Tag Archives: town halls

Disrupting democracy IS un-American

Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is the woman whom the wingnuts love to hate, second only perhaps to Billary Clinton. (Hell, I love to hate Billary — her Repugnican-like rhetoric during her battle with Barack Obama for the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination I cannot forget or forgive — and I’m not even a wingnut!)

My criticisms of Pelosi would be along the lines of my criticisms of Billary, and I have had problems with Pelosi for a very different reason than the wingnuts’ reason: Pelosi isn’t left-wing enough.

But I wholeheartedly agree with Pelosi that the Repugnicans’/wingnuts’ recent rash of disruptions of town-hall meetings is “un-American.

A town hall — an antiquated thing, it seems, in the year 2009 — is supposed to be the grassroots democratic process at its best, is it not?

So for individuals — egged on by corporate and plutocratic interests to fight against their own best interests and to fight instead for corporate and plutocratic interests — to disrupt town halls in order to shut down the democratic debate indeed is anti-democratic, and if we define “democratic” as what it means to be “American,” then the orchestrated disruptions of town hall-meetings indeed not only is un-American but is anti-American.

(The disruption of the democratic process, especially by the corporatocrats and plutocrats, is as American as apple pie, you might argue, and you are correct, but it’s the ideal that I’m talking about here.)  

The Repugnicans and wingnuts love democracy only when democracy goes their way. If democracy doesn’t go their way — such as it did not go their way on November 4, 2008, when Barack Obama and Joseph Biden defeated John McCainosaurus and Sarah Palin-Quayle — then the Repugnicans and wingnuts will disrupt the democratic process altogether, such as they did when Al Gore won the White House in 2000 but BushCheneyCorp stole the White House from Gore, and such as the Repugnicans and wingnuts are disrupting the democratic process right now by the orchestrated disruptions of town-hall meetings, which go way beyond the putative issue of health-care reform and are about the fact that these anti-democratic disruptors just cannot accept the fact that their old white guy lost and the younger black guy won the election. 

In their defeat, the Repugnicans and wingnuts are showing their colors: they are yellow-bellied traitors who think nothing of subverting democracy when democracy doesn’t go their way.

Not only are they un-American, but I don’t consider them to be my fellow Americans, but to be anomalies — malignant, cancerous growths that should be removed from the body politic.

I fault Abraham Lincoln for not having finished the job, for the cancer has returned.

P.S. I just can’t resist the opportunity to bash Billary again. The news media today report that baby boomer Billary got sand in her vagina when someone asked her what her husband’s opinion on something is. From The Associated Press:

KINSHASA, Congo – Hillary Clinton has a message for the world: It’s not all about Bill.

The secretary of state bristled [today] when — as she heard it — a Congolese university student asked what her husband thought about an international financial matter.

She hadn’t traveled to Africa to talk about her husband the ex-president. But even there, she couldn’t escape his outsized shadow.

She abruptly reclaimed the stage for herself.

“My husband is not secretary of state, I am,” she snapped. “I am not going to be channeling my husband.”

Clinton’s presence, so bold in her historic presidential candidacy against Barack Obama, has sometimes been hard to see in the months she’s served as the supposed face and voice of U.S. foreign policy.

The president’s ambitious travels have overshadowed her, heavyweight special envoys have been assigned to the world’s critical hotspots, Vice President Joe Biden has taken on assignments abroad — and then last week her husband succeeded in a North Korean mission to free two journalists even as she landed in Africa on a seven-nation trip.

“You want me to tell you what my husband thinks?” she asked incredulously when the student raised a question about a multibillion-dollar Chinese loan offer to Congo.

“If you want my opinion, I will tell you my opinion,” she said. “I am not going to be channeling my husband.”

The moderator quickly moved on.

State Department officials said the student approached Clinton afterward and told her he had meant to ask what Obama, not Bill Clinton, thought about the Chinese loan. A senior Clinton aide said that Mrs. Clinton assured the student not to worry about it.

The student’s question, according to the State Department translation, went like this: “Thank you. Mrs. Clinton, weve all heard about the Chinese contracts in this country. The interference is from the World Bank against this contract. What does Mr. Clinton think through the mouth of Mrs. Clinton and what does Mr. Mutombo think on this situation? Thank you very much.”

