Right Wing Nut House



Filed under: Blogging, Politics, health care reform — Rick Moran @ 10:45 am

Action and reaction.

Obama comes up with ruinously expensive, statist, enormously complex, and ultimately ridiculous health care reform ideas - a bill that will change people’s lives in the most intimate way imaginable - and some people react to both the bill itself and the misinformation being spread by opponents by fearfully shouting down proponents of the measure and even threatening to get physical.

The Democrats react by bussing in labor thugs for “protection” while the White House encourages Democrats to hit back “twice as hard.”

Gee - and we’re surprised that violence breaks out?

In an age when reasonableness in politics is seen as weakness, or insufficient passion for “the cause,” coming to blows over health care was predictable Someone or many someones are going to get killed over this if it keeps up and the finger of blame will have a hard time finding a permanent place to rest.

I would dearly love to point the finger at President Obama and the Democrats as they have ratcheted up the potential for violence by bringing in supporters who have a 100 year history of goonishness when dealing with opponents. I’m talking about labor unions, of course, and the kinds of “activists” who will be showing up at these town halls. These are men who play for keeps and pull no punches when they feel their interests are on the line.

You might have had some sympathy for these tactics 70 or 80 years ago when employers routinely hired their own goons (and had the police on their side) to beat and kill organizers. But those days are long gone, even though the goons remain.

I have second hand familiarity with labor thugs, having worked in the early 80’s for an open shop construction trade association where our members who refused to use union labor were routinely beaten, harassed, their homes firebombed, and their jobsites vandalized. Of course, there are dozens of contemporary examples of workers who choose to cross a picket line being beaten - and worse. The heroes in the labor movement are all dead and long gone. Today’s unions are little better than extortion rackets, designed to milk both workers and employers for every nickle they can get out of them.

Labor officials then take that money and buy political power with it to maintain their lofty position (and lavish lifestyles) by getting their friends in Congress to protect them from audits, and as will be the case with card check, make it easier to get even more members to buy them more political power.

I don’t know for sure if labor bullies were responsible for beating up a couple of conservatives in St. Louis yesterday but I have my suspicions. I’ve seen it too often not to believe that it not only is possible, but likely as well.

But let’s return to the culprits who are also responsible for the violence last night and will be equally responsible as well for any future violence. The behavior of some conservative activists has been despicable. I am sick to death of hearing that shouting down opponents or physically threatening people who disagree with you is “understandable” because, after all, health care reform is so bad, you can’t blame people for being angry.

You bet your ass I blame people for shouting down and trying to intimidate their political opponents. We were given a brain at birth capable of reason and logic. We are not beasts who are unable to control our emotions. We were born in a country where only by civil debate and reasoned discourse have we been able to maintain our unity in the face of towering obstacles. Citizens coming from a hundred different backgrounds as well as representing every race, every creed, every ethnic group in the world do not naturally mix and form a society. We have to work at it. And that means governing our passions so that all may participate in the democratic process equally.

When we don’t - when we give in to these beastly impulses - we get 600,000 dead and one part of the country in ruins. Ultimately, the Civil War was as much about our failure to believe in the good intentions of our political opponents as it was about the union, or slavery. War is never “inevitable.” Losing faith in each other was what led to the explosion.

To give in to the desire to express anger while preventing others from making their views known demonstrates an adolescent level of emotional maturity. It is rude, selfish, and ultimately self defeating (as I wrote about here several days ago).

Look at Rasmussen’s latest poll that show a significant bump in the president’s numbers from people who “strongly approve” of him, from 28% to 34% in less than a week. A reasonable explanation is that those fence sitters who were becoming lukewarm about Obama have been energized by conservative misbehavior at town halls. That 6 point bump cannot be explained by a glitch in the numbers. It is statistically significant enough that it had to have been driven by what’s been in the news.

Those who can’t control themselves should stay home. It’s that simple. If you are unable to allow your fellow citizens the same rights given to you and refrain from shouting them down, I suggest you attend a professional wrestling match where you can shout down people who disagree with you without doing any harm. By showing up at town halls and claiming that you are so angry that, like a 15 year old boy, you can’t control your emotions, you only make passage of health care reform more likely.

