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"Birthers" and "tea baggers" won't kill health care, Durbin says


WASHINGTON--Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) told me Tuesday the folks protesting President Obama's health care overhaul at town halls hosted by Democrats are "tea baggers" and "birthers" -- using the newly spawned terms as political shorthand to describe Obama antagonists.

It seems to me a reason Obama pushed Congress to approve major chunks of health care reform legislation before House and Senate members left for the August recess is that members go back for summer meetings with voters and get un-nerved by protesters and attack ads. Some Democratic town halls have already been disrupted.

With much left to do on health care when Congress returns, Durbin and other Democratic leaders lunched with Obama Tuesday at the White House to map strategy.

Afterward, outside the West Wing, I asked Durbin if he was concerned about a possible loss of momentum, and his reply referred to militant anti-taxers and folks who no matter what evidence is put before them refuse to believe Obama was born in the United States.

"Let me tell you, these town hall meetings have now been orchestrated by the tea baggers and the birthers to just be a free-for-all, make a lot of noise, go on YouTube and show discord," said Durbin. "I mean that is what they are determined to do. But that is not going to accomplish what we need to accomplish: real health care reform."

The Obama-controlled Democratic National Committee is portraying its foes as on the political fringe, accusing "Republicans and their allied groups" of "inciting angry mobs," calling them "a small number of rabid right wing extremists."

Today Obama travels to Elkhart, Ind., and his team is working to pack the crowd at Monaco Coach Products in Wakarusa, Ind., sending out e-mails Tuesday night urging Obama supporters to attend. "We need to show that we're sick and tired of the fear-mongering," one e-mail said.

The birthers and tea baggers face a potent Democratic organizing weapon at Monaco: Refreshments will be served.


I find it extreemly disturbing that as soon as anyone disagrees, questions, demands answers, the extreeme lables and such come out. People film these events, many times as proof to what is going on. You're a "right wing extreemist" if you raise your voice, don't sit down, challenge them with their own words, want details clarified, or don't act with mindless adoration and agreement. Washington for too long has been let go without much question or accountability and it has gone to a level where people have had enough. If Durbin and the rest would actually LISTEN, there are many who 100% agree something needs to be done...just not THIS plan and not a plan that the GOVERNMENT controls, (since they don't have a very good record of handling anything).....especially when they don't even bother to read the bill. Seems just calling people "racist" or "extreemist" or "birther" or "Tea Bagger" to diminish their concerns, is the best they can come back with. Reminds me of childish playground games. Well, sticks and stones may break my bones but names will never hurt me. These are concerned citizens....many who have never spoken up before, who want answers, need to be heard, and deserve that without the name calling. I'd advise they bring a pad and paper and take notes and for ONCE listen. We HEARD you, the President had his prime time, I talk you listen, shows. We have read the bill (atleast the part they put out) and we have concerns. The devil is in the details and the American citizen isn't as stupid as they'd like to believe. We aren't backed by anyone. We belong to all parties. From all walks of life. We LOVE this country. We all have different concerns and some many of the same. Many are angry and fed-up and just want to heard and have real answers to our questions. We aren't crazy, radical or any other name you care to call us and from comments like Durbins, you can understand why people are angry. We have written and called and done everything calm and rational, to get routien letters that never address the questions asked, but tell of your views, some no response at all. You serve us, we don't serve you.

I'm so tried of the republican party games. They all should be voted out of office as soon as possible. It's time for change not for some, for all.

If Obama appeared on national TV, holding up the "long form" certificate, the birthers would howl it was a forgery.

If there was any validity to this nonsense, why didn't his political rivals McCain and Clinton use it against him? Why aren't senior GOP members such as Newt Gingrich crying fowl? Could it be he's part of the conspiracy, too?

It really galls me that when the Republicans had the White House, democrats and their followers made it their duty to cry foul at every word uttered from President Bush's mouth, yet now that it's our turn to question the motives and policies that are being crammed down American's throats in such a fashion that one has barely enough time to wrap your head around it, let alone make yourself knowledgable on the topic at hand, we are being labeled as an "angry mob", "natzis", "birthers" and "tea baggers" among others.

