Democrats, bloodied over their attempt to force health care "reform" on Americans, are looking more unreasonable and hysterical by the day. This isn't healthy for the republic.
Their increasing anxiety and fear of failure are typified in the words of the leader of their party, who wants Republicans to keep their mouths shut while he "fixes" health care.
"I don't want the folks who created the mess to do a lot of talking," the president said Thursday at a political rally in Virginia. "I want them to get out of the way so we can clean up the mess."
So much for the promises of bipartisan lawmaking. So much for open discussion. So much for understanding who really caused the "mess" in the first place. Like Al Gore claiming the debate about global warming is over, the White House simply wants to shut down dialogue over who controls more than one-seventh of the economy.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has yet to come out in favor of repressing speech. But she's inclined to ignore it. The San Francisco Democrat vowed Thursday in Denver that the swelling public opposition to government-run health care would not persuade party leaders to back down.
"The plan for August is to have a discussion, to listen carefully to what people are saying, what ideas they may have to improve the legislation as it affects them," Pelosi said. In other words, Americans can suggest changes, but the elitists in Washington will not withdraw plans to take over the best health care system in the world.
Earlier in the week, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid walked the same line as Pelosi, making it clear that the Democratic leadership had no intention of listening to fed-up voters.
"In spite of the loud, shrill voices trying to interrupt town hall meetings and just throw a monkey wrench into everything," he said, "we're going to continue to be positive and work hard."
By Thursday, Reid was saying that protesters were trying to "sabotage" the democratic process, which apparently in his world is a place where there is no opposition to the Democrats' process of invading every corner of private life.
On the same day, Sen. Blanche Lincoln, Democrat of Arkansas, said she thought the protests against government health care at lawmakers' town hall meetings were "un-American and disrespectful." Hours later, she retracted the statement, probably less concerned about the inaccuracy of her statement than mindful of the fact that she had just insulted a large group of voters who can unseat her.
Truth is, there's nothing more American than revolting against heavy-handed authority, be it a long train of abuses from a king or the lawmaking of elected officials with strong authoritarian urges. This is a nation founded on independence, and there is a large portion of it that wants to retain that priceless heritage.
This seems to confuse some lawmakers. Rep. Brian Baird, D-Wash., can't understand that what he's watching is a freedom movement. In his eyes, the protesters are Nazis — or almost.
"What we're seeing right now is close to brownshirt tactics," Baird said Wednesday, by way of explaining why he was refusing to face his constituents directly in town hall meetings and would instead hold telephone town halls.
Voters' deep anger is justifiable. They have every right to disrupt and shout down public figures who, as the protesters can be heard chanting, work for them. At dispute is not a mere difference of opinion that can and should be discussed in a civil manner, but a fundamental question of who is in charge of peoples' lives.