Sunday, August 23, 2009

Northern Redneckistan

I have family in Weed, California— which is a town not far from Mt. Shasta— and I travel there by automobile from San Francisco several times per year. This story about a health care town hall meeting near Redding is not a surprise to me, but some of you might not be aware of just how deeply damaged the northern California central valley can be.
House Rep from northern California says public health option a ‘threat to democracy’

US House Representative Wally Herger, of California’s 2nd congressional district, expressed “enthusiastic approval” of a town-hall attendee who described himself as a “proud right-wing terrorist,” newspapers in northern California report.
According to the Redding Record Searchlight, an incident broke out at a town hall at Simpson University in Redding on Tuesday when Herger signaled encouragement to a 67-year-old town hall attendee, Bert Stead, who called himself a “proud right-wing terrorist.”

“Amen, God bless you,” Herger reportedly replied to the comment. “There is a great American.”
Calling yourself a 'proud right-wing terrorist' because you're opposed to the Democratic health insurance reform package languishing in the House of Representatives... that makes you a great American.
That was enough for 50-year-old Marisa Hewitt, who called the largely anti-health reform crowd “a bunch of racist haters” and started “using the f-bomb” after the controversial comments.

That did not sit well with crowd. One individual grabbed Hewitt by the arm and ejected her from the hall with the words “you’re outta here.”
Using the word 'fuck' on the other hand, that is grounds for claiming self-defence in the commission of an assault.

The Mt. Shasta Area News [web cooperative] has more from the meeting:
The majority of citizens came to the microphone to denounce the health care plan as “socialist” and “a government takeover,” but a few, including several from Siskiyou County, spoke in favor of Obama’s plan.

Mount Shastan Craig Vivas asked Herger if “health care is a right?” and if not, “Who should be denied?”

“Forty seven million people are without health care insurance in America,” Vivas said.
Herger responded by saying “everyone should have access to health care” without declaring it a “right.”

“You call it a right. I call it something else,” Herger said.

Vivas said in an interview that Herger “believes in the unfettered free market as the solution to all social problems. That is a fallacy he shares with many other Americans.”

A Redding obstetrician echoed Vivas’ right to health care question saying, “We need to debate the issue.”

“If we decide it is a right, however, we have to have fiscal solvency,” he said.

Mount Shasta physical therapist Neil Posson said the United States is “the only democracy in the world that does not have universal health care.”

“We have average life expectancy compared to other countries and spend huge amounts of money,” Posson said.

Although opposed to the Obama plan, several speakers said that family members had been forced into bankruptcy because of medical bills “and that was with insurance.”

“There are many things we can do,” Herger responded without going into specifics.

Speakers brought up subjects far afield of heath care that included illegal immigration and the carbon cap and trade bill recently passed by Congress. Herger called the cap and trade law “environmental extremism.”

“Health care is not the only threat to our democracy,” Herger said.

Herger noted that the last election resulted in the Democrats having a majority in both houses of Congress.

“They can vote in anything they want,” Herger said. “The only thing standing between you and them voting in anything they want is you.”
In case, you're not from around here and you don't know, the Mt. Shasta area is full of generally normal and sensible people living in rural mountain communities. They are far removed from the crazy you find in Redding and parts south. Seriously, if you want to find the highest concentration of right-wing crazy in California, the town you want to visit is not in Southern California. It's Red Bluff. I'd feel safe betting the better part of a paycheck that's where most of these yabos originated.

Look, this is why it's important for everyone you know who supports reform to stop calling it "health care reform." That guy at the meeting who asked if health care is a right walked right into the trap that awaits everyone who fails to take this message to heart. Go back and read that dialogue and ask yourself if it would have gone differently if the guy had asked if the Congressman believed that everyone should have a right to health insurance, and if not, then who should be denied insurance?

I am sick unto death of my fellow liberals not getting their heads around this. Nobody in America likes the health insurance companies, except their executive officers and their boards of directors. Nobody. Start policing your language, liberals... we're demanding health insurance reform. Remember the magic word: INSURANCE.

Learn it. Use it. Live it.

(Hat tip to Raw Story.)

No comments: