Saturday’s message to Congress (Photo courtesy TexasGOPVote
Will it soon be the U.S.S.A. – the United Socialist States of America?
Tens of thousands of people descended on Washington today, lining up in circles around the Capitol, in protest of a pending vote Sunday on President Obama’s trillion dollar plan that would take over health care across America. That’s some $500 billion in cuts from funding for U.S. seniors and another nearly like amount in new taxes.
Promoters of the bill have touted the millions who will be added to health-care rolls and claimed it will lead to deficit “reduction,” although opponents say supporters have used accounting tricks to keep hundreds of millions of dollars in expenses out of the fine print of the bill.
Critics of the reform bill cite the abortion financing the government would require, massive fines, especially against married couples, for whatever a government health czar would decide is unsatisfactory, and the general principle that nowhere in the U.S. Constitution – which sets limits on the federal government’s powers – is there an authorization to force people to buy the health-insurance program a federal bureaucrat picks out.
Until earlier today, Democrats had signalled they planned to use a controversial parliamentary procedure to force passage without a direct vote of the members of Congress.
That action, dubbed the “Slaughter maneuver” for the chief of the House rules committee, Rep. Louise Slaughter, D-N.Y., was meant to “deem” the original bill to have passed, relieving Democrats from having to go on the record with their votes ahead of next November’s elections.
Tom Fitton, chief of Judicial Watch, which investigates and prosecutes government corruption, called the deeming plan a “constitutional crisis.”
“The Democratic leadership’s plan to use the ‘Slaughter Rule’ to pass the Senate health care bill without an explicit ‘yea or nay’ vote by the House is an absolute violation of the U.S. Constitution,” he said.
Fox News reported today that even the Democrats now were claiming their plan to use “deem and pass” was being dropped. The decision to go to a straight up or down vote could indicate Speaker Nancy Pelosi is confident she has corralled the votes she needs or that her members fear the growing backlash building over passing the unpopular bill using the Slaughter Rule.
One of the speakers at today’s D.C. rally was actor Jon Voight, who was blunt in his assessment of the plan and of Obama.
“It is a runaway train for him. And he has no way to put on the brakes. It is very clear that he will turn this country into a socialist America and his bullying and his arrogance can’t stop,” Voight said.
The crowd started gathering early in the day, met, listened to speakers, stayed, staged protests, held vigils and appeared to be preparing to endure the duration just yards from where members of Congress prepared to take a vote to install a nationalization plan that repeated surveys show has the support of only a minority of Americans.
An observer described the crowd encircling the Capitol – at one point estimated at 25,000 people – as being like the Israelites of the Old Testament who marched around Jericho before that city tumbled into oblivion.
Several states and a multitude of rights organizations have committed to challenging “Obamacare” in court on issues ranging from the basic unconstitutionality of a requirement to buy health insurance to the secret meetings Obama has held with his supporters such as Planned Parenthood.
But Obama, who is currently arguing in a court that he has the right to conceal the “deals” he made to bring about “Obamacare,” and Democratic congressional leaders say they are absolutely committed to imposing their plan on Americans.
On the website for the American Grassroots Coalition, officials reported they had been getting support and cooperation from a “broad range” of American organizations, including those of the booming “tea party” effort.
“While the DNC and the administration continue to obfuscate and confuse, this coalition is focused on getting activists involved prior to [House Speaker Nancy] Pelosi’s maneuvering,” the group said.
Among other efforts that have developed:
- A telephone-calling campaign, triggered in part by a call from Rush Limbaugh for his listeners to phone Congress, that clogged Capitol Hill lines to the point of shutdown for parts of the week;
- A “virtual vigil” on the Web for those who could not travel to Washington;
- and a candlelight vigil around the Capitol.
Among those lending their voices today to the denouncement of the Democrat proposal that essentially would take over roughly one-sixth of the American economy, were:
- U.S. Rep. Michelle Bachmann of Minnesota
- U.S. Rep. Tom Price of Georgia
- U.S. Rep. Joe Wilson of South Carolina
- U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee
- U.S. Rep. Phil Gingrey of Georgia
- U.S. Rep. Mary Fallin of Oklahoma
- Colin Hanna of Let Freedom Ring
- Jim Martin of 60 Plus
- Phil Kerpen of Americans for Prosperity
- Andrew Langer of Institute for Liberty
Others included tea party celebrities and even Dr. Milton Wolf, a second cousin of the president who vigorously opposes “Obamacare.”
Tea Party Express spokesman Amy Kremer said the rally simply acknowledged “so many” Americans concerned about the plan.
According to the bloggers at TexasGOPVote, at one point the American people were credited with “grounding Air Force One,” in reference to the president’s cancelled overseas trip because of the controversy over his plan.
Pelosi also was criticized for thinking the U.S. Constitution “is irrelevant.”
“But in November, she will be irrelevant,” a speaker said.
Reported Chaplain Todd DuBord, who leads ministry work for martial arts champion and longtime actor Chuck Norris programs and efforts: “Huge crowd marching around Capitol like Jericho. Going to go all night – crowd is not slowing down. It’s inspiring…”
But is there actually hope that “Obamacare” will die?
In a column earlier this week, longtime conservative activist Phyllis Schlafly suggested yes.
In an e-mail to her Eagle Forum supporters, she described how the current battle reminds her of when the fight against the Equal Rights Amendment, that would have stripped many rights from Americans, was raging.
“All ‘the powers that be’ were against us back then – both houses of Congress, three presidents (Nixon, Ford and Carter), all of the First Ladies, all the Hollywood celebrities, 99 percent of the media, and even a large percentage of the American public,” she wrote.
Pending before the states as an amendment to the U.S. Constitution, a vote was scheduled in Illinois.
“The day of the most crucial vote on ERA in the Illinois Legislature was very dramatic. We had done all we could to line up the votes, but we knew we were two votes short. As the votes lighted up on the electronic board, we all held our breath in anxiety. Then, a great shout went up from the gallery – ‘We won!’” she said.
“ABC put then-president of the National Organization for Women (NOW) Eleanor Smeal in front of a news camera and asked her, ‘What happened?!’ She replied, ‘Something very powerful was against us, and I don’t mean people.’”
“Eleanor Smeal didn’t know what it was, but we did. We knew that we had the truth on our side and that the good Lord had brought us the votes from the two Chicago legislators who had never voted with us before,” Schlafly wrote.