- The Washington Times - Friday, November 6, 2009

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Tens of thousands of people from across the country made a “House call” on the west side of the Capitol yesterday. These Americans traveled to Washington to register their objections to the mammoth government health care bill that Democrats are rushing through Congress. The size and spirit of the rally were a testament to the explosion in grass-roots activism opposed to the expansion of government under President Obama’s and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s watch. The silent majority is silent no longer.

Rep. Michele Bachmann, Minnesota Republican, called for the Super Bowl of Freedom rally only last Friday during Sean Hannity’s show on Fox, and word spread quickly through such social-media networks as Facebook and such organizations as the 912 Project, Americans for Prosperity, ResistNet, As a Mom, Team Sarah and others.

Grass-roots citizen organizers mobilized to plan transportation and lodging. Many just hopped in their cars and headed for Washington. A significant number of the ralliers are new to political activism and have been energized in response to increasingly intrusive and irresponsible government. Lisa Miller, a small-business owner from Northern Virginia and organizer of TeaPartyWDC, told The Washington Times: “Almost everybody I ran into said, ‘This is the first time I’ve done this.’ They have never been politically active, but they see what is going on in Washington and understand what the implications are.”

Democrats may or may not have gotten the message from Tuesday’s election that they are on the wrong side of history, but they should have. Election results and exit polls showed moderates and independents fleeing in droves from Democratic candidates. Despite this electoral warning, the Democratic congressional leadership has chosen to double down on arrogance.

Mrs. Pelosi obdurately declared victory after this week’s off-year elections and ramped up the effort to ram through her health care bill. The speaker’s undemocratic tactics include sidetracking inconvenient amendments like that proposed by Rep. Bart Stupak, Michigan Democrat, which would prevent federal funding for abortion. On the Senate side, Sen. Barbara Boxer, California Democrat, flouted Senate rules to push a job-killing energy bill through her Environment and Public Works Committee without Republican support and with no amendments. Democrats are in denial that Tuesday’s repudiation of their agenda even occurred.

Mrs. Pelosi’s legislative browbeating is being answered by boisterous and energized crowds. In a not-so-clever play on words, left-wing pundits scoff at the “Astroturf” movement, but the Democrats can only seem to mobilize paid union thugs and grim, rootless activists with vested interests in expanding the size of government. The contrast between the spirit of yesterday’s rally and the health-bill ceremony held a week before is telling. Mrs. Pelosi introduced her bill during a tightly controlled ritual in which she regally descended the Capitol steps to unveil her 1,990-page legislative masterpiece to a picked crowd of specially invited supporters ringed by metal fences. At yesterday’s rally, the throngs of regular folks spilled out into the Mall, and the spirit was determined and upbeat.

The Democrats may succeed in passing their horrendous trillion-dollar-plus government health care bill, but a reckoning is coming. The conservative grass roots have a lock on the future, and they know it.