It was unclear whether the French-speaking student or translator had erred. Either way, she was not pleased at the mention of her husband’s name.

The Clintons have always been a complicated couple. An accomplished lawyer and politician in her own right, Hillary Rodham Clinton has struggled for decades to balance her interests and ambitions against his. She has supported his career while looking to blaze a trail of her own — at times proud of, and benefiting from, her husband’s accomplishments, and at other times frustrated by his failings and his habit of overshadowing her, friends say….

Whether the student misspoke or whether the student intentionally asked Mrs. Billary what Mr. Billary thinks about a matter, the fact is that Mrs. Billary blew a gasket when she at least thought that she’d been asked about what Mr. Billary thinks about a matter — despite the fact that when it has been politically beneficial for either or both of them, Mr. and Mrs. Billary have been a unit.

The two Billaries for years have sent us conflicting, confusing messages at best; for instance, while I’m glad that the two Americans were brought home safely from North Korea by Mr. Billary, can we be blamed for some confusion when it’s Mrs. Billary who is secretary of state but it’s Mr. Billary who is out scooping American citizens from a member of the Bush regime’s “axis of evil”?

Get a grip, Mrs. Billary. You want it both ways but you can’t have it both ways. And get that sand flushed out as soon as possible, please.

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Repugnican lynch mobsters show us what they’re made of: treasonous shit

It’s interesting to watch the Repugnicans and other assorted wingnuts when things don’t go their way.

Remember the Repugnican cries of “Sore Loserman!” when BushCheneyCorp blatantly stole the presidential election of 2000, the election that Democrat Al Gore had won?

It’s funny, because even though Gore won the 2000 popular vote by more than a half-million votes and thus was the clear choice of the majority of the American voters, and even though George W. Bush “won” the pivotal state of Florida — even though his brother was governor at the time, and even though Florida’s top elections official, Repugnican Katherine Harris, had sat on the state’s committee to elect Bush (no conflict of interest there!), and even though the U.S. Supreme Court, by a vote of five right-wingers to four left-wingers, voted to stop the Florida recount and to crown Bush Jr. as “president” — the Repugnicans insisted that nonetheless Bush was the rightful, legitimate president.

Now, in President Barack Obama we have a president who actually was elected legitimately, but the same Repugnicans who cried “Sore Loserman!” won’t accept it.  

First there were the April 15 “tea parties” — which supposedly were about taxes but actually were about the fact that Omigod! Omigod! Omigod! There’s a black! guy in the White! House! — and now there are the Repugnican/wingnut disruptions of elected officials’ town halls.

I wasn’t going to write about the disruptions of the town halls until I saw this news tidbit from The Associated Press today:

Washington, D.C. – As they head home to their congressional districts for the August recess, lawmakers who support health care reform are bracing for protests and demonstrations that threaten to turn violent.

In North Carolina, a congressman who backs overhauling health care had his life threatened by a caller upset that he was not holding a public forum on the proposal.

Democratic Rep. Brad Miller received the call Monday, one of hundreds the congressman’s office has fielded demanding town-hall meetings on the health care proposal, said his spokeswoman, LuAnn Canipe. She said the callers were “trying to instigate town halls so they can show up and disrupt.”

“We had one of those kind of calls that escalated to what we considered a threat” on the congressman’s life, Canipe said [yesterday]. “These are some strong-arm tactics, and we are trying to deal with and trying to talk to people in good faith about health care reform.”

Earlier this week, White House officials counseled Democratic senators on coping with disruptions at public events this summer.

In the week since the House began its break, several town-hall meetings have already been disrupted by noisy demonstrators.

The latest occurrence was at back-to-back town hall meetings held by Rep. John Dingell, D-Mich., which got so raucous police had to escort people out.

Dingell vowed [yesterday] to push ahead with Democratic-led efforts to extend coverage to all, saying he won’t be intimidated by protesters.

“I am eager to talk about the bill with anyone who wants to discuss it. That doesn’t open the door to everyone who wants to demagogue the discussion,” Dingell said in a statement.

The boos, jeers and shouts of “Shame on you!” at the events in a gym in Romulus, Mich., mirror what other Democrats are encountering around the country. Activists have shown up at town-hall meetings held recently by Arlen Specter, D-Pa. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., was greeted by about 200 protesters at an event in Denver, about half supporting Democrats and half opposed.

