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August 11, 2009

Grandma Must Die!

Obama Healthcare Seniors.jpg

Yes, we already probed the Joker fairly thoroughly (but then, major points for the guy having that creepy eruption!).

But the killer element here (pardon the pun) is this dear lady’s pullover. Honestly, the whole “Death Panel” thing was so “out there,” it didn’t resonate with me until I came across this Newscom photo today. As Rachel Maddow well elaborated, the radical right has been scaring seniors based on the picayune but otherwise perfectly sensible fact health care reform proposals encourage people to create living wills.   

So, here’s what I’m wondering. Do you think Dottie Kennard, from Peoria, AZ, really thinks that Obama and/or the Dems want to waste her and her husband? Or, do you think Dottie is smarter than that but she’s picked up Sarah’s shouting point just to emotionally terrorize more vulnerable members of her demographic?

(image: Newscom, August 8, 2009 via TPM)

  • DennisQ

    The that put out the Greatest Generation ad is tied in with extreme right wing groups. I’m surprised that these people would go completely over the line the way they have. They’re not taking facts and twisting them; they are simply inventing things whole cloth. It’s amazing.
    James L. Martin, who heads up the, is also chairman of the National Defense Council Foundation, whose membership overlaps with the Heritage Foundation. At NDCF’s website, Martin poses with nut job right winger Pat Boone.

  • jonst

    I’m not surprised Dennis Q, that you are surprised. I believe Dems, and particular those that tend to call themselves ‘liberals’ or ‘progressives’, inevitability, underestimate how sucessful these crack pot arguments will be. And especially, how they will dominate the MSM with their great visuals. As Rove alluded to….who needs the ’sound’, when I have the visual ‘fury’. At least as far as the MSM is concerned. And that is enough. Nietzsche understood this…..’how good bad music, and bad reasons sound when on marches against an enemy’.

  • yg

    inevitability, underestimate how sucessful these crack pot arguments will be.
    well, that explains why mccain won the election last november and became president. oh, wait…
    you sitting on your hands and standing by the sidelines smugly predicting failure (because you’re smarter than everybody else) isn’t going to do anything to help pass insurance reform either.

  • jonst

    YG, you are a fool. You know nothing about me. You can’t possibly know. I could be the most active person in my state, for all you know about me. You can’t know “i am sitting on my hands”. You can suspect it, but you can’t know it. You can’t know whether the spirit behind my post was deeply sad, or smug. You can suspect it but you can’t know it. And yet you attack. I repeat, you are a fool.

  • yg

    i attack? you basically called progressives dumb and naive.
    if i’ve drawn the wrong inference about you, feel free to correct me, and i’ll apologize for being wrong.
    but generally, people who are active and invested in an cause don’t sit around and feel superior predicting an impending failure.

  • bystander

    I dunno, Michael. The thing is, there is much that is funny and smart in what Dottie displays in her hand and on her person. The shirt: “Grandpa, too!” That is funny! Would someone scared to death, or sputtering in outrage, wear that shirt? Would they not see the fun in it and decide it was inappropriate? And, the bit about “good enough for Congress.” Damn. Does Dottie really not understand that Congress already has a version of Obamacare such that they’ll prostitute themselves to every corporation in Amerika to keep? If Dottie were a real “free market” proponent she’d be insisting that all of Congress get off the public health care dole and hold private insurance.
    Thing is, if she isn’t smarter than her signage, the joke is on her.

  • yg

    whatever granny’s belief, concerns or motivation may be (where it be honest or calculated) that doesn’t ameliorate or excuse the end result she’s trying to achieve: maintaining a broken status quo.
    and her sign has it backwards. it should read:
    if it’s good enough for congress, then it should be good enough for us.
    let’s see max baucus sign up for some never before tried insurance co-op.

  • cognitive dissident

    For purpose of moral culpability, it may matter to us whether Mrs. Kennard believes the slogan on her sweatshirt–but I doubt that it matters to her.
    Scoring political points with anti-Obama slogans–and working toward his failure–is the most important thing to the protesters; it’s more important than logical consistency, and more important than factual coherence. It’s the elevation of hatred to a political goal.

