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August 25, 2009

Not Delivering “High-Decibel Rants,” I Guess All Those Dittoheads — Oops, I Mean, Citizens — Must Be “More Reasoned Voices”

Collier healthcare.jpg

Meet Bob Collier, a guy offered up by the NYT as the picture of calm. Here, for example, we see Bob calmly sitting on his porch against the calm of his wooded back yard.

According to yesterday’s piece in the Money & Policy section, Bob typifies all those people attending health care meetings who aren’t responsible for the “high-decibel rants,” but instead represent “the calmer, more reasoned voices.” (Driving home the point are actually three photos accompanying the article portraying Bob’s contemplativeness and placidity. You see it, right?)

Given this disposition, one can clearly understand how Bob’s cancer-surviving wife was shocked by the fact her husband, having driven an hour to attend a town hall held by Georgia Democrat Sanford D. Bishop Jr., would calmly take to the microphone to deliberately urge his Congressman to oppose health care reform.

However, while the article roots Bob’s opposition in reasonable concern about “how we’re going to achieve reforms” and The Times reassures us the Collier’s attended the meeting “not because they had received an electronic call to action but because they had read about it in The Macon Telegraph,” just a few quotes and facts seem belay the narrative of Mr. Collier’s calm and prudence.

For example, I was trying to imagine the tone of this quote about Mr. Obama as it actually left Bob’s mouth:

“Here comes this new guy in town,” he said, “and he wants to centralize everything. He wants to take over the car companies. He wants to take over the banks. Now he wants to take over health care. It’s a power grab, and if he gets this, there’s no turning it around.”

And then, there is this little snip of background:

The Colliers are committed conservatives who have voted Republican in presidential elections since 1980. They receive much of their information from Fox News, Rush Limbaugh’s radio program and Matt Drudge’s Web site.

What was it the article said — that Mr. Collier didn’t attend the meeting because of an electronic call to action? And then right about now, don’t you just love the message that lower amplitude equals thoughtful attitude?

Finally, I can almost understand how Bob wants to stymie a public option and those “lazy and irresponsible people who play the system” given his personal 100% employer-paid health care package.

(image: Kate Medley for The New York Times)

  • Wordsmith

    Really? Bob “looks” calm? I see an asshole, AND I’ve yet to read the post. (Oh, disclaimer – I did read the title) Bob’s face is set, clinched; it is not a kind face. And Mr. Fussy is sitting on a towel on an old chair so as to not muss up his khakis.
    Now I’ll read.

  • caraf

    In my paper copy of the NYT, when you go to the jump page of this article you find below it an article noting that medical rationing isn’t really what’s at issue here, isn’t likely to happen, etc. Thus on page A10, they give us a refutation of everything supposedly rational, calm Bob is worried about on p. A1. Thanks, NYT, for the balanced coverage of health care…

  • Molly

    I agree with Wordsmith; Bob looks like he bites.

  • Ralph

    I don’t know Bob, but am quite familiar with his environment. I spent a few years in Georgia, and the phrase “new guy in town” says it all about that state. Hard to believe it was one of the original colonies, but then it was named after King George.
    There is much to overcome in Georgia, we are lucky in that it has given us many great warriors. Is this one of them? We shall see.

  • Tena

    He may just be sitting there, but look at his face. He is not projecting niceness or even real reasonableness – not with that facial expression. He reminds me of John Bolton.

  • stevelaudig

    he is the very model of a modern conservative hypocrite. “I’ve got mine, eff you.” I have successfully played the system and I want the game called while I am ahead. Smug.

  • jonst

    Given the fabric of chair, I think mussing up his pants is the least of his worries? Hemorrhoids perhaps? That could make a man cranky. Ok Bob, seriously, sorry about that. Could not resist.

  • Wordsmith

    After reading the post and the article, I then further offered a response. However, the words ‘freakin’ were in there in their more, um, vernacular form. Perhaps The Bag could edit with asterisks in place of said nuisance words.
    And actually, jonst, hemorrhoids would explain A LOT.

  • jean

    Bag, are you sure that is who they say it is? I think it’s my brother. Separated at birth, maybe. Also a long time ‘r’ and a newcomer to teabagism. Or is it ‘teabaGGism’? At any rate, when he mentioned attending a teabag meeting the last time we talked, I just couldn’t go there. He did say he learned ‘a lot’, though.
    Although we carefully don’t talk politics, on my last visit to his house (late in
    Bush’s first term) he looked at me with incredulity and said, ‘do you know there are people at work who HATE George Bush?’ And I said, I hate him too. And that was the end of that.

