As I observe the "civil discourse" debate, I’ve pointed out the left seems peerless in their ability to be uncivil. And opinions like mine have sent the left scurrying to find some example that would rebut that conclusion – something so outrageous that it would force those on the right, like me, to abandon the premise and admit the right is just as bad.
And yesterday I thought they may have found it. Today, not so much. The subject is a segment by Glenn Beck. Full disclosure – I don’t watch Glenn Beck. I don’t listen to Glenn Beck. So I was open to the argument that he might have said something that would indeed provide an example of the rhetoric some folks on the left were attributing to him.
Here’s the snippet of a Beck segment that some lefty sites have been using to make their claim:
"Tea parties believe in small government. We believe in returning to the principles of our Founding Fathers. We respect them. We revere them. Shoot me in the head before I stop talking about the Founders. Shoot me in the head if you try to change our government.
"I will stand against you and so will millions of others. We believe in something. You in the media and most in Washington don’t. The radicals that you and Washington have co-opted and brought in wearing sheep’s clothing — change the pose. You will get the ends.
"You’ve been using them? They believe in communism. They believe and have called for a revolution. You’re going to have to shoot them in the head. But warning, they may shoot you.
"They are dangerous because they believe. Karl Marx is their George Washington. You will never change their mind. And if they feel you have lied to them — they’re revolutionaries. Nancy Pelosi, those are the people you should be worried about.
"Here is my advice when you’re dealing with people who believe in something that strongly — you take them seriously. You listen to their words and you believe that they will follow up with what they say."
Oh my, Beck is saying "shoot them in the head" (assuming the “them” is the left and he’s instructing his viewers to do so). Well at least on the first quick pass. But then, when you read it for meaning, it just doesn’t quite add up. It is the way it is worded. It seems to be saying what the left claims it says, but not really. You’re left not quite believing it.
Enter Patterico who does what apparently the left wasn’t able to do – or found inconvenient to do: obtain the entire segment’s transcript. Make sure you read it all.
In a word, it provides context. I know, what a concept, eh? And it completely demolishes the contention claimed by the left. They really didn’t want to look beyond the snippet of words they had. Context was inconvenient to their disingenuous claim. In fact, it flips it on its head.
When you read the entire segment, you suddenly realize who Beck is talking about – and it isn’t an incitement to the right to go shoot anyone in the head as the lefty sites insist.
As Dan McLaughlin notes the "you" Beck talks about is the Democratic leadership in Congress. And McLaughlin says:
I’m almost embarrassed for anybody gullible enough that they fell for this one.
Yup. I’m not surprised, naturally. But I’d be embarrassed. And that doesn’t even begin to address those who used this to try to spin it into something it isn’t. In their case it isn’t about “embarrassment” but about their credibility.
Of course I’d be interested to hear the opinion of those who eschewed context in this case to comment on something Paul Kanjorski said. You know Kanjorski – the former Democratic Congressman who had to temerity to publish a piece in the NY Times lecturing the rest of us on "civil discourse" in the wake of the Giffords’ shooting? A few months back, speaking of then FL candidate for governor Rick Scott, he said:
"Instead of running for governor of Florida, they ought to have him and shoot him. Put him against the wall and shoot him. He stole billions of dollars from the United States government and he’s running for governor of Florida.
The context of the quote is he was upset that a guy who was involved with a company that was involved with one of the largest Medicare and Medicaid fraud scandals in history wasn’t in jail. Legit bitch, but even in that context, does it excuse the language? I mean if you want to be internally consistent and all.
The left? Crickets.
And in the realm of inciteful and violent rhetoric, it kinda makes the Palin cross-hairs map seem, oh, I don’t know, silly in comparison, doesn’t it?
So? So the left remains peerless in the rhetoric realm and are also adding to their lead in the “deceitful claims” department as well.
Ben Smith at POLITICO reports that Democrats are switching their messaging strategy when it comes to the ObamaCare legislation (and I’d guess one of the strategies is not to call it “ObamaCare”). Seems they’ve conceded the argument that it will lower the deficit and cost less. Facts are stubborn things and few have bought into the claims given the justification for them given by Democratic leaders.
