Protesting with Detachment, MLK-style -UPDATED

Early yesterday evening, I wrote:

You know who could put a stop to the bad feelings arising in this country? President Obama, who is supposed to be the leadership. Just as Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton backed off when they realized America was not into having their Healthcare taken over by the government, Obama could say, “you know, I’m moving kind of fast here, maybe we’ll shelve this for a while and concentrate more on putting people back to work, which is urgent.”

Such a move would be an instant assist to the nation Obama is supposed to be passionate about protecting, preserving and above-all SERVING. It would also mean instant restoration of his fast-fading credibility. Think he’ll do it?

Apparently Long Island Irish Catholic minds think similarly. A few hours later, Peggy Noonan wrote this:

. . .frankly they ought to think about backing off. The president should call in his troops and his Congress and announce a rethinking. There are too many different bills, they’re all a thousand pages long, no one has time to read them, no one knows what’s going to be in the final one, the public is agitated, the nation’s in crisis, the timing is wrong, we’ll turn to it again—but not now. We’ll take a little longer, ponder every aspect, and make clear every complication.

You know what would happen if he did this? His numbers would go up. Even Congress’s would. Because they’d look responsive, deliberative and even wise. Discretion is the better part of valor.

She is a better writer, but I think we’re both saying something very sensible, here. The Democrats are (in the words of Jonah Goldberg) “coming apart like so much wet toilet paper.” Moreover, their naked disdain for average Americans and their misguided instincts to mock, menace and marginalize the passionate citizens who dare to disagree with them is creating a very bad atmosphere that seems increasingly unstable. Last night, in Tampa, a female Democrat official smacked a man who was arguing face-to-face with her husband. In Missouri, a healthcare opponent handing out yellow “Don’t Tread On Me” signs was physically attacked and other disruptions occured.

Noonan also wrote:

. . .the health-care protesters have to make sure they don’t get too hot, or get out of hand. They haven’t so far, they’ve been burly and full of debate, with plenty of booing. This is democracy’s great barbaric yawp. But every day the meetings seem just a little angrier, and people who are afraid—who have been made afraid, and left to be afraid—can get swept up. As this column is written, there comes word that John Sweeney of the AFL-CIO has announced he’ll be sending in union members to the meetings to counter health care’s critics.

Somehow that doesn’t sound like a peace initiative.

Indeed not. Again we were thinking along the same lines. When you have people who are agitated-but-peaceable, the introduction of union strongarms signals a ratcheting up, not a calm willingness to debate.

I shared similar thoughts on Twitter last night. It’s down again, so I can’t get the exchange, but Dicentra mistook my tweet cautioning protesters against screaming and drowning out (which is not debate) to mean that we should not be vocal.

Of course we should be vocal, but not violent, not shrill, and not so emotional as to allow ourselves to be goaded into behavior which the Dems and their press would love to edit and broadcast.

That has not happened yet, but clearly the introduction of union strongarms and the deliberate attempts to exclude protesters from townhall meetings are partly meant to provoke emotionalism and outrage. I realized then that -because these protests are so grassroots and disorganized- they have no common ideal by which they can protect themselves from being baited into bad behavior. Attempting to find such an ideal or tactic, we joked at first that the protesters need to -when they are not being listened to, and are being disrespected- break into a Rickroll, singing and dancing both to cut tension and to shock-and-awe their Reps.

Then someone suggested that the protesters, about 2 days before congress reconvenes, encircle the capital 10 deep and refuse to allow the reps back in “until they until they stop Teh Stoopid.”

Mockery is, of course, very effective, too.

What is needed, I think -particularly under a White House who (rather than thinking seriously about how to create jobs and shore up our crashing tax revenues) wants its minions to “punchback twice as hard”- is to take a few pages from the playbook of Dr. Martin Luther King. Classic civil disobedience has a strong commitment to non-violence and passive-resistance, and that tactic works, because it unmasks the opposition and exposes them for the crude tyrants they are. When Bull Connor (Democrat, btw) turned his hoses and dogs on the peaceful marchers in Birmingham, Alabama, it was the beginning of his end, and a turning point in the civil rights movement. The injustice of his act was more eloquent than a Shakespearean soliloquy.