  • donna

    I am tired of the attention given to Republicans. I don’t see anyone coming to my door to interview ME, or any of the 70% of us who support healthcare reforms.
    Media assholes — STOP GENERATING CONTROVERSY! There is none. There is only the attention you pay to the crazies who listen to Rush. STOP IT.

  • Jerry Quance

    More importantly, this is a guy (I read the paper version this morning) whose “100% employer-paid health insurance plan” charges him $509 a month for his wife, and then left him hanging for a $63,000 bill when they denied payment on her radiation treatments after breast cancer because they considered it “experimental”. Really? Radiation for cancer is experimental? Who knew? And, luckily for him, he didn’t pay the $63,000 either because the physicians/hospital canceled the bill. And he talks, I assume with a straight face, about “lazy and irresponsible people who game the system”. Words fail me…

  • g

    Breaking news – you don’t have to be loud to be batsh*t insane.

  • Pug

    Bob is the very picture of today’s GOP Fox News viewer: white, old and radical right.

  • DennisQ

    Bob is quietly confident that having a Black president is only a symptom of what’s wrong with this country. We need a whole lot more of Jesus, and a lot less rock ‘n roll.

  • ckerst

    He’s sitting on a towel in case his depends explode.

  • Greg Laden

    Dittoheads are dittoheads quite or otherwise.

  • entlord1

    Just as an aside, I have to wonder if he reported the write-off as income on his income tax return; years ago when the feds wrote off large amounts of bad loans to farmers, the farmers found the next year that they owed state and federal taxes on the write-off amount. Don’t know about the FICA on it.

  • Babs

    Thanks to Bagnewsnotes, I’ve developed a more discerning eye in “reading” a photograph. Notice Mr. Collier’s body language: both his legs and his arms are crossed, indicating a very defensive posture. But the article tells us even more about this man: as long as he’s got his, he’s not worried about anybody else not getting theirs–including, apparently, his own wife. What a small, petty little person–and an angry one, too, judging by the expression on his face.

  • yg

    color me shocked. he’s from the south.
    same as it ever was:

  • Russ Nichols

    His expression is really just a f*** you attitude. I wouldn’t want to have to spend five minutes with this guy. Rush is a major source of “information” for him. He’s not only an asshole. He’s an ignorant, nasty mean asshole. Or is that redundant?

  • jtfromBC

    Does Bob’s plan cover this *magic elixir, if so, when will he try it ?
    *Pepto-Bismol – provides fast relief for upset stomach and other symptoms including, nausea, heartburn, diarrhea, and indigestion.

  • Russ Nichols

    BTW, just took a second look at this guy. He certainly has elicited a lot of disgust here on BagNewsNotes. A lot of disgust and animosity and disquiet over his demeanor. Could it have anything to do with the Brown Shirt he is wearing? No one has yet mentioned the Brown Shirt.

  • Russ Nichols

    Excuse me for coming back here again, but I finally had time to read the NYT piece. This guy is a piece of work. Lives in a little town disconnected from the rest of the world. Likely surrounded by reactionary rednecks in his part of Georgia (I lived and worked for a couple of years in Atlanta. I know the climate.) Gets his “news” from Fox and Rush and the like. He is basically ignorant. Not entirely his fault, I suppose.
    But I home in on this because there are way too many of these kinds of people making it more difficult for the rest of us. His opposition to decent health care for everyone is puzzling, considering he had a nightmare experience with his wife’s cancer. You would think, if he had a thought in his head, that he would support a good health care plan. But no.
    He says: “We’ve got to do something about those people who can’t get insurance,” he said. “There has to be a safety net there. But I don’t want that safety net to catch too many people.” What the hell does that mean? You have to be desperate enough to be living in a Kelvinator carton to qualify for government sponsored health care? It is guys like this, misinformed, uninformed, sadly lacking in any kind of critical thinking skills that are screwing the country.

  • Michael Shaw (The BAG)

    Glad you mentioned this… since I was thinking about it after the post. Somehow, media seems to think that the only “mad” is the overt or “hot” version — rather than what we clearly see in Bob and his photo, which is the “cold” or “icy” mad.

  • Michael Shaw (The BAG)

    Yes, thanks Babs. The double-cross.

  • yg

    “There has to be a safety net there. But I don’t want that safety net to catch too many people.”
    it means he doesn’t want blacks and illegal aliens and every other minority group he despises to have the same access to quality medical care that he gets.
    yet these people dare to call themselves pro-life.

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