This administration is promoting reporting to the House those who are against this ill-fated heath care plan that conservatives and some liberals who voted for Obama are against. They are also trying to take away our liberties that have been in place since this country was founded!

Wake up and look around you and see what's happening before it's to late...

Durbin: On health care and President Obama's American citizenship - "We have militant anti-taxers and folks who no matter what evidence is put before them refuse to believe Obama was born in the United States."

Ms. Sweet, I am not trying to begin a war of word with conservatives or Obama-haters, but I found this piece on Tea-Baggers humorous.

I will not put the link because some of the items are extremely offensive and do not warranted a place in this blog.

But this is hilarious.

What is a tea-bagger?

Someone who gets their information from Rush Limbaugh, Fox News, Google searches, YouTube videos, partisan blogs, and Wikipedia.

Also a typical conversation begins like this:

Tea-Bagger: "No taxation without representation!"

Pragmatic Thinker: --"Um, wasn't Barack Obama DEMOCRATICALLY ELECTED?"

"Well, yeah..."

--"And didn't he win fair and square?"

"Well, ACORN..."

--"Where did you learn about ACORN?"

"Um, Michael Savage said..."

--"Didn't Michael Savage also say that most autistic children are just 'putzes' who need to shut up?"

"Yeah, but..."

--"And how's the stock market doing today?"

"It's soaring." :(

--"It is, isn't it?"


--"Now what did you learn?"

"Don't be a teabagger on national TV until I have proof that Obama's economic policy has actually done some damage."

--"That's right, and it hasn't yet, has it?"

"No." :'(

I can only add the above conversation was simply humorous and we all need a laugh.

Something that is troubling though is, why have no other president been pressured to display his Birth Certificate? Was it just a given they were born in America?

I will not debate Birthers on this, but why have they NOT been as ADAMANT in the past about previous presidential candidates proving their citizenship?

Talking about people missing it, these Dumbacrats are as bad as the Republiclowns. This started because people know the Government was the main reason for the economy's collapse, because without Government there would be no CRA or sub-prime, because over 70% of americans were against the bailouts, because there is no company that is too big to fail, because we saw our congress playing politics with our soldiers lives, because we see huge donations to campaigns from big business, because global warming is a huge joke, because Social Security is going bust along with all other Government ran programs, because educated people who work know spreading the wealth is un-Constitutional, because GE recieved $140 Billion bailout and now Immelt the CEO is working with the White House, because the Stimulus is a waste of money and for Unions and big business not the people, because many people have heard the President admit many times he wants single payer health care along with many Demacrats and Americans know about health care rationing, because we know they are not reading any bills in Washington, because the President lied about Transparency, because it has become apparent media no longer broadcasts the truth and every presidential event is staged, because groups that illegally hindered the election process are being let go for no apparent reason, because we saw videos of Dumbacrats saying Fannie and Freddie were just fine and the Republiclowns were crazy that our economy was in danger, because the Patriot Act violates our freedoms and should be eliminated, because we know all Cash for Clunkers proves is Americans will take something for free when the Government wastes our tax dollars to give it to them, because our President preaches CLASS HATRED and Coveting, because we have Judges going against the peoples majority vote and passing Laws, because we all know if the 2nd Amendment meant only Militias could bear arms they would have disarmed the people after signing it, because the Federal reserve is sending Billions of Dollars if not Trillions to other countries with our Tax Dollars, because we know that our Government has failed in its most important role in protecting our borders and controlling immigration, because our Government hires law breakers to represent us, because we are a Christian nation and we all know it, because the pledge of allegiance is no longer said in many schools and events, because its only a matter of time before God Bless America will be banned from public events, because we now have a Communist Czar along with many others with radical backgrounds,etc etc etc. We all know I could go on all day and I don't even have to mention the birth certificate thing, which i don't even care about. What I care about is the United States of America and that any person who has studied it and the documents on why our Constitution exists, knows that it is a protection order to keep the Government out of our lives and bank accounts, we know that this administration and the media are working together to try and change this great nation. It is being thrown in our face by the covers of Newsweek and other periodicals. MSNBC should put a disclaimer that their parent company GE is making a fortune by them pushing the Carbon Tax and The Health Care Bill and basically everything in the Presidents agenda. Nice background check on all the Czars and Administration by all the so called reporters and media outlets. The American people are peeved and representatives saying things like Teabaggers and Birthers will only anger these concerned people. The difference here is the people upset are the ones who create jobs, pay their taxes, do what they are supposed to as an American and are being laughed at by those they put in power. I hope the media stops picking sides. We know they do because how many interviews with protesters has there been? There has been hundreds if not thousands of protests and we cannot find a camera in site. What is truly disturbing is the people are not giving up it is only empowering them and somebody thinks they should be ignored. That may not be the most brilliant idea. Just my opinion.

