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Virulent Protests against “Big Government”

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Rally in Washington. Photo Courtesy of The Huffington Post

Rally in Washington. Photo courtesy of The Huffington Post

This is truly surreal, and lends a new tone of absurdism to what is turning out to be a thoroughly scurrilous health care “debate”.

Not that protests against “out-of-control spending” (as the AP worded it) are absurd in themselves. Indeed, it seems clear that the Obama deficit presents a mortal danger to our long-term economic health. But with the 2001 tax cuts to the rich still in effect, the trillions printed for the benefit of our financial industry, and the tear-inducing costs of our overseas adventures, the idea that uninsured citizens with preventative care could ignite such fury seems exceedingly bizarre. Particularly as the currently debated scheme would leave insurance industry profits largely intact.

The fury, at least, seems real enough. The newspapers report  thousands of citizens descending upon Washington from all across our considerable landmass, toting signs with instructive messages such as “ObamaCare Makes Me Sick”.  Nearly every article begins with the profile of a protester who took a train, two buses, and hitchhiked to attend the event. It’s hard to believe such furor has been raised only by the prospect of expanded healthcare – something else is clearly at play.

The Washington Post gives us a hint:

Jeff Mapps, 29, a stagehand and labor union member from South Philadelphia, left home about 6 a.m. to come to the protest. He said he hadn’t been involved in previous Tea Party demonstrations, but he watches Fox News host Glenn Beck “all the time” and he wanted to be a part of something he thinks will be historic. Beck has been drumming up support for the march.

Glenn Beck, as you may know, is a verminous talking head at Fox News, formerly at CNN. A “conservative” thoroughly opposed to ‘big government’, he nonetheless cheered loudly for every bit of Bush-era deficit spending, from the Iraq War to the TARP bailout.

And again:

Like countless others at the rally, Joan Wright, 78 of Ocean Pines, Md., sounded angry. “I’m not taking this crap anymore,” said Wright, who came by bus to Washington with 150 like-minded residents of Maryland’s Eastern Shore. “I don’t like the health-care [plan]. I don’t like the czars. And I don’t like the elitists telling us what we should do or eat.”

So it would appear the issue is not truly with the idea of “big government”, but merely this government.

As far as one can tell, much of this event was organized by a collection of “conservative” political action groups, including FreedomWorks, and the Tea Party Campaign. Their agenda seems entirely corporatist in nature. Anyone truly worried about the deficit would protest against our overseas engagements or the terrifying actions of our Federal Reserve. Instead, they have chosen this particular manifestation of “big government” to oppose – the very same one that promises to drive down insurance industry costs.

Our sponsored media has also answered the siren call, whipping up the public ire against this and only this program of Mr. Obama’s. In doing so, they reveal a real fear among the pharmaceutical industry regarding the so-called “public option”. For an easy reminder of the role pharmaceuticals play in cable news, observe how many ads for their products you encounter in a half-hour of Fox or CNN programming. I once counted twelve.

In the end, I don’t really think they have much to worry about. If a government-sponsored non-profit health insurance option is available when all this is over, you may color me pink. But the fact that a bit of petty demagoguery can mobilize thousands of citizens against their material benefit – well, that leaves me rather blue indeed.

Like countless others at the rally, Joan Wright, 78 of Ocean Pines, Md., sounded angry. “I’m not taking this crap anymore,” said Wright, who came by bus to Washington with 150 like-minded residents of Maryland’s Eastern Shore. “I don’t like the health-care [plan]. I don’t like the czars. And I don’t like the elitists telling us what we should do or eat.”

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Written by pavanvan

September 12, 2009 at 8:09 pm

One Response

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  1. its like the adult version of cedar fest.

    sprouts

    September 14, 2009 at 3:34 pm


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