It is the Democrats and liberals who have taken this to the next level, however, by urging their supporters to “hit back twice as hard” and by bringing in professional union agitators. And Democratic congressmen aren’t helping matters either by trying to prevent protestors from attending the town halls. Now conservatives feel they have to top what the Democrats have just done, and the cycle is likely to escalate out of control.

Action and reaction. In the end, no one remembers who started it.


  1. It’s so good to see how President Obama has brought us all together … a national “Kumbaya” moment.

    Everybody sing …

    Comment by Neo — 8/7/2009 @ 11:05 am

  2. re: I don’t know if labor bullies were responsible for beating up 2 conservatives in St. Louis

    Well, as I understand it, 3 were arrested and had on SEIU shirts. You can see them in the video. The lawyer for the victim stated they had on the shirts.

    But I suppose (us being a totally fair and reasonable group)we should wait until their conviction is final and until Holder declines to throw away the conviction (Phil. voter intimidation case) before we can say we know that labor bullies were responsible. And, I guess, we need to confirm they are union members and not plants by the well-dressed Nazi thug right-wing extremists.

    Comment by Harry O — 8/7/2009 @ 11:33 am

  3. Sadly, no one will listen to you. You are absolutely right- the result of this shit is exactly the opposite of what the offenders want.

    Yes, Rick, we were all given brains, but the brain is also the source of emotion, and emotions trump intellect (for most).

    But why does Obama get away with telling his supporters to “get in their faces”, and “hit back twice as hard”, and conservatives look like the bad guys? Newsflash, huh: double standard?

    Comment by lionheart — 8/7/2009 @ 11:33 am

  4. No kidding. Of course it’s just playground politics. The people who are causing the violence will not be blamed as they point to the others who point to the others who point to the others.

    Just because people who are against this stupid legistation are being villified doesn’t mean we will stop. Period. We are tired of the lies.

    We are tired of being told “it’s good for us.” Puke. As if we are not intelligent enough to know what is happening. The dumbing down of America isn’t 100 percent yet.

    There are those of us who know what is at stake. Don’t bring a knife to a gun-fight.

    Comment by Charlotte — 8/7/2009 @ 11:37 am

  5. If you have your argument(s) down on an issue and the other side — in this case, your local Congressman and/or Senator — doesn’t, then shouting them down not only looks bad on TV, it’s counterproductive. Better to just question them and let their stonewalling, fumbling around for a reply or obvious verbal contempt for the questioner be the image the public gets to see.

    As for the SEIU, were this even 15 years ago, without the Internet and cell phone cameras and video recorders readily available, then you might have a problem wiht a compliant media refusing to run the images of union thugs attacking health care opponents. That’s not the case anymore, so attacks like Thursday night’s in St. Louis are going to get out, and should the attacks be extended to the point where videos of female Obamacare opponents or senior citizens being roughed up or bloodied start going viral, you can expect what little remaining swing voter support the president does have for his heath care plan is going to vanish, and it probably won’t be returning for any other controversial programs.

    Comment by John — 8/7/2009 @ 11:52 am

  6. Rick,
    you are the only conservative worth reading. I hope for the sake of health-care reform, which I am for, the unions don’t get thuggish. As for the misbehavior on the right, I think the loudest loud-mouths are followers of Glen Beck. They are the ones who have been whipped up into the most paranoid, potentially violent states-of-mind. Beck and other talk-show hosts are in a race to shrink the Republican Party in their quest for higher ratings. Thank God liberal talk-radio never took off.

    Comment by Mike — 8/7/2009 @ 12:07 pm

  7. I agree about the violent aspects of unions (and I would love to see more attention given to the disgraceful lobbying being forced upon UPS employees by their union and company bosses in a Congressional effort to punish FedEx for not being sufficiently unionized) being brought in.
    (Link to the UPS/FedEx story: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/08/06/AR2009080603863_pf.html )

    I honestly don’t get the fear of health care that is ongoing at this point. Conservative and Blue Dog pressure has whittled down much of the worst aspects of proposed health reform. If I recall you have in the past indicated the bill Obama gets will be far different and less far-ranging than what he and factions in Congress had proposed.

    So I do not see the need for explosive rhetoric by GOP representatives and their allies making insinuations that liberal health care reform will encourage euthanasia for the elderly or that Medicare will be taken away.

