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Look, Ma! The Democrats are Holding Their Own Rally!

Posted by dorian on September 3, 2009

they have a bus and flags and placards too!

Democrats Go on the Road to Revive Health Care Push


Mitch Stewart, the national director of Organizing for America, and Rep. Ed Perlmutter stopped in Denver last week as part of an 11-city bus tour for President Obama's health care plan. Chris Schneider/ New York Times

ALBUQUERQUE — Democrats were at the dais on a recent evening outside the National Hispanic Cultural Center here going on about health care and the need for change when a man in the crowd gave a lusty, ragged shout: “No compromise!”

He was not an opponent of health care overhaul, but a firm believer whose shout, occasionally taken up by others, was emblematic of the anxious and sometimes crotchety reception Democrats are receiving on a cross-country bus trip.


Ellen Cahill, below at right, and Stephanie Simpson, above right, at a health care rally at North High School in Denver last week. Chris Schneider/The New York Times

The 11-city tour to rally the faithful for President Obama’s health care plan has been tapping the party’s inner Hamlet. How much should liberal Democrats compromise with Republicans, and with moderates in their own ranks? How strongly should they cling to the notion of a public-option health provider? And perhaps most importantly, can people like Ilene Weiss be roused, as she was during Mr. Obama’s campaign for the White House last year, to get out and volunteer?

“It’s a pep rally,” said Ms. Weiss a 53-year-old public school teacher as she arrived, feeling, she said, a little discouraged about where the health care debate is going and what might happen in Congress. “I’m hoping this will pep me up.”

At many of the town-hall-style meetings on health care held in Congressional districts across the country in recent weeks, democracy was served up at its most raw and confrontational. The bus tour has been different, with Democrats mostly talking politely among themselves — a modern-day version of the parlor game “telephone,” where one person whispers in the ear of a neighbor, communicating a message they both hope will come out in coherent fashion at the end.

“We feel the most important thing we can do is have these one-on-one conversations,” said Mitch Stewart, the executive director of Organizing for America, a group that grew out of Mr. Obama’s presidential campaign and is conducting the tour this week.

Mr. Stewart said the goal at every event is to inform, but also to enlist new volunteers armed with health-care talking points for phone-banks or door-to-door persuasion in coming weeks. It is a mirror, he said, of Mr. Obama’s operation during the presidential campaign, but this time organized around an idea, not a candidate.

“We’re going to continue the same sort of ground tactics that frankly aren’t extremely sexy, and are thankless and overlooked, but that we think will make a difference,” Mr. Stewart said. “That is, person-to-person, neighbor-to-neighbor, friend-to-friend conversation.”

Pillars of support for the Democrats in their health care plans have narrowed. In Congress, party leaders have said they may have to go it alone on a health care package with few, if any, Republican votes. Approval of Mr. Obama’s handling of health care has also eroded significantly among independent voters, according to polls in late June and mid-August by ABC News/Washington Post, making the Democrats ever-more-dependent on their base.

But in interviews at rallies in four cities where the big blue health care bus stopped in recent days — Albuquerque, Denver, Phoenix and St. Louis — it was also clear that many people supporting Mr. Obama’s plan were not quite sure how to help him get it through Congress. It was equally unclear how many attendees, beyond cheering and waving signs in front of the news cameras greeting the bus, might be mobilized.

Danielle Butler, for example, a graphic designer from Phoenix, said she received an e-mail message from Organizing for America inviting her to attend the rally, and came there to support the president even though health insurance has never been a big issue for her.

“I volunteered at his campaign and just really want to stand behind Obama’s initiatives,” said Ms. Butler, 29. “I support the changes that he wants to bring to our country,” she added. Ms. Butler said that when the rally was over, she felt charged up, but had not learned much new about health care.

Individual motives for attending were also diverse. At a rally at North High School in Denver that drew about 1,500 people, Martha Sullivan was struggling, and failing, to attach a sign that read “Single Payer,” to a chain-link fence in the parking lot. Ms. Sullivan said she was motivated by faith — the United Church of Christ where she worships has urged its members to support health care for all.

