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A crowd of about two hundred frustrated, anti-health care reform, anti-President Obama Idaho citizens heated up a hotel ballroom in Boise Saturday night. They were there to give Rep. Walt Minnick, D-CD1, a piece of their minds. Unlike town halls held in other states, this crowd stayed reasonably in order, although there were waves of audience-wide booing and remonstration. But they listened to a calm Minnick even when they disagreed with him, which was often. When he didn’t give an answer they wanted to hear, Minnick forged ahead and seemed unruffled by negative reactions. “With everything that is going on around us, the tyranny that is going on around us, my question is what are you going to do about it? What are you going to do about our constitutional rights?” asked T.J Lacey, who leads a group called the 9-12 Project. Minnick answered that he promised to protect those rights when he was sworn in. Not satisfied, the crowd broke in with questions challenging him on the constitutionality of the health care bill.

Minnick in the Lion’s Den: A Tea Party Town Hall

A crowd of about two hundred frustrated, anti-health care reform, anti-President Obama Idaho citizens heated up a hotel ballroom in Boise Saturday night.

They were there to give Rep. Walt Minnick, D-CD1, a piece of their minds.

Unlike town halls held in other states, this crowd stayed reasonably in order, although there were waves of audience-wide booing and remonstration. But they listened to a calm Minnick even when they disagreed with him, which was often. When he didn’t give an answer they wanted to hear, Minnick forged ahead and seemed unruffled by negative reactions.

“With everything that is going on around us, the tyranny that is going on around us, my question is what are you going to do about it? What are you going to do about our constitutional rights?” asked T.J Lacey, who leads a group called the 9-12 Project.

Minnick answered that he promised to protect those rights when he was sworn in. Not satisfied, the crowd broke in with questions challenging him on the constitutionality of the health care bill.

Minnick said, “This is not a bill I’m going to vote for, by the way…this particular bill, no I will not vote for it because it’s not paid for and it includes a government option, and that violates two of the principles I was talking about. I will say though that I think health care reform is an important enough topic that I hope we can find a bill that does help us control costs, that does help us expand access, and that at some point in the process we can come up with a bill, hopefully on a bipartisan basis, that I can vote for. I’m looking for that opportunity.” That netted polite, but not enthusiastic, applause.

Challenges About Democrats
When asked for whom he voted for President, Minnick didn’t hesitate to say he voted for Obama. Over another wave of boos, Minnick said, “I vote for the presidential candidate I think will best serve the needs of the country.”

“We want to make sure the President succeeds, because when the President succeeds the nation succeeds,” he added.

A loud and negative reaction to that question was silenced by the evening’s host, Nate Shelman from Boise radio station KBOI. Shelman skillfully quieted incivility throughout the evening. So did many audience members who regularly shushed people who booed or talked out of turn.

The subject of congressional earmarks was part of several questions. Minnick, who campaigned on a no-earmarks platform and has angered several interest groups in Idaho which were counting on them, reiterated his stance. “In fact, President Obama requested of Congress that we make a rule that prevents any senator or congressman from requesting an earmark. I support the President on that.”

Silence followed. This crowd wasn’t going to applaud any answer that included Obama, even when they agreed with one of the president’s views. Then a voice from the audience broke in with, “Aren’t you ashamed of Barack Obama? Aren’t you ashamed of the Democratic Party?”

“Am I ashamed of President Obama? No, he’s our president,” answered Minnick. “But I do not agree with how Congress so far has dealt with the [health care] issue.”

“And I am not ashamed of the Democratic Party. Like most people, my party does things that some I agree with, some I don’t. I don’t take orders from the Democratic caucus or from all the emails and phone calls to my office – at the end of the day my staff and I sit down and sort it all out.”

Minnick said he admired Idaho Sen. Mike Crapo for using bipartisan collaborative techniques to pass legislation such as the Owyhee Canyonlands bill, but “I’m very comfortable being in the majority party, and I think I can get more done being the camel inside the tent instead of the one outside.”

Health Care Questions
About half the questions were about health care. Fear about so-called “death panels” (here’s the actual section of the bill regarding end-of-life issues and here is a very good Q. and A.) was a frequent theme. Bill Ripple of Boise said he was a veteran and wanted to know what Minnick was going to do about “all this euthanasia of the greatest generation that ever lived.”