    I have heard Sen. Hatch is working on something to propose in September and would love to see a Rep. Ryan or a Mitt Romney come forward with a detailed proposal to further whittle down the more liberal wish list of health care items in the final bill.

    As far as conservatives in these town halls, how does the Rep. and their staff know that they will act civilized? Pres. Bush and other Republicans for years made it a requirement for pre-screening at events so as to keep out liberal protesters and troublemakers. I don’t see where we conservatives have the right to complain now when Democrats do it (even though we probably did it to prevent the kind of behavior some of the Left is well known for). If people were willing to behave and not act like infantile Code Pink/ACORN protesters, the Dems would not have the quasi-excuse they have now.

    Comment by Eddie — 8/7/2009 @ 12:24 pm

  8. I wish everyone would stop running for their respective corners. I agree that no one should be surprised by the escalation. With news pundits throwing around inflationary statements and every responsible party acting partisan and immature it is no wonder that the rest of the sheeple wouldn’t just react. It’s not just Obama’s fault, but everyone of our representatives. There is a dire need to adjust the Health Care industry because it has major problems. The changes are coming out of Congress and not the White House since only COngress can make laws. Both sides are acting with corporate lobbyists paying them off and people are impatient. The Media hasn’t analyzed any part of the legislation, but act like commentators at a rugby match. They also feed misinformation and allow proven dimwits to talk. I think we have all lost sight of the last 8 years and how we got here. You are just letting the same people get you angry using the same means for a different purpose. Nice going everyone!

    Comment by Muffler — 8/7/2009 @ 12:35 pm

  9. Is it surprising that people who come to these “Town Hall” meeting are angry? My father is a retired Air Force Sargent (80 years old this December) currently on Medicare - for those who don’t know this, all retired military medical coverage for retirees reverts to Medicare at age 65. He is concerned for his future health care needs and has written his Congressman dozens of times. All he has gotten back for his trouble has been a single form letter repeating the Democratic talking points on Health Care reform.

    He is not computer savvy and is dependent upon friends to download versions of the bill which he has tried to read and understand. He has taken one such version, printed in very small font in order to keep it to 250 pages (printed on both sides), to his local congressman’s office on two seperate occasions and asked the aides there to help him understand the Bill. Both times he has been sent away with a copy of the very same talking points memo sent to him previously.

    And his Congressman is considered a BLUE DOG!

    My father can trully be described as a “Yellow Dog Democrat.” For those of you unfamiliar with the term, it is a old time Southern expression meaning he will vote for the Democrat on the ticket even if it is a “Yelllow Dog.” And for the first time in his life he has been reduced to tears for his frustration with his beloved party.

    In some ways I am not sympathetic to my Father. But his frustrations mirror all of his friends - good Democrats all - who just want assurances their health care will not be reduced to the Canadian standard or anything approaching that. (By the way his next door neighbor is a Canadian from Winnipeg who moved South because of the health care situation in Canada and is paying for the priviledge of getting health care here.) And to date they have not been provided with these assurances. Because, in my Father’s words, “Every time I hear or read something from the Democratic Party on a particular issue regarding Health Care, I read a section in the bill that contradicts what I am being told.”

    I agree with you, Rick, that the anger being shown in the meetimgs across the country is not advancing the state of the debate at all. But the reasons are all there. The frustrations are real. And when “peaceful but loud” contituents are confronted with “goons” I tend to side with the loud folks, regardless of the situation. And in this situation, I am siding with one quiet but extremely frustrated veteran.

    Comment by SShiell — 8/7/2009 @ 1:07 pm

  10. There is no moral equivalence between loud, boisterous or even rude behavior, on the one hand, and physical violece and the threats thereof on the other. If some union thug injures someone or threatens as much–and it may have happened–Obama owns it.

    Comment by obamathered — 8/7/2009 @ 1:29 pm

  11. I agree with you, Rick, that the anger being shown in the meetimgs across the country is not advancing the state of the debate at all. But the reasons are all there. The frustrations are real. And when “peaceful but loud” contituents are confronted with “goons” I tend to side with the loud folks, regardless of the situation. And in this situation, I am siding with one quiet but extremely frustrated veteran.

