In defense of Obamacare, the Democrats have lately moved from debating Republicans and talking heads to debating everyday Americans; indeed, from debating to snitching and smearing. Following hot on the heels of their "report your friends and family" program, the DNC has released a new ad characterizing the Republican base, and those who oppose Obamacare, as a dangerous mob. Fearmongering is the new careful analysis, as any student of global warming warfare knows.
As the legitimacy of protest is under fire from the White House and folks like "Call me Senator" Barbara Boxer, with President Obama activating his activist army that answers only to him, with the DNC telling America that dissent is the highest form of rampage, it's useful to take a look at how the Republicans have dealt with protest these last eight years. As any honest observer will recall, the anti-war protests have been beyond compare for inflammatory and destructive rhetoric (check out Zombietime.com if you have a strong stomach.)
So over at RedState, Brian Faughnan does just that: explores and contrasts the responses.
Given the debate over the legitimacy of protests against the Democratic agenda on health care, cap-and-trade, and the economy generally, I thought it might be instructive to look at how the last administration addressed protests against its policies. The contrast is quite stark: Faced with protesters camped outside Bush's residence in Crawford, White House officials chose to meet with Cindy Sheehan and others:
About 70 anti-war protesters shouted "bring the troops home" from Iraq near President Bush's ranch on Saturday, prompting two White House officials to come out to meet with mothers who lost children in combat in Iraq.
National Security Adviser Steven Hadley and Deputy White House chief of staff Joe Hagin listened to the concerns of Cindy Sheehan and five or six other mothers in a meeting that lasted about 45 minutes, White House spokesman Trent Duffy said. Duffy said Sheehan told the two officials she appreciated the meeting.
White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer didn't question the legitimacy of anti-war protesters:I think the president welcomes the fact that we are a democracy and people in the United States, unlike Iraq, are free to protest and to make their case known,"
White House Press Secretary Trent Duffy echoed these sentiments:
The American people have a right to protest, and the right of free speech is something that we're fighting for in this war on terror, to preserve that right of free speech. So the President welcomes opinions from all Americans.