I haven't written on the healthcare debate for two reasons: First, because Pfarrer Streccius has most of what I was going to say- keep up the good work, Bill!- and second, because this is an issue that will not be settled by logic and reasoned discussion. But there is one aspect I wanted to comment on: the tone of the debate.
There has been an endless stream of bloggery denouncing the anti-crowd for the tone of their rhetoric. President Morales sent out a letter about it, with some serious charges, like "We are witnessing cynical demagoguery that plays on fear in order to defend privilege". (At first I thought he was referring to Obama claiming your trusted family doctor would saw your feet off for profit if you showed a high fasting blood sugar, but evidently he meant something else) and "There is no place for intimidation in our public discussion." (And no, he didn't mean the White House requesting that you turn in the names of friends and relatives who say something "fishy" about healthcare in casual conversation). The left, who in their youth led riots in the streets over Vietnam, trashed ROTC offices, bombed recruiting centers, and encouraged their children to shout any conservative speakers off the stage at college, assault little old ladies who wear fur, lead bullhorn fueled protests wherever the previous president spoke, form groups like "Code Pink" for the express purpose of disrupting events, are shocked- SHOCKED- to hear raised voices at Town Hall meetings. Hilary Clinton, who in a speech told the Republicans "Don't you dare call protestors un-American!", and Nancy Pelosi, who publicly praised the disruption tactics of anti-war protestors, are now calling anyone who expresses anger and frustration fascist and un-American. (Funny how UU bloggers who have in recent years been so quick and eager to shout "Godwin's Law! Godwin's Law!", like Gomer Pyle shouting "Citizen's Arrest!" have been silent in this...)
Of course, I must admit the protestors are disgusting and frightening- here are some examples: "One protester even brandished a sign that seemed to advocate Obama's assassination. The man held a large photo of Obama that had been doctored to show a gun barrel pressed against his temple. "OBAMA: WANTED, DEAD OR ALIVE," read the placard, which had an X over the word "ALIVE." Another poster showed Obama's face with the words: "F--- YOU, MOTHERF---ER!" "...protesters were shrieking at Democratic donors epithets like "Slut!" "Whore!" and "Fascists!"
Frank Dulcich, president and CEO of Pacific Seafood Group, had a cup of liquid thrown into his face, and then was surrounded by a group of menacing protesters, including several who wore masks. Donald Tykeson, 75, who had multiple sclerosis and was confined to a wheelchair, was blocked by a thug who threatened him.
Protesters slashed the tires of several state patrol cruisers and leapt onto an occupied police car, slamming the hood and blocking the windshield with placards. A female police officer was knocked to the street by advancing protesters, badly injuring her wrist." Scum like that ought to be in jail, right? Ooops... I made a little typo. Those were all from an anti-Bush protest ; I changed the name on the placards in the quotes. So, Peter Morales, and Sara Robinson, and all the rest of the bloggers who have written on this issue, I know you're people of religious principle, and not just carrying water for the Democrats; and therefore you must have written denunciations of those protests, too. Oddly enough, though, I can't seem to find them...