If you disagree with Democrats’ health care plans, they consider you stupid. Or a liar. Or maybe a stupid liar, pants on fire.
This is the childish level to which our governing party has stooped during an August offensive that is, well, offensive.
This week, the Democratic National Committee released a video blaming the policy failings of their party — you know, the one that could defeat any filibuster in the Senate, fields a stout majority in the House and has a still personally popular president — on “desperate Republicans and their well-funded allies [who] are organizing angry mobs.”
The goal of these simple, brain-washed posses? To “destroy President Obama and stop the change Americans voted for overwhelmingly in November.”
Yet the mobs depicted on the video comprise Americans armed with nothing more than posters and loud voices, interspersed with images of one woman from the widely discredited “birther” movement and a guy who appears to have hung his congressman in effigy.
There are hardly the makings of a threat to the world’s most powerful government. And they are unconvincing as scapegoats for the unpopularity of Democratic proposals on issues like health care, as measured by the major public opinion polls.
Meanwhile, the Obama administration has issued a chilling call for citizens to turn in their neighbors for spreading any “disinformation” about ObamaCare in any “fishy” e-mails or even in “casual conversation.” We are asked to flag these examples of dissent to the White House itself.
Here, I could reiterate the reasons the left’s plans are having a hard time gaining traction with all Democrats, much less the independents who put Obama in office. But I’ve done that in the past — and besides, I don’t want someone to mistake “fishwrapper” for “fishy” and send my column to email@example.com.
More important is what these twin maneuvers say about the people who lead us.
The benign explanation is that the Democrats simply don’t understand the people they govern, that this is another “cling to guns or religion” kind of moment. That would be bad enough, but I don’t think it stops there.
If I were a liberal, I would absorb the message about white “mobs” out to “destroy” our first black president and detect some sort of dog whistle. I would believe that those on the right frequency would know to add a certain L-word before “mob,” and to draw the appropriate conclusions. I would have made this claim about conservatives often enough in the past to know how the trick is played. But I’m not a liberal, so I won’t say all that.
No, what matters is that these actions reflect the desperation not of Republicans, or the health-insurance lobby, or even of regular Americans who through their own faculties have decided that ObamaCare would do too much harm to them without really solving anything for anyone else.
They reflect the desperation of Democrats who should have known not to play with the fire of ideological overreach, but who once again did it anyway.
They have resorted to the lowest of politics: branding any dissenters as either a liar or a brain-washed stooge manipulated by a wicked opposition, and trying to intimidate them into silence or bait them into making a mistake that costs them the high ground.
These are not idle words: On Thursday night, there were reports of ObamaCare opponents being assaulted in St. Louis and Tampa and being shut out of town-hall meetings by union thugs, who know a thing or two about organizing and intimidation. The left is desperate, all right. And it’s playing with more than just ideological fire.
Note to readers: Kyle Wingfield will begin blogging daily later this month. Commenting on this blog will open then.