Democratic grumbling about disruptive protests at health care town halls is simply an attempt at distraction and and admission of weakness, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) declared on Sunday.
In an appearance on "Fox News Sunday," the Kentucky Republican largely dismissed the bile seen this past week at the health care forums held by Democratic lawmakers. But when pressed to weigh in more fully on the matter, he deemed it evidence that his side was winning the debate.
"Look, I don't think either side ought to be trying to engage in disrupting meetings, either the Democratic side or the Republican side," McConnell said. "We ought to focus on the issue. And to demonize citizens who are energetic about this strikes me as demonstrating a kind of weakness in your position. In other words, you want to change the subject. Rather than talk about the half-a-trillion dollars in Medicare cuts, let's talk about somebody, in some town meeting, who misbehaved. That strikes me as missing the point."
McConnell is correct, to a certain extent. Democrats, including the DNC, have sought to put the spotlight on the tone and tenor of the town hall demonstrators. But it's part of a broader effort to underscore that opposition to the president's health care package has been driven by groups and individuals who, beyond anything else, want to be oppositional. The dialogue isn't real or constructive.
Even former House Speaker Newt Gingrich seemed to concede that point during an appearance on ABC's "This Week."
"Members ought to go back home, hold as many town hall meetings as possible, let people get it out of their system and by September we could have a genuine dialogue in this country," said Gingrich, who went on to add that "the American way is to let it hang out."