After paying tribute to Ripple and all veterans – and adding that he was an Army veteran – Minnick was cut off by a telephone call from Crapo. After Crapo’s part of the town hall was over, Minnick addressed Ripple’s question when a similar one came up. Minnick said that nine years ago he had been in a serious car crash, and spent 24 hours on a respirator, fully conscious. “And let me tell you the quality of life was not that great. I’d like to be able to provide some directions to my caregivers about my wishes.”

A murmur of doubt and some suspicious words said that the audience was wary of the statement.

“It’s an individual decision, an individual freedom,” Minnick said. He added that he’ll fight for living-will provisions to be included in a health care bill. He advocated electronic health care records as a way of cutting costs and providing better care, which the crowd didn’t care for, either.

“Failure to live within our means is the number one problem facing this country,” said Minnick, which got a loud round of applause. So did his support for allowing insurance companies to compete across state lines for clients. “If we want competition to work, we want more than two competitors in each market.”

A Matter of Style
Sen. Crapo’s phone call was put on a loudspeaker. The evening’s only just-this-side-of-exploding questioner took the microphone to say he was from California, and “I had to run from the damn place” because of illegal immigrants. He was upset about “people who don’t belong here,” and got the crowd agreeing loudly. His speech ended with talking about the murder of Robert Manwill and how “people like that” [the killers] should get the death penalty. “Kill ‘em!” he said, abruptly leaving the room. He was pouring sweat and used an aggressive walk and gestures, saying, “I can’t stand this anymore” and mumbling similar ideas.

Without condemning the questioner’s choice of words, Crapo’s answer was in agreement.

Crapo’s rhetoric differed from Minnick’s. One-on-one, Crapo is exceptionally calm and understated. He cast that aside for the town hall, using the same fired-up tone of the audience and the language they wanted to hear, which had them clapping and hooting. His county-fair style contradicted his face-to-face demeanor.

Minnick looked and sounded exactly like he always does, on and off the podium – not nervous, but a little awkward, wonkish, and well-spoken, with a temperament that prevents him from emotional arguments or outbursts. He paid too much homage to his Republican colleagues to please some Democrats, but not enough to please the crowd. Liberals won’t like it that he thought it was a “useful suggestion” when someone shouted “close the borders!” Republicans who crossed the party line to vote for him hated hearing of his support for President Obama.

After Words
When the meeting broke up, audience member Fred Birnbaum, a financial analyst for a timber company, said he respected Minnick, but still had concerns.“People expect some sort of a solution and I don’t think that’s possible,” he said. “Things are much worse than people perceive because they don’t really understand the fiscal balloon that’s happening – the federal government – not only are we talking about the 1.8 trillion dollar deficit and the 12 -13 trillion debt – it has about 50 trillion dollars of unfunded liabilities for federal pensions, military pensions, social security and medicare – and that’s before all this new spending.”

Michelle and Louise, who didn’t want their last names used, said they resented Congress for deciding how to spend their money. I asked if they thought voting for a congressperson meant giving that authority to her or him on their behalf. “Absolutely not,” said Louise. “That is only for us to decide.” But they liked Minnick. “He came here and was honest.”

Laszlo Bayer, a retired former CEO of an international conglomerate who spent much of his life in his native Hungary, had questioned the concept of “czars” appointed by the President, and the audience had reacted with hear-hears. Afterward, he said he knew that the word was probably coined by the press and not the government, but he strongly objected to “appointees being able to make spending decisions” and said “we have to look at government encroachment.”

“I disliked General Motors management for thirty years,” said Bayer. “Incredible that those people had that long a run. I blame them for not going to the stockholders and being honest.” But, Bayer said, there should have been no bailout.

Last Words
Blogger Joel Kennedy, who calls himself a “moderate realist” and says “In Idaho, that makes me a Democrat” wrote this about the town hall: “There was lots of cheering for the concept of putting people in jail who tried to use the emergency room and not pay, but they also complained about the high cost of incarcerating people and wanted frequent use of the death penalty. Combining the two, it seemed the only logical solution to their conundrum was to execute poor people who couldn’t afford to pay their hospital bills.” He liked Minnick for attending the meeting: “I applaud Walt for going into the lions’s den, and hope others will do the same.”