In Saratoga Springs, N.Y., about 20 protesters showed up at an event held by Democratic Rep. Scott Murphy to let him know they oppose the health care plans in Washington. They carried signs saying: “Obamacare Seniors beware! Rationing is here,” and “If socialized medicine is best … why didn’t Ted Kennedy go to Canada?”

The episodes have drawn widespread media attention, and Republicans have seized on them as well as polls showing a decline in support for President Barack Obama and his agenda as evidence that public support is lacking for his signature legislation.

Pushing back, Democrats have accused Republicans of sanctioning mob tactics, and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., accused protesters earlier this week of trying to sabotage the democratic process.

Miller never had plans to hold a town-hall meeting during the August recess, Canipe said. Instead, he was sitting down with smaller groups of people to discuss the plan. During one of those smaller gatherings [yesterday], hundreds of people from a group called Triangle Conservatives peacefully protested at Miller’s Raleigh office.

The threatening caller, when told by a staffer that Miller was not planning a meeting, claimed the congressman didn’t want to meet with people face to face because he knew it would cost him his life, according to Canipe. The staffer then asked if the caller was making a threat. The caller, said Canipe, replied that there are a lot of angry people out there.

The U.S. Capitol Police confirmed [yesterday] they were looking into a threat against a congressman, but wouldn’t provide further details.

So not only are the wingnuts disrupting public forums, but they are making death threats against those elected officials who refuse to hold public forums that the wingnuts only will disrupt?

This is the same fake-mob mentality that we saw in the fight for the 2000 presidential election results, in which Repugnican operatives in Florida pretended to be ordinary American citizens so angry about an “injustice” that they were rising up against it:

fake citizen rally

This angry mob, which successfully stopped the recount in Miami-Dade County during the 2000 [presidential] election standoff, was portrayed by the media as an uprising by Florida voters.

Here are the identities of the protesters:

1. Tom Pyle, policy analyst, office of House Majority Whip Tom DeLay (R-Texas)
2. Garry Malphrus, majority chief counsel and staff director, House judiciary subcommittee on criminal justice
3. Rory Cooper, political division staff member at the National Republican Congressional Committee
4. Kevin Smith, former House Republican conference analyst and more recently of Voter.com.
5. Steven Brophy, former aide to Sen. Fred D. Thompson (R-Tennessee), now working at the consulting firm KPMG
6. Matt Schlapp, former chief of staff for Rep. Todd Tiahrt (R-Kansas), now on the Bush campaign staff in Austin
7. Roger Morse, aide to Rep. Van Hilleary (R-Tennessee)
8. Duane Gibson, aide to Chairman Don Young (R-Alaska) of the House Resources Committee
9. Chuck Royal, legislative assistant to Rep. Jim DeMint (R-South Carolina)
10. Layna McConkey, former legislative assistant to former Rep. Jim Ross Lightfoot (R-Iowa) now at Steelman Health Strategies

(From about.com)

The Repugnicans can’t get a legitimate mob of concerned citizens together because the Repugnicans represent the super-rich and there just aren’t enough of the super-rich to form legitimate citizen mobs.

As the recent 68-31 vote in the U.S. Senate for the confirmation of Sonia Sotomayor to the U.S. Supreme Court demonstrates, the winguts are no more than about a third of the U.S. population, but they still want to run the show — by force, if they have to.

Fuck the faux mobs. We need to treat them like they are: mobsters. Criminals. Traitors — because they think that they, the minority, can run roughshod over the rest of us, the majority.

They think that if they just throw enough tantrums, we’ll give in.

We gave in to their tantrums in late 2000 and George W. Bush became “president” even though he’d fucking lost the election to Al Gore.

Look what giving in to the vocal minority’s tantrums in late 2000 cost the nation.

Never again.

These sore losermen need to sit the fuck down and shut the fuck up — or we need to make them sit the fuck down and shut the fuck up, because their actions now are not democratic, but are treasonous.

The vocal minority fucking lost the presidential election of 2008 — by a margin too great for them to be able to steal yet another presidential election — and, to paraphrase my great senator, Barbara Boxer, these traitors need to learn that elections have consequences. And we, the majority of the American people, need to teach them that.

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