by Diane Rufino, May 25, 2010
I am writing this piece about the week-end leading up to “Wreckonciliation Sunday” – March 21, 2010 – the day the Republic died. The day the government voted to take over Healthcare. The day the government voted to take away personal choice. The day our elected officials ignored the will of the people and took that huge leap down the road to socialism. Two very precious American ideals died on Wreckconciliation Sunday – the idea that we are a republican form of government and the idea that elected officials honor their oath to protect our Constitution. If you were there, I’d love to hear your comments.
I took my four children to Washington DC that Saturday, March 20. Americans for Prosperity urged all those who opposed the bill to assemble at the Capitol to protest and to hopefully send a last-minute message (“Kill the Bill”) to our representatives. I wasn’t going to miss the opportunity to try to make some kind of difference and I wanted my children to witness what happens when patriots become enraged and engaged. I wanted them to see what political activism is all about. Vicky Born of the Republican Women of Pitt County (RWPC) also went to represent Greenville.
It was a glorious afternoon, sunny and hot. It was a perfect day for a national protest. All and all, over 50,000 protesters showed up, which was amazing since notice only went out two or three days earlier. The people mobilized quickly. It was a peaceful crowd. As with every other conservative rally I’ve been to, the protesters were intelligent, good-natured, respectful, and patriotic. My children and I enjoyed being among them. They were engaged, knowledgeable, and in my estimation, probably more informed than the Congressman who were voting to approve the bill. They were shouting “Kill the Bill,” and were carrying signs with the same message, often with the Grim Reaper on it or with a picture of Obama as the Grim Reaper or as Heath Ledger’s Joker. Other signs read: “They are Supposed to Uphold the Constitution, NOT Destroy It !” “Healthcare, Another Massive Entitlement Government Program That Less Than 50% of the People Will Pay For !” “Government Used to Be the Solution; Now It’s the Problem !” “The Government Has Bankrupt Every Program It Has Put Its Hands On (Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Amtrak, Post Office). Who Would Trust an Office with That Track Record to Run Healthcare?”
The speakers at the protest, dubbed the “Code Red Healthcare Rally,” did not disappoint. They addressed the crowds with the same energy and passion that the protesters brought to the Capitol. Most were Republican Congressmen who came out to speak with the crowds in between going back and forth into the chambers floor. They included Steve King (R-Iowa), Jack Kingston (G-GA), Jim DeMint (R-SC), Mike Pence (R-Ind), Michele Bachmann (R-MN), Tom Price (R-GA), Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Todd Aiken (R-MO), Steve Scalese (R-LA), Rogers (R), Dr. Phil Gingrey (R-GA), and Louie Gohmert (R-TX). Other speakers included Dr. Milton Wolf (Obama’s second cousin, a physician), Tito Munez (Hispanic Coalition), an educator from Maryland, and a woman from Brazil. But the speaker most protesters were looking forward to hearing from was actor Jon Voight.
Rep. Gohmert got things rolling when he took the microphone to announce that the bill would create over 17,000 new jobs for the IRS ! He was followed by a Congressman (couldn’t get his name) who promised: “If this bill passes, we will repeal it, and if they can’t repeal it, then we’ll meet them at the state line with our Governors.” A woman who was born in Brazil, who then moved to the US and become an American citizen, took the stage to warn that what she sees happening in America, with the abuses by government, are the very things she witnessed in South America just before the regimes became oppressive.. She made a passionate plea that we must not let that happen here in the US, the greatest nation on Earth. An educator (African-American) from Maryland then took the stage to deliver a message to President Obama. She feels “betrayed by him. He rode into office on pernicious lies.” Rep. Scalese came out and in a bold voice, asked: “If this deal is so good, then why are doing backroom deals and ferrying congressmen on Air Force One like a Ferris Wheel at Disneyland?” On a similar note, Rep. Kingston asked: “If this bill is so good, why have so many deals been made with the President’s own party?”
Rep. Marsha Blackburn took the stage and told the crowd: “Let’s kill the bill and start over with real health care reform. This is about freedom. We the people are standing strong, and you all are leading the way. Some people say Republicans are the party of “No,” but we are the party of “Know.” And the more we know the more we don’t like this bill.” With that, the crowds renewed their chants of “Kill the Bill.”
