Here's an Aug. 21 note to reporter Jeff Hansel regarding our coverage of the health care reform meeting in Mankato on the 20th:
Perhaps we attended different events. The one I witnessed contained a bucket full of rudeness and shouting, to the extent that Dave Durenberger became frustrated by the lack of response to his pleas for civility. Did any of the signs outside the building disturb you? How about the depiction of our president as Hitler, the attempt to introduce abortion into the mix when there has been no bill language saying a government plan would pay for abortions, the signs depicting the allegation that illegal immigrants would receive coverage under a federal plan, etc.
An accurate description of the event should have informed the public about the above antics. I have attended many political events in my life and the event last evening was a sad statement concerning the ability of a civilized society to conduct a fact-based intellectual debate on pertinent issues.
I couldn't agree more on Youmans' last line. It's depressing that we can't have a civil, intelligent town hall-type meeting about health care reform without all the Obama-Hitler posters, the shouting about "death panels" and the rest.
Here's a challenge for you: President Bush took a lot of unfair grief during his eight-year term from MoveOn and Michael Moore-type zealots, but can you identify something from Bush's first year in office that's as comparably widespread, coordinated and offensive as the Obama-Hitler posters? Just stick to this one, incredibly offensive and gut-level attack on Obama -- is there something I'm not remembering from Bush's early years?
I can't think of one. I can't remember any attack on a new president as offensive as this. But help me out -- I'm getting old.
I would hope we can at least agree that comparing someone to Hitler is the worst possible insult. Does the president really deserve that? Shouldn't politicians of all types repudiate this type of gutter attack in the strongest possible language?