Steven Perez
Rick Perlstein -- Birthers, Health Care Hecklers and the Rise of Right-Wing Rage - -
"That provides an opening for vultures such as Richard Nixon, who, the Watergate investigation discovered, had his aides make sure that seed blossomed for his own purposes. "To the Editor . . . Who in the hell elected these people to stand up and read off their insults to the President of the United States?" read one proposed "grass-roots" letter manufactured by the White House. "When will you people realize that he was elected President and he is entitled to the respect of that office no matter what you people think of him?" went another. Liberals are right to be vigilant about manufactured outrage, and particularly about how the mainstream media can too easily become that outrage's entry into the political debate. For the tactic represented by those fake Nixon letters was a long-term success. Conservatives have become adept at playing the media for suckers, getting inside the heads of editors and reporters, haunting them with the thought that maybe they are out-of-touch cosmopolitans and that their duty as tribunes of the people's voices means they should treat Obama's creation of "death panels" as just another justiciable political claim. If 1963 were 2009, the woman who assaulted Adlai Stevenson would be getting time on cable news to explain herself. That, not the paranoia itself, makes our present moment uniquely disturbing." - Steven Perez from Bookmarklet
The video is a 1.5 min testament to the pre-existing condition of crazy the posted article notes. Full-on, in living color. Scary and sad - but at least he had his say. --*blink*-- Yikes. - Prosey BUTTONS!
"rage"... ooooooo... scary - what would you have conservatives do, write a letter to the editor? - Don Bonaddio
Well, they could try not carrying weapons to a town hall meeting. That would be a start. - Steven Perez
no shit. - Big Joe Silenced
uh-huh, libs could stop planting "disruptive" shills - try once reading something outside your echo-chamber.. - Don Bonaddio
Don - what have *you* done? I don't have a problem with that old man's frustration - I personally found his approach unnecessary, but I respect that he had his time to speak without interference. I'm sure he speaks for many MANY people. We're ALL frustrated with politicians - and we ALL know that the healthcare situation in this country is problematic. What suggestions for improvement have YOU made? Rather than sitting back pointing fingers at who you call liberals, what have YOU done to make things better? Hmm...? Trolling around here is fine and all, but what have you actually done to effect change other than gripe about the 'raving liberals'? - Prosey BUTTONS!
nice - opposition being met with name-calling - "troll", "unAmerican" "Finger-pointing" is exactly what this thread and a multitude of others are. Attack the opposition to distract from the real topic - health-care and how it's implemented. Most Americans and a majority of congress hasn't even read it all. Focus people on the issue. - Don Bonaddio
Huh. Don must be over on the East Coast, cuz no sooner does Fox News Sunday wrap up, than he shows up with the same old tired offal rephrased for the day. Hey, Don: present me with an argument I haven't heard over the last 20 years, and I might treat it with some respect. Otherwise, you'll end up with mockery, pal. - Steven Perez
Gosh, Don - I haven't once called you a name. Not once. I have, in fact, been trying to engage you in this discussion - and quite respectfully. You have yet to say anything related to the actual topic. - Prosey BUTTONS!
Really Steven, you post all day not thoughts of your own but links to others in your chamber and then accuse me of rephrasing others. Unlike you, I can read and formulate my own opinion. So enough with the "Rush" and Fox News" references. - both false. This thread wasn't about healthcare, it's about opposition and dissent. Arguing that someone on the right was guilty of it in the past is not a valid argument. - Don Bonaddio
Denise - my point is that classifying opposition as right-wing wackos is non-productive. - Don Bonaddio
Screaming as a form of communication only works if you're a whacko, Don. - Steven Perez
Don, not engaging in the intelligent discussion you claim to want is also non-productive. - Prosey BUTTONS!
Look, regardless of Perez's penchant for condescending replies, taking a total dismissive stance of the opposition by associating them with the fringe is nothing more than a deceptive tactic. If we're really interested in moving forward on a healthcare plan that really benefits all we need to listen to ALL Americans - not just the ones in power. - Don Bonaddio
Hey, Ryan: remember that whole "Brooks Brothers riot" thing before the vote total was confirmed in Florida in 2000? How about invading a country that had sweet FA to do with 9/11? How about completely failing to find the dude necessary for 9/11? One don't like Obama? Fine. But one might want to wait until AFTER he totally screws things up before one straps on a holster, grabs a sign and starts tagging Congresscritter's offices with swastikas. - Steven Perez
Absolutely, Don. Which is precisely why I asked you - what have *you* done...what suggestions have *you* made to your representatives to effect positive change in the area of healthcare (since that is the topic under fire)? You & I can disagree on the *what* of that all day long, and that's okay. The question I'm asking is nothing to do with your opinion of Steven, or your view of liberals in general. What I'm asking you, since you say you want to have intelligent discourse is: What have *you* done or suggested to actually seek improvement regarding our broken healthcare delivery system? - Prosey BUTTONS!