So, I think protesters should consider attending these meetings and teaparties with the understanding that they WILL be provoked, but that they are committed to answering provocation only through non-violent means. No matter the provocation, no matter the injustice, the protesters should simply keep to their purpose and not respond-in-kind. It is as powerful as a Tai-Chi move; you turn the opponent’s energy back upon himself to defeat him, or (as Jesus said) you “heap hot coals upon their heads.” Either way, you win. But of course, bring your cameras. Expect no hint of fairness from the press.

There is a lot of breast-beating going on in my email and among the tweets, “how can we fight them? The press is corrupt and has gone all-in for Obama, so they will not report our side accurately (true) and the Democrat/Union machine is relentless.”

Yeah, all true, but consider this: even with that Obama-owned-unto-Pravda press, even with the talking heads shilling for them, even with the WH and both houses of congress solidly in Democrat hands, the public is still seeing through the smoke, mirrors and phony charges of swastikas-abounding. The Dems could pass this legislation tomorrow if they wanted to, but they dare not without coverage from the right. The president’s numbers are tumbling, the bloom is off the rose. This thing can be stopped, but not if we allow ourselves to be baited into emotional (and therefore dangerous) states, which just feed the beast.

We win by simply, calmly stating our case over and over and over, while allowing the other side to expose themselves unto nakedness.

Like I said, think tai-chi and hot coals. Think detachment. Detach yourself from your emotions at these meetings. I had to do this once, when confronting a family member with something very serious. If I had allowed sly manipulations, lies and outbursts to engage my emotions, I would not have been able to stick to the important truth I needed to tell; I would not have been able to be true to myself. In a calm, detached way -utterly refusing to be baited or emotionalized- I accomplished my goal.

So, yes, be vocal, be passionately engaged, but be detached, as well. You know the truth. You know it in your center, so just stick to it, and keep repeating it with confidence and calm.

Calmly point out to the reps that they regretted their “rush to war,” and ask them why they are now so eager to “rush” again, so blindly. Calmly suggest that “healthcare reform” be shelved until real progress is made on cutting spending, and on urgently needed job creation. Calmly ask if the congress plans to keep people unemployed so that they have no choice but to rely on the government. Calmly demand that they write into the bill a non-removable provision that all members of congress, all branches of government must submit to the exact insurance options being introduced in the legislation, including the President. When they misdirect, when they ignore, when they scoff, calmly ask them to answer in good faith.

Doing it this way, with calm, with a commitment to non-violence and non-emotionalism, we do not give them fodder to incite hate or frenzy. We do not lose ourselves in a moment and do something or say something we might regret. To be honest, if this is done well, we could actually give the dems an “out” -a way to put down the healthcare debate while saving face- by allowing them to say they have decided (like Bill and Hillary Clinton before them) that “urgent” healthcare reform is something that can be reassessed, but right now their constituents are losing their jobs, their homes and their faith in government, and serving those concerns is even more “urgent.” Suddenly, they’d become wise and humble champions of the democratic process.

They’d be heroes. And Obama might assent to that; he increasingly looks like a man who wishes it would all just go away.

If that doesn’t sit well – if you’re saying, “no good, Anchoress, I’m not going to let these miscreants get off unscathed after the government has called for a snitch brigade,” – well, remember that there is something heroic about humility, too. When you’re dealing with children, sometimes you have to let them pretend they’ve won, even though they suspect you allowed it. These people in power all seem to have cases of arrested development; they’re all about 14 years old. You have to let 14 year olds feel like they’ve come to their own conclusions, even if you have gently led them there.

The other option, of course, is the “encircle the capital ten-deep and don’t let them in until they stop behaving like monarchs,” idea. We can link arms and sing “We Shall Overcome” until Nancy Pelosi turns the hoses on us.

At which point we can chant, “the whole world is watching…”

Because things could not get any stranger in America, in 2009. There is this eerie sense of history being relived, through a funhouse mirror.

Btw, I just have to say this: Chris Matthews, who I used to rather like, has become a simply deplorable human being, and I doubt he realizes it. This is appalling and based on nothing. I want to send him a note that says, “have you no decency left, sir? Finally, have you no decency?”

But one battle at a time.

