Yes we did.
David Frum, former speech writer to George W. Bush, said that in the healthcare debate, the Republican Party chose to "the most radical voices in the party." Watch:
The Republican Party not only chose to listen to it's most radical voices, it's captive to them. The Republican Party rejected moderation and compromise in favor of a hard right, obstruct at all costs agenda advanced by their radical wing. Frum:
I’ve been on a soapbox for months now about the harm that our overheated talk is doing to us. Yes it mobilizes supporters – but by mobilizing them with hysterical accusations and pseudo-information, overheated talk has made it impossible for representatives to represent and elected leaders to lead. The real leaders are on TV and radio, and they have very different imperatives from people in government. Talk radio thrives on confrontation and recrimination. When Rush Limbaugh said that he wanted President Obama to fail, he was intelligently explaining his own interests. What he omitted to say – but what is equally true – is that he also wants Republicans to fail. If Republicans succeed – if they govern successfully in office and negotiate attractive compromises out of office – Rush’s listeners get less angry. And if they are less angry, they listen to the radio less, and hear fewer ads for Sleepnumber beds.
Frum acknowledges that much of the right wing critique against healthcare was chock full of inaccuracies, innuendo and outright fearmongering. The Republicans chose their radical path. And, it led to their Waterloo.
The ugly underbelly of knee-jerk, right wing hate reared it's ugly head yesterday. Voice of America reports:
Two African American congressmen, Andre Carson of Indiana and John Lewis from Georgia, were subjected to racial epithets from protesters as they left the Capitol after hearing President Barack Obama deliver a last-minute address promoting the health care bill.
Congressman James Clyburn of South Carolina, who is the highest-ranking African American official in Congress, told The Washington Post that he heard things from Saturday's demonstrators that he had not heard "since March 15, 1960" when he was - as he put it - "marching to get off the back of the bus."
Another black congressman, Emanuel Cleaver of Missouri, said he was spat on by protesters.
Barney Frank, a congressman from Massachusetts who is openly homosexual, was badgered with anti-gay remarks from the demonstrators.
A spokesman for Cleaver said the congressman is "disappointed that in the 21st century (the) national discourse has devolved to the point of name-calling and spitting."
Beyond the hate, there is much misunderstanding out there about this health care bill and what it means for you. For example, according to the new Kaiser Health Tracking Poll, "only 15% of Americans, for instance, know that the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office has said the legislation will decrease the federal budget deficit over the next 10 years. And 55% believe the CBO has said the legislation will increase the deficit over that period."
There's an urgent need in this country to reform the healthcare system. The existing system is costly and discriminatory. We can't wait. Get the facts and then, call your member of Congress (202-224-3121) to urge passage of healthcare reform.
Let's make history.