  • jonst

    I do believe that Progressives, or, people identified as Progressives/Liberals, by the MSM underestimate how sucessful the Corporate-bought wingnuts’ rants and ‘arguments’ will be. If you conclude that that means I think Progressives “dumb and naive”, I won’t argue with you. By the way…..I also believe I have, dumbly, and naively, underestimated the effectiveness of the wingnuts. In any event….I don’t do so smugly. It upsets me to no end. I try and do what I can.
    As for Obama’s victory in Nov. Yeah, I worked for him. As I have been working Progressive causes now since 1962, as a student. And then as a member of labor union. As a member of Progressive Veterans’ groups, and finally, as a lawyer. I’ve been active.
    But I still think we underestimate the insidiousness of the other sides arguments. And how effective they are. That Obama won…great! And I mean that. But it would have been hard for ANY Dem to lose this election, so fed up was the nation. And beside…..the Dems are fairly good at winning electoral successes, while turning over the legislative agenda to the losing side. IOW….we Dems win…but then spend a great deal of time killing our own agenda. And I see we are, I believe, doing again. If noting that is being negative, or smug, or whatever, so be it. It is what I have seen since 1976 when the Dems started handing the leadership of the party over to southern conservatives.

  • Tena

    I vote terrorism.
    She’s a terrorist. They are all terrorists because that’s what they are trying to do – terrify people.

  • Zoey n Me

    Who really cares? They are all idiots, plasma teachers could do nothing with and now qualify to be nothing short of terroists. Shaking up old people by lying to them. By the way, that is elder abuse! Arrest their butts.

  • bystander

    Fair point, jonst. Or, actually, fair points. I remind myself that it’s important to keep two thoughts in mind.
    (1) For the GOP, this isn’t really about health care per se. It’s about defeating a progressive idea, that the majority of Americans want, in order to foment disillusionment among the voters. There has been plenty written about the GOP’s fears that if Democrats actually deliver useful and viable health care reform, the GOP is dead for elections well into the future. So, it ain’t health care, it’s anything popular that the Democrats might actually deliver to the electorate.
    What the GOP has going for it is: (a) a media that actively helps them in blowing both the features of reform, and the size of the group opposing it, all out of proportion, (b) a lobby that will go to great lengths to fund the opposition, and (c) some really emotionally/intellectually challenged ideologues that will lock into crazy gear (packing firearms to a health care town hall?) to give the opposition a highly emotional face. It makes for great theater.
    (2) If our congressional representatives were actually interested representing the people of this country (as opposed to merely getting campaign dollars by which to be re-elected) they could deliver this thing with ease. There are humane arguments, economic arguments, and political arguments aplenty to support health care reform to a populace already primed to view it in a positive way. So, you have to wonder why the voices of the Democratic representatives climb barely above a whisper.
    Dan Froomkin wrote a piece at the Huffington Post Our Fuzzy President Is About To Come Into Focus. And, indeed, Obama is going to come into focus for all of us who worked to get him elected. Personally, I’m prepared to be soundly and roundly disappointed. Very few of our elected Democrats (to include Obama) have demonstrated progressive tendencies. And, as another person commenting elsewhere put it, it may be time to begin thinking what to do about Obama, as opposed to thinking what to do for him.

  • Lex

    My favorite part is that “If it’s good enough for us it should be good enough for CONGRESS” is actually a co-opted talking point. During the primaries, the Obama health care plan was to create a public option based on the health care that congress has. The talking point was literally “If it’s good enough for CONGRESS it should be good enough for us!”
    And it just doesn’t make any sense the other way around. Should Congress go on private health care? Is she saying that Obama wants to kill Grandma and Grandpa too, and Congress members are generally older, so he also wants to kill Congress? Or he should put Congress on government run health care? (Hint: they already do?)
    In conclusion, WHAAAT?

  • ratfood

    As H. L. Mencken said, “No one ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public.”
    Town Haller Envisions Future Of Rationed Toilet Paper

  • elfpix

    Considering the utter lack of factual information and the complete lack of logic between her sign and clothing, no. I believe she is not bright enough to comprehend what her presentation is saying.

  • Gasho

    Absurd arguments and falsehoods loose if there is a forum for rational debate and an audience who hears both sides and decides rationally. There is no such forum in America today. Opposing items that are presented on the news are not critiqued on their merits, they are presented as two sides of the story – and always made to be equal. The ridiculous and the rational are fair opponents. If the ridiculous is more colorful, it may in fact take the day – truth be damned.
    Bizarro World. That pretty much sums it up.