Ed Morrissey says if nothing else, we now get to see how the unions will behave, if cardcheck is passed, and secret votes are disallowed

UPDATED: Reader lisap writes:

I was thinking of an easy way for all to remember talking points…We should be pointing out an alternate version–not just a NO to their ideas…
I was reading David Limbaugh’s column today and he quoted from an article by Sally Pipes “To 10 myths about Health Care and had suggestions…I put them down as follows…

V ouchers for working poor
I ndividual tax breaks much like employers
C ross state lines to purchase insurance
T ort Reform
O wn health savings accounts
R emove excessive state-mandated treatments
Y es! We the People CAN!

Also, Please read Fausta. The deficit has climbed to 1.3 Trillion and the president who grew it there (and who voted for all of Bush’s spending ideas while he in the senate) says he doesn’t want people to talk to him, he just wants them to shut up, so he can “fix their mess.” Such Breathtaking Leadership!

The Helpful Press: I got called a “political terrorist” last night, and I see that’s the new narrative. J-Nap will be pleased.

UPDATE II: 68% are satisfied with their health care. Doesn’t mean things couldn’t stand improvement, but it kind of shows us that the people forcing this on us are the same 28% who appear to comprise the hard-left, as we saw mere weeks after 9/11.

Oh, and The White House just wants to store your email addresses.

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About Elizabeth Scalia
  • Loxodonta Solitarius

    “Classic civil disobedience has a strong commitment to non-violence and passive-resistance, and that tactic works, because it unmasks the opposition and exposes them for the crude tyrants they are.”

    Yes. A very powerful suggestion.

  • Loxodonta Solitarius

    “until they until they stop Teh Stoopid.”

    Edit out one “until they,” please.

    And have a good morning.

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  • lisap


    I was thinking of an easy way for all to remember talking points…We should be pointing out an alternate version–not just a NO to their ideas…
    I was reading David Limbaugh’s column today and he quoted from an article by Sally Pipes “To 10 myths about Health Care and had suggestions…I put them down as follows…

    V ouchers for working poor
    I ndividual tax breaks much like employers
    C ross state lines to purchase insurance
    T ort Reform
    O wn health savings accounts
    R emove excessive state-mandated treatments
    Y es! We the People CAN!

    [Well done, I will add it up top - admin]

  • p

    That was St. Paul with the burning coals strategy. Romans chapter 12

    [Yes, you're right. Also Proverbs, 25:22. I wrote that at 4 in the morning under influence of a muscle relaxer. But I think he learned it from Jesus, don't you? Who said, "turn the other cheek!" ;-) -admin]

  • pinklady

    Sage advice once again Anchoress! I was just reading this week :”Humility is the foundation of all virtues”-St. Francis De Sales

    I think this will help people remain more detached around overly-emotional opposition.It’s not easy.

    [Heh. I don't know how helpful it will be. I don't have that many readers, so send it 'round! :-) admin]

  • Amy P.

    A very good suggestion. Take the high road because it should be alarmingly clear that the Democrats are great at sticking their feet in their collective mouths at every opportunity.

  • Sadie

    A very wise post. Thanks for adding a voice of sanity into this mess! I hope more and more people will hear the wisdom of what you are saying.

    It may be easier said than done with the constant and underhanded provocations that certainly try the souls of men (the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak) But… we have the MLK example that it can be done! May God have mercy upon us all.

  • Western Chauvinist

    This is a wise approach, Anchoress. I would add only one note of caution. Peaceful resistance has worked in cultures with the western ideal of a free press. What we have in Big Media in America is the propaganda arm of the Democrat Party. And as the old Soviet joke goes – there is no pravda in Pravda. Don’t be surprised if civility is reported as something else.

    Also, I implore our web friends to stop reporting themselves to the WH snitch site. I admire their courage, but I think there is an element of naivete in the belief that re-education camps “can’t happen here.” The appeal of totalitarianism is very strong among the Left, as we are seeing. I’m afraid our dear Anchoress and Gerard and neo-neocon and many others already have their heads above the radar. The rest of us need to stay under so that someone is around to fight for them and the cause of liberty. Keep your powder dry and your lamp filled.

    On a more comforting note, I am reminded by a friend that victory is already ours in our Risen Lord. God bless.


