What started out to be discussion over badly needed healthcare reform has been quickly transformed to an attempt to replay the November election.
One need look no further than the groups that support healthcare reform and those that oppose it.
Those that support it include every industry organization – insurance, hospitals, physicians, and pharmaceutical manufacturers. Even patients represented by organizations like the AARP support reform. Finally most all the groups that supported President Obama in the last election also support healthcare reform.
The primary opposition is the Republican Party. Their motivation is obvious. It is an opportunity to regain the political advantage. They have gone so far as to say that defeating healthcare would be Obama’s Waterloo. Their tactics are not much different than they were last November. Rather than engage in an honest debate about alternatives, they attack the President’s trustworthiness. Unbiased sites like factcheck.org and politifact.org document the lies, but the polls show the strategy is working.
In lockstep with the Republican Party are Fox News, IBD, Rush Limbaugh, and other right wing media talking heads. Their motivation is simple – money. They feed on hate. They create an “us versus them” mob mentality and chuckle all the way to the bank. When Glen Beck claims that a mixed race man raised by his white grandparents is a racist, he gains viewers from those who fear African Americans. When Fox supports Tea Parties and disrupting public meetings, those who participate get on TV and Fox becomes the #1 news network. When Rush said he hopes the President fails, he becomes the voice of the Republican party. When he claims the President will mandate circumcision, his ratings go up. Reasonable people shake their heads, but the twenty percent or so of those who hate President Obama get all that more radicalized and empowered to act.
Those opposed to abortion have joined in. They continue to beat their drum has hard as they can. Fox and the Republican party give them a platform. The healthcare bills present another opportunity for this group to lobby to change the laws. Even though current government coverage allows payment for abortion in the case of rape, incest, or the maternal health; they object to even this coverage in any future bill.
Finally, there are the right wing special interest groups who have used the Obama presidency as an opportunity to increase their fund raising and membership. Gun sales have risen dramatically since November. People are now taking guns to the sites of Presidential speeches.
The only thing that all of these groups can agree on is their hate of our President. They are being manipulated by those who seek political or monetary gain. They gain comfort from those who share their views. They are not talking to those who disagree with them. It has gone so far that clergy are now encouraging their members to pray for Obama’s death.
This has to stop.
Just as Bill O’Reilly bears responsibility for his part in the murder of the physician he called a “baby killer”, those who preach hate for our President bear the responsibility for his wellbeing. They may not be the ones who pull the trigger, but they help load the gun when they demonize President Obama.
Those who encourage this behavior are trying to dismantle our democracy for their own personal gain. They should be ashamed of themselves.