Hoyer, Pelosi call protests against ObamaCare “un-American”
posted at 9:30 am on August 10, 2009 by Ed Morrissey
I guess the Democrats have really decided to go nuclear in support of ObamaCare. In the face of massive protests at townhall meetings as elected officials face their constituents, Nancy Pelosi and Steny Hoyer have a new strategy to avoid accountability. They simply have decided to call protests “un-American.” No, I’m not kidding, and they did it in print (via Cuffy Meigs):
However, it is now evident that an ugly campaign is underway not merely to misrepresent the health insurance reform legislation, but to disrupt public meetings and prevent members of Congress and constituents from conducting a civil dialogue. These tactics have included hanging in effigy one Democratic member of Congress in Maryland and protesters holding a sign displaying a tombstone with the name of another congressman in Texas, where protesters also shouted “Just say no!” drowning out those who wanted to hold a substantive discussion.
These disruptions are occurring because opponents are afraid not just of differing views — but of the facts themselves. Drowning out opposing views is simply un-American. Drowning out the facts is how we failed at this task for decades.
Health care is complex. It touches every American life. It drives our economy. People must be allowed to learn the facts.
I can’t think of three better reasons to get government out of health care than that it’s “complex,” “it touches every American life,” and “it drives our economy.” However, it’s now apparently un-American to say that it in public. Will Pelosi and Hoyer set up a tip line for un-American activities, such as [email protected]? Maybe they’ll just recreate the House Un-American Activities Committee to hold hearings and demand testimony. After all, that effort had such a glorious history of operating on the same principles Hoyer and Pelosi espouse here, which can be boiled down to “shut up and do what you’re told.”
We know that members of Congress don’t read bills before voting on them. Now we find out that they don’t read the Constitution before taking the oath of office that demands loyalty to it. We know that because, in the First Amendment, the Constitution not only protects the right of free speech but also the right to petition government for a “redress of grievances.” That means that people unhappy with the direction of government have the right — in fact, have a duty — to air their grievances to their elected officials and demand better governance.
There could be nothing more American than appearing at a town hall and confronting elected officials over their wrong-headed policies, especially when those policies accrue more power to the federal government and eliminate freedom of choice for American citizens. Nancy Pelosi and Steny Hoyer don’t agree. They apparently believe that their elected positions gives them the right to dictate to the country, and the right to be free of protest and dissent. In other words, they see themselves as royalty — as if they themselves were the state, and any protest is un-American simply because it opposes their policies.
They’re impugning your patriotism for using the First Amendment. That tells us everything we need to know about the Democratic majorities in the House and the Senate. This is a new low in American politics, and both Pelosi and Hoyer are foolish enough to put it in USA Today for all to see it.
Update: The boss notes that Hillary Clinton has slammed Pelosi and Hoyer for questioning the patriotism of dissenting Americans:
“I am sick and tired of people who say that if you debate and you disagree with this administration somehow you’re not patriotic. We should stand up and say we are Americans and we have a right to debate and disagree with any administration.”
Oh, wait, that was from 2003 … when we had a Republican administration. Now it’s “I’m sick and tired of people who disagree with us, which is why Barack Obama set up Snitch Central at the White House.”