I was unable to attend Spencer Bachus's hatefest, uh, excuse me, Health Care Town Hall meeting last night, but I heard enough on the radio this morning to know that:
- I would have been in the minority, by far.
- Spencer Bachus is a liar.
- If Republicans can link any issue to immigration, they can justify their opposition to the issue with their hatred.
1. Progressive/Liberal bloggers have estimated the freepers outnumbered the progressives 200 to 1, but that would be expected, in spite of Over the Mountain Democrats being a fairly large organization in the area. By the way, OTMD are sponsoring a candidate forum with Ron Sparks and Artur Davis tonight (!) at Birmingham Botanical Gardens at 6:30. Free and open to the public. Why does it always happen? I have another meeting I have to attend. Grrr. But my peeps will be there and I will get good info.
2. On the radio this morning, on the Matt Murphy show, I heard that Bachus said last night he voted against TARP and led the fight against it. That is a lie, but there are many other reasons to be against him.
3. Julie at Left in Alabama gives a good report of the Town Hall. Here are some highlights she gathered from:
People in attendence:
Health care for illegals is particularly galling. I cannot stress enough how angry they are over the thought that some might receive treatment for free, while they themselves 'worked hard all their lives'. The hatred is palpable. You really have to have attended one of these things to know what I mean. You come away feeling in need of a long, hot bath.
Another big point was "no government control". People are also combining this one with a mantra I heard more than once about "Let them fix Medicare and Medicaid, THEN maybe we'll see if they can expand it." It was repeated almost word for word several times, so I assume it's a line they have been fed for a while now. (Well done, GOP - they have it memorized.)
His breakdown of the uninsured:
11 million eligible for Mediaid but not taking it
9.7 million illegal immigrants
4.7 million students
9.1 million income > 75k
13-16 million remaining
Blames Medicare for higher costs of insurance, due to government's 'inability to pay a fair price' which is then passed on.
Contradicts himself several times, but the crowd just loves him more :)
While blaming Medicare for increased cost, he makes a big point that Insured are paying 113% to cover uninsured.
Well, according to one of the People, the Insured aren't paying squat for the uninsured, because Insurance companies set a price per procedure. According to this man, who works in Hospital Administration, the hospital simply eats it all. When asked if it is still profitable, he assures me that, despite the uncollected debts, the hospital is still showing a healthy profit.
Bachus gave a real virtuoso performance on Illegal Immigration. He was able to work it in solidly to Health Reform, and get the crowd really whipped into a frenzy of ill-disguised racism, selfishness and xenophobia.
CONTROL THE BORDERS drew huge cheers. At least there were no suggestions of sewing the Mexican flag onto immigrant's clothing, but I can't swear that this crowd would've objected to the idea.
Southerners haven't changed, nor do they look likely to in the foreseeable future. It's still the same bunch who used to beat Bibles on Sunday and slaves on Monday.
Thanks Julie!!! and thanks to your readers too.
From the comments:
Did you notice how, on the couple of occasions that a person of color spoke, they started screaming, "Where are you from?" When the woman who is waiting for a lung transplant spoke, the idiots behind me started in with, "She sounds pretty strong to me." It was all I could do not to turn around and show them the oxygen tube that was clearly visible in my zoom lens.
but I finally lost it when The Three Weird Sisters behind me started in on the person who spoke about their bout with cancer.
"Accountability!" they kept saying, until I finally couldn't stand it any more and whipped around to see three middle aged, obviously pretty well-to-do housewife types. I asked them, "Do you really think a person is accountable for cancer?" and, as I looked into their dull, piggish little eyes, all three nodded in unison.
During one of several immigrant-bashing rants, Spencer said that no one here illegally should get any health care. Cheers and applause from the "Christian" crowd. Ed Savela, sitting next to me, called out, "Just let them die?" and a guy in front of us said, "Let them work." I responded, "They do work, dumb*ss!", which is now immortalized on the videotape.
They surely forget that Jesus said:
"For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.
They also will answer, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?
He will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me."
How hard is this to really understand???