You really want to play the "he started it" game, Don? - Steven Perez
It's not *my* sensibilities that are in question, Ryan. After all, you came here. And I believe I already answered your first question. - Steven Perez
Good afternoon, Ryan. Same question I asked Don - I'll ask you as well. What have *you* done...what suggestions have *you* made to your representatives to effect positive change in the area of healthcare (since that is the topic under fire)? - Prosey BUTTONS!
Ah, reading comprehension still eludes you, Ryan. And I even put my answer in all caps for your benefit. - Steven Perez from IM
Ryan - thank you. :) My first question - the issue with healthcare is not current. It's more than 20 years old. The problem with HMOs is when I began addressing it, and I was late in entering admittedly (but I'm only in my 30s). People have been complaining about how nuts our healthcare system is for years - and Hillary had a viable plan (though admittedly she approached it the wrong way, and I had a LOT of questions about it, too - so yes I was critical of her as well). So to my first question, why is it only NOW you're planning to address the problem? My next question - yes, the issue is bigger than healthcare, but I disagree that it's about dissent against the government. The issue with insurance in this country is about dissent against big business - which is where the greatest problems with our healthcare delivery resides - between HMOs and pharmaceutical companies...and that is barely scratching the surface. The role of government is the protection of its citizens, and as such, we need to be critical of all of our elected officials. Not just the ones we're pissed off that they the 2nd question is, what did you do during the WBush years that addressed any of these matters? - Prosey BUTTONS!
Oh, sorry, meant to ask a third question in there. Since the role of government is the protection of its citizens, and it's reasonable to assume that protecting the health of citizens is a positive thing for the government to be a part of - what is your biggest concern about what Obama is proposing? - Prosey BUTTONS!
Ryan go to one, wear a suit stand a calmly ask your question. See if people will call you a wacko that belongs with the rest of the nuts in the back of the room. Asking the hard questions is more than ok in a democratic society, but shouting down your opposition and not being able to talk calmly is counter to the way the democratic process is supposed to work. - Rasmus Lauridsen
Exactly. Being passionate but calm is not the same thing as being a zealot. *nod* - Prosey BUTTONS!
Ryan, that you don't have a problem with your health plan is an independent topic, and I suspect we'll disagree on whether you're going to lose the option to keep that plan under Obama's proposal, should it pass. For that, we need to look at other examples as comparisons, such as Medicare and Tricare/formerly CHAMPUS (which aren't perfect by any stretch, but serve as examples). There are options in both - and there have been consistently. Those who chose to *opt out* of Medicare still had other options; unfortunately, the cost of those options is a separate matter altogether - which Obama's proposal is actually *better*...and we don't hear a lot about that in the news (especially not from Fox affiliates). Insofar as government - one point that I consistently come back to is...WE elected the people there. If we disregard that, we only have ourselves to blame. The issue with that isn't the government itself, or its size, or its infringements. It's a combination of who we vote in and our complacency (collectively as a society) in that we've seemingly forgotten our Constitutional right to vote them right back out when they demonstrate behaviors that go against what we voted them in for in the first place. Unfortunately, as people, we get defensive about the idea that we might share the onus of that burden, and are quick to just point the finger at the big, bad government. To that point, I would again ask, why is this a subject that is only seeming to come up *now* - under *this* administration, when it's been around since decades before I was born? :) - Prosey BUTTONS!
First - Ryan, no matter where we agree or disagree, thank you for opening up your thoughts, and I look forward to reading more and continuing discussion. Second - Don, I hesitate to assume here, but you seemed to disappear, which leads me to believe that you're of the ilk of "My country, right or wrong" (but only when a Republican is in office). - Prosey BUTTONS!
Ryan...*smile*...the public only makes poor choices when people keep shouting. Discussions like *this* are what keep that from happening. - Prosey BUTTONS!
The whole point of the article is that a small group of wealthy people has become quite adept over the decades at manufacturing outrage, using old tropes like "the government can't be trusted", which only seems to rear up its ugly head so blatantly when a person with a D after his name sits in the Oval Office. Where were all these civil libertarians when Bush was describing the the Constitution as "a damned piece of paper"? - Steven Perez from IM
Which is the point of the article, Ryan. The deck's been stacked against us by rich interests from the start. Shouting only makes one look foolish. - Steven Perez
Did you read the article at all, Ryan? - Steven Perez
On a quick review of the comments...Ryan, there's a mix & match going on. Steven's comment regarding D in the Oval office is akin to my comment to Don. The comment he made about the deck being stacked had nothing to do with R or was about the *rich*. Two different topics. (sorry - just seeing a need for clarification before it goes downhill again...I'm enjoying this thread too much for that). - Prosey BUTTONS!
