MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

Columns

March 30, 2010

Health care threats will surely backfire

It’s part of the American Way: If you’re unhappy with something a politician does, threaten him.

Makes sense — if you want your society controlled by thugs and goons. Or terrorists.

When you stop and think about it, the people who are trying to intimidate members of Congress over their stance on health care reform are just that. ...

It’s hard to say how many health care opponents have resorted to these tactics in the wake of Congress’ approval of landmark legislation. Hundreds of threats were received, but many of these are likely the result of serial offenders.

They get a list of lawmakers and start churning out phone calls and e-mails.

I’m probably being overly dramatic by describing these dweebs as terrorists. That suggests they have the guts to do something besides issue anonymous threats.

The vast majority lack the capacity to find more constructive ways to engage in the political debate.

Instead, they employ methods that are bound to backfire. During much of the debate over health care reform, critics railed about how unpopular it was, pointing to polling data.

But recent public opinion polls show a shift, with some indicating more Americans support the legislation than oppose it.

That may reflect a better effort by supporters to explain what’s in the bill. But maybe the antics of health reform opponents wore out their welcome. While drama and hyperbole work for a while, most people eventually want clear, calm information when it comes to important matters.

Warnings about socialism and comparing President Obama to Adolf Hitler don’t exactly fall into that category. Although legislation of health reform’s scope contains plenty of provisions open to criticism, the mindless and uninformed ranting that dominated much of the debate couldn’t be sustained by the facts.

Text Only
Columns
AP Video
Crew Criticized Over Handling of Ferry Disaster Agreement Reached to Calm Ukraine Tensions Raw: Pope Francis Performs Pre-easter Ritual Raw: Bulgarian Monastery Dyes 5000 Easter Eggs Diplomats Reach Deal to Ease Tensions in Ukraine U.S. Sending Nonlethal Aid to Ukraine Military Holder: Americans Stand With KC Mourners Obama Greets Wounded Warriors Malaysia Plane: Ocean Floor Images 'Very Clear' Sparks Fly With Derulo and Jordin on New Album Franco Leads Star-studded Broadway Cast Raw: Two Lucky Kids Get Ride in Popemobile Boston Bombing Survivors One Year Later Sister of Slain MIT Officer Reflects on Bombing
Poll

Should a federal judge have the power to strike down Oklahoma's ban on gay marriage?

Yes
No
     View Results
Featured Ads
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Stocks