The Washington Post details the growing media campaigns of various interest groups, but fails to note that the subject is debated daily and at length on almost every talk radio show in America.
Yesterday I spent the first two hours of the program discussing the president’s radical plans with a variety of doctors and journalists and of course with callers. I’ll do the same today, tomorrow and in the weeks ahead. This is an issue with every bit the urgency as immigration had two years ago. More, actually, because more and more Americans are realizing that Obamacare will be directly impacting their lives –first through many changes to and quite possibly the loss of their employer-provided health insurance plan to be replaced by some tin-plated “Government option/public plan,” and secondly through the shrinking of services provided through Medicare.
Doctors call the show in great numbers, and all of them oppose Obamacare. Seniors could fill the boards from the first minute to the sign-off, and they all oppose it. I welcome the occasional Acorn activist who calls to try and defend the plan, but when I play the tape of the president’s “guarantee” to the AARP audience that you can keep your plan and your doctor if you like them, and then walk such callers through the obvious deception of that guarantee, they go away embarrassed. (The White House’s Linda Douglas complained in her video yesterday that critics of the president’s plan never play his “guarantee” clip, but I have played it at least 50 times since it aired last week and will continue to do so throughout the summer and fall. It is a ludicrous, deceptive assertion that MSM should examine in great detail.)
This is the real “media campaign” that matters in August. Americans driving to and from work –people with jobs who commute and who are covered– are hearing again and again on the radio the bottom-line truth that their health plans are in danger because of Obamacare. Moms taking kids to summer activities, whether soccer or swimming, are hearing again and again that their plans and their childrens’ plans are up for grabs because of Obamacare. Seniors driving to the market, to see a friend or to see a doctor, are hearing, again and again, that Medicare is in for major cuts and that rationing is on the way. They are hearing it from all of the Salem hosts –Bennett, Gallagher, Prager, Medved and me– and well over a million of our listeners signed the “Stop Obamacare” petition (you can still add you signature.) They are also hearing it from Rush, Sean, Mark Levin and hundreds of local hosts. They are hearing the truth about Obamacare, so all the declarations from all the Democratic senators coming out of the White House that they will get a deal done in the fall are declarations of indifference to the feelings and fears, the priorities and plans of the American voter.
The protests and angry participants at townhall meetings are just the tip of a massive and growing disgust with Washington’s incompetence and its scorn for voters’ priorities. The Democrats were not given majorities so that they could destroy the system of American medicine and force working people out of their insurance plans into a government plan. Democrats can cover their ears and eyes and pretend that what they are hearing and seeing is manufactured and represents nothing at all, but 2010 is only 15 months away. The failure to listen now, and the wrong votes in September and October, are going to be part of a great big farewell tour by Blue Dogs and other endangered Democrats.
Large and growing majorities of the American people don’t want Obamacare, period. If Democrats keep demanding they shut up and take this socialized medicine, the political costs will be enormous.
Here’s the handy list of 10 questions to take to your local townhall. Obamacare doesn’t stand up to even mild questioning, so stay cool and focused on the fact that Obamacare will force tens of millions of Americans to lose their health insurance and get dumped into a government plan, one that congressmen and senators will never ever have to put up with.
What’s amazing is how few of them there are.
What is predictable is the attempt by the sponsors of Obamacare to delegitimize the growing public dissatisfaction with the attempt to radically rewrite the rules of American medicine. This drumbeat of criticism of the critics of Congress will increase even as the backlash against Obamacare spreads. It is the only tool the president and his allies have to quell the growing fear among Democrats that the health care bill is a political suicide note.
“Pay no attention to those people at your Townhall meetings,” is the message from Obamacare pushers. “They aren’t real. They are professional disrupters. Like ACORN, don’t you know.” From the Huffington Post:
As detailed by White House officials and aides at allied groups, the goal going into the August recess is not to be intimidated by the angry protesters laying siege to town hall meetings or the information pushed by unfriendly websites, but rather to turn that anger and material into a rallying point for proponents of reform.
This is of course absurd as even cursory reporting on the people in the townhalls would underscore. Other conservative commentators have joined me in making the point that outsiders should not go to the meetings conducted by Congressmen who don’t represent them. That plays right into the hands of the MSM and their effort to shore up their hero’s faltering legislative agenda.
Those who do go to the meetings in their own district should be careful to express their dismay in responsible and concise terms, aware that Team Obama will no doubt be filming everything to find the one nutter who explodes in anger. An occasional boo is not a problem, but opponents of Obamacare will be helping its passage if they melt down in public and give cover to Democrats attempting to argue that voter anger is limited to the far right or even the center-right.