Jennifer Rubin explores “Obama and the Politics of Personal Destruction”:
The president and his party are in a fix.
At their moment of great political ascendancy — when they control both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue and a recession has rocked faith in free market capitalism — they still can’t get the country to go along with their big government schemes.
Each day brings a new batch of bad polling news for the president. The public is wary of his spending, is convinced he is too liberal, and doesn’t much care for ObamaCare. Meanwhile, the speaker of the house has Dick Cheney-like poll numbers and the Democrats’ generic poll numbers have slid.
Under such circumstances, the only reasonable thing to do is attack the voters and the Republican Party. That at least seems to be the conclusion reached by the Obama White House, which now is convinced that smearing citizens who bother to come to town hall meetings and painting their opponents as intransigent critics of all reform — or as fruitcakes — are the keys to success.
And from Obama himself, the once presidential candidate who wanted to have civil discourse and get beyond name calling, the message to his critics is: “get out of the way.” Anyone who disagrees with ObamaCare is now a crank, a stooge, or an obstructionist. Even the Washington Post editors have had quite enough of the “round-up-the-usual-suspects demagoguery.”
Nancy Pelosi and Steny Hoyer decided to double down on some pretty distasteful messaging today, calling some of the opposition to health care reform, “un-American” in a USA Today op-ed. Specifically, this is what the Speaker finds so unpatriotic:
These disruptions are occurring because opponents are afraid not just of differing views — but of the facts themselves. Drowning out opposing views is simply un-American. Drowning out the facts is how we failed at this task for decades.
Town halls have indeed been rowdy (although instances of documented aggression have all gone one way: Obamacare supporter to protester), and sometimes not ideal for discussion of the ins and outs of health care reform. But Democrats and liberals have largely used one memo from a libertarian activist in Connecticut to claim a national, nefarious campaign of conservative disruption by mischaracterizing the memo and fibbing about its provenance and distribution.
On the other hand, I have a memo from SEIU Local 2001 (the same Conn. district where the original MacGuffie memo originated), which cannot be misunderstood. It was issued this week in preparation for Rep. Jim Himes’ town hall in Stamford, Conn.
It’s still up, but I did a screen shot, in case it disappears. Here’s the announcement:
Action: Opponents of reform are organizing counter-demonstrators to speak at this and several congressional town halls on the issue to defend the status quo. It is critical that our members with real, personal stories about the need for access to quality, affordable care come out in strong numbers to drown out their voices.
Perhaps Pelosi should check with her allies about their tactics before labeling them “un-American” in the future.
(Via Cuffy Meigs.)