Saturday, November 7, 2009

Blue Dog or Lap Dog?

They numbered far fewer than the thousands that turned out Thursday, but the several hundred protesters who attended the second so-called “House call” against Democrats’ health care bill sure were feisty.

At the slightest provocation, the crowd broke into chants of “Kill the bill.” They roared for Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.), the force behind the original protest, and even louder for Rep. Joe Wilson (R-S.C.), of the infamous “you lie!” outburst.

They carried American flags, yellow “don’t tread on me” flags and a variety of homemade signs proclaiming the group’s dislike for the health care bill and Democrats in general. “Obama is not my dictator,” read one held by a young boy. “Which one are you drinking?” asked another, with a picture of a tea bag beside the Kool Aid jug.

When Rep. Pete Sessions told the crowd that not only was he voting no on the health care bill, but “I wish there was a place for ’hell no!’” they started chanting that, too.

The dozen or so Republicans who spoke told the assembled protesters that the bill would raise their taxes, destroy their freedom and put the country on a path toward socialism.

“I did not spend four years in the army to call you comrade!” Rep. Louie Gohmert of Texas yelled, his voice sounding on the edge giving out altogether.

“They want to enslave you and me, and I won’t let them,” Rep. John Shadegg (R-Aris.) told the crowd.

Several speakers actively baited Blue Dog Democrats, many of whom remain undecided about the bill. “There are some sincere people who think they’re conservatives. Well, this is the day they can show: Are they a Blue Dog or are they a lap dog,” said Wilson.

© Janet Crain

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