    Are you talking about the loud folks putting their congressmen in effigy and making death threats? Listen, I’m no fan of the SEIU’s involment but to act as though their thuggish behavior absolves the conservatives thuggish behavior defies reason. Why can’t they show up at these town halls and just ask a friggin question? Your father’s frustration alone is not enough to warrant this thuggish behavior of killing debate and intimidating people. Fearing some conservative boogeyman about “forced assisted suicide” is the problem of the gullable not your elected officials.

    Comment by Derrick — 8/7/2009 @ 1:34 pm

  12. [...] the same lines, Rick Moran has some harsh but well-deserved words for the protesters we’re seeing at the town … You bet your ass I blame people for shouting down and trying to intimidate their political [...]

    Pingback by Below The Beltway » Blog Archive » Screaming At Your Opponents Isn’t A Form Of Political Debate — 8/7/2009 @ 1:36 pm

  13. Rick says:

    “The Democrats react by bussing in labor thugs for “protection”

    I say:

    Prove it.

    Who exactly is bussing these “labor thugs” in Rick??

    And how is your above statement any different than your so-called “conspiracy” by the left suggesting that those angry citizens protesting town halls were bussed in by conservative groups??

    Don’t accuse “Democrats and liberals” unless you’ve got proof Rick…remember what you said on 8/5/09…

    “If you don’t have any names, it’s a base political smear, nothing more.”

    Then on 8/6/09 you question whether liberals believe that these “few thousands of souls wont take it upon themselves” to protest these town halls “with a little encouragement from tea party groups”

    Perhaps these “labor thugs” are simply more angry citizens who are taking it upon themselves to secure these town halls from those who would protest in such an un-American way to begin with..

    After all…you said it best…”The behavior of some conservative activists has been despicable.”

    Who could blame average citizens for attempting to counteract these despicable protesters?

    I also disagree with you that people will not remember who started this…I believe they will.

    Prove it?

    I guess this constitutes a great big fat smoking gun:


    Money quote:

    “Over the past few days, groups like Health Care for America Now, the AFL-CIO — which is describing the town halls as the “principal battleground” in the health care fight — and Organizing for America, the president’s campaign arm at the Democratic National Committee, have sent supporters logistical tips for dealing with any hostile conservative presence at the town halls, and for organizing lobbying efforts to neutralize their impact.

    OFA sent its e-mail list a message Thursday that pointed to the protests as a fresh hurdle that called for a concerted push to contact members of Congress in response. “The goal of these disruptions is for a few people to get a lot a media attention and hijack the entire public discourse,” wrote executive director Mitch Stewart. The message identifies the lawmaker who represents the specific congressional district of the e-mail recipient, and provides contact information.”

    The SEIU is also sponsoring most of the town halls across the country. They are bragging about it on their website.


    Comment by Moltenorb — 8/7/2009 @ 2:15 pm

  14. “Fearing some conservative boogeyman about “forced assisted suicide” is the problem of the gullable not your elected officials.”

    If you have a problem reading then you should take the proper courses to address that. I never once mentioned “forced assisted suicide.” I never said once that my father had attended a single Town Hall meeting. You should never “assume” from your own perspective what I wrote or intended.

    My father has asked question after question and he has not received a single answer that responded to his concerns - nothing but Talking Points. He has never attended a single Town Hall meeting, nor has he made anything but respectful inquiries of his Congressman, much less “warrant this thuggish behavior of killing debate and intimidating people.”

    And I would say that hysterical comments like your own about “Fearing some conservative boogeyman . . ” creates the same type of misinformation you yourself are up in arms against.

    I know better than to expect anything from my Congressman - Steny Hoyer - but my father does not deserve the treatment he has gotten from one of his own.

    Comment by SShiell — 8/7/2009 @ 2:19 pm

  15. Thanks for the link Rick. Much appreciated.

    “Logistical tips”??…Hmmm

    How is that any different than the Macguffie memo…or your own words…”a little encouragement from tea party groups”??

    And I can’t find any mention at all in that link about anyone “bussing” anyone anywhere..Just some handy tips and “encouragement” from groups on the other side of the debate.

    Goose and gander my friend..

    You’re a very smart guy, and my favorite conservative blogger…but when you compare liberals and democrats to the birthers because of a perceived conspiracy, you need to choose your words wisely, or risk becoming a conspiracy theorist yourself.