  • yg

    it’s easy to be cynical. but somebody cynical is more likely to feel defeated, and fall into a trap of complacency, and isn’t going to put forth the effort to bother to write letters to the editor for their local papers, send postcards and call their congressperson and senators to demand a public option and to remind them the hectoring hooligans do not represent the majority consensus. somebody cynical isn’t going to help support moveon, whose been running radio and tv ads against blue doggers.
    that’s great you and jonst worked to get obama elected. but that was then, this is now. this is a whole nother campaign. we can’t afford to allow the other side to be the louder voice. congresspeople are not going to have the courage of their convictions if they don’t see us push back on rightwing bullying. obama has always said he can’t do this (bring about change and reform) alone.
    So, you have to wonder why the voices of the Democratic representatives climb barely above a whisper.
    ed schultz reminded last night, when congress returns from recess break, pelosi said she is going to put single payer, single payer, back on the table for debate and for an up or down vote. that hasn’t gotten a lot of coverage.
    there was one town hall from a couple of thursdays ago that i missed where obama, judging from quick sountbites, seemed especially fired up. usually cspan reruns these town halls later at night, but this one they didn’t repeat. we don’t hear the more effective voices because media selectively underplays them.

  • yg

    what i was offended at was your scoffing at dennis for being surprised. if i misread you, i apologize.

  • DanM

    I kind of like the thought on her sign; although I have no idea what the thought behind her sign was supposed to be.
    Put Congress on par with uninsured America and allow that to motivate them to pass health care reform which will cover themselves and their families as well as they would like, as long as it’s available to everyone else.
    Call it a cost-cutting measure.

  • donna

    I think Dottie doesn’t understand a goddam thing.

  • donna

    And yes, I think Dems do underestimate the absolute stupidity of the Republican base and the ability of their betters in the Republican party to stir them up into these mindless stupid acts. The Republican appeal to base emotions and their understanding that the base is absolutely itching to shout any mindless stupidity thrown their way is constantly amazing.
    Dems really just ought to stop appealing to logic and let these morons know, in no uncertain way, who is REALLY killing off their grandparents — the insurance companies that don’t want to pay for their care. My mom’s last hospital bill before her death was over $350,000 — that was just the part Medicare paid. You think any insurance company is going to pay for that? Thank goodness for Medicare! It sure changed my point of view. Come on — let’s get the numbers out there, let’s get the facts out there, sure — but let’s get the horror stories out there and really scare these morons, if that’s what they want. We ALL have one.

  • yg

    something froomkin doesn’t give obama credit for. obama said he will resort to reconciliation process if he can’t get 60 votes. he’ll ram it through with only 50 votes if the senate continues to put up roadblocks and delay tactics. that doesn’t sound like a pushover.

  • Victor F

    I dunno what this lady believes. I’m inclined to side with the commenters who say it doesn’t really matter what she thinks about those statements, what matters is that she wants Obama to fail at all attempts.
    There is a star-spangled wing-like growth popping out of the right side of her head. The guy holding the “socialism” sign almost seems exultant. Maybe just because he’s having his picture taken for the paper? The sunlight is coming from the viewer’s left, and these folks are trying to hide from it, blocking it out with their placards. Maybe a wise move in the summer sun, but visually it is the same as hiding behind a rock to ignore the light. It’s weird how the blue “socialism” poster blends into the blue of the sky.
    I can’t get past that guy with the poster, really. His posture suggests that nobody really believes any of the lies spread around by the reactionaries they get their cues from. He makes the whole scene look more circus-like than it already is. As if they are saying, “Hey guys, we really don’t believe any of this crap. But we’ll say it if it means Obama loses!” This photographer took a jab at these folks, for sure, and these protesters didn’t see it coming. If this whole phenomenon wasn’t so sad and ugly, I might just laugh.

  • mcc

    It’s mostly weird that she managed to pick this phrasing because “I want to give Americans the same healthcare Congress members get” has been an Obama talking point since, like, 2007.

  • yg

    may be time to begin thinking what to do about Obama, as opposed to thinking what to do for him.
    perhaps i’m overgeneralizing, but people who devoted time and money to get obama elected didn’t do it to do him a favor, make him feel good and give him warm fuzzies. we did it out of support for a progressive agenda, seeking to forward the common good. and yes, also out of fear for the future were another conservative administration allowed to prevail. but you tell me. when you were working to get obama elected, did you feel like you were doing him a favor? or did you feel like self-interest was involved?
    you’ve peaked my interest. what are you going to do about obama?

