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Today’s protests against health insurance reform saw a rash of despicable, inflammatory behavior, much of it directed at minority Members of Congress. According to reports, anti-reform protestors spat on Rep. Emmanuel Cleaver, yelled a sexual slur at Rep. Barney Frank, and addressed my dear friend, Rep. John Lewis, with a racial slur that he has sadly heard far too many times. On the one hand, I am saddened that America’s debate on health care — which could have been a national conversation of substance and respect — has degenerated to the point of such anger and incivility. But on the other, I know that every step toward a more just America has aroused similar hate in its own time; and I know that John Lewis, a hero of the civil rights movement, has learned to wear the worst slurs as a badge of honor.

America always has room for open and spirited debate, and the hateful actions of some should not cast doubt on the good motives of the majority, on both sides of this argument. But Members of Congress and opinion leaders ought to come to terms with their responsibility for inciting the tone and actions we saw today. A debate that began with false fears of forced euthanasia has ended in a truly ugly scene. It is incumbent on all of us to do better next time.

- Steny Hoyer

Sickness abounds.


( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
Mar. 23rd, 2010 09:35 pm (UTC)
The weird thing about the radical right-wingers is that they don't seem to have a rational platform in there anywhere. They're just so pissed off and outraged that they can't have their way all the time now, 'cause they're not the majority, and so rather than accepting that fact, coming up with some good ideas and trying to work with the Democrats to compromise and get some of them used, they just scream hate and outright lies (like "this health bill will fund abortions") as loudly as they can. It's freakin' scary, really.
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )