a facade of centrism during the election last year (at least, he was a centrist once he’d wrestled the Democrat nomination from Hillary Clinton). Here’s the thing, though – they don’t care.

Obama comes from a political tradition which is divorced from civil society and the rule of law. From first grade through fourth grade Obama lived in Indonesia, which was then ruled by the authoritarian dictator Suharto. His first memories, then, came from living in a dictatorship. After moving back to Hawaii to live with his grandparents Obama would have been exposed to the fruits of American democracy, but his grandfather then introduced him to the mentoring of communist revolutionary Frank Marshall Davis, whose hatred of American traditions is plain to see in his scribblings. Obama then was off to college and landed at Columbia, where he was exposed to and fell in with communist revolutionaries like Bill Ayers, Frances Fox Piven and Richard Cloward, whose lives had been dedicated to the destruction of the American political and economic system. Following that he studied the tactics of communist revolutionary Saul Alinsky and embarked on a career of rabble-rousing and demogoguery in the slums of Chicago – then immersed himself in even more anti-American leftism at Harvard Law School. After that, Obama returned to Chicago to get involved in the most poisonous and lawless political climate this country has to offer. Obama’s first two successful elections, mind you, largely came about because (1) he had his minions disqualify the electoral petitions of his Democrat opponents in a state senate race, and (2) his people were able to get the embarrassing divorce records of both his top Democrat opponent and his Republican opponent released in advance of the primary and general election for the US Senate in 2004.

Pure Chicago politics? No question. Textbook American democracy? Not even close.

This man has no connection to the political traditions most of us hold dear. He’s never seen American politics through any prism other than that of class warfare or bare-knuckles stop-at-nothing combat. He’s never reached across the aisle and certainly isn’t doing it now, he’s never had to work with people who don’t share his ideology to reach a consensus and he’s never pulled a punch in his life. From Joe the Plumber to Sgt. James Crowley to Gerald Walpin, a growing legion of those who have found themselves at odds with the president have felt the sting of his lash, and now it’s the millions of Americans who want this country to remain the land of liberty it has always been who are being demonized, insulted and told to shut up.

So Limbaugh and others who agree with him are on “thin ice.” Limbaugh is irresponsible and needs to turn the temperature down. Gibbs says “I know the president feels strongly that we can discuss these issues without personally maligning… that we are doing so in a way that respects the dignity of each individual,” at the same time the administration is injecting SEIU goons into town halls to rough up those who don’t toe the line. And the administration is asking Americans to e-mail it with the names of dissidents.

We’re on thin ice, all right. That much is true.

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