History

A Mob of Senior Citizens

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Paul Krugman wrote last Friday that the "mob aspects" of the protests at health care "town hall" meetings are "something new and ugly." David Hyman reminds him that they aren't:

A virtually identical scenario played out in 1989. By an overwhelming margin, Congress had enacted the Medicare Catastrophic Coverage Act in 1988. The Act provided more extensive hospitalization benefits and prescription drug coverage, but it imposed the costs of that benefit on the elderly.

Congress was soon flooded with angry letters and there were numerous confrontations with angry constituents when individual congressmen returned to their districts. As Andrea Mitchell observed on ABC News, "the elderly are not against the new benefits—unlimited hospital care, new at-home benefits, prescription drug coverage; they just don't want to pay for them."

The turning point came on August 17, 1989, when Dan Rostenkowski, House Ways and Means Chairman and one of the most powerful men in Congress, found himself fleeing a crowd of irate senior citizens protesting the Catastrophic Coverage Act.

Representative Rostenkowski had scheduled a meeting in his home district to hear constituent concerns and speak about the advantages of the Medicare catastrophic coverage act. A crowd of angry senior citizens waved signs protesting the fact they would have to pay more taxes to fund the covered benefit. People shouted "coward," "recall," and "impeach" after Representative Rostenkowski refused to speak with them and got in his car. One senior citizen (Leona Kozien) even jumped on the hood of Congressman Rostenkowski's car to stop him from leaving.

See your angry-old-people footage right here:

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  1. “the elderly are not against the new benefits — unlimited hospital care, new at-home benefits, prescription drug coverage; they just don’t want to pay for them.”

    Well, duh.

  2. The Greatest Gimme Generation.

  3. Angry-young-people footage forthcoming.

  4. Lefties are crybabies. Imagine how they would scream if they were threatened by people who are actually dangerous.

  5. …”the elderly are not against the new benefits — unlimited hospital care, new at-home benefits, prescription drug coverage; they just don’t want to pay for them.”

    To quote Mr. Navarrette’s CNN.com column from last week

    Later, at the start of his second term, when Bush proposed saving Social Security with private accounts and reductions in benefits, he didn’t get much help from members of his own party. Republicans were terrified of being perceived as being hostile to the elderly, a politically powerful demographic that knows its way to the polling booth. Eventually, the reform effort died. And the GOP wasn’t exactly sad to see it go.

    Now, in opposing “Obamacare,” Republicans glibly warn that we have to be wary of the financial obligations we’re leaving to future generations.

    You don’t say.

  6. Lefties are crybabies. Imagine how they would scream if they were threatened by people who are actually dangerous.

    There was a post on ar15.com this morning saying that they should start open carrying to the town meetings. Just imagine the lulz.

  7. My Rep is having a town hall on health care here in West Texas tomorrow.

    He’s on record as opposing it, so I don’t expect a lot of anger.

    This is West Texas, so I assume a number of attendees will be carrying firearms. Which is another reason to expect a civil meeting.

  8. I though the elderly were the most dangerous when it comes to politics.

  9. “There was a post on ar15.com this morning saying that they should start open carrying to the town meetings. Just imagine the lulz.”

    Link me Warty. ARFCOM is usually a bit too annoying for me but I gotta read this.

  10. I’m torn as to whether I should be delighted at the spectacle of various factions of political bribe recipients (elderly, single-payer advocates) fist-fighting over other peoples’ money.

  11. Old people really, really like ripping off us young people, with the government’s help, of course.

  12. Here you go, Kyle. Do you ever post there? I did briefly before I got banned for making fun of Mormons (I think).

  13. That footage is fantastic. It’s like something out of a Simpsons episode, but with real people.

  14. I mostly read in a few of the subforums. I think my post count is under 10 and I registered about three years ago.

    When I want serious discussion of firearms and tactics, I hit up Lightfighter and 10-8. M4Carbine.net is pretty good but it’s also a blt like ar15.com lite. Not as full of idiots though.

    And making fun of Mormons is always a good thing. Thanks for the link.

  15. What I find hilarious is that the over 65 crowd is the demographic most against government run health care.

    The question then follows, when we Gen Xers hit 65, will we still understand irony?

