House Speaker Calls Protestors “Un-American” by Gregory Hilton

Citizen outrage is continuing at a fever pitch and Congressional schedules during the August recess are in sharp contrast to a year ago. Many lawmakers are in hiding and Rep. Dennis Cardoza (D-CA) is refusing to visit his district this month. Others have canceled town hall meetings in favor of a call in format where opposition voices can not be heard. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ) did not show up for her event and it was taken over be her GOP opponent.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) is calling right wing protesters “Un-American” in Monday’s “USAToday,” but their message is being heard. Despite the Speaker’s comments I haven’t seen any evidence that the outrage this August is fabricated “AstroTurf.” We do know the drug industry will be spending $150 million on TV commercials supporting the Obama plan, which is more than McCain spent during his presidential campaign. According to Craigslist, the Obama supporters are being paid: http://sacramento.craigslist.org/search/jjj?query=obama&catAbbreviation=jjj
Many moderate Democrats and a few liberals are now voicing doubts about moving such complex and costly legislation as health care reform and cap and trade too quickly. “No one wants to tell the Speaker that she’s moving too fast and they damn sure don’t want to tell the President,” says Rep. Charles Rangel ( D-NY), the Chairman of the Ways and Means Committee.
I often disagree with Paul Krugman, the liberal New York Times columnist, but this statement is accurate: “If Mr. Obama can’t recapture some of the passion of 2008, can’t inspire his supporters to stand up and be heard, health care reform may well fail.”
According to Jennifer Rubin of Commentary: “One has the sense that lawmakers are just stunned that ordinary citizens would have the temerity to speak up. They simply never encounter people who disagree so bluntly and so loudly with them. Until now, the average town hall was a lightly attended snooze-fest where a few seniors came to complain about late checks and a question or two came up about a local pork-barrel project.
“But then citizens got the idea that they could come out—in droves—and give their representatives a piece of their mind. It is all quite a culture shock for the lawmakers, who seem blissfully unaware that somewhere in just about every crowd there is someone with a video camera or a cell phone recording how they respond to criticism. And so far, it’s not a pretty sight.”
It is also good to remember 2003 when Hillary Clinton said, “I am sick and tired of people who say that if you debate and you disagree with this administration somehow you’re not patriotic. We should stand up and say we are Americans and we have a right to debate and disagree with any administration.”

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