This past weekend, Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D-TX) was the latest victim of the right’s strategy, where protesters followed him and chanted “just say no” to health care. Watch it:A crowd went after Arlen Specter and HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius today in Philly and after Carl Levin too.
Texas has the highest uninsured rate in the nation and stands to be among the most to gain from Obama’s health care plan. “[N]early 6 million Texans, including the one in six U.S. uninsured children who live there, could get health insurance for the first time if the plan is enacted.”
If all this sounds familiar, as Digby points out, it damn well should.
This is predictable. After all, they are following the 1994 playbook and they did the same thing then. This is from the PBS timeline of the Clinton health care debate:August is going to be a long month, folks. This is only beginning. These astroturf assholes are running around, targeting Democrats in an effort to scare the crap out of them. These are not spontaneous outburtst of the populace. This is applied GOP Pretty Hate Machine tactics to a T. These are well-organized, dangerous mobs with the intent to affect public policy of the government through the implied threat of violence. There's a word I'm looking for that describes that behavior, at least according to the post 9/11 US legal dictionary.July 22, 1994 - Trying to win back the kind of political support that brought them to the White House, the administration plans a bus trek across America to generate their own grassroots message to Congress for reform. A kickoff rally in Portland, Oregon, is marred by anti-Clinton protesters. When the first buses reach the highway they find a broken-down bus wreathed in red tape symbolizing government bureaucracy and hitched to a tow truck labeled, "This is Clinton Health Care."
The anti-bus trek protests are the crowning success of the No Name Coalition and especially of the conservative political interest group Citizens for a Sound Economy (CSE). By the time the ill-fated bus caravan takes to the highways, CSE operatives, working closely -- and secretly -- with Newt Gingrich's Capitol Hill office and with Republican senators, have mapped out plans to derail the Reform Riders wherever they go.
July 23, 1994 - Following several days of anti-Hillary rhetoric on local talk shows, Hillary Clinton -- at a bus rally in Seattle -- is confronted by hundreds of angry men shouting that the Clintons are going to destroy their way of life, ban guns, extend abortion rights, protect gays, and socialize medicine. When she finishes speaking and tries to leave the rally, her limousine is surrounded by protesters. Each of the four caravan routes becomes an expedition into enemy territory -- with better-armed, better-prepared, better-mobilized anti-Clinton protesters at each stop along the way. Local reform groups and caravan organizers are forced to cancel scheduled stops because of implicit threats of violence.
I'm sure the Democrats all remember this and are prepared for it this time. Right?
If you haven't read the entire PBS timeline on how health care reform was derailed in 1994 recently, do yourself a favor and read it. The legislative side has an eerily familiar feel to it, especially the part where the Democrats in the Senate preen egomaniacally while selling out reform to the insurance industry and the Republicans.
It's called "terrorism."
At what point will one of these ambushes actually turn violent, is what I want to know. I bet if happens sooner rather than later. These people are playing with lit sticks of dynamite with very short fuses. Imagine the Clinton's Reform Riders effort ambushed, only multiply it by a hundred.
Somebody's going to cross a line eventually.
Of course, that's exactly what they want to happen. Then it's the Democrats' fault, you see. Then it becomes the Obamafascists beating down the Brave Resistance trying to fight the evils of socialized medicine. Then it becomes us versus them. All the debate over health care becomes a rallying cry for the "revolution", the effort for reform becomes lost in the sturm und drang.
You think the hatred is getting bad now?
[UPDATE 5:58 PM] And of course, the Village and the Wingers are making sure these organized astroturf outbursts are being passed off as somehow indicative of "just how hostile America is towards Obamacare."
Of course it is. Just like Americans oerwhelmingly don't believe Obama's an American citizen.