  • Mutnodjmet

    Dear Anchoress: Two things:

    1) I rarely disagree with you, but must here. YOU are a better writer than Noonan. The bloom came off the rose with me with her during the last election cycle. And YOU had the insight first, anyway.

    2) Your post today is essential reading for all Tea Party/Citizen Activist Organizations throughout the nation. I will be sharing this link with everyone involved with our group.

    Hugs — this is an awesome piece you did today. God is present in these words.


  • Amy P.

    Also, I implore our web friends to stop reporting themselves to the WH snitch site.

    Why? We’ve done nothing wrong. Unless I missed the news, the First Amendment still stands and still protects our right to disagree with Obama…even if it hurts his ego.

    I refuse to be afraid of my government, I refuse to kowtow before this sort of thuggery.

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  • Cody Judy

    MLKingJr. was arrested during this campaign, and at the time had gone way outside the perameter’s of acceptable behavior warranting the arrest by those doing the arresting.

    There are many wise words here, and I’m almost sure that the YOU TUBE Video’s showing these people angry, yelling, and doing what they did, would not have over 500,000 hitts if they had calmly talked politely and calmly sat down.

    There is one way to handle being bullied…and it’s called Taking A Stand. You prepare yourself against a bully knowing he/she is a coward at heart. If the rewards were never apparent for the bully, If you did’nt have a reward for them, that stops their action. Unfortuneately, a very big positive incentive has been given the administration…. the walked all over the Constitution and got elected.

    Now… they are on what’s called a “roll”…and bully’s love a “roll”…because it just flatn’s thing out as they do the Long Legg’d McDaddy Stroll, they understand pushing things through fast.. is the ‘calmest’ way to do things.

    In our selfishness we have enjoyed the blood spilt for freedom and liberty… calmly. I’m sure you remember who said, from time to time the tree of freedom and liberty needs to be watered? This Adminsitration’s Mandate…was given to them by the population… the only truth and principle we stand upon with a relatively small band, is America is a Constitutional Republic… and our Creator and the blood of millions is on the other side for those principles.
    Alas., we need not worry. We can stop telling others how big our problems are..and start telling our problems how big our God is…for if the assault upon “natural born” is underway, we all know nature will have her way.

  • Rich

    Instead of shouting, yelling, and pumping fists, protesters should be giggling, laughing, mimicing and mocking. Ridicule and distain are what Congress and the President deserve. Anger expressed at their views reinforces their identity as a ‘leader’ who can do serious things and just legitimizes their point of view. What those in power value most is their image as a serious player. Laughter and ridicule undermines that identity as a serious player. How much more powerful would it be to see video clips of Pelosi, Reid, and other Dems laughed off the platform? How can they defend themselves by demonizing protesters who are smiling and laughing at them?

    [Absolutely correct. Mockery is powerful, as Alinsky knew and wrote, and that's a pretty humorless crowd. Someone suggested a Rickroll. Tempting! :-) admin]

  • tim maguire

    Great post and a timely reminder. No matter how righteous we may feel about our issue, we must hold our temper. Losing it only plays into the hands of our opponents. However emotionally satisfying it may feel at that moment, it will damage the cause. Never forget, the politicians are only one of the targets of our message, and the lesser target at that. The major target is the American public.

    Let them know they are not alone in their feelings of unease. But even that is not enough. We must show them that those who agree with them are sane, sound, decent people. If those who agree with them are successfully portrayed as raving lunatics, it will only increase their self-questioning. Win them and you win. Politicians do not ignore polls for long.

    As for the media, they are not as powerful as they think they are, nor as powerful as we sometimes imagine them to be. Even with his teleprompter at his front and the full fury of the MSM at his back, Obama still had to outspend Hillary 3:1 AND manipulate the convention to give him delegates he didn’t win at the ballot box (i.e., Michigan) to beat her.

    Then he had to outspend a very weak Republican opponent 6:1 to beat him.

    No, the media was not enough. Even with them selling their souls for tickets to the inauguration, he still had to swamp his opponents with money to win.

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  • dicentra

    We could go all MLK on them, being all dignified and stuff.

    Or we could resort to being positively hilarious.

    Too bad I haven’t the first clue how to do it.

  • Gina

    What you describe is the demeanor of people who are truly free.

    And that is the kind of people who scare the hell out of nannying bureaucrats taken up with their own sense of ideological benevolence. As we can plainly see.