At about 1:15, the event’s guest speaker, Jon Voight, took the microphone. Most people probably aren’t aware that Jon Voight is not only quite a patriot but he’s also an activist for conservative principles. He is one actor who has happily broken with the liberal Hollywood stereotype to stand up for what’s best for the country. Voight was honored to address the protesters, a group he thanked generously for taking the time to come out and take a stand. “It is so very important what you are doing. You have no idea,” he said. He was also more than happy to talk about Obama and his plans to ruin the country. “Obama has a compulsion, He will turn this country into a socialist country. (His agenda) is a runaway train he can’t stop. Obama will be a one term president, but the damage he will cause will harm this country for years. We have to stop him!” After he finished speaking, he eagerly walked out into the crowds and among the protesters. He is a very down-to-earth and nice man who is genuinely interested in hearing what people have to say. He didn’t care to be surrounded by bodyguards, but rather just wanted to be able to move around freely. He went up to my eldest daughter, shook her hand, and thanked her for getting involved at such a young age.
The crowd was reminded that several Congressman just happen to be medical doctors as well, and not a single one of them thought the Heathcare bill was any good. Rep. Gingrey of Georgia, himself one of those physical-Congressmen, told the crowd: “The Stimulus bill was supposed to be for shovel ready projects, and we saw what happened to that! Now with the Healthcare bill, if 75-year-olds need medicine or attention, a health care czar will say that THEY are “shovel-ready” and will be denied coverage!” He asked the crowds if their aging parents and senior citizens in general deserve to be treated like that. “Hell No!,” was the collective response. Following Gingrey was Dr. Milton Hill, Obama’s second cousin. “The bill is brought to you by the same people who chose health and well being of smelt fish over humans! Stop this bill and on Monday, your doctor will concentrate on your health instead of trying to study government tables!”
Rep. DeMint said: “I’ve had enough of ‘Alice in Wonderland’ politicians promising more programs at the risk of financial disaster…… The president has warned us that if we disagree with him on this he’s going to call us out… Well, Mr. President, WE ARE OUT.” The crowd applauded in appreciation. Rep. Rogers asked the protesters: “When asked what type of government we have, Ben Franklin said that we have a Constitutional Republic, if we can keep it! Back there inside the Capitol building, they are lying, cheating, and stealing to get to your health care. Only here in Washington could they be cheating the 85% who do have health care to give to the 15% that do not have health care.” The crowds cheered wildly. Tito Munoz, President of the Hispanic Coalition took the microphone next: “First and foremost, I am an American. I did not come to America for dependency – I came here for liberty! We’re going to stay here at the Capitol, and we will come back 10, 100, a million times!”
The day showed great promise when by 2:00 we got word that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi didn’t have enough votes to pass the bill. But, as we were told, we shouldn’t be overly optimistic because President Obama had scheduled a last minute meeting with Congressional Democrats in the Capitol at 3:00 to try to get more votes. It would be another attempt to wheel and deal and threaten to ruin careers if Congressmen didn’t play nice. The protesters also got word that Pelosi would not make a deal with Rep. Bart Stupak (D-MI) on the issue of federal funding for abortions (a massive funding provision) and she would continue to move forward with the Sunday vote. A short while later, word came out that Pelosi wouldn’t allow any separate votes on any single issue, including and especially, the abortion funding issue. By 3:00, before the Democrats’ secret meeting with President Obama, Republican Congressman were assuring the crowds that at that time, Pelosi still didn’t have the necessary votes. But I guess we all know the outcome of that secret meeting because by the following day, March 21, or “Armageddon,” as House Minority Leader John Boehner termed it, Healthcare passed by a vote of 219-212.
By the time we were getting ready to leave and head back to the bus, the crowds had mostly already broken up. The Capitol lawn was pretty much clear. And you know what? As we looked around, we barely saw any litter or even evidence that a crowd of 50,000 had just been there. There were no signs left on the lawn, no paper, no wrappers, no food, no water bottles, wrappers, or animal mess. You certainly can’t say that about a Democratic crowd. That’s for sure.