    As far as I can tell from your source…there is no proof that anyone is getting paid or being “bussed” to these town halls to counteract the initial protesters.

    As far as I can tell, they are there because the behavior of the intial protesters is unacceptable, and should be countered.

    Now, I’ll feel differently if the counter protesters do initiate violence, but until then, these are just concerned citizens exercizing their rights, just like the guys that got there first…Except the guys that got there first acted like 15 year old school boys.

    Comment by Moltenorb — 8/7/2009 @ 3:34 pm

  16. Here’s a name for you…Heather Blish.

    Comment by Moltenorb — 8/7/2009 @ 3:42 pm

  17. Is sponsoring town halls across America a bad thing?

    Comment by Moltenorb — 8/7/2009 @ 3:51 pm

  18. the finger of blame will have a hard time finding a permanent place to rest.

    No it won’t.

    Comment by Chuck Tucson — 8/7/2009 @ 4:20 pm

  19. Fortunately there are some voices of sanity out there:

    “The America I know and love is not one in which my parents or my baby with Down Syndrome will have to stand in front of Obama’s ‘death panel’ so his bureaucrats can decide, based on a subjective judgment of their ‘level of productivity in society,’ whether they are worthy of health care. Such a system is downright evil.” -Sarah Palin

    I hope everyone has a good weekend. I’m heading out to grab a beer and maybe euthanize some old people. Peace!

    Comment by Aaron — 8/7/2009 @ 5:02 pm

  20. “I honestly don’t get the fear of health care that is ongoing at this point. Conservative and Blue Dog pressure has whittled down much of the worst aspects of proposed health reform. ”

    When 70+% of Americans like their own health care but have a “general” desire for “health care reform”, is it really surprising when you begin to read the details of the plan and begin to worry that the plan you have (and like) will change.

    Its like saying we can solve world hunger but we’ll need to give up some of our eating out habits.

    Comment by c3 — 8/7/2009 @ 5:09 pm

  21. Obama’s overall approval/disapproval percentages in the Rasmussen poll have been stable at roughly 50% and 50% since July 18.


    Given that stability, I suspect that the sharp rise in the number strongly approving of Obama does not represent fence sitters moving to his side, but rather those who already somewhat supported him moving to a position of strong support as confrontation sharpens and tempers flare.

    What Rasmussen is charting is polarization and radicalization in roughly equal and opposed populations.

    Comment by David L. — 8/7/2009 @ 5:28 pm

  22. [...] VIOLENCE AT TOWN HALLS PREDICTABLE AND DISTURBING swfobject.embedSWF(”http://www.youtube.com/v/FPMqVIFe7z4&color1=0×050505&color2=0xCE1212&border=1&rel=1&fs=1&showsearch=0&showinfo=0″, “vvq-9802-youtube-1″, “700″, “420″, “9″, vvqexpressinstall, vvqflashvars, vvqparams, vvqattributes); [...]

    Pingback by Via Daily Kos: SEIU Whines About “Threatening” Phone Call | Democrat = Socialist — 8/7/2009 @ 6:00 pm


    Pingback by Via Daily Kos: SEIU Whines About “Threatening” Phone Call : Ft. Hard Knox — 8/7/2009 @ 7:23 pm

  24. Rick “Maybe if I appease the crocs by blaming my own, they will eat me last” Moran—at it again I see. Throw your conservative colleagues under the bus! You clearly haven’t the stones to stand up for principles, other than “reasoning with the unreasonable.”

    I know! Let’s talk disarmament with the Norks and blame our side for being so damned demanding!

    You may have set the record for idiocy with this one. So, you support violence? You support shouting down others and preventing their exercise of free speech?

    And you accuse me of lacking principle? Heh.


    Comment by Earl T — 8/7/2009 @ 8:56 pm

  25. What a load of bullshit. You’re trying to draw equivalency where none exists.

    We aren’t shouting GOP Congressmen down. We aren’t waving swastikas. We aren’t trying to so deligitimize your party that we end up rationalizing violence. That’s on your side, Rick.

    Your party, your people, Rick, your side, are seething with hatred and rage and racist panic. That’s what this is about. It has nothing to do with health care, nothing to do with the deficit, nothing to do with unions.

