Special Edition: Celebrating ObamaCare, Demonizing Its Opponents

Vol. 23, No. 7

If You're Anti-ObamaCare, You Must Be a Bigot


"What are the Tea Partiers really angry about? Health care reform, or the fact that it was an African American President and a woman Speaker of the House who pushed through major change?"
- MSNBC's Chris Matthews at the top of Hardball, March 29.

Tea Partiers = George Wallace's Racist Legacies


"If racism is not the whole of the Tea Party, it is in its heart, along with blind hatred, a total disinterest in the welfare of others, and a full-flowered, self-rationalizing refusal to accept the outcomes of elections, or the reality of democracy, or the narrowness of their minds and the equal narrowness of their public support. On Saturday, that support came from evolutionary regressives like Michele Bachmann and Jon Voight. On a daily basis that support comes from the racists and homophobes of radio and television: the Michael Savages and the Rush Limbaughs."
- MSNBC's Keith Olbermann on Countdown, March 22.

"The angry faces at Tea Party rallies are eerily familiar. They resemble faces of protesters lining the street at the University of Alabama in 1956 as Autherine Lucy, the school's first black student, bravely tried to walk to class. Those same jeering faces could be seen gathered around the Arkansas National Guard troopers who blocked nine black children from entering Little Rock's Central High School in 1957. 'They moved closer and closer,' recalled Elizabeth Eckford, one of the Little Rock Nine. 'Somebody started yelling, "Lynch her! Lynch her!"'...Today's Tea Party adherents are George Wallace legacies....The mobs of yesteryear were on the wrong side of history. Tea Party supporters and their right-wing fellow travelers are on the wrong side now. It shows up in their faces."
- The Washington Post's Colbert I. King in a March 27 column.

Peaceful Tea Party Rally = Kristallnacht, 2010

"There's nothing entertaining about watching goons hurl venomous slurs at congressmen like the civil rights hero John Lewis and the openly gay Barney Frank....How curious that a mob fond of likening President Obama to Hitler knows so little about history that it doesn't recognize its own small-scale mimicry of Kristallnacht."
- New York Times columnist Frank Rich, March 28.

Blame It All on Rush Limbaugh and Fox News


Co-anchor Terry Moran: "Anger - stoking it, expressing it, riding it. That was the Republican strategy to defeat health care. And over the weekend all that anger got ugly, as some Democratic members of Congress were called vile, racial and anti-gay slurs, and one was even spat upon by protesters. But in the wake of the Democrats' victory, some Republicans are not sure all that anger makes good politics....[to David Frum] It sounds like you're saying that the Glenn Becks, Rush Limbaughs hijacked the Republican Party and drove it to a defeat?"
Ex-Bush speechwriter David Frum: "Republicans originally thought that Fox worked for us and now we're discovering we work for Fox."
- ABC's Nightline, March 22.

Venomous Limbaugh, Creating an American "Bigotocracy"


Anchor David Shuster: "Many conservatives today reacted harshly to the action in Congress. But nobody on the right produced as much controversial venom this afternoon as Rush Limbaugh...."
Georgetown University's Michael Eric Dyson: "If anybody is fomenting dissent, it is Rush Limbaugh, the politics of division, the cruel denial of the utter humanity of Mr. Obama...."
Shuster: "Rush Limbaugh creates this picture of fascism and Nazism on the march. And you then start to have people going out of control acting crazily on Capitol Hill, yelling all kinds of racist things at members of the Congressional Black Caucus, yelling hateful things at Barney Frank...."
Dyson: "This is a bigotocracy. I think Rush Limbaugh is trying to foment a universe of bigotocracy."
- Exchange during 3pm ET hour of MSNBC Live, March 22.

Comparing Lefty Bombers with Peaceful Tea Partiers


"VARYING DEGREES OF RAGE / The Weathermen, including Bill Ayers, second from right, during the Days of Rage in 1969, and anti-health reform protesters in Washington on Sunday."
- Caption beneath photo montage (shown at right) which accompanied a March 28 New York Times "Week in Review" essay on political violence pegged to complaints about Tea Party protesters during the health care debate.

