What Healthcare is About

I woke up late, had a light lunch, set up “Lake Trasimenus”, put in a pending registration for Angry Robot’s Robot Army, cleared comments, kicked spam….

… then read my Twitter stream.


So. There is shit you just don’t say. You do not call someone who participated in the 1960’s civil rights demonstrations a “nigger.” You do not call people faggots. You do not do either when you’re on the fucking steps of the capital.

Here’s Josh (TPM)‘s relevant tweets:

BREAKING: Protestors menacing Dem Reps in halls of Congress. Waxman called “crook” “liar”. Rep. Frank called “faggot” http://tpm.ly/cGtkgX #

IT GETS WORSE: anti-reform protestors in Capitol Complex heckle Rep. John Lewis with N-word http://tpm.ly/9erk1b #

Here’s West Wing Report‘s relevant tweets:

Rep. John Lewis, the civil rights leader who marched at Selma, was called the “N” word by protestors today on Capitol Hill. #

Rep. Lewis, who was a national leader in the 1960s struggle for civil rights, is an American hero. Shame on whoever called him a “N” #

Rep. Lewis was asked if racial epithets were yelled at him: “Yes, but it’s OK, I’ve heard this before in the 1960s” (rpts: The Hill) #

Emphasis mine.

I am so angry right now.

TPM currently has a detailed article about what happened.

A conversation that James Clyburn, House Majority Whip, had with the press:

“This is incredible,” House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-SC) told reporters of the slurs. “It’s shocking to me.” He said he hadn’t heard such vitriol since March 15, 1960 when he was protesting segregation laws that forced him to sit in the back of buses. “A lot of us have been saying for a long time that much of this, much of this, is not about health care at all,” Clyburn said. “I think a lot of those people today demonstrated this is not about health care.”

What is it about, a reporter asked?

“It’s about trying to extend a basic fundamental right to people who are less powerful.”


Pass. The. Damn. Bill.

Note: I do not really want to hear excuses made for the shouty bigots. And I know there are reasonable people out there against the bill. My complaint isn’t about you.

Actually: I’m turning comments off for this post, because I just am too angry to deal with it properly.

ETA: via txvoodoo, and I agree with her assessment:

SO. WRONG. RT @StephanieWDC: Most telling sign from teabag rally today: http://twitpic.com/19svft “Health care is a privilege, not a right”