Healthcare Protests Reek of Short Memories and Double Standards

Crossposted from Hillbilly Report.

All over the country right-wing folks have made a special effort to make it to various townhalls to protest- and make sure that anyone with positive things to say about the healthcare bill do not get heard. These folks are angry about many things, from what they percieve as a "government take-over" of healthcare, to the debt and deficits they see as being caused by Barack Obama, and most ridiculously to their parents and grandparents being put before Obama's "death panels" whose sole purpose they believe is to murder the elderly and sick children who are not worth the cost to keep alive.

Now, I believe no matter how ridiculous the issue you are protesting is, every American has the right to protest as they see fit as long as they are not hurting someone else. During the last few decades, Liberals and Progressives have protested many things we deemed unfair, or undemocratic or even illegal and we were well within our rights to do so. Consequently, the far-right lunatic fringe wing of the Republican Party have every right to protest what they consider the "robbing of their freedoms" or the "move towards Socialism", or even the "stealing of American rights". However while it is their right to protest the simple fact of the matter is that these folks have very short memories, and a vicious double-standard.

First, lets start with the very irresponsible, and in my opinion completely idiotic comments made by Sarah Palin about "death panels". While I consider it idiocy as do most rational Americans, in retrospect her comments served her purpose. They misled millions of Americans who for whatever reason look up to the woman. They caused a huge firestorm that caused the option of elderly folks being able to see "end of life counselors" to discuss such things as whether they have a will, and whether they have enough life insurance to avoid their eventual deaths straddling their families with debt to be removed from the healthcare bill.

And of course, in her ridiculous comments Caribou Barbie conviently left out the fact that in the Medicaire Bill of 2003, a bill passed by a Republican Congress and signed into law by a Republican President, their was a provision for none other than "end of life counseling":

Coverage of certain physician's services for certain terminally ill individuals would be authorized. Persons entitled to these services would be individuals who have not elected the hospice benefit and have not previously received these physician's services. Covered services would be those furnished by a physician who is the medical director or employee of a hospice program. Services would include evaluating the individual's need for pain and symptom management, counseling the individual with respect to end-of-life issues and care options, and advising the individual regarding advanced care planning. Payment for such services would equal the amount established for similar services under the physician fee schedule, excluding the practice expense component. The provision would apply to consultation services provided by a hospice program on or after January 1, 2004. amp;dbname=cp108&sid=cp108d60yh& refer=&r_n=hr391.108&item=&s el=TOC_2103579&

Where was she then and why did she not accuse President Bush and Mitch McConnell of trying to pull the plug on Granny and murder her baby with Down's Syndrome?? Where were all these zealots who are so worried about the government making life and death decisions for us when seniors faced the prospect of "Republican Death Panels"?? All of these folks were conspicously silent because they have short memories and a vicously hypocritical double-standard. All was just fine with them then.

And what of all those elderly Conservatives that are so concerned that the government will take over healthcare. Take a look at your next pay stub and you will see the money taken from your check so that our government can provide these folks with healthcare at little or no cost to them. Where is all the outrage when I pay taxes to cover their healthcare?? In their narrow-minded, selfish worlds it is perfectly fine for taxes to be raised on me so they can enjoy free, government-run healthcare but when a bill comes along that would allow me to PAY FOR my own health insurance not inflated for the profits of some greedy health insurance mogul, suddenly these folks are concerned with taxes and with "government control". Where is their outrage when my paycheck is being deducted from for their care?? Unlike them, I am not so selfish that I despise my fellow citizens and have never raised one gripe about my Medicaire deduction. Medicaire that I myself do not qualify for and have never used one red cent of.

And what about the debts and deficits they are so enraged about?? They blame President Obama for "straddling our children and grandchildren with debt", but who really did such a thing?? Where were they when President Bush led us into a failed, misguided war against a country that did not attack us to settle his father's vendetta against Saddam Hussein?? That war has cost a trillion dollars over the last seven years when Universal Healthcare as discussed will not cost that much over ten years. Where is all the outraged at this huge amount of debt and wasted money over that period of time for a failed policy we are still paying hundreds of billions for every month?? Once again these folks have short memories and a vicious double-standard. When the time was ripe to protest these things, they were completely silent.

