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March 22, 2010

Health Care: We Shall Overcome (with an Assist to the Teabaggers)

Pelosi John Lewis Health care march.jpg
Credit the Tea Party for helping drive home an analogy far more powerful than Nancy Pelosi marching through the streets of DC with the gavel used to pass Medicare.

By spitting on John Lewis the day before and also showering him with the n-word, the radical right not only gave Lewis every justification to link this walk to March 1965 and the march from Selma to Montgomery but to also visibly tie the health care legislation to the civil rights movement and a larger push for freedom.
In the first photo, that’s Lewis far left in ‘65. In the bottom photo, we can’t really say, looking at Lewis, that he is anxious about approaching the crowd of demonstrators, but that doesn’t matter. Given the incident the day before, Lewis’s expression not only forces us to consider the possibility, but can’t help but link this photo, and the former Civil Rights leader’s concern to the haters.
Video clip: Pelosi, Lewis, et. al march through Teabaggers (YouTube)

photo 1: via SCLC. caption: The 3rd Selma Civil Rights March. From far left: John Lewis, an unidentified nun; Ralph Abernathy; Martin Luther King, Jr.; Ralph Bunche; Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel; Fred Shuttlesworth. Second row: Between Martin Luther King, Jr. and Ralph Bunche is Rabbi Maurice Davis. Heschel later wrote, “When I marched in Selma, my feet were praying.” photo 2: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images. caption: Speaker of the House Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) (C) carries the gavel that was used when Medicare was passed while marching with Rep. John Lewis (D-GA) (2L), Majority Leader Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-MD) (L), Rep. John Larson (2R) (D-CT), Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) and other members of the Democratic Caucus from the Cannon House Office Building to the U.S. Captiol for the health care reform vote March 21, 2010 in Washington, DC. House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) said he was confident that the Democrats have the necessary 216 votes to pass landmark health care reform legislation today.

  • Mike H

    Civil rights legislation was a no brainer, a large segment of the population was being denied constitutionally protected rights like voting, freedom of speech and equal protection under the law. But are you really equating restoration of constitutionally mandated rights and protections to an unfunded expansion of the entitlement system? Better hope the Chinese don’t lose their taste for T-bills.
    Considering that there were reporters and video cameras at the site of the alleged incident, can we just take John Lewis and Bawney Fwanks allegations at face value in light of the lack of evidence supporting it? I know, who needs evidence when the story dovetails so nicely into a preconceived meme.
    Have fun November, its going to be an electoral mau mauing (in honor of our presidents heritage) of epic proportions.

  • Alan Chin

    Mike, a large segment of the population right now is being denied medical care except at the emergency room. The Republicans were given every opportunity for this to be a bi-partisan bill, yet their best proposal would have insured only 3 more million people. As opposed to 30 million, the math is pretty simple. The argument over costs can go on forever; what won’t is that it’s better to be poor and healthy as a nation rather than rich (for some) with many others dead.
    Get over it. Your team lost. You better start recalculating to see, if, actually, Democrats might not actually gain in popularity and electoral success, rather than suffer at the ballot box. There’s lots and lots of people with pre-existing conditions, unemployed adult children between 18-26, medication that costs too much because of the now-to-be-closed donut hole….uh, perhaps these people may want to re-elect this Congress which passed this legislation, and punish the Republicans.
    There were plenty of witnesses to the epithets hurled at Lewis and Franks. Probably most of the ignorant hooligans who were so nasty had no idea who John Lewis is, or his history.
    So the mauling in November may be of the Republican Party of No.

  • PhoenixRising

    Mike, if you are not proud to be associated with the dead-enders who, having lost the fight, had nothing left to throw out but the ugliness of their bigotry, you can leave them.
    We’ll embrace you on the other side. Our food is more interesting, and we can do math–which tells us that once you rule out letting people die in the street, reform will save a lot of money compared to the system we have now.
    The shouting at Bart Stupak was recorded. Why would you assume that two other members of Congress who are not white Christian men would be treated more respectfully off-camera, by people whose only political belief seems to be be contempt for the uppity?

  • Rewind

    @ Mike H,
    You are a ‘No brainer’ when you refer to a Mau mau-ing this November. Are you referring to the struggle against European colonisers of Kenya who interned hundreds of thousands of local citizens in concentration camps and compelled them to forced labour? Are you really comparing that struggle to the imposition of gov’t guaranteed health insurance? Those poor, poor HMO’s must be glad to know you got their back.
    Why would you refer to anyone’s heritage in this matter? How would someone’s heritage affect the validity of their ideas? Serious question for you brother.
    BTW, did we miss you crying about T-Bills on this website while the first TRILLION DOLLARS were being spent on the (illegal) Iraq War?
    Let’s hear your answer, Mr History Professor.

  • mcmama

    Here’s the difference, Mike H: unlike Republicans, Democrats recognize that access to health care is as important a right as freedom of speech. It comes under the heading of ‘right to life’ which Democrats believe extends beyond birth all the way through adulthood.
    And, unlike the previous administration, this one does fund its mandates, or have you forgotten the other favorite talking point about all the taxes and premiums you’ll be required to fork over?

  • Megan

    I always like this site best when it focuses on analyzing the pictures, rather than debating the larger politics.

  • kreevich

    This morning I was awoken by my alarm clock powered by electricity generated by the public power monopoly regulated by the US Department of Energy. I then took a shower in the clean water provided by the municipal water utility. After that, I turned on the TV to one of the FCC regulated channels to see what the National Weather Service of the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration determined the weather was going to be like using satellites designed, built, and launched by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. I watched this while eating my breakfast of US Department of Agriculture inspected food and taking the drugs which have been determined as safe by the Food and Drug Administration.
    At the appropriate time as regulated by the US congress and kept accurate by the National Institute of Standards and Technology and the US Naval Observatory, I get into my National Highway Traffic Safety Administration approved automobile and set out to work on the roads build by the local, state, and federal departments of transportation, possibly stopping to purchase additional fuel of a quality level determined by the Environmental Protection Agency, using legal tender issued by the Federal Reserve bank. On the way out the door I deposit any mail I have to be sent out via the US Postal Service and drop the kids off at the public school.
    After spending another day not being maimed or killed at work thanks to the workplace regulations imposed by the Department of Labor and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, enjoying another two meals which again do not kill me because of the USDA, I drive my NHTSA car back home on the DOT roads, to my house which has not burned down in my absence because of the state and local building codes and fire marshal’s inspection, and which has not been plundered of all its valuables thanks to the local police department.
    I then log on to the internet which was developed by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Administration and post on and Fox news forums about how SOCIALISM in medicine is BAD because the government can’t do anything right.”
    – Author unknown

  • tinwoman

    Thanks for reposting that, kreevitch. I love that one. I have it in the Drafts box of my email for a quick and easy reply to the political emails of wingnut relatives :)

  • tinwoman

    You’re right Megan…but sometimes it’s too tempting:)
    Give us a chance, we’ll get back to the picture.

  • Orin T.

    “Better hope the Chinese don’t lose their taste for T-bills.” They can’t because as soon as they start selling those T-Bills their currency will appreciate in value with respect to the dollar, the prices of their exports to us will increase, and they will be in deep do-do as thier export economy suffers.
    We would have no problem paying for this if we would only decide that healthy Americans are a higher priority then killing Muslums.

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