The Leftists have got their message together lately. As Barack Obama rails against the insurance companies raising their premiums, I got the following message from the group Health Care for America Now in my e-mail:
Today we're taking it to the streets.
The insurance companies are having a conference in Washington, DC to plot how to kill health reform. Thousands are gathering as we speak to perform a citizens' arrest. Even though you can't be there in person, you can help us hold the insurance companies accountable for their crimes.
We've obtained the fax numbers for the offices of the insurance companies. With your help, we can shut them down!
Chris Shiflett, guitarist in the Foo Fighters, has recorded a video to deputize you into the citizens' posse so you can help us arrest the insurance companies:
[snip out image of "WANTED" poster and various calls-to-action]
Even if you can't be with us in person you can help us arrest their fax machines and shut them down! Imagine - thousands upon thousands of wanted posters showing up at the offices of the insurance companies.
The insurance companies have committed awful crimes against the American people:
- They violate contracts by selling you insurance and then denying you care1
- They launder money through other front groups - including tens of millions through the ultra right-wing Chamber of Commerce2
- They pervert our democracy by bribing public officials by spending millions per day on corporate lobbyists3
- And 45,000 people die every year because they don't have insurance4
A citizen's arrest of corporate CEOs for doing what their customers and shareholders ask Astrotthem to do? aThe Chamber of Commerce is a "front group" for the health insurance lobby? Are these people serious?
Clearly, this group wants everyone to believe that the insurance companies are lying, evil, scheming, conniving bastards who spend their way into the back pockets of politicians at the expense of average Americans. But just who is Health Care for America Now?
Answering that question requires us to head over to Source Watch, a neat little Wiki that allows us to see which companies and other organizations are connected and how, and Discover The Networks. It seems that HCAN is itself actually a front-group for a bevvy of leftist organizations, including ACORN, SEIU, NEA, National Council of La Raza, MoveOn.org, and more. Even more, they are funded by the Tides Foundation, which has funded $300 million for "progressive" causes.
So while attacking the nebulous "insurance companies" for hiring lobbyists and "front-groups," HCAN is itself actually a front-group for an Alphabet Soup of Leftist organizations. According to Source Watch, it shares its offices with several unrelated anti-war and anti-conservative groups. Rather than actually defend and advance the health care takeover (its stated mission), HCAN has spent its time attacking detractors and developing tactics to marginalize protesters as "angry mobs" and astroturf.
In the summer of 2009, HCAN published a "playbook" of tactics designed to help supporters of socialized medicine neutralize the impact made by any protesters who might attend healthcare town hall meetings moderated by Democrat Members of Congress. This publication characterized such protesters as "angry mobs" of "far right-wing ideologues recruited by paid organizers" like insurance "industry lobbyists and public relations firms." "Their goal," said the handbook, "is to stop Obama, influence the media, and scare members of Congress into thinking that there is more [public] resistance to health care reform than really exists." The book further accused such protesters of using "tactics and rhetoric" replete with "anti-tax, anti-abortion, anti-immigration" themes that "resonate with the farthest right wing of their [Republican] party." Moreover, the book advised supporters of socialized medicine to adopt the following specific strategies for minimizing the visibility and influence of the protesters:
- "You must bring enough people to drown them [the protesters] out."
- "Arrive earlier than the other side does: we need to stack our folks in the front to create a wall around the Member [of Congress]."
- "When the other side gets too loud, we should shut them down with chants that counter their message like 'Health Care Can't Wait!' and 'Health Care Delayed Is Health Care Denied!'"
- "Another way to limit protesters' ability to hijack your event is to confiscate signs or leaflets that they may bring into the venue from outside. The best way to do this is to make a blanket rule that no one can bring signs or leaflets …You can distribute your own signs in the event and offer them one as they enter if you choose to allow them to enter."
- "It's important that you take away right wingers' opportunities to talk with reporters by making sure that your staff or leaders are in constant contact with the media who attend."
In other words, HCAN wrote the entire playbook used to try to marginalize the citizens who opposed the health care takeover last summer, from Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi to the news media to every opposition protester at every event. Rather than countering the arguments of what they called manufactured protests from the Right, these were the people responsible for creating astroturf on the Left.
Jesus had a point when he chided his disciples about pointing out the splinter in another's eye. In politics, when you don't want the people to see what you're doing, the best tactic to use is to accuse your opponent of doing it.
Nothing quite so amusing as a little hypocrisy from the Left.