Paul Jacob

Pollster Scott Rasmussen offers this straightforward analysis: “By a two-to-one margin, the American people believe no matter how bad things are Congress could make it worse.”

That’s the real reason a smear-job is being done on the public protest at these town hall meetings: Grassroots America is not the opponent Obama and congressional Democrats wish to play against.

The same smears were brought against the Tea Parties back in April and again on July 4. And for the same reason. A lot depends on sticking your enemies with a limiting definition. Why debate them when they can simply be dismissed?

With the exception of Fox News, which has been openly supportive, most of the major media has been dismissive of, followed by hostile to, the recent Tea Parties. Howard Kurtz, the Washington Post’s media critic, admitted that the events were at first “largely ignored” by his paper, the New York Times and the television networks other than Fox, even though estimates are that 600,000 Americans turned out nationwide.

Later, the events were maligned as partisan Republican protests.

Between 1994 and 2008, when Republicans were gaining a governing majority, their best asset was the weakness of the opposition: the common perception of Democrats as out-of-touch, arrogant, wasteful, tax-and-spenders.

Not being a Republican, I mainly feared that the Democrats presented too weak a check on the power of the majority. Of course, congressional Republicans, as they consolidated power during the George W. Bush years, behaved strikingly like their opponents, so destroying the Republican “brand” that now I worry about the unchecked power of the Democrats.

Simply put: If congressional Republicans are the opposition to Obamacare or anything else, the Democrats are bound to prevail.

That’s why Rachel Maddow on MSNBC went to great lengths last week to list various people working for groups opposing the Democrats on medical care and associated with town hall protests as Republican or “right-wing.” The point was clear: all these people participating in the political process don’t count; we must not listen to their voices; they are barely human. They are merely the pawns of the Republicans or big corporations or somebody equally loathesome.

Ponder with amusement:
    1. If Republicans could really organize and “manufacture” such support, wouldn’t they still be in power?
    2. Is that all the Republican or corporate links she could “expose”?
    3. How many links could be drawn between what passes for objective journalists and the Democratic Party?

The mud-slinging against concerned citizens taking part in town halls and other events is a fearful lashing out against the real opposition to the big government plans animating Washington, DC: the people.

The Dems can swim laps around discredited congressional Republicans. Regular hard-working folks represent a far tougher foe.


Paul Jacob

Paul Jacob is President of Citizens in Charge Foundation and Citizens in Charge. His daily Common Sense commentary appears on the Web and via e-mail.