Letters to the Editor: Town Hall Zealots

14 08 2009

The righteous indignation coming from the right is too much to bear.
From his first day in office, Barack Obama has been reaching out to Republicans, in search of common ground. This after eight years of Democrats being stonewalled by the most secretive, “my way or the highway” administration in living memory. And true to form, Republicans in congress have thrown up a wall of opposition to every Obama initiative. Now, we have town hall meetings being overrun by aggrieved conservatives who say the president is ignoring them. The Republicans like to style themselves the party of grown-ups, but all I see are a bunch of screaming babies.
By all means, conservatives, disagree, dissent, protest, write letters, vote. But there is no call for shutting down the process with uncivil behavior. Try participating in our democracy before you declare it to be dead.

Rich Lowry (A populist revolt from the grass roots, 8/14) characterizes the town hall obstructionists as the finest example of grass-roots populism. He goes on to say “The same distrust of power that had left-wing activists spinning feverish theories about George W. Bush’s eavesdropping has the right agitated about Obama’s ‘death panels.'” In this sentence, as in the entire column, Lowry gets it exactly wrong. The “death panels” are a feverish theory from Sarah Palin’s Facebook page that have been denounced even by some Republicans. George W. Bush admitted to signing wiretap orders in 2005, to cite just one of his administration’s many well-documented assaults on privacy.

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