  • Smellerbee

    Shouting down people who disagree with you as they are trying to speak is not “agitated but peaceful” it’s un-america, fascistic, and downright assholic.

    Are there some bad seeds on our side too? Sure, but we’re not making money and hey celebrating our ne’er do wells like the right has been these last few weeks.

    [You held the same opinion when students at Columbia shouted down invited speakers so they had to leave the stage, correct? Admin]

  • Neo

    It’s so good to see how President Obama has brought us all together … a national “Kumbaya” moment.

    Everybody sing …

  • Sue from Buffalo

    Also, I implore our web friends to stop reporting themselves to the WH snitch site.

    Why? We’ve done nothing wrong. Unless I missed the news, the First Amendment still stands and still protects our right to disagree with Obama…even if it hurts his ego.

    I refuse to be afraid of my government, I refuse to kowtow before this sort of thuggery.

    I commend you on your fervor but I agree with the Western Chauvinist. A lot of people think that it couldn’t happen here but our rights are already being trampled. People are told by police that they can’t talk against ObamaCare on the sidewalk. (I saw the video).

    This is serious, folks. The United States of America is not what it was 10, 15, 20 years ago. May God bless her and bring her back.

  • Joe H

    The news about the man with the Don’t Tread on Me shirt that was assaulted compels me to proudly wear the shirts every day that I just ordered.

  • Ken

    Obama is not interested in protecting, preserving and above-all SERVING this country because he’s trying to pass a health care bill he believes in. His supporters are minions. When he ask to be kept informed about what the opposition is saying, he’s asking for snitches. The Democrats are nakedly disdainful because one of them calls disrupting conversations un-American and another says that if attacked they’ll defend themselves, and others accuse the insurance industry of encouraging protest, something they would never do, and of giving out false information, a charge Republicans never make about their opponents. Disruptive protestors have the moral high ground against counter-protestors, who are tyrants. The MSM are corrupt shills because they’re liberal and not conservative (on the other hand, I guess, FOX is fair and balanced), and you don’t listen to Limbaugh but, like him, you liken the MSM to Pravda, never mind that it’s free to say whatever it wants.

    And, oh yeah, its Obama who ought to change the tone, and it’s his fault Tea Partiers aren’t civil.

    Ironically, if the Partiers listened to your wise advice and remained calm and civil and were interested in conversation rather than confrontation, tensions would ease. But what are the chances of that, since, like you, when they think of Nancy Pelosi they imagine Bull Connor? Huh? And _Matthews_ is being unfair?

    Re; Palin and M’s racism charge, I’d be really interested in reading your thoughts at length.
    I don’t think Matthews is saying her supporters are all or mostly racists. He’s saying that racists flock to her. I think it’s undeniable that conservatism attracts people with a certain set of faults and liberalism attracts people with another set. But that isn’t to say most people have those faults.

  • jh

    As to people that are going to TOWN Hall meetings it is simple. Just apply the Golden rule . There is no problem in showing that you are upset and giving oppostion. Be respectful of your fellow citizerns (that might disagree with you(don’t boo) them. I have a feeling this is happening in most Town Hall meetings.

    It is really that simple. Act like adults

  • SallyJune

    I agree with Mutnodjmet: you are better than Noonan. When I have time to see what’s happening via the Internet, The Anchoress is the FIRST person I listen to, and sometimes the ONLY site I visit. She is like a trusted friend who helps me remember to “put on the mind of Christ” despite the annoying people I would rather respond to in another manner.

    The “sidewalk” video is truly terrifying. When did free speech become resisting arrest? (re-read your Soltynitzyn, people, to get ready for the camps)

  • Gerry

    I have a question:
    Why hasn’t impeachment begun?

  • Gerry

    proof positive about who is inciting violence

    [Edited to insert link. I've already linked to that in the post, btw, but it's worth linking to twice. PLEASE avail yourself of this useful tutorial on how to make a link -admin]

  • Western Chauvinist

    In answer to your question, Gerry, because, unfortunately most voters were persuaded to put all the power of the federal government in the hands of the Democrats – unbalanced and unchecked. Minnesota is an exception as that race was too close not to be stolen.

