- The Washington Times - Thursday, August 6, 2009


“The White House is clearly worried about the opponents of its health care plan who are showing up at town-hall meetings with members of Congress,” John Fund writes at www.opinionjournal.com.

“[Tuesday], it took the extraordinary step of issuing a three-minute video rebuttal to a Drudge Report item that featured a 2007 clip of Barack Obama supporting the ‘elimination’ of private health insurance over time after a government plan is introduced,” Mr. Fund said.

“Later in the day, White House press secretary Robert Gibbs called the health care protesters a form of ‘manufactured’ anger. Democratic National Committee spokesman Brad Woodhouse went further and called them ‘angry mobs of rabid right-wing extremists.’

“Administration supporters on cable TV shows were a little more subtle. Chris Matthews of MSNBCs ‘Hardball’ dismissed the protesters as ‘well-dressed middle-class people in pinks and limes … Brooks Brothers Brigade.’ He dismissed them as stooges for the health care industry. His guest, California Sen. Barbara Boxer, agreed with him and urged ‘you in the media to take a look at whats going on here. This is all planned. Its to hurt our president, and its to change the Congress.’

“The administration continues to rebut the arguments against its health care plan, but it seems to be spending as much time attacking the motives and character of its opponents. Anyone in politics will tell you thats a sign of someone playing a losing hand.”


“You could be forgiven for thinking that a serious campaign is afoot - aided and abetted by the national Republican Party - to question Barack Obama’s citizenship,” James Kirchick writes in the New York Daily News.

“Over the past two weeks, an inordinate amount of news coverage has been afforded to ‘birthers,’ conspiracy theorists who claim that the president was not born in Hawaii, as his birth records indicate, but in Kenya.

“It is not Obama’s right-wing opponents, however, who are devoting the most attention to this obscure, Internet-driven ‘movement,’ if one can even use that label to describe such a paranoid groupuscule. Rather, it’s liberals, bent on portraying their conservative opponents as extremists - and changing the subject to help a president under increasing scrutiny for the substance of his policies - who are driving this story,” said Mr. Kirchick, an assistant editor at the New Republic.

“Making the rounds in the propagation of this meme is a deceptively edited video produced by far-left Web site FireDogLake, in which an interviewer chases Republican congressmen around the Capitol asking if they believe Obama is a natural-born citizen. Some respond in the affirmative while others ignore the questioner, and it is this latter handful that liberals have proffered as evidence that the GOP is ‘fearful’ of disparaging its ‘birther base.’

“But the refusal of Republican congressmen to answer questions from a Michael Moore wanna-be is understandable; public figures are frequently accosted on the street by crazy people and amateur propagandists wielding cameras. In fact, it was later revealed that one of the supposedly fearful Republicans running from the camera’s glare was a Democrat late for a vote.

“Don’t tell that to the birther-obsessed left. ‘The video makes clear that the Republican Party is captive to their conspiracy theory-mongering base all the way up to the top,’ wrote left-wing blogger Jane Hamsher. It shows no such thing of course, and Hamsher’s wildly irresponsible claim about ‘conspiracy theory-mongering’ rising to the pinnacles of GOP power was flatly contradicted by House Minority Leader John A. Boehner of Ohio, who said ‘No’ when asked by a reporter if he had any questions about the circumstances of Obama’s birth.”


“As the DNC and the White House desperately attempt to marginalize and bully the majority of Americans who oppose the government takeover of health care, they’re increasingly relying on their media allies to paint the widespread, genuine opposition as ‘manufactured’ outrage voiced by ‘mobs’ of ‘angry radicals,’ ” Guy Benson writes in a blog at www.nationalreview.com.

“It doesn’t take a Ph.D. in psychology to conclude this knee-jerk demonization may represent an acute case of projection. Today’s Democratic Party is led by a man who spent much of his adult life specializing in the art of public agitation. Acting as a top organizer for radical groups like ACORN, Barack Obama devoted years to prodding underprivileged Chicagoans to channel their political anger by orchestrating activist mob scenes - designed to coerce businesses and elected officials.”

Mr. Benson added: “Now that ordinary Americans are rising up to voice their concerns before Congress tries to ram through a complex and risky health care overhaul, the party run by our Organizer-in-Chief has resorted to slandering those citizens and dismissing the authenticity of their worries.

“Obama knows what manufactured outrage looks like. After all, he spent years as a skilled outrage manufacturer. Today’s frustration, however, is organic, real and growing. Therefore, from Obama’s perspective, it’s extraordinarily threatening and must be stopped at all costs.”


“Here’s an idea: Let’s give $50,000 to anyone looking to upgrade to a brand-spanking-new, environmentally friendly home. All we ask in return is that you burn your previous residence into a heap of smoldering cinder,” writes Denver Post columnist David Harsanyi.

“That’s the concept behind the bizarre ‘cash for clunkers’ program so many people are deeming a success. It’s so successful, in fact, that Congress will increase funding for it by 200 percent,” Mr. Harsanyi said.

“Then again, in Washington, a place where elected officials are astonished - astonished! - when a program doling out free cash is popular, success often translates into higher costs and fewer results.

“Now, some of you radicals may have an ideological dilemma with a government handing out thousands of dollars to citizens making an average of $57,000 a year so they can upgrade their perfectly serviceable vehicles.

“Turns out, though, that by nearly any criterion, including the ones offered up by President Barack Obama, this populist experiment is an unmitigated fiasco.”

Greg Pierce can be reached at 202/636-3285 or gpierce@washingtontimes.com.

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