September 16, 2009

The way it should be?

A comment on a previous post made reference to the violence seen at some recent political events. Of course this was someone I consider to be pretty far right wing (a friend, by the way, who takes sadistic pleasure in rattling my cage). His comment blamed the violence on the left.

Go figure... right?

Well, my take on it was a bit different and I couldn't find any real evidence that would convict either side. I'm sure there will be some evidence come to light, but I didn't see it in any of the videos I watched... and I watched a bunch of 'em.

However, in diggiging through all that You Tube stuff I did find a video of a town hall meeting, held Sept. 12th in Union City, CA., by Rep. Pete Stark (D. CA).

Stark, who chairs the Ways and Means health subpanel, rather emphatically demonstrated that there are limits to what he will take from angry constituents. So the meeting was maybe a little testy, but overall it maintained a reasonable tone.

As you see, there were folks from both sides of the healthcare debate voicing opinions in reasonable voices, and Stark addressed each in turn. This was shot by an admitted tea partier, who inserted some comments into the video, but even those were level and polite.

Isn't it nice when people can exchange ideas without a bunch of shoving and shouting... don't you wish everyone behaved this way?



Ambulance Driver said...

LOL, Rep. Stark deserves props for that zinger, all right. He gave as well as he got.

Honestly, Mule Breath, I think most of the vitriol coming from the protestors at these town hall meetings comes from the plain fact that most of them feel as if their elected representative is ignoring the voices of his/her constituents and they're sick and tired of it. So sure, they're getting loud because they're angry.

And the 9/12 rally held in Washington shows pretty clearly that this is more than just a handful of operatives whipped up by the RNC to shout down Democratic supporters of Obamacare.

How many were at that rally? I've seen solid estimates of 1.5 million, maybe more.

That's more than a few cranks, my friend. That's a movement.

And yeah, I enjoy jerking your chain now and then. That's what I do when I can't out-debate you. ;)

Brad J (Kazrak) said...

The Spread of the Two Million Protestor Myth

Looks more like the high end of five digits, maybe the low end of six digits - absolutely a respectable showing. But nowhere near a million, much less one-anna-half to two.

Mule Breath said...

DCFD estimated between 60-70,000, (I know, AD, don't go there) and even FreedomWorks has halved their earlier estimate of 1.5 million to somewhere between 600-800,000 people.

There were a lot of people there, AD, but I don't think even that 600K estimate is correct. CSM is even reporting that some of the crowd photos circulationg the right wing blogosphere were doctored, so who knows?

I'm waiting for the Park Service estimate. Those guys have the experience to come up with good numbers.

Mule Breath said...

Well, apparently the park service no longer releases head counts so my waiting is in vain. However, legitimate news sources are finally correcting the erroneous estimates originally reported by Kibbe, Beck and Malkin.

The highest estimate yet is 75K.

My personal estimate (based upon the signs seen and bloviations heard) is that 2/3 of those were seriously misguided fringe wingnuts who need to get back on medication.

I'll grant you 25K reasonable people seriously worried about the direction of our country. They have my respect and admiration for their efforts. If they could somehow shake off the parasitic malcontents someone would probably listen to them.

Just so you'll know, I'm not in favor of healthcare reform as it is currently proposed, but I do feel we need reform. More than anything we need reform of insurance regulation. I'll take a flawed bill over no bill, but I won't go there happily.

But at same time, as long as the right lines up in lockstep behind the Becks and the Palins, you will never find this Texas country boy in your camp.