Hopefully, most TDS readers saw at least a news clip or two of President Obama’s successful town hall meeting in Montana on Friday. For those who didn’t, the next best thing is to read Mike Lupica’s column in today’s Daily News. Lupica leads with the view of a woman who watched the town hall in an airplane hangar in Belgrade, Montana:
“Yes, there were a few protesters en route. But the Montanans who were excited to hear the President far outnumbered the fringe groups.”…Then she said this about Obama: “He was smart, fair, funny.”
…This wasn’t an occasion when people with legitimate concerns and legitimate points to make were overwhelmed by the wing nuts and screamers who take their marching orders from right-wing radio and television and the Internet…Those idiots come to these town hall meetings more to be seen than heard, and think creating chaos makes them great Americans.
Lupica, known to most of his readers as a tell-it-straight sports writer, doesn’t mince words:
Those people have been convinced by the current culture that we are dying to hear from them, and the louder the better. People who think that all they need to star in their own reality series is a couple of TV crews…We hear that all of this is democracy in action. It’s not. It’s boom-box democracy, people thinking that if they somehow make enough noise on this subject, they can make Obama into a one-term President…The most violent opposition isn’t directed at his ideas about health care reform. It is directed at him. It is about him. They couldn’t make enough of a majority to beat the Harvard-educated black guy out of the White House, so they will beat him on an issue where they see him as being most vulnerable.
…With that kind of zealotry, screaming about government programs as if Medicare isn’t one. It is why so many of them, all these wild-eyed red faces in the crowd, look completely certifiable, screaming about how Obama wants to kill Grandma, as if he’s suddenly turned into Jack Kevorkian.
…They couldn’t win the fight last November, when he laid out John McCain and Palin and a whole party with one election, so they try to do it now, with lies and rather amazing distortions. They want everybody to believe that if Obama gets his way, he’ll eventually be in charge of insurance and doctors and whether you use CVS or Duane Reade. He’s a Socialist selling socialized medicine. He’ll kill Grandma. Come on. The notion that this is all honest dissent is just one more lie.
Even in Montana, the Swift Boaters who would line up against any health care plan endorsed by Barack Obama ran one television ad 115 times over a day and a half before the President arrived.
The President himself, quoted by Lupica, summed it up well:
“Every time we are in sight of health insurance reform, the special interests fight back with everything they’ve got,” the President said outside Bozeman. “They use their influence and run their ads. They use their political allies to scare the American people.”
Yes, we know, some protestors are sincere and fair-minded, even when not well-informed. But the health care swiftboaters being mobilized to preserve the status quo need to be called out, and this morning Mike Lupica did just that. You can watch President Obama’s Saturday town hall meeting on health care reform in Grand Junction, CO on Saturday, on C-SPAN right here.