Idaho Democrats have been struggling with their feelings about Minnick’s conservative positions, and some feel betrayed by his attendance at the town hall. Were they hoping he’d lecture and condemn the crowd for their political views? I can’t imagine that would have any positive results.

Nearly half of the questioners thanked Minnick for his attention, especially after the official end of the meeting came and he said staying longer was fine by him. His noncombative approach won the respect of many audience members who talked to me. By clearing up some of the misinformation questioners were using, he may have changed a mind or two. Certainly by just listening to them, he opened the door for future exchanges which may be more thoughtful.

Though I don’t agree with this group of citizens, and I condemn the organizations they follow for their extreme disrespect, fear of change, and unwillingness to participate in a collective society – not to mention their unacceptable public tactics – nobody wins when a congressman picks a fight. Everyone deserves to be heard by their representatives, even people who get their facts wrong. Minnick handled them straightforwardly, and it was the right thing to do.

Full disclosure: the writer is a friend of Minnick’s wife, A.K. Lienhart-Minnick.

About Jill Kuraitis

Jill Kuraitis is an award-winning journalist who specializes in news of Idaho and the Rocky Mountain West. Her B.A. in theatre management is from UC Santa Barbara, and she went on to work in theatre, film, and politics before writing became a career. Kuraitis has two excellent grown children and lives in Boise with her husband of 30 years, abundant backyard wildlife, and two huge hairy dogs.

Comments

  1. Julie in Boise says:

    Jill, thank you for attending this and for reporting it so thoroughly. This is a must-read for all Idahoans, and Walt has my respect for listening to everyone.

  2. Binkyboy says:

    Any fake Democrat would have your respect, Julie. Why act like it was anything he did to garner it?

  3. Eve says:

    I wonder if anyone has bothered to take a broad look at all the town meetings held this August? If so, it is striking to note that the language among the conservative crowd is almost identical, from meeting to meeting, town to town, across the country. This is another “Brooks Brothers “spontaneous” riot” – identified by Rachel Maddow back to the originators of a national effort to ruin the chances to change and regulate our health care/insurance industry. She broadcast names, organizations and documents of those responsible for this effort – don’t tell me there’s no conspiracy. The fact this has not been reported in most media is not a matter of overlooking the events – it is a suppression of news that is readily available to anyone bothering to check out what has been going on. I certainly did love Barney Frank’s response to a woman who was obviously trying to remember her lines in challenging him – she was holding up the picture making the rounds of Obama with Hitler’s mustache. In disgust, he finally stated trying to talk w/her was like trying to talk to a dining room table and he wasn’t interested in doing that. If voters are even vaguely interested in uncovering the truth, do a little research. Whenever you see these identical phrases coming out you know there’s a single source. It’s amazing that there’s so many people willing to be so dishonest.

    Also can anyone even imagine what would have happened to someone who showed up at any Bush functions wearing a gun or carrying an AK47? So why have the secret service allowed this and why aren’t safety parameters clearly set and announced. This is an open invitation to the hoard of racist crazies out there to try something.

  4. Tom von Alten says:

    I appreciate the coverage, too. The Statesman and KTVB couldn’t be bothered to give more than a brief blurb, but this (and blog reports) gives us quite a bit more of the flavor and specifics of what happened.

    As for BB’s problem… apparently needs a fresh binky.

  5. markg8 says:

    Nice report. For those who don’t know HR 3200 (the House Bill) forces insurance companies to compete with each other and the public option in a fair market (the exchange) instead of the rigged government protected virtual monopoly racket they have now. This will drive down prices like free markets do everywhere else.

    Insurance companies will see their costs go down too because they won’t need that army of bureaucrats they have now standing between us and our doctors denying claims because those practices will be outlawed. They can shift those bureaucrats into sales jobs where they can sell the new better and cheaper plans to the 50 million new customers they’ll have access to who can’t afford insurance today.

