In recent weeks, town-hall meetings on the Obama administration’s proposed health care reform have sent tempers a ablaze and, in some cities, escalated to violence among supporters and protestors.
High-ranking Senatorial Democrat, package Durbin, recently criticized the demonstration, and referred to the upsets as a violation of “the democratic process.” In sharp contrast, however, Republican Senate Minority Leader, Mitch McConnell condemned Democrats for “attacking citizens.”
“We have these screaming groups on either side. That isn’t helpful. Let’s be honest about this. Town meetings are not bean bag. I’ve had hundreds of them, and sometimes folks get upset. And that’s part of America, part of our process,” Durbin said.
“But this is clearly being orchestrated, and these folks have instructions. They come down from a Texas lobbyist in Washington.”
He added, there’s a group of people honestly sitting in the middle trying to ask the important questions and get the right answers, and instead someone takes the microphone and screams and shouts to the point where the meeting comes to an end, that isn’t dialogue, that isn’t the democratic process.”
“We need to respect free speech, but we need to respect one another’s rights to free speech, too. When these people come in just to disrupt the meetings, no, that isn’t right.”
On “Fox News Sunday,” McConnell said Durbin’s accusations were “absurd.”
“I think attacking citizens in our country for expressing their opinions about an issue of this magnitude may indicate some weakness in their position on the merits,” McConnell said. “And I also think it’s particularly absurd for the Democrats, who have over an $8 million e-mail list over at the DNC (Democratic National Committee) called Organize America, to be criticizing citizens for being organized.
“Frankly, the truth of the matter is we don’t know who’s organized and who isn’t. The point is the issue, the substance. They need to deal with it. Americans are concerned about it.”
Durbin supported the White House’s motion to track the source of the false rumors about Obama’s health care plans that have people up in arms, while Republicans believe its a strong armed attempt to intimidate opponents.
“What I can tell you is that the White House is not trying to collect names of any Americans. What they’re trying to do is post on some of these Web sites a rebuttal to some bad information,” he said in reference to rumors that stipulations in the polity maybe used to finance abortions, allocate monies to cover undocumented immigrants or dip into Medicare funds. “There’s so much bad information out there, you can understand the effort to at least let people hear both sides of the story.”
Healthcare reform is the focal point of Obama’s domestic objectives.