That night when we got home, we turned on the TV and watched as the news reported that protesters were using the “N” word and were using racial slurs and slurs aimed at homosexuals. As someone who was all over the Capitol that day and was around all the crowds, I can report firsthand that there were no such incidents by the protesters. It was a respectful and peaceful event from start to finish. But there was one incident that the news didn’t report. After the speeches concluded, the protesters were urged to go into the Congressional office buildings (Cannon and Longworth) and speak directly with the Congressmen and find out how they are voting on the bill. Of course those voting for the bill walked with their heads down and refused to talk to anyone. They wouldn’t even make eye contact. As 3:00 drew near, which was the appointed time for Congressmen to make a pact with the Devil, the crowds left the office buildings and walked back across Independence Ave. and back to the Capitol lawn where a smaller group of protesters took up their positions and repeated yelled: “Kill the Bill. Kill the Bill.” As people walked across Independence Ave, a car drove by and yelled loudly to the crowd: “You’re all a bunch of racists.” That’s the only time racism entered the event. And it wasn’t from the protesters. But that was enough to brand the protest a racial event.
So, Healthcare passed on March 21. Obama bullied and got his way. The people lost. The people rallied and took extraordinary measures to make their voice known. They took every peaceful measure possible to send their message. The clear majority of Americans didn’t want this Healthcare bill (over 55%). I believe that majority is even greater than the majority Obama won to claim the Presidency. And we all remember the momentum he derived from that majority. How many times did we hear him arrogantly claim that he will proceed with his agenda despite opposition because “I won the election. The people have spoken.” I guess numbers only suit him when he can use them to his advantage.
Despite the clear message from a majority of Americans, our Congressmen decided to ignore them and impose their judgment instead. That’s not a Republic. That’s the way the fascist and socialist countries of Europe and South America began.
Most people agree that healthcare needed to be fixed. But government control was not the way to do it. One thing people need to understand is that every time the government feels the need to “take care” of us, we lose some of our precious freedoms for choice and privacy. If it was such a good bill and such a good approach, why did it take such efforts and dealings to convince enough Congressman to vote for it? If it was such a good bill, why didn’t any Congressmen who were/are physicians support it ?
The Healthcare bill will add 17,000 new IRS positions to enforce the legislation. They’ll scrutinize our tax returns to make sure we are buying the government policy and paying each month; otherwise, we’ll be fined. I thought the government was supposed to serve and protect us. Not micromanage our lives. Just what we need – more IRS agents scrutinizing our tax returns and our bank accounts. Sounds like an invasion of privacy to me.
I’m disgusted that our President, knowing full well what the American people wanted, decided to go that extra mile to make additional backdoor deals to make sure the people were robbed of their voice. Shame on Obama. Shame on every Congressman who made a deal and betrayed the people. They took our votes and they swore an oath. They made a tacit agreement to represent our interests. They swore an oath to defend the Constitution and not destroy its integrity. Patrick Henry explained it best to us: ‘The Constitution is NOT an instrument for the Government to restrain the people. It is an instrument for the people to restrain the government – lest it comes to dominate our lives and interests.’ Doesn’t anyone in government get this? Doesn’t anyone read their Constitution or their history anymore?
Our grand notion of a Republic died this week.
REFERENCES: White, Tom, “Code Red Rally Part Two – Saturday March 20, 2010,” on Virginia Right (www.varight.com), March 19, 2010. Referenced at: http://www.varight.com/health/code-red-rally-part-two-saturday-march-20-2010/
McClure, Vicki, “Beautiful Day for a Health Care Protest: Thousands Attend Washington, DC Tea Party Rally Against ObamaCare,” Frugal Café (www.frugalcafe.com), March 21, 2010. Referenced at: http://www.frugal-cafe.com/public_html/frugal-blog/frugal-cafe-blogzone/2010/03/21/beautiful-day-for-a-health-care-protest-thousands-attend-washington-dc-tea-party-rally-against-obamacare-video/