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Morning Bell: The White House Strikes Back

Posted By Conn Carroll On August 7, 2009 @ 9:54 am In Ongoing Priorities | Comments Disabled

An overwhelming majority of Americans (72%) don’t believe President Barack Obama will keep his promise [1] to overhaul the health care system without adding to the federal deficit, according to a study [2] released yesterday by the Quinnipiac University. According to Gallup [3]: “Americans are being asked to approve major new health care expenditures at a time when they are not yet convinced that the last massive outlay of government money — the stimulus — has made an impact.”

Yet the White House and their allies are trying to convince the media that the anger at townhalls across the county is being manufactured by special interests in Washington.  At a press conference, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) called the protests “phony” [4], holding up a swatch of Astroturf  to illustrate his point. And the White House is telling supporters “to punch back twice as hard” [5] at anybody who dares to question their policies. Unfortunately, some Obama supporters are taking that call literally.

At a townhall last night in St. Louis, Kenneth Gladney, 38, a local conservative activist  said he was attacked by Obama supporters, one of whom used a racial slur against him before the attack. From the emergency room at St. John’s Mercy Medical Center, Gladney, who is black, told the St. Louis Dispatch: “It just seems there’s no freedom of speech without being attacked.” In Tampa, Florida, protester Barry Osteen was pushed in the face [6] by Democratic Club Treasurer Karen Miracle [7], and union members allegedly assaulted another concerned citizen [8]. Both of the events were organized by the Service Employees International Union (SEIU). Asked about the possibility of people concerned about Obama showing up at their event, in Tampa, SEIU spokeswoman Kim Diehl told the St. Petersburg Times [9]: “We’re prepared. We have strategies to deal with it if it should come up.”

As this video plainly shows [10], one of those strategies is to lock out dissenters while letting in purple- shirted SEIU members. The desire to silence dissent on Obamacare goes all the way to the top. At a Democratic rally in Virginia last night, the President told supporters [11]: “I don’t want the folks who created the mess doing a lot of talking. I want them to just get out of the way so we can clean up the mess.”

Not everyone on the left has been so quick to silence the opposition. In direct contradiction to claims by Sens. Harry Reid (D-NV) and Dick Durbin (D-IL), Sen. Claire McCaskill tweeted last night [4]: “I disagree that the people showing concern over some health care proposals are ‘manufactured’ Real folks, strong opinions.” And Sen. Ben Cardin told Fox News [4]: “People have strong views about health care reform. The overwhelming majority of Americans want to participate. They want to know how it affects them, and what it will do with their health insurance through what it will do with their health care costs. Those are legitimate questions.”

Cardin and McCaskill are dead-on. The American people have every right to be concerned about taking a leftist turn on health care. Just look at France. The Wall Street Journal [12] reports today that the soaring costs of France’s state health insurer, Assurance Maladie, are causing complaints from patients, doctors, and nurses that care is being rationed. Exploding costs and rationed health care are the exact same concerns that Americans are voicing about Obamacare at townhalls across the country. Instead of silencing their critics, the White House should begin listening to their concerns.

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Article printed from The Foundry: Conservative Policy News from The Heritage Foundation: http://blog.heritage.org

URL to article: http://blog.heritage.org/2009/08/07/morning-bell-the-white-house-strikes-back/

URLs in this post:

[1] don’t believe President Barack Obama will keep his promise: http://www.foundry.org/2009/08/05/americans-worried-health-reform-will-increase-federal-debt/

[2] study: http://www.quinnipiac.edu/x1295.xml?ReleaseID=1357

[3] Gallup: http://www.gallup.com/poll/121997/americans-healthcare-reform-top-takeaways.aspx

[4] “phony”: http://thehill.com/leading-the-news/axelrod-gives-dems-their-health-talking-points-2009-08-06.html

[5] “to punch back twice as hard”: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0809/25891.html

[6] pushed in the face: http://www.tampabay.com/news/politics/article1025529.ece

[7] Democratic Club Treasurer Karen Miracle: http://www.easthillsboroughdems.org/contactus.html

[8] union members allegedly assaulted another concerned citizen: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qLpHbD5cy0s

[9] St. Petersburg Times: http://www.thenextright.com/jon-henke/the-mob-revealed

[10] this video plainly shows: http://www.breitbart.tv/st-louis-town-hall-turmoil-were-protesters-barred-as-union-members-entered/

[11] told supporters: http://www.realclearpolitics.com/politics_nation/2009/08/at_deeds_rally_obama_knocks_go.html

[12] Wall Street Journal: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124958049241511735.html

[13] would not support any climate change bill that did not protect American industries: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/07/us/politics/07climate.html

[14] the Obama administration is considering imposing tariffs on some Chinese-made tires: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/08/06/AR2009080603941.html

[15] UPS and the International Brotherhood of Teamsters are forcing them to write letters: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/08/06/AR2009080603863.html

[16] Gallup: http://www.gallup.com/poll/122057/Americans-Return-Tougher-Immigration-Stance.aspx

[17] American economy lost 247,000 jobs in July: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/08/business/economy/08jobs.html

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