What your representatives think of you, Part II
A few days ago, I quoted from some representatives saying that those attending town halls are an ill-informed mob that must be ignored. The editors at National Review nicely sum up the Democratic party attitude and its profoundly anti-democratic meaning (links omitted):
President Obama likes to pose as the tribune of the common people, but Americans who show up at town-hall meetings to object to Obama’s plans to nationalize health care are, in the words of Obama’s Democratic National Committee, “the mob,” a bunch of “extremist” yahoos who must be publicly denounced and ridiculed. It’s a remarkable piece of condescension and snobbery, but one that is indicative of how President Obama thinks and does business.
Except when he condescends to make the occasional offhanded jibe about cops policing “stupidly” in Boston or hapless Special Olympics competitors, Obama famously likes to strike a pose of being above it all — but what country does he think he is president of, anyway? We cannot recall a similar episode in recent history in which a group of Americans bringing their concerns about a public-policy question to their representatives were told to sit down and shut up. It’s true that democratic discourse should be respectful and dignified — but it also should be two-way: Politicians should expect to listen as much as they expect to be listened to.
The DNC’s ad, “Enough of the Mob,” abominates those Americans who show up to address their congressmen and to exercise their constitutional rights to speak freely, to assemble, and to petition their government for redress of grievances. You know, that old pre-hope-and-change, hopelessly retro, pre-messianic democratic stuff. The ad is deeply dishonest, even by the standards of Washington discourse: The beginning and ending images, and many of those in between, are not those of people protesting Obama’s health-care proposals, but rather of the wacko fringe “birthers” (about whom much has been written here and elsewhere), who have nothing to do with either the town-hall meetings in question or with the Republican party as such. This is pure chicanery: The people protesting Obamacare have not gone out and comported themselves like a gang of buffoons, so Obama’s partisans simply took video of different people comporting themselves like a gang of buffoons and substituted it. That’s a low, shoddy, and intellectually dishonest way to operate.