“I think people who have Christian beliefs should stand up and say, ‘This is what Jesus would have wanted,’ ” said Ms. Sullivan, 59.

Other people were stoked by personal causes that seemed in some cases only peripheral to a broader societal debate.

“I’m out here if it will help one more kid get medication,” said Johari Ade-Green, 58, of Denver, who was holding a sign with a picture of her grandson, Zumante Lucero, who died in July at age 9 from complications of asthma. Her grandson had insurance under Medicaid and Social Security, she said, but through a mix-up was denied medication.

LaDonna Appelbaum, 42, a small-business owner who attended a rally in St. Louis on Sunday evening with her husband, Tom, said she worries whether a complex health care debate can engage young people the way Mr. Obama’s candidacy did last year.

“They need to be involved in this, but that’s hard to do, because what 21-year-old worries about needing health care?” she said.

Exactly what message to communicate to one’s neighbors and friends upon leaving the rallies — as organizers constantly pressed attendees to do — was another uncertainty.

Laura Jones, 55, a homemaker and mother of two from St. Louis, said her own personal message is blunt: Old solutions based on free markets and capitalism no longer work, she said, and government must play a bigger role.

“I keep telling my friends, ‘Adam Smith is dead,’ ” Ms. Jones said, referring to the 18th-century philosopher who famously taught that the invisible hand of the market works best.

“Get over it,” she said. “We have to deal with today’s problems with today’s answers.”

Some protesters waving their signs on the sidelines at the bus-tour events said they felt excluded. But T. C. Campbell, 68, a retired pilot from the suburbs of Denver, who carried a sign that said, “Hands off my health care,” (with two ink handprints for the word “hands,”) said he thought it was better to be outside trying to make his own points than inside among the already firmly convinced.

“I wouldn’t be heard in there,” Mr. Campbell said.

Malcolm Gay contributed reporting from St. Louis, and Paul Giblin from Phoenix.


below is a copy of a handout in the healthcare reform event in a clark county, nevada community event last week-end…



it’s all too clear. every citizen and legal resident should have not just the privilege, but THE RIGHT to have medical care provided by their government. our country is the only industrialized nation in  the world that does not have universal health care. each one of us knows someone who is seriously ill with sky-high medical bills that are compromising their finances and each of us knows someone who is unemployed and won’t be able to afford to pay for insurance due to a pre-existing condition. could we all think more of the human factor and less about politics? healthcare for everyone is a good thing. that’s one thing that government should give to its people.  if government-funded healthcare is as evil and inefficient as it’s being portrayed by those against it, then why is the rest of the world not wanting to abolish their own nationalized healthcare systems?

21 Responses to “Look, Ma! The Democrats are Holding Their Own Rally!”

  1. princessxxx said

    well, you know, dorian, i’m always up for a good riot.


  2. dorian said

    well princess, we won’t find a good riot in those democratic rallies. read again:

    “We’re going to continue the same sort of ground tactics that frankly aren’t extremely sexy, and are thankless and overlooked, but that we think will make a difference,” Mr. Stewart said. “That is, person-to-person, neighbor-to-neighbor, friend-to-friend conversation.”

    well kumbaya. that’s the problem with liberal democrats. too much “conversation”. if you want action, it’s gotta be the rallies with the red-faced people shouting and waving the joker obama placards. there’s a rally in front of the medical center here tonight that i thought of going to. there will probably be action there because it’s not organized by the democrats. but sam just called for some action at the tables so maybe i’ll join the riot next time.


  3. obama the antichrist said

    democrats having a riot???? what!?!?! HAHAHAHAHAHA thats a funny story! democrats are the ones who sit around a camp fire talking about their feelings while us republicans are the ones to take action and go buck wild 😀 but it is good to know that some dems have a backbone makes the political clash more fun 😉


  4. obama the antichrist said

    O i have a point….ted kennedy had cancer and was supposed to die sooner than he did but he got treatment HERE!!!!!!!!! anywhere he would have been waitlisted and wouldnt have gotten as good of a treatment. we do have the best cancer treatment in the world. BUT ted kennedy wanted to change the healthcare and cancer treatment would not have been as good. paradox?