    Conservatives always have a steeper hill to climb in persuading voters as the philosophy demands the candidate only to promise more freedom (which, when people have it, they take for granted), whereas “progressives” promise more free stuff in the name of equality (fairness, justice, whatever – it all sounds so good). I read a great quote over at the NRO corner: socialism is a Christian heresy; communism is a Jewish heresy; fascism is a pagan heresy.

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  • Conservativa

    Don’t worry, Anchoress. Maybe it would help to go shopping! I did, for a pitchfork, at the Mob’n’Rabble store.

    [Edited to insert link. Once again, when you leave open urls in the comments section you run the risk of having your comment sent to spam. This userful tutorial can help you. admin]

  • Gina

    I agree with the commenter who said that humor is a great approach. I think the Tea Party protests should be the best party in town. Not because the subject matter is not serious, but rather in the spirit of the people who go outside and have a bbq when the power goes out for an extended time, or who play jazz at a funeral. We can’t be beaten down, because our betters are wrong about this not arising out of true grassroots spirit.

    And as someone has already said, tyrants cannot abide being laughed at. You could see this among Obama supporters from the beginning- the sputtering outrage if anyone dared not to join in the worshipful adulation.

    I’m not going to stop sticking my head out, however, not even if we all start getting dead fish on the doorstep marked Love, Rahm.. Too much Irish in me.

  • Western Chauvinist

    Please don’t misunderstand my plea not to turn yourselves in. We shouldn’t stop pushing back. I just think it is a tactical error to send the enemy your name and address.

    I’ll share my tea party story. By way of background, I am not naturally a paranoid person – nor am I gifted at observation in these situations. Our local tea party was on a gorgeous day and spirits were pretty high. But, about half an hour into it, I got the sense of something malicious going on. Finally, I noticed young people – early 20s – taking notes and videoing the event. You could tell they weren’t participants. They were monitors. And they wanted to be seen (a young woman with a notebook and a young man with a camera jumped up on the edge of the stage to film and document the crowd). This was an attempt to intimidate. These are the tactics were up against. Our president is an organizer of such people. Don’t make it easy for them.

  • Ken

    “Visitors to the site–the administrator of which is anonymous–are encouraged to browse a list of “common sense questions,” (all from a conservative perspective), attend a town hall meeting, and press their lawmaker to explain their position.

    Of course, attendees must video tape the encounter so the clip can go viral.”

  • Ann

    Lots of time and comments on the “hoopla.” Where is all the time and energy spent thinking through the health care reforms that are needed? Where is the thoughtful dialog in the comments section regarding these topics: portability/ pre-existing conditions/ drug price negotiations/premium increases/ insurance company profit margins/ health care costs hurting businesses? Continue with your POLITICAL talk; the echo is pretty.

    [How very odd...I gave you a very long response here on substantive concerns, to which you did not respond at all, not even when I said your perspective might be interesting and helpful. And yet here you are, asking why we're not having substantive discussions. Oh...are you only here to grouse and correct? I'm sorry. I misunderstood. I'm quite sure that in the past when people on the left have seen fit to demonstrate and get "POLITICAL" as you say, you went into those sites to also grouse, correct and sneer about the lack of substance and their "hoopla"? In that case, by all means, please continue. But as I recall from your last comment, you were only going to "forgive" our ignorance that "one time." So, you know, please understand, we might be too stupid and frivolous to comprehend you. In which case, since your forgiveness is limited, why waste your time?-admin]

  • Gina

    They were monitors. And they wanted to be seen (a young woman with a notebook and a young man with a camera jumped up on the edge of the stage to film and document the crowd). This was an attempt to intimidate.

    Huffington Post recruits “volunteer reporters” to monitor the Tea Party protests, and I’m sure there are other liberal groups who do the same. I say the more the merrier. Just wave and smile for the camera. They might actually learn something in the process.

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  • Gina

    Lots of time and comments on the “hoopla.” Where is all the time and energy spent thinking through the health care reforms that are needed?

    We can do that when we don’t have lawmakers who are intent on shoving the bill through with as little deliberation as possible. To use an analogy I cited elsewhere, when you’re careening towards a cliff edge, the only thing you can do is yell STOP. Obama and crew set the pace and tone of this debate.

    Health Care For America Now’s “fight” page makes for interesting reading.