    That’s how the bill works. The non partisan Congressional Budget Office, which even Republicans say is the gold standard for scoring bills, says it’s deficit neutral. It costs $1.042 trillion over 10 years and is paid for by cutting out the waste, fraud and profiteering we have now and $239 billion over 10 years of expiring Bush era tax cuts for the richest 1% of tax payers.

    That’s a good deal for everyone and Minnick ought to vote for it.

  6. Jill Kuraitis says:

    Don, thanks for an opposing comment written with civility. We could use a bit more of that around here.

    I wrote, “Everyone deserves to be heard by their representatives, even people who get their facts wrong. Minnick handled them straightforwardly, and it was the right thing to do.” Keep in mind it is me saying they got their facts wrong, which many of them did, and so have the anti-health care reform groups who dominate the TV news.

    You wrote, “So blasting citizens for questioning their government and its agenda seems a little anti-democratic especially if your are reporting for all of us not just the left.”

    Two points: (1) Far from blasting them, my editorial points out their right to be heard and to register their protests with their elected representatives. The right of free speech is sacred and I’d go down with my sword for it. I was also trying to say that Democrats who thought Minnick shouldn’t have even attended the event are, in my opinion, wrong.
    (2) Keep in mind the piece is labeled “Editorial/Opinion” which differs from a straight report.

  7. Jay Kanta says:

    Why have Bush’s free speech zones? Why didn’t Democrats openly carry weapons to protest sites? Why am I arguing with a Teabagger?

    Giving these people the time of day legitimizes them. They are a group of people that scream “Death Panels!”, “Socialism!” and “Fascism” without ever knowing a thing about any of those. Teabaggers are probably the least educated and most inflammatory segment of our citizenry. They deserve nothing but scorn and derision.

  8. Chryssa says:

    Thank you for the accurate reporting and article title. The Statesman and other local media sources reported that attendees were simply “Boiseans” or “Idahoans”, with no mention whatsoever that this was a Tea Party event.

  9. Austrian School says:

    “unwillingness to participate in a collective society” ????

    Social Security and Medicare, exemplars of your collective society, are insolvent. There will not be enough workers to support these programs. In fact according to the SS administration, there will be approximately 2 workers for every beneficiary in 2050. They will/have failed.

  10. Don Crowell says:

    Hi Jill,

    Thanks for not taking my feedback too hard:) The point I was trying to make was that by saying “Everyone deserves to be heard by their representatives, even people who get their facts wrong” you make it sound like all of us that are against some of the current reforms are simply wrong when in fact we are just having a debate and trying to get clarification which is nonexistent right now.

    Mr. Kanta. When poor debaters loose their way in discussion they often resort to calling the other side stupid in an attempt to be little or distract the other speaker. Instead of name calling maybe you should ask why Teabaggers are so upset? Could it be we are worried about the debt of our nation and don’t want government involved in our daily lives?

    Democrats didn’t carry guns to anti war rallies because they didn’t feel their liberties threatened but that feeling changed as the Bush administration pushed the limits of the executive office. I know a few had their eyes opened and have since purchased guns as a political statement and insurance policy.

  11. Binkyboy says:

    Wow Don, you really put me in my place with that incredibly insightful line of tripe. Bush stomped on our rights from 9-11 on. The Patriot Act? Illegal wiretapping starting in 2001? Don’t give me your righteous BS, because I’ll call you in a second on it. There are NO constitutional liberties that you are being asked to give up, and there are none at risk. Where were you when 2.2 Trillion dollars of our deficit were hidden by the Bush Administration? Where were you when Democrats were pointing out the hypocrisy in Libertarians’ silence during the Bush years?

    You teabaggers don’t have ANYTHING right. You’ve gotten it all wrong, you’re constantly in the position of feeling persecuted and trying to get that to work for your causes. You senstationalize any little slight, even if you have to make it up. That is why you will be constantly derided and humiliated. Arguing with you guys, in the famous words of Barney Frank, is like arguing with a dining room table.

    It is well understood that effective health care changes would pay for themselves in preventative care, reduced profits by massive insurance companies and in so many other ways, but that isn’t up for discussion, is it? You’re too worried about Kenyan birth certificates and imagined threats against your 2nd Amendment rights.

