POLITICS

Tea Party Protesters Berate Apparent Parkinson's Victim (VIDEO)

05/18/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Tea Party protesters campaigning against health care reform on Tuesday berated and mocked a pro-reform advocate whose sign indicates that he has Parkinson's disease.

"Got Parkinson's? I do and you might. Thanks for your help," the older man's sign reads. He wandered over toward the anti-reform teabaggers protesting outside the district office of Rep. Mary Jo Kilroy (D-Ohio). The Tea Party's responses, captured on video by the Columbus Dispatch, were unflinchingly callous and cruel.

"If you're looking for a handout, you're in the wrong part of town. Nothing for free. You have to work for everything you get," one teabagger chided, bending over to get in the face of the seated older man. The next Tea Partier dropped a dollar in his face, saying, "Start a pot, I'll pay for you. I'll decide when to give you money," in a mocking tone of voice. After some grumbling about "Communism," an offscreen teabagger yelled, "No more handouts!"

This was not the only Tea Party protest where opponents of health care reform forced comparisons to Communism or sounded like lunatics, but the Dispatch video lays bare a primary argument of the Tea Party protesters: America's 45 million uninsured aren't their problem. And they will tell a Parkinson's sufferer just that, with contempt, to his face.

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