Given the recent rise in sales of guns and ammo and the recent return of the millitias (, Ryan, the point is not as trivial as one might think. I submit that the health care "debate", like the discussions on the Obama birth certificate or whether he might be socialist or not, are merely the most recent catalyst for arguments on long-held prejudices of all sorts. Only this time, this one might end in innocent blood being shed over *something that hasn't happened*. - Steven Perez
In short, Ryan, the Republican Party is like a small child playing with matches. And they're going to burn down the house in an effort to create some heat. - Steven Perez
Just the 27% who insist that Obama is [fill-in-the-blank]. - Steven Perez
And that type of attitude was in vogue right up until 19 April 1995, Ryan. - Steven Perez
You want examples of crazy, and I provided. I'm sorry that the answers are not ones you like. - Steven Perez
And as I've said: it's all fun and games until someone gets shot. - Steven Perez from IM
Okay getting back to healthcare. ;) Ryan, a different, but related question. Your plan - the one you're happy with (broad assumption that it covers you & your family - correct me if I'm wrong on that). Have you read your plan details? - Prosey BUTTONS!
If one is purposefully vague about how someone "should be stopped" (See: Tiller, George; O'Reilly, Bill), then one should not at all be surprised to when some nut somewhere decides to take the most direct way possible. That's a big problem with debate in this country. So many chattering fools in Congress and on Fox are real big on talking about how Obama should be stopped and how people rising up is a necessity (which is a big change from the last 8 years, when protestors against an American president in time of war were unpatriotic), but something bad happens, they can't backpedal fast enough and say that they never meant for THAT to happen. - Steven Perez from IM
Part of that, Ryan, is attributable to the media as a whole - in that ratings is the goal. And yes, dissent (regardless of from whom) is important (and not just American). The question about your plan, though, is also related to this. When I ask if you've read your plan, I mean the entirety of your plan benefits and exclusions, what the contract with your chosen provider covers, etc? - Prosey BUTTONS!
Ryan: that is excellent (check back on the strapping part in 20 years, though ;) - or what if you get hit by a bus tomorrow...). You have, I'm guessing, an HMO-type plan, then (but have you read the plan details? - because that is part of my point). One of the biggest problems with insurance companies - and one that Obama (and Hillary before him) is trying to correct is the nature of the language in the plans. To be fair, I don't know that there is any way to truly eliminate the legalese because insurance plans are contracts. One of my biggest frustrations when I worked inside the HMO was how many people did not have any clue as to what was in their plan details. Have you read your plan details - no matter how basic that plan is? If something were to happen today or tomorrow that laid you up long-term, or contracted an illness that was a non-covered diagnosis, what would your next step be? - Prosey BUTTONS!
Oh, and I neglected a point about subscribers not knowing their plan details that is kind of sickening and also relates to the whistleblowing done by Potter - the stance of the insurance company is this: If you don't know your plan details (even if the document is 100 pages of legalese), then it's your OWN fault if you end up not being covered, and therefore financially responsible for non-payable services. While on the one hand there is a degree of truth in that statement from a legal standpoint, it does little in the way of shedding much positive light on the sole purpose of the insurance company - which is profit, not patients. That is another big difference with the public plan (which I still don't see as a threat to private - heck in the spirit of proper market competition, the private sector should see this as a challenge rather than trying to eliminate the possibility of affordable healthcare for the have-nots that might affect *their* profit margins...) is that the *goal* isn't profits. And, not to put too fine a point on it, I seriously doubt that after this whole nightmare of debate (if we can call it that) is said and done, assuming that Obama's proposal passes, that the public won't know every single detail of it - *because* of the nightmarish debates. :) - Prosey BUTTONS!
if they even listened. - Big Joe Silenced
Ryan: "If you have a problem with your public plan, what is your recourse?" - we already have that problem with the private sector, so how is public really any different in that? We have enormous and horrific issues with waiting lists - and that is likely going to be there, no matter what type of plan is in place. And when we're talking waiting lists for things like transplants (which is one area I have been interested in for a while), the issue with insurance payments is ONE problem from big insurance that would not be an issue, quite likely with public option...*and* the waiting list is still going to be there, if for no other reason than a shortage of donors. (One touchy thing about certain types of organ donors that is morbid, really...and that is not a matter of - Prosey BUTTONS!
Not true, Ryan. We have to look at Tricare for that (remember I mentioned looking to other plans as examples...). Did you know that military beneficiaries have a private option, too? - Prosey BUTTONS!
DS: Good point - but as publicized as this mess is, I'd personally call out foul on anyone who spent more time pointing fingers and bitching about it if they weren't actually paying attention to the content of *what* they were bitching about....LOL. - Prosey BUTTONS!
*chuckle* Ryan, believe me, I understand - this is a more complex problem than any internet debate is going to resolve...and I give YOU credit for at least having the decency to step up and discuss your perspective. We all have "real world" lives - enjoy the rest of your Sunday. :) - Prosey BUTTONS!
Ryan - IMO, a healthy person's opinion about their health plan is not worth an awful lot, because you do not know what will happen when you get sick. Some people's plans will do really well. Others will not. (In fact, from the stats, it seems like quite a number of *sick* people do not feel well served by their insurance, and they're the ones who would really know.) By that time, of course, they will be SOL in going elsewhere. And this isn't just about individual plans, but also small (really small) businesses - a business' group plan, if it's small enough, can get dumped by an insurer at yearly renewal nearly as easily as a single sick individual. - Andrew C (✔)