Why Aren’t Progressives Disrupting ObamaCare Town Halls? by Dave Lindorff


by Dave Lindorff
Global Research, August 14, 2009
Counterpunch.org, August 11, 2009

Many progressives are getting all bent out of shape over the “brown shirt” rabble organized by health industry PR firms to disrupt the so-called “town meetings” being organized all over the country by Democratic members of Congress.

What they are conveniently forgetting is that these are not really “town meetings” at all, at least in the sense of the town meetings I grew up with, and started out covering as a young journalist in Connecticut–that is, meetings called and run democratically, with leaders elected from the floor, open to all residents of a community.

These “town meetings” are really nothing but propaganda sessions run by members of Congress who are trying to burnish their fraudulent credentials as public servants, and trying to perpetrate a huge fraud of a health care bill that purports to be a progressive “reform” of the US health care system, but that actually further entrenches the control of that system by the insurance industry, and to a lesser extent, the hospital and drug industry.

ObamaCare is to health reform what bank bailouts are to financial system reform, which is to say it is the opposite of what its name implies.

The right-wing nuts who cry that ObamaCare is introducing euthanasia for the elderly and infirm, or that it is socialism, are ignorant wackos, to be sure, but they are right about one thing: Americans are about to be royally screwed on health care reform by the president and the Democratic Congress, just as they’ve been screwed by them on financial system “reform.”

The appropriate response to this screw-job is the one the right has adopted: shut these sham “town meetings” down, and run the sell-out politicians out of town on a rail, preferably coated in tar and feathers they way the snake-oil salesmen of old used to be handled!

This is not about civil discourse. This is about propaganda. The Obama administration and the Democratic Congressional leadership have sold out health care reform for the tainted coin of the medical-industrial industry, and are holding, or trying to hold, these meetings around the country to promote legislation that has essentially been written for them by that industry–legislation that will force everyone to pay for insurance as offered, and priced, by the private insurance industry. What a deal for those companies–a captive market of 300 million people! There will be little or no effort to control prices, and the higher costs will be financed through higher taxes, and through cuts in Medicare benefits.

This isn’t “reform.” It’s corruption, pure and simple.

Any mention of a system that works–single payer–the system we already have in the form of Medicare for the elderly and disabled, and the system that has proved successful for almost four decades in Canada– has been systematically blocked and censored out of the discussion. Every effort has been made to bury an excellent bill, HR 676, offered up by Rep. John Conyers (D-MI), which would cover every American by simply expanding Medicare to cover everyone.

The only proper response at this point is obstruction, and the more militant and boisterous that obstruction, the better.

Instead of opposing the right-wing hecklers at these events, progressives should be making common cause with them. Instead of calling them fascists, we should be working to turn them, by showing them that the enemy is not the left; it is the corporations that own both Democrats and Republicans alike.

The only proper approach to the wretched health care legislation currently working its way through Congress at this point is to kill it and start over. At these “town meeting” staged events, Obama and the Democrats need to hear, in no uncertain terms, that we don’t want no stinkin’ ObamaCare. We want Medicare for all.

Dave Lindorff is a Philadelphia-based journalist and columnist. His latest book is “The Case for Impeachment” (St. Martin’s Press, 2006 and now available in paperback). He can be reached at dlindorff@mindspring.com

© Copyright Dave Lindorff, Counterpunch.org, 2009

The url address of this article is: www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=14768

from the archives:

Fascist America II: The Last Turnoff By Sara Robinson

“Now Make Me Do It” by Ralph Nader

First-of-Its Kind Study: Medicare for All Single-Payer Reform Would Be Major Stimulus for Economy

Olbermann’s Special Comment: This Terrible Moment In American History & Those Who Have Brought us To It!

Should progressives break away from the Democratic Party?

13 thoughts on “Why Aren’t Progressives Disrupting ObamaCare Town Halls? by Dave Lindorff

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  3. Gee, I’m so shocked that Industriocrats dropped the public option…and bitching about guns at meetings–it seems to me that gun rights advocates asked for this crap!

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  6. Agree with Natureboy!

    I live in a concealed carry state, and, if the Dems want me to go get my ass shot for a plan, they had better make it single payer!!

    I am angry as hell at Obama and the plan is a big wet ass-kiss to the death industry, but, these people are the worst of the worst and they will kill you in a heartbeat–I might be willing to do it, if we had progressives willing to actually do something…but, at these meetings, I would never be heard and probably get shot.

    You can only die once for a cause–make it the right one, thats my philsophy…

    • We can go visit our Congresspeople’s offices anytime. We can also call them frequently and write to them (send them links to posts).

      Those in favor of H.R. 676 (Single Payer) need to let their Congresspeople know.

        • well, there is always some one more to tell, but if I make my friends and family call their reps again, they will disown me! lol Rep Turner’s office wont even take my calls–not like he would ever change. but…

          seriously, I was a social worker for many years, so it has become like my primary issue and everyone I know knows it…kindve ironic that it could end up being so important to me—but it already was, which is good I guess…they are like “dont turn your own problems into a political issue”!! but it already is one…

          One thing that I think would help alot would be to give more student exchange scholarships and workshops—let people see universal care workring in other countries–thats where I first decided we needed to do it…most of the people rampantly against universal are Cold War era amd think that it is–COMMUNISM– or something, I think…some are just selfish.

          I am lucky in that I am in Sen Brown;s district ( he wont accept his health care until everyone has it) and Kucinich is nearby. But, convincing Turner or Boner is prob not in the cards…I still try to call sometimes….

        • Thank you, KDelphi! You are doing a great job.

          Now for all the other readers to do the same. Writing or calling or showing up at their local office, you don’t have to say or write much, say that you support H.R. 676/S. 703, Single Payer health care, everyone in, no one out. It’s really that simple.

  7. Good luck turning them!
    And good luck getting Progressives to be activist.
    Are there still progressives?

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