    So no, you don’t warrant any serious discussion, and the Teabaggers that Minnick met with don’t either.

  12. Tom von Alten says:

    Social Security and Medicare, exemplars of your collective society, are insolvent.

    No, they are not. Social Security has been running surpluses for many years, and if nothing changes will get to parity, and then start paying out more than it’s taking in, within a decade or so.

    As has happened previously, it will be adjusted.

    Similarly for Medicare, although I’m not as familiar with the current payment balances. It faces bigger deficits; but its percent of the payroll tax is quite a bit smaller at present.

    It too will be adjusted.

  13. bikeboy says:

    Good report, and good comments from reader Don. (It’s nice when other posters so effectively help him make his points!)

    As a generalization, every fiscal conservative I know personally was sickened by the way the Bush Administration ran up the National Debt. Mr. Bush was/is a lot of things… but he is NOT a “small government conservative” by any stretch! However, comparatively speaking, since the new guy took over, he’s starting too look more that way all the time.

  14. Binkyboy says:

    Nice examples and facts, bikegirl.

  15. Don says:

    Mr. Binky Boy, are you still in a pubescent stage of life? Grow up sir, we are discussing idea’s not name calling. I would be the last person to stand up for Bush… as a Marine, I caught a lot of crap for not supporting the war in Iraq but I go my own way when I need to.

    It isn’t that I am against health care reform, I am against a government plan because I don’t think everyone is entitled to free health care and I don’t want the government involved in my health care choices. I would simply suggest that for all the positives you see in government ran health care try to imagine and visualize some of the potential pitfalls? You may still disagree with us but perhaps you will realize that many of our fears are valid.

    Lastly I would ask that you treat the people on this forum like you would if we were all sitting a round a coffee table, name calling and putting words in peoples mouth is no way to discuss an issue.

    To Tom, just today it was announced that many Americans will get less on Social security because Medicare cost are still rising but SS payment are not. The fact is Social Security can not and will not remain financially sound because we are not adding enough new workers to support the retiring baby boomers. I don’t think this is necessarily the Gov. fault but perhaps just a flawed model but the fact remains that without substantial changes the Social Security system will fail. Thoughts?

  16. Jay Kanta says:

    Well, Mr. Don. I would of course insult you right to your face.

    On top of it, you still don’t seem to understand the health care bill intentions, nor has your party done anything to assist in making sure your concerns are heard. Instead, those you vote for, just tell you to have more personal responsibility, or in shorter words, “I have mine, go f’ yourself”.

    The teabaggers, by their most vocal members, are nothing more than a mob of uninformed and violent yokels that seem more interested in punishing minorities than in any solutions to healthcare. Do you really want to be in that group?

  17. Tim says:

    Could someone explain to me what is so unconstitutional about health care reform?
    I’ve read the constitution. I’ve read, as best as I can, the heath care reform bill. I don’t see the conflict.
    Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, unless you get hurt or sick, then you are no longer entitled to any of that since you can’t afford to go to the doctor?
    Doesn’t make sense to me.
    What choices do people without health care have when they break their leg or find out they have a serious illness?

  18. Native says:

    Jill, as usual a great “report” on the event. It should be noted that technically this is NOT Obama’s healthcare bill. It is Congress’ healthcare bill. If the two houses can ever put together a “reform” bill and pass it AND the President signs it, it will become his healthcare bill. Congratulations to Walt for attending and letting people know where he stands and standing up for what he thinks. Reform is absolutely needed and for those who don’t think so ask your local county commissioner, or care provider and you will discover who is really paying for all those without health insurance. Do we need change??? Absolutely!!! In my personal and business experience this is one place that the free market has absolutely failed. We have limited access and higher costs, and lower quality. It needs to be fixed and it needs to be fixed now. Our business costs for healthcare have gone up at 10 times the rate of inflation. How long can we absorp those kinds of increases before we simply can not afford to provide healthcare for our employees. I don’t have the answers but I refuse to believe that we can figure out how to fix this.