ObamaCare Opponents = Violent Thugs

"Opponents of the bill have been out today, and some of them pulled out all the stops. Protesters roaming Washington, some of them increasingly emotional, yelling slurs and epithets."
- ABC's Diane Sawyer on World News, March 21.

"A year-long debate that's been rancorous and mean from the start turned even nastier yesterday. Demonstrators protesting the bill poured into the halls of Congress shouting 'Kill the bill!' and 'Made in the USSR.' And as tempers rose, they hurled racial epithets, even at civil rights icon John Lewis of Georgia, and sexual slurs at Massachusetts Democrat Barney Frank. Other legislators said the protesters spit on them, and one lawmaker said it was like a page out of a time machine."
- Bob Schieffer leading off CBS's Face the Nation, March 21.

"Democrats accuse Republicans of stoking the anger with violent rhetoric and imagery. They point to Sarah Palin's Facebook page, which uses crosshairs to denote districts where vulnerable Democrats voted for health care reform. 'Don't retreat, instead, reload,' Palin told fellow conservatives on Twitter."
- CBS's Nancy Cordes on The Early Show, March 25.

"Even if what you're saying is, is accepted by everyone, that this is a language of campaigning, this is the language of politics, given, however, the sensitivity regarding this particular bill, should this still be the language of this day....These are very dangerous times."
- NBC's Ann Curry to Senator John McCain on Today, March 25.

"Sarah Palin takes on one of the highest ranking Democrats right in his own backyard, all while causing another uproar by urging Tea Parties to quote 'reload.' And the question is, are comments like that inciting violence and name-calling?...Is it responsible for someone to say that? Especially a leader, considering the anger that's going on right now?"
- CNN anchor Don Lemon during the 10pm EDT edition of Newsroom, March 27. The on-screen headline declared: "DANGEROUS RHETORIC: When heated words incite threats & violence."

"Would you say that this incitement, from the Republican leadership is criminal? I mean seriously. If people are gonna have windows thrown bricks at, if they're gonna get their lives threatened, if we're getting criminal behavior resulting from their incitement, is the incitement itself criminal?"
- MSNBC's Chris Matthews on Hardball, March 24. [Audio/video (0:39): Windows Media | MP3 audio]

What a Trillion Dollars Worth of New Debt Looks Like


"This is what history looks like, as it came from the hand of President Obama today with 22 different pen strokes comprising his signature."
- Fill-in anchor Harry Smith talking about the signing of the health care bill on the March 23 CBS Evening News.

Bottom Line on ObamaCare: We're All Winners

"The uninsured are clearly the biggest beneficiaries of the legislation, which would extend the health care safety net for the lowest-income Americans....And yet, just about everyone might benefit from tighter insurance regulations....There is no question that the legislation should benefit consumers in various ways."
- New York Times reporter Tara Siegel Bernard in a front-page assessment of the new health care bill, March 22.

ObamaCare Fixes Reagan Legacy of "Inequality"

"At least one thing seems clear: The bill that President Obama signed on Tuesday is the federal government's biggest attack on economic inequality since inequality began rising more than three decades ago....The laissez-faire revolution that Mr. Reagan started did not cause these trends. But its policies - tax cuts, light regulation, a patchwork safety net - have contributed to them."
- New York Times economics writer David Leonhardt in his March 24 "Economic Scene" column.

Another Benefit: We Can "Trust" Ourselves Again

"It's shaping up to be a great weekend here in Washington. I'm not just talking about the spectacular weather or another upset-filled NCAA basketball tournament. I'm talking about the prospect of a quasi-climactic vote in the House that would finally have the United States join the rest of the industrialized world in offering health insurance to all its citizens....Passing a health-care reform bill would restore not only a measure of trust and confidence in our political process but also, more significantly, trust and confidence in ourselves."
- Washington Post business columnist Steven Pearlstein, March 19.

Diane Salutes "Indefatigable, Unwavering" Pelosi


"All agree she gets credit for locking up this vote, one of the biggest since Medicare in the 1960s. And she's said to have done it with an epic blend of persuasion, muscle and will, even when half the town said it couldn't be done....Their indefatigable, unwavering almost 70-year-old Speaker, mother of five, grandmother of seven....[to Pelosi] What do you think your dad and your mom would have said about this moment?"
- Diane Sawyer interviewing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on World News, March 22.