  16. History is defined by Nobel Prize winners. Go win a Nobel Prize and then get back to me, losers.

  17. OLD people are baaaaaaad!
    This is the most ironicalicious thing EVER. Liberals run for years that SLOWING the GROWTH of medicare is a CUT. Now they want to add more people to the government medical teet, and the people at the teet say, “Hey, there are 40 million teets here, and there are 40 million of us. We ain’t letting nobody else in on the teet!!!”
    You know, there hasn’t even been serious discussion yet about the cuts (er, reductions in growth) of medicare in the MSM. Look for another Dan Rostenkowski moment. Somebody at AARP is gonna poop their depends.

  18. This “Internet” thing, where you can look at stuff that is over a week old, is becoming troublesome to the folks in charge right now. It’s getting increasingly harder to pretend like the past never happened, and that people never said things.

  19. “Representative Rostenkowski had scheduled a meeting in his home district to hear constituent concerns and speak about the advantages of the Medicare catastrophic coverage act. A crowd of angry senior citizens waved signs protesting the fact they would have to pay more taxes to fund the covered benefit. People shouted “coward,” “recall,” and “impeach” after Representative Rostenkowski refused to speak with them and got in his car. One senior citizen (Leona Kozien) even jumped on the hood of Congressman Rostenkowski’s car to stop him from leaving.”

    Clearly they were all bigots, especially Leona.

  20. Kevin said,

    “This “Internet” thing, where you can look at stuff that is over a week old, is becoming troublesome to the folks in charge right now. It’s getting increasingly harder to pretend like the past never happened, and that people never said things.”

    Give us time, this too shall “change”. All we need is a few more regulations that allow the right people to correct the internet to allow “hope” to shine through.

  21. Krugmam and the other leftists are just pissed that the protestors are disrupting the pre-planned staged events pre-packed with their own supporters that has always constituted the Democrat’s version of “town hall” meetings.

  22. It’s getting increasingly harder to pretend like the past never happened, and that people never said things.

    A temporary inconvenience. Memory hole technology is in development at DARPA.

  23. Taxes are b-a-a-a-d!

  24. Krugmam and the other leftists

    Krugmam = nanny stater economist. So very sweet.

    Now do you see why this kind of thing needed its own Law?

  25. Dear Leader is wowing the drones at his “town hall” meeting. They’re laughing at every lame joke. They think he’s Jon Stewart!

  26. The Simpsons did address this:

    “I’m old! Gimme gimme gimme!” – G. Simpson

    That “keep your government hands off my medicare” quote is just too perfect. Something for the ages. Can something so beautiful and true exist? Apparently so.

  27. Nothing that confirms your bias is ever ugly, is it, Jesse?

  28. Keep up the good work, Town Halleteers!!!

  29. It’s good to know that angry mobs engaging in stupid, ineffective activities aren’t new!

    Meanwhile, here’s the smarter way to resolve political issues. Odd how Reason isn’t promoting that, despite pretending to oppose BHO. They’ve got a .tv group, and they ask experts for some toughies and then go ask them or encourage their readers to do it. And, politicians being p0wned on video would be much, much, much more effective than acting like baboons.

    So, why is Reason defending those who act like baboons rather than encouraging them to channel their anger into activities that would actually be effective?

  30. Shut the fuck up, Lonewacko.

  31. What’s that obnoxious insect buzz?

  32. What’s that obnoxious insect buzz?

    Bees?

  33. Lonewacko is The Monarch! It all makes so much sense now.

  34. Bees?

    Africanized Killer bees? …. racist

  35. Oh, no, Episiarch, they aren’t ripping anyone off—they’re just getting back what they paid into the “system”. Y’know, recouping the ol’ investment.

  36. Hey, you just don’t fuck with the Ay Ay Ar Pe . . . Those crazy old bitches will twist your ear off.

  37. That video is Just. Fucking. Awesome.

    Lonewacko is The Monarch! It all makes so much sense now.

    Lonewhackoff has henchmen? Nooooooo!

  38. Obama just put his foot in it and nobody in the audience had the wits to cash in on a golden opportunity. He addressed the concern that government agencies would be unfairly “competing” with private insurers. As an example of how not to worry, he cited UPS and FedX competing with the USPS. He said that UPS and FedX are “doing fine,” that it’s the post office that’s “always in trouble.” He paused for a long time, sensing his gaffe. Alas, nobody noticed.

  39. Did he really say that? Holy cow.

  40. fuck happened to the “gifted speaker”? His ad-hoc, aw-shucks approach to selling health care reform is the cause of all this brew-ha-ha.

