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Layin’ It All Out

Racism. It’s at the heart of every disagreement with “progressive” policy reforms. Meet Diane DeVillers of Eugene, who lays it all out in today’s issue of the Eugene Weekly:

There is not as much confusion about the health care issue as we are led to believe. Much of the resistance is all about not wanting President Obama to succeed. The town hall haters, gun-toting radical right wingers, have been steaming since our President was elected. It has taken them this long to finally have the nerve to tell America how much they hate the fact that a black man won the election. It is all about being racist.

While the sane people in America try to get health care reform, the minority is trying to mislead and ruin any attempt for this bill to pass. This includes the whole Republican party… Their loyalties are only to themselves. The majority of people elected this president, so they need to get used to it.

The majority of Americans want health care reform, so the Democrats should just do it, any way they can…

Everyone in the room should yell back for them to be silent and let the discussion continue.

While Diane may technically be right that “the majority of Americans want health care reform”, polls have been showing consistently declining support for the Democrats’ plan. Currently, there’s a very small majority that opposes Obama’s health care agenda. While I wouldn’t put all my trust in polls, they do put to rest the notion that there’s some sort of mandate for the immediate nationalization of health care (despite the ghoulish and widespread attempts to capitalize on Ted Kennedy’s corpse).

In any case, if the actions of some of the “town hall haters” were counterproductive and, frankly, embarrassing, letters like Diane DeVillers’ reveal an equal and opposite reaction. Arguments like Diane’s are clumsy and transparent attempts to de-legitimize different points of view. She casts opponents of health reform as “selfish” and insane and caricatures them all as gun-toting psychopaths. The 60,000 or so ex-AARP members who quit that organization over disagreements over health care don’t fit the stereotype, in any case. Moreover, in Diane’s world all Republicans are remade into selfish liars, wreckers standing in the way of progress — a popular theme among the liberal faithful, but not something that particularly resembles reality. She also deploys the by now rote accusations of racism, which are about as tiresome as they are worn-out, having long since become the last refuge of the dishonest and disingenuous. All of this, of course, is demonstrably untrue, and one can only assume that Diane either knows it isn’t true, in which case she’s simply a liar, or she believes it, in which case she’s mindless and unreasonable.

That sort of rhetoric is more or less obligatory for “progressives” these days, and can be seen duplicated everywhere, from the meanest letter-to-the-editor in a joke publication like the Weekly to the smears being peddled by people like Nancy Pelosi, who are ostensibly public servants. More worrisome, if Diane’s missive is to be taken as representative, is the notion that, simply by virtue of winning an election, President Obama should have the authority to do whatever he pleases without “interference” from people who have different agendas. Moreover, those people should either cease their opposition of their own volition or efforts should be made to ensure that their dissent goes unheard. This, bizarrely, is called a “discussion.”

The justification for it seems to boil down to the President’s own sentiments when he uttered the words “I won.” I’m not sure that Diane would’ve accepted this rather imperial understanding of the Office of the Presidency back in 2004, despite the fact that President Obama only won 52.9% of the popular vote as compared to the Great Enemy George Bush’s paltry 50.7%, but in any case, that seems to be the script circa 2009.

The problem, of course, is that isn’t how it’s supposed to work. Presidents don’t get to do whatever they please because in the the American form of government at least, the President is not a dictator or a monarch. The ascendant political party does not hold the same unchallenged authority that the National Socialist party in Germany or the Communist Party in the Soviet Union did. Our representatives in government are in fact just that — our representatives. As such, they are technically beholden to “We, the People.” Of course, very few of them, Democrat or Republican, seem to believe all of that anymore, and they act like it — but that’s a topic for another day.

The point is that Diane and her fellow travelers seem to be upset that people have the temerity to question the government: How dare those benighted rubes (and their sinister organizers in the Republican Party) stand in the way of President Obama’s well-thought out and enlightened plans?! How dreadfully common! How can we have a ‘discussion’ about health care reform if this unruly mob keeps bugging us?

There seems to be a fundamentally anti-democratic thread underlying this mindset, as well as the belief that, if the opponents of health care reform aren’t outright evil, they at least don’t know what’s good for them and should let their betters make the important choices.

Overhauling health care in this country is inevitable — the current system sucks, and everyone knows it. But “fixing” health care is going to take a lot more than telling all the “naysayers” to stuff it so our betters in Washington can crank out another great piece of legislation like “Cash for Clunkers” and declare victory. If taking an AR-15 to an anti-“Obamacare” protest (and somehow magically turning from a black man into a “white racist” in the meantime) isn’t helping to further the “discussion”, then neither is trying to de-legitimize everyone who doesn’t support the President’s plan by rhetorically turning them into a legion of brownshirts bent on mayhem and a campaign of racial terror.

What people like Diane DeVillers don’t seem to understand is that the whole point of having a system like ours is that people get to be raucous and people get to tell the people in the government that the President’s plan sucks, and that they’ll be out of a job if they so much as think about voting for it. President Obama isn’t a dictator. It’s about time his supporters stop wishing he’d act like one.

And it’s not fucking racist to say so.

  1. nike urbanism duk says:

    I was not really serious. The incessant global warming apocalypse articles and the sprawl-is the-end-of-the-world ranting are quite amusing. If the Weekly ever got serious (they will not) they would hire Eva as the editor and quit goofing off.

  2. Vincent says:


    I’ve been raiding the EW letters to the editor for years for Spew content. There’s occasionally a good article or two in the Weekly – Eva Sylwester’s stuff on the Pacifica Forum being a nice example – but it’s usually all rubbish. I actually think their movie reviewers do a pretty good job most of the time, too.

  3. Betz says:

    No kidding, Orev … How quickly progressives forget their constitutional freedoms once they have exhausted their usefulness from them. The freedoms to protest, to tell the government they suck, to rally and cry out at governmental ills … its a double-edged sword.

    The whole argument that there is some kind of ‘societal mandate’ out there for Obama’s agenda is ludicrous. Reminds me of a couple of months ago, when news media was trotting out the whole Obama = FDR rhetoric. You don’t hear those comparisons so much anymore …

  4. nike urbanism duk says:

    So you are coming out of the closet as a Eugene Weekly reader ? What a brave soul you are.

  5. Orev says:

    That is the apex of liberal hypocrisy. They’ll let you say whatever you want, until they don’t agree with it. These are the same bastards who rioted, rallied and marched in the streets during the last eight years, but jump at the opportunity to silence the opposition now that they are in power.

  6. D says:

    God bless you, Vincent.

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