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June 11, 2009

What He’s Up To


by guest blogger Cara Finnegan

It has begun. President Obama went to Green Bay, WI yesterday for a town hall meeting on health care (his remarks here). The visit marks the more or less official public launch of the administration's rhetorical and political efforts, which will include a speech to the American Medical Association on Monday. This lively group greeted the president at Green Bay's Southwest High School. Now, as the Caucus Blog usefully points out, health care is not typically a topic one protests: "Down With Health Care?" "Just Say No To Improved Quality of Life?" Not so much.

What I love most about this image isn't the spelling error (though that's nice), it's the hilarious irony of the conspiratorial tone. Note the underlined words for emphasis: We know what you're up to.  Conspiracy traffics in whispers, snide remarks, and sideways glances as it seeks to undermine our confidence in what we thought we knew. Yet at a moment when the Obama White House is poised to be all health care, all the time, one is tempted simply to reply, "We all know what he's up to, lady. Believe me. We can't get the guy to shut up about it."

(image: Jewel Samad/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Rhodo Zeb

    What is truly amazing to me is that the very same people that could not, absolutely seemed unable to look at the Bush administration critically, even after all the mistakes they made and all the outrageous conduct they engaged in, are positive that Obama is the worse president ever, most corrupt, and so on.
    Obama doesn’t even get the benefit of the doubt. Things like the no-bid Halliburton contract(s) (worth several billion, iirc) never led to the slightest complaints or concerns from this same group of people.
    I, personally, from the beginning thought that Bush and Co. were small-minded, corrupt and not to be trusted. (Of course I had no idea at the time how right I was, and I was not very worried that they would screw everything up as they have done..)
    But I certainly gave them the benefit of the doubt. You go back to the energy task force issue, which (again iirc) was one of the biggest issues in that first year, and I didn’t like it, but it wasn’t an obvious sign of a completely secretive and criminal administration, you know?
    But for people such as those in the picture, there was no honeymoon. The deficit is now their number one priority (!) and they are sure, (sure!) that the new admin is completely rife with corruption.
    Whoever said ‘they are crazy, don’t try to reason with or work with them’ was absolutely right.

  • DennisQ

    The “Wake Up America” sign implies that the rest of us are nodding off while right wing fringe groups are alert and diligent. Take a look at the guy in the baseball hat on the left side of the picture. almost a caricature of wingnuts who believe they are America’s best hope.
    They can’t spell out the specifics of what they want Obama to do, because their objection is too general. He’s leading us down the road to socialism, that’s what he’s doing. I wonder where these people have been for the past two years. They are holding Obama responsible for things over which he had no control at all.
    I’d like to think that intelligent conservatives had more of a grip on reality than these unfortunates. But in fact right wing “thinkers” – if you can call them that – play on exactly the same themes. Wake Up, America! Obama, we know what you’re up to.

  • Ralph

    Those poor little children…

  • a browwn

    Rather illiterate don’t you think? If anything, her sign should read: “We know what you’re up to – a contraction for “you are” – NOT “your” which is the posessive “you”. So similar to the “Get a brain Morans” sign from a while back.

  • Agi

    Why is it that practically ever wingnut protest sign has a spelling or grammatical error?

  • Tena

    Why is it that these women who have brought their children to this protest don’t want health care for those same children and the children of mothers who are too damn poor to take them to the doctor?
    I know an anesthesiologist who owns 5 “2d homes” – one in Aspen, one in Telluride, one in a private fishing club out of Lake City, one in Crested Butte and one in Santa Fe. Why do these idiots want to keep subsidizing doctors’ 4 “2d homes”?
    Why don’t people understand that health care is a right – that doctors getting filthy rich isn’t a right?

  • donna

    “They can’t spell out the specifics of what they want Obama to do…”
    The idiots can’t even spell.
    I am just so done with these people. They think the “immigrants” are taking all their money and robbing them somehow of jobs they wouldn’t do if they were paid three times what “those brown people” are, and they don’t want to pay for their health care…
    YOU ARE ALREADY PAYING FOR THEIR HEALTH CARE! And WAY more than it would cost you if “your taxes” paid for it. Wake up, indeed.

  • Ali

    Stupid, obdurate, senseless. Freaks, and raising replacements. I am sick of this wedge of the population.

  • stevelaudig

    Sour, dim, angry white people [it's no longer "their" world and they will be pissed for the rest of their days] and a permanent scowl on their mugs. As Taj Mahal once sang something has “left their face in a permanent frown.” It may have been Lincoln who once said something like most people are about as happy as they set their minds to be. The observation works if one substitutes “unhappy” for happy.

  • mon_oeil

    Look at the two little girls with those frowns on their faces, learning so early to hate. This photo reminds me of the white mob jeering at Elizabeth Eckford as she tried to enter Little Rock Central High School, in Arkansas in 1957:

  • DennisQ

    Why don’t people understand that health care is a right – that doctors getting filthy rich isn’t a right?
    It’s probably more a matter of belief than a matter of understanding. Doctors are the high priests of medicine, which is by no means as scientific as they’d have us think. Every illness can be cured or ameliorated by changes in blood chemistry, they tell us. Here, take another pill.
    Doctors are threatened by having to share the title of “Doctor” with graduates of Ph.D. nursing programs. What they’re really doing is preserving for themselves the trust in them instilled in us as children. It also has overtones of gender bias, because even Ph.D.-level health professionals are very restricted in what they’re allowed to do.
    The limits that doctors set on other health care providers is for the protection of the public, they tell us. Coincidentally, it keeps their own fee structure away from competition – what a surprise. Nurse practitioners who are convicted of practicing medicine without a license will lose their license to practice nursing. This is simply to protect the public, y’see.

  • Russ Nichols

    Many of these folks are of an age to experience some real health problems, expensive health problems, the kind that can eat into your income, your savings and send you into bankruptcy. Don’t these people know that? It is common knowledge that–according to the National Coalition on Health Care–health care costs are a major contributor to bankruptcy.
    Quote from one of the NCHC studies: “The study noted that 68 percent of those who filed for bankruptcy had health insurance.”
    Are these people so damn ignorant (and proud of it) that they would deny that they are personally at risk in the current health care system? Not to mention their kids.

  • Susan

    These folks were never courted by the Republican elite for their intellectual contributions (or, for that matter, spelling skills); they are the useful idiots of the party. Their job is to keep Republican$ in power. That they consistently vote against their own self interests (for example, better schools and English teachers) does not seem to occur to them.
    The picture succinctly illustrates what is wrong with Kansas.

  • yg

    We know what you’re up to.
    angry people projecting their own dark impulses onto the president.
    it’s quite a feat in brainwashing to get people to protest something that would benefit them.

  • k in gb

    I was there. YAY! While some may have seemed angry in the photo’s it was a pretty small, low-key crowd outside of the event. Some people here are really angry with our Gov. Jim Doyle which, unfortunately, is spilling over onto Obama. The town hall was actually quite successful and though some felt that he may have been somewhat vague with how this will actually work, the majority understand that it will take all of us to get this done. We do however, as with most cities have some of those “Rush” fans here but they are mostly in the minority and thankfully most of us can spell correctly. Push on with healthcare Mr. President, Green Bay has YOUR back!
    PS: Although they were annoying, it was still nice to see freedom in the works!

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