You can find some wonderful symmetry between the Birther conspiracists and those on the left who have become so paranoid about opposition to Obama that they have invented a “Grand Unified Conspiracy Theory” on health care reform demonstrations.
Both are rooted in denial of facts, refusal to believe evidence right in front of their eyes, the exaggerated build up of the opposition, manufactured (or misinterpreted) evidence, and the unshakable belief that they are right.
The big difference is, on the Democratic side, the conspiracy nuts include:
The Speaker of the House
The Majority Leader of the Senate
The entire DNC
Every major liberal blog
That’s quite a lineup, huh? On the Birther side, you have few nutty congressmen and a whole bunch of fringe kooks who would deny the sun rising in the east and setting in the west if someone presented evidence to the contrary.
So what is the bogus conspiracy theory being pushed by Democrats and the left?
Let’s let the President of the United States - or, perhaps we should start referring to him as the “Kook in Chief” - explain it:
There’s been a lot of media coverage about organized mobs intimidating lawmakers, disrupting town halls, and silencing real discussion about the need for real health insurance reform.
The truth is, it’s a sham. These “grassroots protests” are being organized and largely paid for by Washington special interests and insurance companies who are desperate to block reform. They’re trying to use lies and fear to break the President and his agenda for change.
“Organized mobs?” “Paid for by Washington special interests and insurance companies?” First of all, referring to fellow countrymen who disagree with you as a “mob” is beneath the dignity of the office - not that Obama has necessarily demonstrated that he cares a whit about that kind of thing in the first place - and bespeaks a paranoid outlook regarding your political opposition.
And I don’t know about you, but I sure would like to know specifically which insurance companies and “special interests” - specific lobbying groups and companies - are organizing and paying for these demonstrations? After all, if you’re going to smear the thousands and thousands of people who are opposed to a public policy initiative like health care reform and show up at these congressional town halls, it should be snap to identify those companies who are paying for these protestors to come out and demonstrate, right?
What are their names, Mr. President? How are they paying people to turn out? Are they paying gas money to the demonstrators so that they can drive the few blocks to where these town halls are taking place? Maybe they’re giving a stipend - sort of like strike pay that unions give to members who walk a picket line? (Now that’s grass roots action for ya!)? Just how is all this organized? How deep does this conspiracy go?
ABC News went to one of these town halls where protestors turned out by the hundreds:
There were no lobbyist-funded buses in the parking lot of Mardela Middle and High School on Tuesday evening, and the hundreds of Eastern Maryland residents who packed the school’s auditorium loudly refuted the notion that their anger over the Democrats’ health care reform plans is “manufactured.”
“I went to school in this school,” a man named Bob told me. “I don’t see anyone in this room that isn’t from Mardela Springs right now.”
“We’ve been quiet too long,” said a woman named Joan.
They came to yell at their congressman, freshman Democratic Rep. Frank Kratovil, and they were surprised to hear that the “Congress in Your Corner” event to which they had been invited — by a robocall from Kratovil himself — was not to be a public airing of grievances, but instead an opportunity for private, one-on-one sessions with the freshman Democrat.
As the crowd grew, and began venting frustration over the fact they would only be meeting with the congressman behind closed doors, Kratovil’s aides suggested he switch to a town hall format
Obviously, ABC wasn’t looking hard enough for signs of the conspiracy. Our corporate media is covering for the insurance companies, I’m sure.
Or - these really are demonstrations organized at the grass roots and while I abhor the behavior of some (and admire Kratovil for standing up and taking his licks), the fact remains that the only sign of some kind of conspiracy involving big business was that, according to Democratic Senator Barbara Boxer, the demonstrators were too well dressed to be “genuine.”
Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) appeared on Hardball last night in support of the Left’s attempt to discredit the people showing up to townhalls in protest of ObamaCare. Boxer says she can tell that they’re fakes, because they’re too well dressed. How does she know that this is a problem? Because well-dressed people apparently told her to get the hell out of Florida in the Bush-Gore recount, too.
If that’s not paranoia, I don’t know what is. Note the forced and bogus connection made between two completely different situations. Birthers do the same thing all the time. And they’re kooks and Boxer is sane?
Then you have liberal blogs and the DNC pushing the theory that a group called Freedom Works is in cahoots with the insurance companies and are directing the demonstrators and orchestrating chaos:
Above-the-fold headlines of the disruptive protests caused the Democratic National Committee (DNC) to accuse Republicans of fueling the anti-Democratic healthcare activists in an attempt to institute “mob rule.”
But Republican National Committee (RNC) Chairman Michael Steele denied on Wednesday that the GOP somehow coordinated the protests.
“To sit back and say this is some sort of Republican cabal is some baloney,” Steele said on a conference call with reporters. “And you can substitute [baloney] with something else if you want.”
