Thank goodness those who turned out to question the health care legislation that’s being quickly and aggressively pushed through Congress by Democrats and the Obama Administration weren’t un-American.
Instead, they were described in the morning’s AJC as “civil, polite” and “asking smart questions,” thus offering “a lesson to the rest of the nation on how civil discourse doesn’t have to spiral into civil disobedience.” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Majority Leader Steny Hoyer would be pleased. On Monday, the two had asserted that the behavior of those who disrupted the health care meetings was “simply un-American.”
At the DeKalb meeting with Democratic Congressman Hank Johnson, three people were tossed after “a brief outburst.” Organizers “made it clear that groww misbehavior was not acceptable” and attendees were forced to pass through metal detectors, permissable language was spelled out and good behavior was enforced by “a large police presence.”
Harken back to the days of the civil rights movement where a segment of the population believed that they were powerless to influence the politicians and other authorities who controlled all levers of government.
Politicians and controlling authorities attempted precisely the kind of control that was the law of the land in DeKalb. You can speak a certain way. You can’t be rude. You can’t misbehave or come with props that attract the attention of television cameras. And the meeting would be judged on whether a sufficient police presence had been assembled to enforce the organizers’ desired course of events and discussion.
Congress is ramming through legislation that could radically change our health care system. Opponents who don’t think they’re being heard or who don’t think full and honest debate is occurring at the national level have every right to protest as they see fit. Congressman Hank Johnson of DeKalb County will vote for the bill, period. All Democrats in the Georgia delegation will, with the possible exception of the two who are vulnerable to challenge: U.S. Rep. Jim Marshal of Macon and U.S. Rep. John Barrow of Savannah.
Meanwhile, constituents in Congressman Hank Johnson’s district all get smiley faces for good behavior. They have behaved as police authorities and the politician’s organizers desired. An organizer who runs his constituents through metal detectors at a public policy debate is afraid of the people he serves. That is not America.