Will There Be a Calm After a Health-Care-Protest Storm?

August 2009

coffman-mikeThe Secret Service is investigating a man who went to a town hall meeting on health-care reform in Maryland, holding a sign that read, "Death to Obama, Death to Michelle and her two stupid kids." It's the latest preposterous incident on the road toward national health-care reform. And this one might well trigger what I've dubbed the Lone Wacko Effect, a calming moment in which someone does something so over-the-top that, by extension, all the other red-faced screamers start to look like homicidal maniacs, too. It's the moment (we have to hope) in which decent Americans actually interested in learning about ways to reduce the outrageous costs of health care intervene to create a more civil discourse. The insanity, of course, is the backdrop for President Barack Obama's visit to Colorado on Saturday. The president's allies have launched an offensive to counter the long list of sound-bite "myths" that have been spread by detractors, according to The Washington Post. In the strange-bedfellows category is the pharmaceutical industry, which launched a $12 million television campaign yesterday in support of reform, writes Politico. Meanwhile, protesters on both sides of the debate are shouting on. Some even targeted Congressman Mike Coffman (pictured), a Republican who thinks the so-called "government option" is an entitlement that ought to be off the table (via 7News). "They only care about fear!" yelled one woman, pointing at a group of people protesting reform. "That's because it's socialism!" one of the protesters yelled back at her.