According to comments on Fox News, the speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives and the House majority leader sent “thugs” to threaten a Michigan man who protested at a town hall meeting on health care.
Can you see Nancy Pelosi and Steny Hoyer – or any of the Democratic Party leaders – getting together and organizing the incident? Do they look like a bunch of Mafia dons to you? (Photo at right shows Pelosi, Hoyer, Pete Stark of California, Henry Waxman of California, Charles Rangel of New York, and John Dingell of Michigan announcing the introduction of health care legislation on Capitol Hill.)
Obviously, Fox’s Megyn Kelly thinks they do. She treated this bizarre claim as if it were completely reasonable. Of course the speaker of the House and the majority leader send thugs to people’s houses. They’re Democrats, aren’t they? And isn’t that what Democrats do? After all, Rush Limbaugh figured it out: the Democrats are really Nazis. That’s right. The Nazis promoted universal health care, didn’t they? And isn’t that what Democrats want?
My mind reels at the insanity that passes for media commentary these days.
In the real world, here’s what happened. A man named Mike Sola wheeled his disabled son up to the front of a town hall meeting in Michigan recently and noisily accused Democratic Representative John Dingell of sponsoring health insurance legislation that would not provide coverage for his 36-year-old son, Scott, who suffers from cerebral palsy. Dingell explained that an amendment to the legislation would cover Scott, but Sola and other protesters drowned him out before he could elaborate.
Law enforcement officers removed Sola from the meeting when he refused to stop shouting. After the meeting, Dingell wrote the protester a long letter describing how proposed health care legislation would work. The letter explained that an amendment in the Community Living Assistance Services and Support Act would provide coverage for people like Sola’s disabled son. Here’s an excerpt from the letter:
This legislation will preserve the dignity of people who, despite their functional impairments, wish to continue living the American Dream – working, supporting their families, and living at home. This amendment, which I cosponsored with Representative Frank Pallone (D-NJ), passed by voice vote on day three of the health care markup.
Under what system of logic would this sequence of events prompt Democratic Party leaders to send “thugs” to threaten Sola? Yet here is the Fox News discussion of the topic:
Does any of this make sense to you? Anyone with the most cursory knowledge of American history would be aware that it was the Democratic Party that created Social Security, Disability Insurance and Medicaid – against fierce opposition from Republicans. So why on earth would Democrats now want to abandon the disabled and “kill off old people”?
And why would anyone send “thugs” to threaten that poor addled Mike Sola? How is he that important? As Josh Marshall sums it up on the TPM web site:
I mean, let’s all collectively throw a little cold water on our faces and just realize that this is some really crazy stuff.
The health care debate is now being driven by a perverse nonsense feedback loop in which the Palin/Limbaugh crowd says all sorts of completely insane lies, gets a lot of … how shall we put it, impressionable people totally jacked up over a bunch of complete nonsense, and then Fox brings one of them, Mike Sola, on the air to basically lose his mind on camera.
And then Mike becomes evidence of popular fear, terror, outrage at the president’s plan. Which becomes more grist.
How did we step through the looking glass into this wacky world of make believe? And how can anyone listen to this stuff?