In their USA Today op-ed, Nancy Pelosi and Steny Hoyer have this to say about the spirited protests at health care townhalls across the nation:
However, it is now evident that an ugly campaign is underway not merely to misrepresent the health insurance reform legislation, but to disrupt public meetings and prevent members of Congress and constituents from conducting a civil dialogue. These tactics have included hanging in effigy one Democratic member of Congress in Maryland and protesters holding a sign displaying a tombstone with the name of another congressman in Texas, where protesters also shouted “Just say no!” drowning out those who wanted to hold a substantive discussion. [Emphasis mine.]
Pelosi and Hoyer are obviously kidding themselves here, just as they have been about their grand plan for health care reform since its inception. Townhall attendees who aren’t protesting are certainly not there to have any sort of discussion about health care; rather, they’re there to be fed the same tired buzzwords and because they get a certain satisfaction in hearing views they’ve already accepted parroted back to them — admittedly, it’s probably similar to the satisfaction I get watching Fox News or listening to Michael Medved.
What the protestors are doing, then, is reminding them that there are alternatives. They’re reminding those who support the Congressional plan for reform that there are people out there who don’t see that plan going any better than the rest of the various schemes to come out of the liberal majority.
And, perhaps most importantly, they’re reminding Congress of that, too.
So while the clashes between supporters and protestors might not be the sort of debate we had all hoped for, in the end, it’s better than blindly swallowing the red pills and blue pills that the government is trying so hard to shove down our throats.