The Service Employees International Union (SEIU) and other hard left organizations have been summoned by the White House to “Astroturf” the health care debate at Congressional town hall forums around the country. Caught flat-footed by the overwhelming grassroots opposition to Obamacare, the President called on his hired guns to construct a façade of support for his government takeover of health care.
Rep. Kathy Castor (D-Fla.) set up a last-minute town hall meeting in the Tampa Bay area last night in conjunction with the SEIU. Democrats again underestimated the broad scope of opposition to ObamaCare. As word of the covert town hall began to spread midday on Twitter, a HUMAN EVENTS sister site, RedState.com, put out a notice of the town hall on its front page calendar, garnering a Red State shout out from Rush Limbaugh himself.
Castor and the SEIU had expected to stage the 250-seat event with support for the cameras, but police estimate over 1,500 people showed up for the event — the overwhelming majority opposing Obamacare. A testy Castor gave a short speech and left in frustration when booing drowned out the manufactured applause. Castor slipped in and out a back door, not mingling with constituents, when her faux-support-pep-rally-photo-op scheme was blown out of the water.
As is usually the case when Democrat special interests supply a rent-a-mob, there were instances of assault on Obamacare opponents at the event. One of the assaults came from a local Democrat official, Karen Miracle. She physically assaulted Barry Osteen, a local man in the crowd, who was in a debate over healthcare with her husband. You can see the attack in a sequence of photos in the Tampa Bay newspaper here.
One local man, Randy Arthur, told police of being slammed against a wall by thugs at the door when he and his wife tried to enter the facility. Arthur suffered minor injuries to his chest and a ripped shirt.
Now that frustrated Democrats are resorting to physical intimidation to silence opposition at the town halls, anyone attending these events should bring along a video or still camera. The best way to neutralize thugs wishing to strip you of your First Amendment right to political free speech at an open forum with your elected representative is to point a camera at them at all times.
And don’t forget to send those videos to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cash for Perfectly Good Cars Passes Senate
The Democrat cash for “clunkers” bill passed the Senate yesterday as legislators threw another $2 billion into the scheme. Democrats are handing out tax money collected by the government to buy cars from a company the government owns, and giving zero-interest loans on the new cars purchased. There is no better firsthand example out there today of how the government unfairly competes in the market.
(Obamacare will put private insurers out of business using the same kind of competition- killing tactics and it will not take the 10-20 years Obama predicted.)
Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) offered a common sense amendment to the clunker of a bill that would have allowed these perfectly good cars to be donated to charities instead of being destroyed. That didn’t sit well with Democrat statists in the Senate. Can’t have those pesky charities competing with government handouts. The Coburn amendment failed 41-56.
The cash for “clunkers” bill passed by a final vote of 60-37.
A new Rasmussen poll shows that 54% of the American people oppose putting any more money into this “wildly popular” program.
Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor was confirmed by the full Senate yesterday by a vote of 68-31. The administration had initially hoped for a 90+ vote that would have mirrored the Republican rollover when Sotomayor’s fellow traveler, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, was nominated to the court by Bill Clinton.
The threat to fundamental freedoms such as Second Amendment rights by a judge of Sotomayor’s activist stripe was disconcerting enough that the National Rifle Association scored the confirmation vote. From their announcement signed by Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre and Executive Director Chris Cox:
We believe any individual who does not agree that the Second Amendment guarantees a fundamental right and who does not respect our God-given right of self-defense should not serve on any court, much less the highest court in the land. Given the importance of this issue, the vote on Judge Sotomayor’s confirmation will be considered in NRA’s future candidate considerations.
The nine Republicans voting in favor of the Sotomayor nomination and the threat she poses to the right to keep and bear arms (among many other things): Senators Lamar Alexander (Tenn.), Kit Bond (Mo.), Susan Collins (Maine), Lindsey Graham (S.C.), Judd Gregg (N.H.), Richard Lugar (Ind.), Mel Martinez (Fla.), Olympia Snowe (Maine) and George Voinovich (Ohio).
The Senate has joined the House for the summer break. Congress will reconvene after Labor Day.
The RNC Strikes Back
In one of the more politically dense moves of the August recess, Democrats launched an all-out ad hominem attack ad this week on the majority of Americans who oppose Obamacare. The Democratic National Committee ad called constituents attending Congressional town hall meetings who oppose the government takeover of healthcare “mobs.”
The Republican National Committee yesterday launched its first August ad, a blistering look at the first 200 days of the Obama administration. The ad catalogues risky schemes and out of control spending, dubbing the administration a “failed experiment.”
The ad is entitled “In Denial.”
Obama Poll Numbers Sink Even Lower
A Quinnipiac University poll released yesterday shows Obama’s job approval rating has slipped even further to 50 percent approving while 42 percent disapprove. That’s the lowest of his presidency, down from 57-33 percent just one month ago.
Voters disapprove of the way Obama is handling the economy by 49-45 percent. They also disapprove of the way Obama is handling the issue of healthcare by a whopping 52-39 percent.