    Maybe he should have reviewed his talking points first…

  41. Wait till they see the tax for the “Bear patrol”.

  42. Pro Libertate | August 11, 2009, 2:19pm | #

    Did he really say that? Holy cow.

    Yep. I was astonished, and so hoping someone would pick up on it. It was too good for nobody to have noticed, however. Look for it on tonight’s (non-lefty) cable shows if anyone there still has a brain.

  43. I predict that the August town hall meetings are just the warmup.

    Wait until this fall, when the swine flu vaccines come out. The protocol for those (unlike past flu vaccines) is to give them to young people first.

    So, unless they produce enough for absolutely everyone to get a shot . . .

    All these old people who are getting their paranoia on about government denying them health care because they are too old, are going to get told they can’t have the flu vaccine because they’re too old.

  44. I chuckle at the faux outrage lefty statists are generating. Meeting packing, shoutdowns and the heckler’s veto are right out of “The Movement’s” playbook. What the congresscritters are really pissed about is that they’ve been asked to do the heavy lifting by the Community-Organizer-In-Chief, at the risk of losing seats in `10, with the Alinsky-style disruption tools being wielded by right-wingers. They’ve got a bad case of “shoe on the other foot.”

    Kevin

  45. and so hoping someone would pick up on it.

    Drudge did. At the top of the page right now. Sweet. This is getting better every day.

  46. Now, in opposing “Obamacare,” Republicans glibly warn that we have to be wary of the financial obligations we’re leaving to future generations.

    You don’t say.

    I’m really rather amazed at those out there in the Media and in the Democratic Party that seem to expect the GOP to be super honorable, or at least like Charlie Brown with the football and Lucy.

    They call Republicans all sorts of names, but somehow expect that Republicans would never stoop to the same fearmongering tactics that Democrats used against the same Medicare cuts when proposed by Bush instead of Obama. Now that the Democrats have won their majority, it’s time to be nice.

    If Obama didn’t want scare tactics over Medicare, perhaps he shouldn’t have run ads saying that McCain was going to cut Medicare, or run all those ads about changing the health insurance tax exemption for employer-provided insurance to an individual credit.

    But somehow the Democrats are in the position where their political strategy rests on the Republicans being all much nicer guys than Obama.

  47. Lonewacko is The Monarch! It all makes so much sense now.

    Dude, that’s fucked up. The Monarch is bad ass. The Monarch is a complex and engaging bad guy. And underneath it all, damned cool. Don’t ever compare lonewacko to the Monarch.

  48. “Yep. I was astonished, and so hoping someone would pick up on it.”

    Drudge did.

  49. As an example of how not to worry, he cited UPS and FedX competing with the USPS. He said that UPS and FedX are “doing fine,” that it’s the post office that’s “always in trouble.

    I uhh… umm… really? He said that? There wasn’t a rimshot immediately following it? He didn’t flap his elbows and shout “wokka wokka, take my wife, please”?

  50. Happy to hear Drudge got it. Like I said before, it was too obvious not to get noticed. Going there now to check it out…

  51. The whole issue is a reminder of why I can’t imagine ever disliking conservatives as much as I do liberals, even though they’re generally equally crappy in actual policy. Liberals always remind me of the bully with the coonskin cap from the movie A Christmas Story- they dish out savage abuse with gleeful abandon but start wailing and shrieking like infants if someone actually hits back.

  52. I dare you to say ‘wither on the vine’ motherfucker! I double dare you! Say it! Say ‘wither on the vine’. Say it motherfucker!

  53. Heh heh. Look for Obama’s Freudian slip to be almost as famous (maybe more so, considering the stakes) as his infamous Gatesgate remarks. Oh yes, this one should have legs. Righty advocacy/propagandist groups are making the videos as I type.

  54. DRAMATIC, SCARY VOICEOVER: President Obama wants to model your healthcare after the Post Office (stock footage of exasperated people in long lines, holding packages). If you’re happy with Snail Mail, you’ll love Obama’s Public Option. Tell your representative to vote “no” on post office-style healthcare.

  55. Lonewacko is barely Sgt. Hatred. Despite the same probation restrictions.

  56. Being an old man/woman magnet, along with a stray cat and kid magnet, I can say with authority old people with free time are the last people you want to piss off. Something happens at 60. I’m not sure what, but holy cow they get aggressive about somethings.