People have the right to be concerned about the huge deficit, and obama's health care plan. under the circumstances, to malign citizens who are demanding some accountability from their elected officials is completely out of line. do YOU trust gov to run health care? with social security about to go bankrupt, and medicare/medicaid insolvent i'd say their track record isn't so good. they can't run social security, but they think they can run healthcare? uh huh. yeah. right. cough cough.

the left has made harrasment, looting, and blocking traffic an art form over the past 40 years. they have thrown things at conservative speakers on college campuses (so much for freedom of speech), and groups such as Code Pink have even had to be forcibly removed from congressional hearings due to their disruptive behavior. let's not forget that cindy sheehan became an overnight celebrity for stalking former president bush.

the very idea that some little old lady from marion, iowa is going to scare the be-jesus out of a rich, bloated, and self important politician is really quite laughable. if this is the obama administration's latest narrative, it's certainly a great piece of fiction. but the truth is, this is a grass roots movement, and the silent majority is beginning to realize just how much the ruling class holds them in contempt - all the while picking their pocket books.

By Anon on August 6, 2009 12:30 PM

"Um, Michael Savage said..."

--"Didn't Michael Savage also say that most autistic children are just 'putzes' who need to shut up?"

I apologize, if I offened anyone, for not editing out part of the comment made by Michael Savage on autistic children.

First and foremost children are to be protected. ALWAYS!!

Secondly, you don't pick on those who have some sort of handicapped, can't fight back or are defenseless.

I apologize to all parents of children who may have autism and to autistic adults.

Links on Autism:

Ms. Sweet, thank you for not being fearful to post my previous comment. No, it was not over the top, but I realized later, part of it was not appropriate. I will NOT ask you to delete it, I will ask that you add this apology so others will know I meant no harm.

Thank you.

You know, the irony is that a lot of teabaggers and birthers would actually benefit from the Obama plan at the end of the day. Sure, their taxes might marginally go up, but the overall amount of health care coverage provided for them and their loved ones would improve.

The current system is broken. As far as I can tell there is no republican counter-proposal for fixing healthcare. "Controlling costs" seems to only mean "increasing profits for insurance companies" with little concern about the average taxpaying American who has a job's access to care.

The US is the only industrialized nation on the planet that considers healthcare to be a privilege, not a right. It is our duty as human beings to care for everyone, and then figure out how to pay for it.

I am so tired of the Liberals accusing me and so many others of racism if I disagree with the President. They call us names as if that will make us cower and allow them to destory our country simply because they say so!

It is my belief that the president is not Black, nor is he White, Yellow, Red or any other color. He is simply the President of our country. To disagree with the President does not make me a racist no more than agreeing with him makes me a liberal. The only thing it makes me is a American citizen exercising my Constitution right and duty to question my elected leaders if I Believe he is in error or misguided.

If former President Carter, the so~called main stream media and nut job actors are right about most Americans being racist and hate black people, how did Obama get elected? Call me want you want other than late to dinner. I do not care and will not be silenced by anyone as long as the Constitution is the law of the land.

I might suggest that the liberals realize they are not the only ones in our country that have the right of Free Speech!!

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Lynn Sweet

Lynn Sweet is a columnist and the Washington Bureau Chief for the Chicago Sun-Times.

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This page contains a single entry by Lynn Sweet published on August 5, 2009 9:26 AM.

President Obama official schedule and guidance, Aug. 5, 2009. In Elkhart, Ind. was the previous entry in this blog.

Clinton-Gore team up again. Imprisoned journalists Ling, Lee back in U.S. is the next entry in this blog.

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