The newspapers in Arkansas have been buzzing as of late – U.S. Sen Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark.) was quoted as saying unruly demonstrations at town hall meetings are un-American.
Lincoln later retracted her remark and I’m willing to give her the benefit of the doubt. I’ve voted for her and she has – for the most part – done right by my state and is generally receptive to ideas that fall outside the accepted canon of the Democrats (it’s a pity we can’t say the same about our other senator and that mumbling, mustached congressman from the 2nd District).
What I do take exception to, however, is the notion that people raising hell about what Barack Obama and his ilk are trying to do are somehow un-American. Apparently, that “patriotic dissent” that the left loved to howl about during the Bush years is only acceptable in certain instances (i.e., when a Democrat isn’t in power).
In this latest round of pooh-poohing, we’ve heard a lot about the “manufactured dissent” that the right has engaged in to cause trouble at town hall meetings. We’ve heard about how the extreme right is keeping the uneducated masses in a state of fear when it comes to healthcare reform through exaggerations, half-truths and outright lies.
In short, the right is being blasted to bits for using the same tactics that MoveOn.org celebrates and brags about proudly. The very idea that one group of organized rabble-rousers is patriotic while another one is un-American would be laughable if we didn’t have so many people willing to advance that notion.
I can’t say I agreed with a lot of the shenanigans from the left that we had to put up with during the Bush years, but they certainly had every right in the world to make their views known. It is an extreme example of hypocrisy for some of those same people – folks who were so vocal about how their protests were born of a love for their country – are the very ones declaring that howling conservatives are un-American.
It is more distressing to hear that very sentiment advanced by a U.S. senator. Sure she took her comment back, but one can’t help but wonder how many in her party think the same way.