  • Johanna

    Maybe I missed how this happened, but why is the name of Dottie Kennard, and her hometown, out there nationally? Does marching with a sign bring that on, or has she published something?

  • g

    Although I don’t think she intended it, her sign made me think about Medicare, due to her age. “If it’s good enough for US” – meaning seniors, perhaps Medicare should be available to all, Congress included.

  • jonst

    I think you misread me. I appreciate the apology. Let’s move on. Back to the subject that started this between us:
    I assume you might have seen this story in the Times, or over at Digby’s. Here is a quote from it that Digby highlighted:
    >>>And Democratic Party officials enlisted in the fight by the White House acknowledged in interviews that the growing intensity of the opposition to the president’s health care plans — within the last week likened on talk radio to something out of Hitler’s Germany, lampooned by protesters at Congressional town-hall-style meetings and vilified in television commercials — had caught them off guard and forced them to begin an August counteroffensive.<<<
    Digby rightly notes that if they were indeed surprised at this stuff, the “officials” should be fired. I mean what else is other than stupidity and naivety, that “officials” did not see this coming. Ok, granted, we don’t know who these officials are. But this is just par for the course, as far as I’m concerned, these past 15 years or so. Since the advent of Republican Talk Radio shows.
    This is the kind of mentality I was, and continue to be, disgusted with.

  • joy

    Good point Donna. That’s exactly what I’ve been thinking. They’re almost saying that government run health care might get so bad, it will be as bad as what the insurance companies offer now! Especially regarding Sarah Palin’s use of her son to prove a point. What private insurance gladly accepts downs syndrome babies?
    And does lack of compassion sound like a democratic trait, or a republican trait? What, us “bleeding hearts” are going to kill off grandma?

  • Tena

    Have you ever seen so many people out trying to make sure private insurance corporations continue to show obscene profits off their inability to get the care they thought they were paying for? Since when did everyone love insurance companies so much? It’s absolutely blowing my mind watching people who I know are otherwise not at all fond of their insurance companies, out protesting to keep the bloodsuckers in business.
    We really did go through the damn Looking Glass. And we’re stilled trapped behind it.

  • Stella

    Maybe Dottie thinks a moment on the television will immortalize her forever. Like Lewis Black said, “five out of five people are going to die anyway.”

  • yg

    one paragraph jump later the article says:
    “We all had a good sense that some of this was going to take place,” said Brad Woodhouse, the communications director for the Democratic National Committee. “To be fair, I think we were probably a little surprised — just a little — at the use of swastikas and the comparisons to Adolf Hitler and the Third Reich that even Rush Limbaugh has fanned the flames on. And we were a little surprised at the mob mentality.”
    doesn’t brad woodhouse know being a little surprised is a cardinal sin? not only is obama held responsible for his policies, but he’s also held responsible for republican tactics. let’s say brad fully expected swastikas, what would that have changed?
    with all the attacks leveled at obama from both the right and left, it’s a freaking miracle he has any political capital left. are critics really expecting perfection?
    all this second-guessing, nitpicking and hand-wringing is exhausting. like i tried to point out earlier, putting so much onus on obama and making a habit of constant fault finding tends to relieve one of self-responsibility.

  • Victor F

    it’s SOP for photographers when publishing a picture of a person whose face is distinguishable and whose name was willingly given when asked. In fact, at many papers, editors will not run an identifiable picture of a person without their name and their hometown. Exceptions include large groups of people or victims of certain crimes (and those victims may have their faces blurred out or not published at all)

  • jonst

    You offer excuses for defeat. Period. That is the way I see it. Sorry.

  • yg

    deciding to become active, and doing something in terms of advocacy work, you’d feel more empowered. put all that knowledge you have, that you are never surprise by anything – to work. that would lesson your feelings of angst and frustration. you’d feel less like a victim of circumstance.

  • yg

    You offer excuses for defeat. Period.
    is monday morning quarterbacking the formula for success?

  • Jason

    The image of the President as the Joker is disturbing to me because it looks more like “Sambo” in reverse image. Picture the face black, eyes white and keep the large red lips. Also, the woman appears to be wearing 2 shirts and judging by shaded young men in the background it looks like it could be a hot August afternoon. Which makes me wonder if someone handed her the professionally printed sign and tee shirt? The elation expressed by the man in the middle simply boggles the mind.

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