If you got your information from Wyatt Andrews on CBS News last night, you would believe that "angry protesters" are cropping up "everywhere Democrats are trying to defend health care reform." You would think that "conservative websites" like Freedomworks are organizing these ordinary Americans, based on "real fear over the increased taxes" and "government control" of the health care system.
Max Pappas from Freedomworks shows up to speak on their behalf.
Freedomworks isn't some "organic grassroots" outfit. It's run by former Republican House Majority Leader Dick Armey -- corporate lobbyist, global warming denier and ladies' man. The President and CEO of Freedomworks is Matt Kibbe, who was trained by Lee Atwater. Kibbe was behind the attempt to get Ralph Nader put on the ballot in Oregon in 2004, prompting a complaint to the FEC of illegal collusion with the GOP.
Steve Forbes is on the FreedomWorks board. As Paul Krugman noted, their money comes from the Koch, Scaife, Bradley, Olin nexus, as well as other reliable funders of right wing infrastructure including Exxon Mobil.
Freedomworks has a long history of skunk works. In 2004, a woman who identified herself as a "single mother" in Iowa, Sandra Jacques, appeared at a George Bush town hall and gushed about his plan to privatize Social Security. She left out the part about being an employee of Freedomworks, who were lobbying on the issue at the time.
David Koch is also Chairman of the other major outfit heavily involved in these "organic" uprisings, Americans for Prosperity, whose members lynched Democrat Frank Kratovil in effigy. Koch is the 19th richest man in the world. They recently renamed the New York State Theater in Lincoln Center the David H. Koch Theater.
These aren't just some organizations that these guys gave money to. They run them.
This extreme violent behavior is being organized and funded by those at the highest levels of the conservative infrastructure. It's not some sideline, some quirky hobby. It is the function and purpose of these organizations to threaten and intimidate elected officials in order to subvert the will of the electorate to a corporate agenda.
As DDay says, "This is not about policy. It's about incitement to violence."
The country overwhelmingly does not trust the private insurance industry. Even internal GOP polls show that 58% of Republicans support "creating a government run health insurance agency that will compete with private insurance companies," as do 76% of the American public.
According to the North Carolina Institute of Medicine, there are 52 million Americans currently without health insurance. We are a country in crisis. If the government cannot respond by delivering a public plan with a President who campaigned on creating one, a 60 vote Democratic majority in the Senate, a Speaker of the House who has committed to doing so and majority support in both parties among the public, then we do not live in a representative democracy any more. The country is ungovernable.
And that is in large part because organizations like CBS and the New York Times do not report the news when it is right in front of them. They pass off these transparent lobbyist funded thuggery as a grassroots effort. They do not say who is organizing these violent uprisings, or what the objective is of those who are funding them -- which has nothing to with the public's "fear" of "government control" over the health care system. These media outlets are playing a critical role by telling the country that its people believe something that they don't. When David M. Herszenhorn and Sheryl Gay Stolberg of the New York Times refer to them simply as "loose-knit coalition of conservative voters and advocacy groups," they are helping to pass off blatant propaganda as news.
It is to "journalism" what David H. Koch is to "grassroots."
Jane Hamsher blogs at firedoglake.com