Specter Hectored at Town Hall

August 12th, 2009

It was an unhappy Arlen Specter who left the town-hall-style meeting in Lebanon, Pennsylvania yesterday. He did all he could to keep the meeting orderly: he had his staff rent a small auditorium at the Harrisburg Area Community College that seated 250 people, but over 1,000 showed up; he limited the questioners to the first 30 people who got in line, but most of those first 30 were mad as hell — not just about the president’s proposed health care legislation, which was supposed to be the sole focus of the meeting, but about the entire direction of the Obama Administration; he limited the meeting to 90 minutes and that made the angry crowd even angrier.

Comments flew from the crowd:

“This is about the dismantling of this country,” shouted a stay-at-home mother, “We don’t want this country to turn into Russia.” She was applauded!

“You are trampling on our Constitution!” yelled another man into Sen. Specter’s face. “One day,” he continued while being applauded, “God is going to stand before you, and he’s going to judge you!”

“It says plainly right there, they want to limit the type of care elderly can get,” shouted an office manager from the area, “They are talking about killing people.”

“This is the Soviet Union, this is Maoist China,” another man yelled, “The people in this room want their country back.”

Not all the comments were verbal: People showed up wearing American Flag t-shirts and carrying signs: “Hands Off My Healthcare” and outside, a red car drove around with a large sign saying “Retire Specter 2010.”

To make matters worse, some of the questioners had the actual wording of proposed health care legislation in their hands but when they asked specific questions all Sen. Specter could say was what he had been trained to say — he delivered party lines such as: “If you like your insurance you can keep it;” “The public option is just that, an option;” “There are five proposed health care plans in the House and no final version;” and similar approved slogans that fly in the face of all the evidence that suggests that the government is in the beginning stages of taking over the entire health care industry and, at some future date, wants all the health insurance companies out of the business of health care insurance.

An excerpt from a New York Times article tells of Senator Specter’s reaction after the meeting:

He said he thought some of the objectors were genuine grassroots and some were organized, egged on by talk radio. He also noted that his office had sent out mailers notifying them of the event.

Still, he said these events had showed him that “there’s more anger in America today than at any time than I can remember.” He blamed the anger largely on the ailing economy and high unemployment.

That one statement, that he blames the anger on the economy and unemployment, shows with perfect clarity that Senator Specter doesn’t get it! He apparently isn’t listening to the crowds! The anger is directed at a president and an administration that is attempting to hijack American democracy, destroy the free market and turn us all into residents of his personal Utopia — a Utopia that, to true Americans, resembles a gulag.

Links:

Eruptions at Sen. Specter’s Town-Hall Meeting, The New York Times
Video Clips Of Specter’s Town Hall Meeting, WGAL TV
Lebanon Democrats applaud Specter, PennLive.com

(This article was also posted at My View from the Center.)


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8 Responses to “Specter Hectored at Town Hall”



  1. Brian |

    I cannot imagine a more cynical, arrogant bunch than the thugs trying to shove this business down our throat. Specter may be the worst of the lot, but that’s kind of like a comparison argument about dog and cat feces, and which smells worse. They’re both quite offensive, and you wouldn’t want either one on your living room carpet.


  2. Tom |

    The politicians trying to push the health care and energy (cap-and-trade) legislation have a difficult job on their hands. Not only do both bills stink to high heaven, the politicans have to know it. They aren’t stupid — most of them, anyway.

    I can’t understand why there’s this mad rush to pass both bills before the end of the year, aside from the President’s need to chalk up a couple of wins at any cost. Most reasonable people understand that health care costs too much now and the increase is unsustainable, and most want everyone to have reasonable access to health care; most also understand that we need to do something about our dependence on foreign oil and, at least to some extent, about environmental concerns. So why are we being given the bum’s rush? If they would just slow down, work things out in the open, and explain it competently, they might find far fewer angry crowds back home.


  3. Harvey |

    I really believe it goes back to my theory that we are caught up in Obama’s quest for his ideal Utopian society; he has so many plans, and only eight years max to implement them, that he can’t waste a minute with something as slow and plodding as a Democratic process.

    Then there is the Rahm Emanuel component — his motto: “Never let a good crisis go to waste” and the corollary to that proposition would, I suppose be, ‘make every crisis seem worse than it really is.’


  4. Tom |

    Harvey, I honestly don’t think Obama is that ideologically driven. His goal seems to be the advancement and eventual enshrinement of Barack Obama.

    Rahm Emanuel, on the other hand, is a scary guy. He seems to thrive on the ruthless exercise of power for its own sake. In another reality, I can see him as President McCain’s chief of staff (not that it would ever happen), viciously slashing and stomping opponents in furtherance of a conservative agenda.


  5. Lisa |

    Tom, What do you think will happen when Barack Obama is not enshrined? What devastation will lie in his wake? His entire presidency has created a surrealistic image of the USA. Angry seniors at town hall meetings is the icing on the cake thus far.


  6. Tom |

    Lisa, I agree, he could cause a lot of damage. Except that he’s shown a tendency to back off when he isn’t winning (like re-defining health care) and will sacrifice program ambitions for personal advancement. Therefore, when Congress hears enough from the people to water down or bail out on health care and energy, you can expect him to duck and cover, also. So, we’ll survive. The way things are going now, I’m not sure the same will be true for Obama in 2012.


  7. Clarissa |

    “His entire presidency has created a surrealistic image of the USA. ”

    -After what George W. did for the image of the USA, there’s no need to fear Obama. 🙂


  8. Brian Bagent |

    I think Tom and Harvey are both correct. Obama’s a narcissist of the first order. That alone makes him dangerous. Couple that with his ties to the Chicago machine, and we can have some real problems. Rahm Emanuel, also of the Chicago/Cook County thugocracy, is, at the very least, a catalyst. It makes for a frightening combination.


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