The Sticking Fingers In Ears And Yelling "La-La-La" Strategy
Both sides have decided to mobilize in member districts throughout August over health care policy. Democrats have settled on banging the hell out of the insurance companies - mostly with the insurance companies' blessing, I'm sure, if the end result is an individual mandate and a forced market for 46 million new policies without a public option to contend with. The Republican strategy is literally to yell at the top of their lungs.
Who needs civility and intelligent discourse when we have confused mobs of far-right activists organized by corporate lobbyists?
The House has been in recess for only a few days, but we're already seeing the results of the right-wing efforts.
This past weekend, Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D-TX) was the latest victim of the right's strategy, where protesters followed him and chanted "just say no" to health care.
Texas has the highest uninsured rate in the nation and stands to be among the most to gain from Obama's health care plan. "[N]early 6 million Texans, including the one in six U.S. uninsured children who live there, could get health insurance for the first time if the plan is enacted." [...]
An angry crowd also exploded at Sen. Arlen Specter (D-PA) and Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius. The Philadelphia Daily News reports, "They wore bumper stickers on their foreheads. They carried signs. They shouted insults at notable American figures -- and each other. Loudly."
This isn't just about intimidating lawmakers, it's also about exercising something of a heckler's veto -- if the mob can prevent an honest discussion of health care reform, people who'll benefit from the legislation won't learn what it's in it for them and why the conservative arguments are wrong.
This is the culmination of decades of the devolution of American discourse, through talk radio and cable news, that now results in consideration of the most momumental policy in a generation being reduced to sloganeering and loud chants. The corporate lobbyists funding and directing the right wing know that they can take advantage of chaos and push through lies and distortions much easier. And they figure they can set the wobblier Democratic members to the ground just by shouting at them.
Sadly, they're probably right.