Attacking Americans Will Not Prevent Them From Getting Their Message Out

I was shocked to read the op-ed in USA Today by Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer.  Speaker Pelosi and Leader Hoyer write “These disruptions are occurring because opponents are afraid not just of differing views–but of the facts themselves.  Drowning out opposing views is simply un-American.”

I have news for Speaker Pelosi and Leader Hoyer: Dissent and speaking out at meetings is the American way.  It is one of the foundations upon which this great nation is based.  To accuse American people, whether they are Republicans, Democrats, Libertarians, or Independents, of being un-American because dare to oppose something that Pelosi and Hoyer desperately want to see passed is disgraceful and they owe the American people an apology.

Have some of the townhall meetings become heated?  Of course they have.  Health care is an important issue to the American people.  Everyone in the country will be affected by whatever Congress does.  We already know that the proposed health care bill that has been voted out of the House Committee chaired by Henry Waxman will consume 1/6 of American expenditures.

Of course people are passionate.  They have a right to be heard.  They have a right to be loud.  They have a right to express their views by shouting if that is what they need to do to be heard.  Who among us hasn’t felt like shouting at a Congress that ignores the voices of the American people?  Interestingly, it hasn’t been the opponents of the 1017page health care bill who have resorted to violence at the townhall meetings.  It has been organized supporters of the bill.  They are the people showing up in identical tee-shirts, holding identical, professionally prepared signs.

The reason politicians like Pelosi and Hoyer want to silence dissent is because they know that the more the American people find out about the bill they are trying to ram through Congress (one which they certainly haven’t read, most members of Congress haven’t read, and the President hasn’t read) the more the opposition will grow.

Let the debate continue.  The vast majority of provisions in the proposed House bill won’t even go into effect until 2013.  What’s the hurry?  Could it be that Pelosi and Hoyer both want the bill passed before the American people find out what is really in it?  Proponents of the bill like to say that we have been discussing health care for many years.  That may very well be true.  But they overlook the fact that we have only been discussing a 1,000page bill proposed by a House Committee for a few weeks.

Few Americans have read the bill, and certainly few members of Congress have read it.  Apologize now, Speaker Pelosi and Leader Hoyer.  You disrespect the American people with your op-ed in USA Today titled “Un-American Attacks Can’t Derail Health Care Debate.”

Cross posted at Tim James 2010

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