And what about the bailouts and the stimulus and sagging economy that they are now so enraged at President Obama about?? Well, through the horribly irresponsible policies of President Bush and his Republican Congress everything was de-regulated, Corporate welfare was handed out like M&M's and the robber-barons in Corporate America, the banks and Wall St. walked right in and picked our economy clean which eventually crashed it into a ditch. Where was the outrage and the vitriol then?? Where was the anger as President Bush, as his last major action bailed out the bankers to the tune of over $700 billion and then those bankers in turn pocketed the money and refused to circulate it to revive the economy they themselves had crashed?? This time they are not silent on that, they actually BLAME PRESIDENT OBAMA for that one when the President they adored and voted for twice was the true culprit. Once again, short memories and a vicious double-standard.

And what about the percieved "stealing of American freedoms" by President Obama and the Democratic Congress. Yes, we hear much from them about how these Democrats want to destroy the American way of life, bring about Socialism and rob us of all our freedoms. Once again the question is where were all these protesters when the Bush Administration, led by Dick Cheney was shredding the Constitution and stealing the very real freedoms of Americans everywhere by the use of "warrantless wiretaps" against anyone they saw fit with no oversight whatsoever?? These folks were not marching in the streets or shouting down Congressmembers then, they were completely silent. Where was the outrage??

I could go on, but I will end this with one final point, and question. These folks try and say that Democrats are trying to portray them as un-American and ignore their voices. Well, where was the outrage when those of us who believed the "War on Terror" was a propoganda ploy were being called "cowards", "weak", or even worse yet, "traitors"?? Many of us could not speak our minds in public without fearing that we would be beaten, arrested, or even murdered for not buying what has been proven out as a lie. Where was all their outrage then when the voices of their fellow citizens were silenced by intimidation and fear?? These folks were completely silent and in the most shameless double-standard actually joined the chorus that demonized us and tried to rob our freedom of speech.

Before any of these far-right zealots protest anything and before they lash out about the debt, and government involvement in the lives of American citizens they need to take a good hard look in the mirror. They stood idly by and sucked up entitlements others had paid taxes for, they ran up huge debts for our children and grandchildren to pay, they supported "death panels" and they tried their best to silence oppostion and steal away freedoms. Only now when they fear that our government may do something good for their fellow citizens who desperately need it with a Democratic Congress and President are they outraged.

This hypocrisy is mind-boggling and can only be called for what it is. Sheer selfish idiocy.

Tags: Banking Bailouts, bush administration, death panels, Debt, entitlements, hypocrisy, idiocy, protests, Sarah Palin, stimulus, Taxes, Tea-baggers, universal healthcare, war on terror (all tags)


1 Comment

Re: Healthcare Protests Reek of Short Memories and
Two Words: Rumor Bomb. Well, there is a considerable amount of social scientific evidence to support points made in this post above. Many people choose news sources based on trust and political beliefs, according to research Centers like the Pew Center for People and the Press. Indeed, the current mediation of these townhall meetings is a function of the same problem; these disrupters appear to be a vocal minority. When they are foisted on the news agenda for their spectacular/tabloid quality (they piss some people off and are a point of deep emotional identification for others) but are not framed as being an uncivil, anti-democratic (because disrespecting of civil debate) minority, they start to look normal, even seriously majoritarian. But the current cultural fallout over healthcare reform shows deep American cultural conflicts. Even pointing this out, and insisting on an ethic of civil/respectful debate will be re-spun by some as mere "liberal" rhetoric. When we reach this stage of affairs, is there really a democracy left? All social instiutions are to blame for these cultural tendencies: schools, religion, family, and especially the cutthroat market media, in crisis due to the internet (sites and comments like...this). Why? Factchecking, challenging deliberately or stupidly slippery language, reporting both sides (or as many as possible)-all this has gone down the drain due to time/speed, fewer financial resources to keep up, and pressures for attention which lead to printing and showing anything that will sustain attention, piss people off, etc. What is at stake is not just healthcare, but democracy itself. This is the era of THE RUMOR BOMB.
Documented and discussed in greater detail here:
by jharsin 2009-08-15 04:33AM | 0 recs


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