  5. kay~ms said

    I didn’t see “timely healthcare services” on that list… hmmmmm


  6. kay~ms said

    Someone dies because they didn’t get treatment in time… BUT they did have coverage! So, I guess it’s a wash?


  7. dorian said

    ota, the kennedys have bucko bucks. they can afford beyond what private insurance will cover for treatments. why did ted kennedy care so much about health care for all? he knows that many americans do not have the money for extensive medical treatments for cancer or MS or other debilitating illnesses. urgent care cases are not waitlisted. i can only speak for healthcare systems in u.k, italy and canada. but no one in those countries that have government-funded healthcare is wishing it would go away. has anyone noticed that? my family in the u.k uses both private and public doctors. my sister had bone marrow cancer and was going to their private physicians in the early stages of her treatment but it was recommended that she transfer to a hospital which specialized in her type of cancer. national health services picked up the bill. the cost of treatments? six figures, u.k pounds. i can give many more examples showing why free medical care is good for people. i have insurance. my loved ones have insurance. why should i care about those who don’t have it? free health care is something that everyone should have available to them if needed. just because democrats are the ones who are wanting to push this bill through, the opposing party instinctively fights it instead of wanting to work it through. i won’t care squat if this was rush limbaugh’s bill, i would support it because i know it’s good for the country. if everybody reads the above handout and take away the president’s name and office from it, i’m sure it would be seen as most sensible. like it or not, the president is the president and it’s no longer a conservative republican administration. expect some changes and try to get the best from it. per secula seculorum, amen.


  8. Princessxxx said

    i say let’s just riot.


  9. dorian said

    ‘got a good arm, p? i’ll bring rotten tomatoes. i’ll give some to kay and ota and we can throw rotten tomatoes at each other. i bet kay has a good arm. will stash a bottle of smirnoff by the bushes and drink too. we’ll be walking bloody marys hahahah


  10. obama the antichrist said

    ahahahaha O FUN STUFF!!!! TEQUILLA FOR ME cabo wabo the good stuff! HAHAHA full out war between us…we will end with a campfire holding hands and/or roasting smores singing kumbaya! isnt funny how after a bar fight the two guys that beat the crap outta eachother are best friends? ahahaha


  11. princessxxx said

    we can smoke weed, yeah


  12. dorian said

    we’re just typical crazy americans. always fighting but still know how to party and have fun no matter what.


  13. Geir (Gerhardt) Smith said

    Bus to Orly Taitz’ 9/8 – 8 AM Santa Ana, Calif, court hearing on Obama’ fraud, lies and tricking
    Be there in force and protest Obama. Yell it like town hall.
    Obama’s the Antichrist and this the Revelation and Apocalypse.
    He frauded his ID to get the Potus post.
    By lies he got the nuke bomb at his beck and call.
    Nukes’re a grave matter he can blow up the planet in 1 second. High Treason.
    FBI arrest him: try him; send him to Death Row. Life-prison for doing Treason to world’s highest post: Potus.


  14. I turn my back for five minutes and the loonies come sneaking around…..


  15. Geir (Gerhardt) Smith said

    u guys just u three here and no one else ? wow,
    a peaceful pond !


  16. kay~ms said

    Dorian, you keep insisting that there are no legitimate reasons to reject Obama’s bill and that is just not the case. Several reasons have been stated here and no one has denied them. How is this not ignorance?

    There is no proper proposal to explain how this additional healthcare is going to be paid for.
    Obama’s administration couldn’t even handle the cash for clunkers program successfully but we shouldn’t be concerned about the healthcare program?

    There are valid concerns that this bill will lead to socialized RATIONED healthcare!

    His bill has socialistic agendas and people attached to it… but we should just ignore this?