More Kennedy Idolatry: "The Unfinished Business Is Done"


"Health care reform, the dream of his father, the late Senator Edward Kennedy for more than 40 years. Congressman, an emotional 24 hours for so many people. I want to just get a gauge of your feelings here this morning....Did you feel your father's presence throughout this ordeal?"
- ABC's Robin Roberts to U.S. Representative Patrick Kennedy (D-RI) on Good Morning America, March 22.

"How would he have reacted to the vote?...How disappointed would he have been to see that this was a vote without a single Republican in either chamber voting yes?"
- ABC's Jonathan Karl to Senator Ted Kennedy's widow, Vicki, on Good Morning America, March 23. The on-screen graphic: "The Lion's Legacy: Kennedy's Widow on Health Care."

"You heard the President pay tribute to Senator Ted Kennedy, who devoted his career to health care reform. But there was another quiet tribute at the Senator's grave. A note left by his son, Congressman Patrick Kennedy. It said simply: 'Dad - the unfinished business is done.'"
- ABC's Diane Sawyer on World News, March 23.

"How Do You Move On" from Republican Vitriol?


"Passage of this bill and turning it into law has left this country as politically divided as I think it has been in a long time. You might be able to cite some other examples, but the vitriol, the rhetoric, the sniping, the threats - how are you possibly going to continue with any kind of legislative agenda when your opponents have said to you, 'I'm not gonna cooperate with this President, with these Democrats, unless it's a matter of national security.' How do you move on?"
- Matt Lauer to President Obama on NBC's Today, March 30. [Audio/video (0:41): Windows Media | MP3 audio]

Seems Like a Lot More than a Kiss


"I am surprised that the numbers in the Washington Post poll weren't better. I mean, since this thing passed last weekend, we've been seeing the longest wet kiss in political history given to the Obama administration by the liberal media elite, and every day it goes by, it's sloppier."
- Governor Haley Barbour (R-MS) commenting on an ABC News/Washington Post poll showing 46% approving of ObamaCare vs. 50% opposed, ABC's This Week, March 28.

Barack Obama = America's Nelson Mandela


"It is impossible to write about Nelson Mandela these days and not compare him to another potentially transformational black leader, Barack Obama. The parallels are many....And while it took twenty-seven years in prison to mold the Nelson Mandela we know, the forty-eight-year-old American president seems to have achieved a Mandela-like temperament without the long years of sacrifice....Whatever Mandela may or may not think of the new American President, Obama is in many ways his true successor on the world stage."
- From Time managing editor Rick Stengel's introduction to his new self-help book, Mandela's Way: Fifteen Lessons on Life, Love, and Courage, quoted by Politico's Mike Allen in a March 30 Web posting.

Obama's BlackBerry Church: "Spirituality Meets High Tech"


President Obama: "What we've decided for now is not to join a single church....There was a prayer circle of pastors from across the country who during the campaign would, would say a prayer for me or send a devotional. And we've kept that habit up, and it's a wonderful group because it's a mix of some very conservative pastors, some very liberal pastors, but all who, you know, pray for me and Michelle and, and the girls and, and I get a daily devotional on my BlackBerry which is a wonderful thing."
NBC's Matt Lauer: "It's spirituality meets high-tech! That's pretty good."
- Interview exchange shown on the NBC Nightly News, March 30.

Maher Advises Obama: Keep Up the Rough Stuff


"Listening to this rhetoric...it reminded me of Tiger Woods' text messages to his mistress that were made public last week, where he said, and I quote: 'I want to treat you rough, throw you around, spank and slap you and make you sore....I'm going to tell you to shut the f*** up while I slap your face and pull your hair for making noise.' Unquote. And this, I believe, perfectly represents the attitude the Democrats should now have in their dealings with the Republican Party. [applause] Yes, it does. That's what they should be saying to the Republicans: 'Shut the f*** up while I slap your face for making noise! Now pass the cap-and-trade law, you stupid bitch, and repeat after me: global warming is real!'"
- HBO's Bill Maher on Real Time, March 26. [Audio/video (3:35): Windows Media | MP3 audio] [WARNING: Video contains uncensored obscenities]

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