Remember when Portland's mayor led that disastrous town hall about the destruction of Memorial Coliseum? It convinced me that if you're a politician considering forcing through a bad idea, it's usually an even worse idea to go out and ask the people to weigh in on it. By contrast the president has a GREAT idea for reforming the nation's health care system. And I've been struck this afternoon by his deft handling of the signs depicting him as Adolf Hitler, and of course the "death panel" rumors started on Facebook (!?) by Sarah Palin.
"I've seen some of those signs," he told a town hall meeting in New Hampshire this morning. Speaking of signs, whoever created this image, I think, has done the President the biggest public relations favor in this battle. It screams irrationality and fear:
"The rumor that's been circulating lately is that somehow the House of Representatives voted for death panels that will basically pull the plug on grandma, because we've decided, that it's too expensive to let her live any more," Obama continued. "And there are some variations on this theme."
Variations like the President is actually a socialist reincarnation of Hitler, and a Batman villain combined? Well, no...The underlying concern expressed by all this, says Obama, is that by reforming the health care system, we will somehow ration the level of care available.
"Right now, insurance companies are rationing care," said Obama. "They're telling you you can have this procedure, or you can't have this procedure. So why is it that people would prefer having insurance companies make those decisions, rather than medical experts or doctors?"
"I recognize there is an underlying fear here," said the President. "You will have not only the health care you need, but right now the care that is being denied to you, only if we get health care reform."
Watch the video at Yahoo news.
What I really want to see is one of these ideologues who have been disrupting the town halls around the country confront Obama at a town hall. Obama was even encouraging people this morning to stand up and ask skeptical questions, but got none. It's sad that people are ready to humiliate congressmen and senators but that they don't have the guts to go after the guy leading the charge. They may have been accused of "un-American" behavior by Nancy Pelosi, but it seems they're really just cowards, after all.
You can check out the White House's reality check website if you need some Denny's ammunition for that conversation this weekend with your right wing family members. And here's to the high ground. And socialism, of course.