    That is what you are proposing. And also making the claim that everyone who rejects Obama’s bill just doesn’t like him. It’s just silly. Yes, there are people who don’t like him… just like there were people who didn’t like Bush. But for the majority of the people it’s about how they will be personally affected by this bill.


  17. dorian said

    simply said, No one should die because they cannot afford health care, and no one should go broke because they get sick.

    socialistic agenda? if you insist on calling it socialistic that’s your choice. by nature of its purpose of providing free healthcare to all of the american population, it is a social services program. it’s the first time our government has been called ‘socialist’ yet medicare, our government funded health program has been around servicing people quite well. proposed in 1945 by harry s. truman and finally signed into law by <a href="lyndon b. johnson “>lyndon b. johnson in 1965. so if the bill passes, by virtue of a nationalized healthcare system, the united states of america shall henceforth be called a socialist country? i propose that all who possess that mindset move to texas if it’s allowed to secede. they can vote in sarah palin as president and have rush limbaugh draft a new constitution. create the perfect new conservative society according to ‘truths’ those like-minded people ascribe to. why not? a new jonestown. without the kool-aid who knows? it might work for them. ota, you have to finish med school first, before you go, okay?


  18. Anonymous said

    But what if someone dies because they didn’t get medical coverage in time? Because there isn’t enough money to fund “free” healthcare for everyone. You still haven’t addressed how all of this extra care is going to get funded. And don’t forget, Medicare is expected to go broke in 8 years.

    Medicare wasn’t backed by a socialistic minded president who has surrounded himself with socialistic minded people in his administration to give him advice. And medicare doesn’t / didn’t threaten the survivability of other insurance companys. Obama’s bill does. What do you think is going to happen to all of these insurance companys when they are FORCED to cover people with pre existing conditions? They are going to go out of business, they will not be able to afford to cover everyone. And yes, that will be partly because of outrageous medical costs. But the answer is not to jump from one problem to an even worse, very socialistic and government controlled problem.

    Hitler used very similar social problems to gain his support and power. I’m not saying that Obama is another Hitler… I’m saying that we should listen to history and be very cautious about giving power to the government.

    So, when all of these insurance companies go out of business, what will be left? A government monopolized health care system run by a socialist minded government. And like social security and medicare.. what is going to happen when this public “option” healthcare runs out of money? RATIONALIZED healthcare. Yeah… we’ll be covered but what good is it if we can’t get the service in time? AND don’t have anywhere else to turn because all of the other insurance companies had to close their doors.


  19. kay~ms said

    Anonymous was me.


  20. dorian said

    and hitler used fear to control the masses. he was successful.

    notice that your president is not the one throwing out the fearballs. the latest news from the anti- u.s president crowd? they are telling the parents to keep the children from school because the president of their country is giving a speech to them about staying in school. ponder a bit as to what kind of message that is giving to our children.

    + + + + + + + +

    Michelle Bachmann’s Burning Bush. There’s a Pill for that!

    Posted by: Helen Philpot | September 4, 2009 http://margaretandhelen.wordpress.com/

    Margaret. I got your message about Glenn Beck. Let me just say this about that. Glenn Beck is a loon. I mean the man is not right in the head. And that’s all I will say about that.

    Harold and I just got back from visiting our newest great granddaughter in Dallas. Did you know that there is a billboard on Interstate 35 that says, “Where’s the birth certificate?” Now what idiot Republican has so much money that he can waste it on that? Surely there is some charity somewhere that could have put that money to better use.

    But even crazier than that is all this fuss about President Obama’s planned speech for school children. George W. Bush was reading The Pet Goat to a group of elementary students in Florida while planes crashed into the World Trade Center. Not exactly a bright spot in his otherwise dimwitted years as President. But hey, he was the leader of the free world and still found time to read to children. Isn’t that sweet? And yet, somehow President Obama giving a speech to school children on the importance of staying in school and making good grades is heresy.

    I ask you, Margaret, has the entire Republican Party gone mad?