    These are middle-aged and older white people who cannot accept that the world has changed. We have a black man in the White House. That’s what this is about. It’s raw, naked racism spoon-fed by Limbaugh and Beck and much of your party. And you know it. You don’t like it, you can’t admit it, but you know it.

    Your party, your “movement” are going to get someone killed. And it won’t be at all hard to figure out where to point the finger.

    You really need to do some soul-searching and ask yourself if this is your party anymore.

    Now feel free to abuse me, but you know it’s true.

    No - I won’t abuse you. I pity you. You used to be rational. You used to have a modicum of judgment. Not anymore. You have gone so far over the edge, so far in the tank for this Chicago charlatan that there’s no talking to people like you anymore.

    btw - you still think this guy is a pragmatist? Heh.


    Comment by michael reynolds — 8/7/2009 @ 9:27 pm

  26. What a great time to be a moderate and caught in the middle. You’re right about the finger pointing, once the violence gets started nobody will care about the charges and counter charges, everyone will be out for blood and it will be the other side that is totally at fault. Will a couple of dead bodies cause people to pull away from the brink? Maybe, on the other hand things could quickly accelerate out of control. Like I said a long time ago Bin Laden was an idiot, if you really wanted to tear this country apart all you have have to do is kill a righty then a lefty and then watch the left and right go at it and do the dirty work for you.

    Comment by grognard — 8/7/2009 @ 10:07 pm

  27. I just love the geezers hollering that the government needs to stay out of their Medicare! Most of these people raising hell are on Medicare. Its so obviously fake.

    How much is the GOP paying for manufactured outrage these days? I’m looking for another job.

    Comment by Melanie — 8/7/2009 @ 11:59 pm

  28. After seeing and hearing the town hall nut-cases on both sides these past few days, I’m beginning to think that Obama and the Democrats should just institute a pre-screened list of attendees to these healthcare discussions just like Bush used to do with Social Security reform. Otherwise there will be bloodshed and nothing will get accomplished!

    Comment by Surabaya Stew — 8/8/2009 @ 12:46 am

  29. “We aren’t shouting GOP Congressmen down. We aren’t waving swastikas. We aren’t trying to so deligitimize your party that we end up rationalizing violence. That’s on your side, Rick.”

    You aren’t shouting down GOP Congressmen? You aren’t waving swastikas? You aren’t trying to delegitimize the GOP to such a degree that you end up rationalizing violence?

    *blink*, *blink*

    If you mean right now at this very moment, I guess that may be true. If you mean in the very recent past, then I can only assume you’re being deliberately argumentative or blindly biased.

    It’s surprising to see the “mobs” on the right side of the spectrum get riled up and protest, but it’s more surprising to see the “mobs” on the left side of the spectrum feign outrage at those “mobs”.

    Comment by sota — 8/8/2009 @ 7:31 am

  30. Rick,

    I stumbled across your website while looking for the creator of your “Battle of Greasy Grass Creek” painting. Then I noticed your town hall article. It was a curious coincidence since I just finished a cartoon using that painting to illustrate some of your article’s ideas.

    The ‘toon will be up this evening (Sunday, 8-9-09).

    I enjoy your writing on American Thinker.

    Rich Terrell

    Thanks Rich. Look forward to seeing it!


    Comment by Richard Terrell — 8/9/2009 @ 11:49 am

  31. Rick, you wrote….”Look at Rasmussen’s latest poll that show a significant bump in the president’s numbers from people who “strongly approve” of him, from 28% to 34% in less than a week…That 6 point bump cannot be explained by a glitch in the numbers. It is statistically significant enough that it had to have been driven by what’s been in the news.”

    Ok, take a look at Rasmussen today. Now it’s shooting back up on the side of those who “strongly disapprove.”

    Care to spin that now? :-)

    Comment by Joe — 8/10/2009 @ 7:46 am

  32. I like the fact that older people are going to these meeting and getting pissed off. It is time we stand up to the democrats who are screwing up this country. Rick I know what you are trying to say but many people see our freedoms going out the window. They are mad as hell and are not going to take it anymore.
    We have the worst president of all time and he has to be stopped. We have the worst congress of all time and they have to be stopped. We just saw what the last congress did for the republicans and they got thrown out of power. Now it is time to throw this bunch out too

    Comment by Bob — 8/10/2009 @ 10:28 pm

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