  • Gerry

    Ken will be pleased to know that SEIU is now using the same silly sexual slang to describe people exercising their First Amendment rights. Believe it or not (and I have to because I’ve seen it) the union has put out a video blaming the side they attacked for the violence in St. Louis.

  • Ken

    Such nasty comments we find on this blog.

    Teabagging is not mainstream slang for a sexual practice, perhaps in large part because the sexual practice isn’t mainstream. There is no way the SEIU is trading on sexual imagery in using that term. But slander away!

  • newton

    Boy, sure this Ken is in deep denial!

    Of course the SEIU are going to use that term in its intended manner! (Proof in the pudding here.) It’s not like they’re unfamiliar with using other less honorable methods, such as beatings, bribery, extortion and all kinds of Mafia stuff. That’s what unions are about: that has been true for a very long time.

    Even my husband, who was once a member of MEBA/AMO, an affiliate of the AFL-CIO, knows that. In fact, we know someone who is a relative of a merchant marine captain who ran for the presidency of one of those unions against the guy who had been there for decades. All that man’s allies had to do, after the captain had won that election fair and square, was to manufacture some obscure “rule” in order to render the captain’s election to that presidency null and void. And they did. After that deed was done, that captain was kicked out of that union. To this day, he has no job in the maritime industry – and he and his family fear for their lives. I only got to know about what happened years later, when that relative told us all about it while driving around the National Mall.

    Unions are quite alike – and they are as drunk in power as the Democrats. They will stop at NOTHING to keep it that way. Even if that means to demean one or fifty million people with a derogatory sexual term.

    Denial – more than just a river in Egypt… right, Ken?

  • That One Girl

    Ann, I’m a nurse married to a physician and you are correct about one thing – there is too much documentation and verification required, as well as hassling with insurance companies. If our grocer or mechanic had to document and verify the work they do for us the way physicians do, we’d all be hungry and walking. The primary problem in health care today is that the physicians being churned out are poorly educated and addicted to a perceived lifestyle; they rely too heavily on ‘tests’ because they can’t diagnose, and, they charge and receive top dollar for prescribing antibiotics for colds. The latter is a result of physicians climbing into bed with the insurance companies. Eliminating insurance and making health care genuinely competitive would go a long way towards solving the problem. Prices would drop, physicians might actually start caring for their patients again, and everyone would be happier all around. Physicians are still being paid as though they took exclusive care of their patients. A surgeon would operate and then spend hours by the bedside, directing the care. A general internist would diagnose a patient and then spend hours by the bedside, directing the care. They still get paid as if they were doing that, when they haven’t for years and years. My husband is a specialist – his time spent with patients far exceeds that of his family practitioner peers. He’s never had to order a lot of extraneous tests because he knows what he’s doing and doesn’t need the backup to c/h/a. And no, in a 30 year career, he’s never been sued. Not even close. I can guarantee you that if health care is nationalized, the quality of care in the USA is going to drop. No one in their right mind would go to school for that long only for the government to pull the strings. Thanks Anchoress, for letting me ‘soapbox’!!

  • Ken

    Newton, you know, Christians have some some really awful things down through the ages, and even continue today. From this do you conclude that we’re all bad?

    People join unions because it’s economically and socially advantageous for them to do so. Naturally violent people who join unions will sometimes be violent on the union’s behalf. Fortunately most people, and therefore most union workers, are not violent.

    “Of course the SEIU are going to use that term in its intended manner! (Proof in the pudding here.)”

    Er, is there one of those subliminal, too-fast- for-the-eye-but-not-the-brain-to-register message there that defines teabagger by its sexual definition, the definition that only a tiny fraction of Americans probably know, or at least knew until you guys started complaining about it?

    What happened is pretty simple: the protestors took the name Tea Party for their gatherings in order to associate themselves with a celebrated event in American history. That was smart thinking. Some of their critics unfortunately felt the need to belittle (as you do) them, to try to diminish them, so they took to using a diminutive play on the words, Tea Baggers. And a lot of other people like myself picked it up. Nothing pornographic intended. Again, most people are at least halfway decent — the union could hardly rally people to their cause with a porno term.

    Unions and Democrats aren’t drunk on power — people are drunk on power. We’re all sinners, right?

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