    Enough is enough. All in favor of calling bulls**t please raise your hand.

    Obama was born in Hawaii in 1961. Hawaii became the 50th state of the United States in 1959. If you have half a minute and half a brain you can find a copy of the birth certificate on line ad nauseam. I realize, of course, that half a brain is questionable for about half the Republican party.

    No one wants to kill your grandmother. Like it or not, she can live as long as you like and squander your inheritance to boot. And don’t come crying to me when you realize how much work there is in taking care of a person who decides to live longer than their body decides to function properly. It’s not pretty and there is a special place in heaven for those who dedicate their life to caring for their elderly parents. Harold and I, on the other hand, have other plans in mind for when our golden years start to tarnish.

    If God is speaking directly to your political representative in Washington, you might consider checking their medications. There is quite enough craziness in politics already without adding a voice from a burning bush to the process. Could one of you up there in Minnesota buy one of those pill sorters for Michelle Bachmann? Send me the bill. Really.

    Rush Limbaugh. Good God where do I begin? Honestly people, a third grader has a better grasp of world affairs than this yahoo. The next time you tune to Rush, ask yourself one question: Do you really want to base your entire political opinion on the musings of a college drop out? I mean even Sarah Palin managed to get a degree – albeit after five colleges and six years. And for the record Mr. Limbaugh, you fat bastard, the basic concept of insurance is spreading the risk over the greatest number of people possible thus making loss, when it occurs, manageable. My God you are a moron.

    President Obama graduated magna cum laude from Harvard Law School. For all my Republican friends out there, magna cum laude is a Latin term meaning “with great praise”. Please turn to your Stepford wives and tell them it’s not something you can order on the all-you-can-eat menu at The Olive Garden. And the last time I checked he was the duly elected President of the United States of America and not some pervert registered on a Megan’s Law web page. You should be honored to have him speaking to your children about staying in school and studying hard.

    But even with all this proof that the Republican Party has become a Confederacy of Dunces, somehow the Democrats in Washington can’t get their s**t together long enough to pass a meaningful healthcare reform bill. Mr. President, I ask you this: If they don’t even believe you are an American citizen, why the hell do you care if they think you are going to kill their grandmother? Rush Limbaugh was not elected to any office. Pass healthcare reform with a public option and move on. Rush will get over it. Trust me. He has a pill for that.

    Talk radio, I am sure, makes lots of money for lots of people. Otherwise why do it? But then again Pfizer made a fortune misleading doctors to prescribe unnecessary and dangerous drugs to the public. Someone tell me the difference. A lie is a lie even if you are hiding behind a lawyer crying free speech. Come on folks. Start calling bulls**t when you hear it and let’s put an end to all this Talk Radio nonsense. I mean it. Really.


  21. kay~ms said

    Hey Helen and Dorian… I can certainly understand you confusion about people objecting to Obama talking to school age kids, I mean come on, he’s a “magna cum laude” for goodness sakes! … but then I did some research and found this… a statement from Jim Greer, chairman of the Florida Republican party:

    “As the father of four children, I am absolutely appalled that taxpayer dollars are being used to spread President Obama’s socialist ideology,” the letter began. “The idea that school children across our nation will be forced to watch the President justify his plans for government-run health care, banks, and automobile companies, increasing taxes on those who create jobs, and racking up more debt than any other President, is not only infuriating, but goes against beliefs of the majority of Americans, while bypassing American parents through an invasive abuse of power.”

    Dorian, Hitler used more than fear to control the masses and he also used lots of propaganda which coincidently, Obama has also been doing a lot lately. First with the art community and now with school children, all with tax payer money. And I’m sure it hasn’t been overlooked that some of these school children will be of voting age in time for his re-election bid. He’s such a Chicago politician…

    Ironically, part of the “lesson” to follow the speech (encouraged by the Dept. of Education) focuses on “responsibility”… I guess this is going to be one of those “do as I say, not as I do” things?

    Here’s the full article..


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