And Steele argued the protesters have raised questions that the Obama administration deems beneath it to answer.
“This administration has the arrogance to look down their nose” at the protesters, Steele said.
The authenticity of the town hall protests, and whether or not they represent real dissatisfaction with Democrats’ healthcare reform proposals, has become a key element of the early August battle.
The White House questioned the authenticity of the rabble-rousers earlier this week.
“I hope people will take a jaundiced eye to what is clearly the AstroTurf nature of so-called grassroots lobbying,” White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said.
Gibbs and the DNC have taken aim at groups like FreedomWorks, the activist group founded by former House Majority Leader Dick Armey (R-Texas), for allegedly facilitating the protests at the behest of corporate interests.
FreedomWorks spokesman Max Pappas said in an interview with CBS that his group simply provides talking points to town hall attendees to engage in “civil” dialogues with lawmakers.
Those talking points from Freedom Works are one of about a thousand such efforts on the web. American Thinker had a series of 7 posts on “What to ask your Congressman” at these town halls while Hot Air just published their own suggestions.
If all these sites are getting paid to publish suggested talking points by evil insurance companies, maybe I should get in on the act. Who do I contact to spread the lies?
Of course, the revelations by Mary Katherine Ham yesterday about the “smoking gun” memo that Think Progress and TPM Muckraker were touting as “proof” of a conspiracy to disrupt town hall meetings, made most of the left look loonier than Orly Taitz:
When the “manufactured” outrage the Left is trying to demonize lines up so inconveniently with public polling, it’s sometimes necessary to create evidence for the “manufactured” storyline.
Enter Think Progress, which unearthed this shocking, secret memo from the leader of a small grassroots conservative organization in Connecticut, which allegedly instructs members on “infiltrating town halls and harassing Democratic members of Congress.”
Right Principles PAC was formed by Bob MacGuffie and four friends in 2008, and has taken in a whopping $5,017 and disbursed $1,777, according to its FEC filing.
“We’re just trying to shake this state up and make a difference up here,” MacGuffie told me during a telephone interview. He’s surprised at his elevation to national rabble-rouser by the Left.
Right Principles has a Facebook group with 23 members and a Twitter account with five followers. MacGuffie describes himself as an “opponent of leftist thinking in America,” and told me he’s “never pulled a lever” for a Republican or Democrat on a federal level. Yet this Connecticut libertarian’s influence over a national, orchestrated Republican health-care push-back is strong, indeed, if you listen to liberal pundits and the Democratic National Committee, who have crafted a nefarious web out of refutable evidence.
Think Progress highlighted his memo’s directives to “‘Yell,’ ‘Stand Up And Shout Out,’ ‘Rattle Him’,” calling it a “right-wing harassment strategy against Dems.” The blog falsely connected MacGuffie to the national conservative group FreedomWorks through the most tenuous of threads. The Think Progress link that purports to establish MacGuffie as a FreedomWorks “volunteer” leads to his one blog posting on a Tea Party website (on the free social networking site, ning.com). Think Progress calls Tea Party Patriots a “FreedomWorks website.”
The problem is it’s not a FreedomWorks site, according to FreedomWorks spokesman Adam Brandon. FreedomWorks is a “coalition partner” of TeaPartyPatriots.org, but does not fund the site in any way.
“There is no formal structural connection,” Brandon told me. “Never has been. Never will be. We’re just fellow travelers in the movement.”
My pet cat Aramas has more influence with tea party protestors than these bushers. And yet, they are the source of the tactics used by opponents of health care reform?
Exaggerating evidence of conspiracy is right out of the Birther handbook. And yet they’re the screwballs and liberal bloggers are members of a “reality based community?” Maybe on the planet Mongol, not here.
From the president on down, Democrats and liberals have become unhinged about opposition to Obama’s agenda. Somehow, it just seems more evil if big business, right wing fanatics, shady Republican operatives, and robot-like conservatives are all involved in this conspiracy to defeat the health care reform monstrosity that no one in Congress has read yet because it hasn’t been written. And citizens are supposed to require lobbyists and political pros to get ginned up about that?
When 71% of the American people believe that Obama is adding to the deficit unnecessarily, do liberals believe that a few thousands of those souls won’t take it upon themselves - with a little encouragement from tea party groups who have been organizing for more than 6 months - to show up and register their unhappiness?
Completely rational, and reasonable explanations for this outpouring of anger and activism are rejected by the left in favor of the elitist idea that ordinary citizens cannot think for themselves and must be told by lobbyists and corporate flaks to go out and demonstrate. And to carry this elitist lunacy even farther, it is intimated that these same ordinary citizens are actually paid for their efforts.
Birthers and lefty conspiracists - peas of a pod, birds of a feather, and partners in kooky lunacy.