  19. Lucas Baumbach says:

    I couldn’t disagree more. Jill, were you there? This article goes beyond fact, even imagining for the reader what it would have been like for Walt to lecture and put the Tea Party in its place. But, wasn’t Walt taking advantage of and pandering to the Tea Party crowd? Most of the jeers were those of regular citizens, who detected a dishonest politician. I was surprised at how skeptical the crowd was, because he clearly stated that he was against the public option (or did he?). And, I’m surprised that you didn’t mention the dig Minnick made at the expense of Democrats. What did he say exactly? That the tea party people were less savage than some people in his own party? He must have been talking about the debacle of a meeting at Smoky Mountain Pizza (a Democrat event) Lol. Refreshing, because Democrats rarely self-criticize. That would be somehow wrong instead of intellectually honest. Thanks for sharing your tendency to defend Minnick. You should have let me write this article. ;)

  20. Jill Kuraitis says:

    Lucas: I missed the dig. Bloggers have written about it, but since I didn’t hear it, I didn’t write about it.

    Reminder once again that the piece is clearly labeled (redundantly, just to try harder to get people to notice) “Editorial/Opinion.” That means I get to write my observations and opinion, and you get to write yours. That’s why we have comments, of which you took advantage. All civil comments are welcome.

  21. Jan says:

    Tim’s comment/question inspired me to join in this conversation.
    I was not insured for about 5 years for several reasons. I was single & working for a small business that couldn’t find an affordable option to help me out with health insurance. They did however give me $200 a month in a medical savings account that could either go towards a health care plan or just towards medical bills.
    I CHOOSE to be uninsured and just paid for my medical bills on my own. I also found doctors and hospitals very willing to help me by letting me do a payment plan within my budget.
    Now I am remarried and am insured by my husbands work plan. I found doctors and hospitals aren’t as easy to work with now that I have insurance. If there are portions not covered by insurance we have to come up with large payments to get it paid off quickly or face collections.
    Anyways my experience has just been that it is almost easier to not have health insurance than to have health insurance. With health insurance I always worry about what is covered and what’s not. In the end, I think I probably have paid the same amount of money whether I had insurance or not.

  22. mtnplace says:

    I attended a town hall meeting Tuesday Aug 25 in Coeur d’Alene. He came across as independent, principled and thoughtful. And I don’t agree with his stance against the house bill.

    It did seem to me that much of the audience there did not understand the difference between single payer, public option and socialized medicine. They lumped them all together as socialized medicine. Socialized medicine is what Great Britain has; the doctors are paid by the government, the hospitals are run by the government. A single payer system means that there is only one group (the government or another) acting as the insurer, bargaining for better prices and paying the bills. Under this system you choose your own doctor and control your own care but rather than a multiplicity of insurers and/or county or state taxpayers (for those not insured) there is only one. NEITHER OF THESE IS WHAT IS PROPOSED IN THE HOUSE BILL. The house bill proposes new regulations for insurance companies and proposes a public option insurance program to compete with the insurance companies.

    I was also struck by certain comments I read in the story as well as heard at the town hall I attended. People repeatedly cited the Constitution and at the same time were sure that their elected representatives in Congress had no business making laws concerning health care. I kept wondering if they read the same Constitution I did. We elect our members of Congress to make laws, we let them know what we want by calling, emailing, writing and attending meetings. And if we are really unhappy with their lawmaking we don’t re elect them. Doesn’t anyone take civics anymore?

  23. Tim says:

    While I appreciate Jan’s thoughtful response, the point she’s missing is SHE COULD AFFORD TO GO TO THE DOCTOR. I agree completley that insurance comanies are a nightmare. I still don’t go to the doctor unless it’s a serious issue for that reason.

    mtnplce: I wonder what Constitution people are reading as well, maybe the warped version presented on the 9-12 website?

  24. OGolly says:

    “Full disclosure: the writer is a friend of Minnick’s wife, A.K. Lienhart-Minnick”

    It shows.

    My “full disclosure:” I support the Constitution of the United States, and heartily resent any thinly veiled attempt to circumvent my freedom to choose.

    Yeah — the “warped” version on the 9-12 website. Why? Because that’s the one I believe in and has been the basis of the mightiest, richest and most tolerant and caring nation in the history of mankind. Because that’s the one that proclaims my LIBERTY and protects me from loosing it to big corporations, big labor and big government. (I can hear the collective groans here even as I write – from people who have most likely never bothered to even read either the U.S. Constitution or Federalist Papers).