So now they’ll go more nebulous instead. Call it the medical care “hope and change” approach. Now instead of lower deficits and less cost, they’re going to tout the law as a way to “improve” health care.
As one slide in the presentation – available here – says, “Many don’t believe health care reform will help the economy.” That’s absolutely correct. And, unlike Washington DC, most in flyover country passed their "Common Sense 101” course years ago while holding a job or running a business, raising a family and managing a household. Most of them can spot a scam fairly easily and this was always in that category given the machinations necessary to make it “bend the cost curve down”. Immediate taxes and delayed benefits were the first sign some game was afoot. “Doc fixes” and half a trillion Medicare cuts that would never happen plus some double counting used to claim deficit reduction were the second. And a new and extensive bureaucracy promised health care would be much more complicated and expensive. Of course everyone loved the new individual mandate as well, not to mention the billions of dollars in mandates shifted to the states.
So this is the pig they’re trying to sell as “improved” as in “this law improves health care”.
One slide says, “Tap into individual responsibility to blunt opposition to the mandate to have individual insurance.” It then says, “Those who choose not to have insurance and use the emergency room for routine care are increasing the cost for the rest of us who have insurance.”
Interesting slide for the group most singularly responsible for attempting to make more and more people dependent on government throughout it’s history. Suddenly it’s about “individual responsibility” while defending one of the biggest government takeovers of an industry in our history.
Oh, and, as pointed out with MassCare – ObamaCare’s little brother – the use of emergency room facilities went up with their mandated insurance law:
When the Bay State passed its health-reform law in 2006, 9 percent of non-elderly adults lacked insurance; that’s now down to 5 percent. The law didn’t reduce expensive emergency-room use as predicted. Instead, emergency-room visits have climbed by 9 percent, or about 3 million visits, from 2004 to 2008.
And, of course, so have costs with health care now consuming 35% of the state’s budget as compared to 22% before the law’s passage. All predicted (back to Common Sense 101) and all coming true as expected.
Last, but certainly not least, Democrats will use a little class warfare to "please” voters, one assumes:
Obviously anyone with the cognitive ability to open a box of crayons knows that the rich can’t pay for all of this by any stretch. Another in a long line of lies about “paying for” this monstrosity. The second part of the slide is just a flat out lie. Remember, ObamaCare is based on the primary care physician. And that’s a medical care area that has a shortage now and that shortage is going to get worse:
The number of U.S. medical school students going into primary care has dropped 51.8% since 1997, according to the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP).
That’s right, dropped 51.8% since 1997. So tell me again about that “unprecedented number of new healthcare providers” being trained? Because I don’t know who they are, but they aren’t the supposed foundational specialty on which ObamaCare is based according to the AAFP.
And those doctors who are in primary care are cutting their hours. Why?
Payment issues may have played more of a role. The overall decrease in hours coincided with a 25% decline in pay for doctors’ services, adjusted for inflation. And when the researchers looked closely at U.S. cities with the lowest and highest doctor fees, they found doctors working shorter hours in the low-fee cities and longer hours in the high-fee cities.
Yup, no pending crisis at all – aided and abetted by a government that has decided it will “lower costs” even though it is no longer going to emphasize that point to the proles.
And what about nurses?
In the July/August 2009 Health Affairs, Dr. Peter Buerhaus and coauthors found that despite the current easing of the nursing shortage due to the recession, the U.S. nursing shortage is projected to grow to 260,000 registered nurses by 2025. A shortage of this magnitude would be twice as large as any nursing shortage experienced in this country since the mid-1960s.
Amazing what they try to put past you, isn’t it? Which brings us to the irony of the day:
Yup – keep those claims “small and credible” like the lies about more health care providers – and for heaven sake “don’t over promise or ‘spin’ what the law delivers’ – like lower cost, the ability to keep your plan and your doctor and, of course, control over your own health care.
Because we wouldn’t want to see this new and “improved” law repealed or neutered, would we?