    Why is “choice” so important when it comes to abortions, but not in choosing the scope and particulars of your health care?

    Why do so many writers and commentators here believe the same people who brought you the Post Office, Social Security, Medicare, a collective debt on our grandchildren for a thousand years (and more government fiascoes than I can list here) can handle a monopoly health care system?

    Why is a monopoly bad for business, but good for government run enterprises? If any business or individual defrauded us as much as most government agencies have, they’d be JAILED. And you *trust* these people with your health and your life?

    Why do so many clamor for a system that has not worked *anywhere* or *at any time* it has ever been tried? Go ahead – tell me about a friend who has a friend that just “loves” their “free” health care in Canada, Great Britain, France, China, or anywhere else.

    We already have a “public option” (read: monopoly) health care system for several classes of American Citizens: among them are Native Americans and veterans. Has anyone here bothered to see how these agencies are run? I didn’t think so. Let me sum it up: SHORTAGES, LONG-LINES, uncaring & unwarranted bureaucracy, NO CHOICE of PROVIDER or CARE OPTIONS, and loads of documented and unnecessary deaths. In short PRECISELY what *thinking* Americans fear and have tried to express to dimwitted legislators with their own health care system so generally paid for by tax-payers which NO ONE HERE WILL EVER ENJOY.

    I should know – I’m a disabled veteran and am obliged to utilize the VA. I take what I can get and I am offered no choice. I have to wait months for some services. On at least two occasions I was obliged to pay for a private practice to finally diagnose correctly my problems. I *know* what government health programs will provide Americans under the best of conditions.

    Wake up. Once its’ gone (your freedom), its’ gone. Take some responsibility for yourselves for a change and stop looking for some hyped-up savior to live your lives for you. Words, promises and political slogans are cheap. Just “show me the money.”

  25. the real mike says:

    OGolly, you support both the Constitution of the United States and Rex Rammell? Well, since Rex has gone on record as threatening the President, has refused to recant, and you still support him, you must be a bit confused about how it works. Your opinion is meaningless when you’re this confused and conflicted. You can’t both support the Constitution and condone threatening the President, unless you’re nuttier than a fruitcake; then you can do anything, fly, turn into a big marshmallow, think those pink elephants you see are real, whatever.

  26. OGolly says:

    “real mike” :

    Gee, you sure get around.

    Did I mention Mr. Rammell in my post? I think not, so I’m not sure what you’re bringing him up for. As I have replied elsewhere, you seem to assume somehow that I am a supporter of this candidate. Neither am I quite sure what all this has to do with my defense of constitutional principles viz-a-viz government run health care.

    I posted a number of objections and questions regarding government run health care which I believe will quickly lead to a government monopoly, an absence of personal choice, increased costs we cannot afford (either individually or as a nation), and decreased quality of care and concern for the lives and liberty of the governed. Since you did not respond to any of these points, I am unsure how to respond to your reply.

    {Oh, and btw – I generally prefer turning into a chocolate bar, not a marshmallow, and I prefer hallucinating green unicorns as opposed to pink elephants. Don’t like the smell of elephants ;D}

  27. the real mike says:

    OGolly, your defense of a comment threatening the President, made by Rammell in this case, undermines your claim to understand enough about the Constitution to launch a credible defense of it on any topic.

  28. mtnplace says:

    Fabian
    It is only your (and others of your ilk) assertion that there are Communists and Marxists in the White House.

    And they vote yea not yeh. In some cases they vote yes and no. How do I know. You can go to both Walt and Mike Simpson’s sites and see exactly how they voted on not just bills but amendments to bills and other motions.

  29. mtnplace says:

    And I am a Democrat. I can remember a time when with the same ideals I would have been a liberal Republican. There is no such critter anymore. Nor does there seem to be much civility in politics or any public discourse anymore.

  30. Bill says:

    Crapo better stand up for more than reduced penalty for not having insurance. WTF is going on? Vote the socialists out or say goodbye to freedom. Less tax = less government = more freedom.
    Recent trip to Stanley, I saw more gov’t vehicles than private vehicles – telling you straight.