    The Krugman cult is getting old. The guy is a shill, anyone with 3 brain cells can see it.

  57. Anyone with 3 brain cells who isn’t named George Stephanopoulos. Paul is George’s BFF.

  58. It’s too bad he didn’t follow that up with, “and that’s why we’re going to privatize the Post Office, right after we move away from employer-based plans. It’s the only way to fix a broken system.”

  59. Something happens at 60. I’m not sure what, but holy cow they get aggressive about somethings.

    You are running out of time, and, therefor, patience.

    You are on some kind of guaranteed income, so you get out of the habit of kissing ass.

    You’re tired and don’t feel so good most of the time.

    You’ve stopped giving a shit what people think.

  60. It’s telling that the president, so confident and supreme, requires his own cheering section behind his podium, and behind them, a giant Stars and Stripes, just in case we don’t get it that all of America (except those violent loonies) is behind him. Propagandistic symbolism of this sort is laughable. Too bad that so many Americans eat it up like so much mac ‘n’ cheese.

  61. These guys have propaganda down to a science. We suffered 8 years of ass reaming w/o the sparkles and shiny things. Now we get at least 4 years of ass reaming with sparkles and shiny things.

  62. Woo hoo! FOX News just played the Obama Post Office gaffe. Still waiting for MSNBC to play it…still waiting…waiting…C’mon, Chris and Ed and Keith and Rachel…didn’t you see it?
    Tee hee hee.

  63. Did he really say that? Holy cow.

    Here you go, Pro L:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5XTi-WdOu2s

  64. ARFCOM is 90% LEO 9% retard and 1% worth other.

  65. dbcooper | August 11, 2009, 7:00pm | #

    Did he really say that? Holy cow.

    Here you go, Pro L:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5XTi-WdOu2s

    Thanks, DB

  66. How long was this before Rostenkowski got sent up the river?

    -jcr

  67. Oh, that video is funny. Also, a good reminder that the gambit of claiming that your opponents “don’t understand” the legislation you’re trying shove down their throats has been in the Ruling Party playbook for quite a few years.

    -jcr

  68. Now when the going gets rough
    We find that our pols aint’ so tough
    Like a roach in the sun
    They just cut and run
    In fear of a ballot rebuff

    ….nnnn..’o.o’..uu!u….algie
    Illegitimi nOn carborundum

    algie outraging the “LDLs” since 1989

  69. You have to wonder: why do the leaders of the supposed opposition to BHO keep regarding their followers as if they were baboons? Almost all of those leaders are – to be frank – incompetent demagogues who just want to whip people into a frenzy and make them angry. They aren’t appealing to their better natures, nor are they encouraging people to channel their anger in smart and effective ways.

    As I posted above, doing things this way could help resolve these issues. Note that that’s just a technique: you can use it to push a variety of issues, leftwing or rightwing. All you have to do is be able to join into groups and divvy up roles depending on what you’re good at.

    So, why aren’t the leaders of the supposed opposition to BHO suggesting that their followers do things that way? It’s smarter, it’s much more effective, it’s much more civil, and it’s much more resistant to pushback from the other side. Instead, it’s almost like the leaders of the supposed opposition to BHO just want to put on a show and play games instead of encouraging an open debate about important issues.

    Write your leaders and ask them why they think your baboons.

  70. I remember that column Paul Krugman wrote about those angry protesters who plotted to disrupt the GOP convention by blowing up cop cars with molotov cocktails. Now that was a good column…oh wait.

  71. to 24AheadDotCom

    May be because what we a witnessing is indeed a “True” grassroots movement with a multiplicity of “Leaders” who are outraged by the actions of your” baboons. These are not the orchestrated claques of Obama’s Chicago Style machine. These are people who are not the organized sophisticated political apparatchiks of SEIU and ACORN. Yes I am sure that there are some who are attempting to direct and channel this upwelling of political activism, but
    I think that in trying to ride this tiger they are finding it a very rough ride.

    ….nnnn..’o.o’..uu!u….algie
    Illegitimi nOn carborundum

    algie outraging the “LDLs” since 1989

  72. Old white people make easy, reactionary puppets for Right Wing tactics, since generally speaking, they’re not that difficult to manipulate. They’re already old, and bitter. To them, everything is getting worse. Simply pander to their generational biases, and replace their batteries every now and then, and you’re good to go.

    The Republican Party panders to cranks, just like Ron Paul did, and just like Libertarians do. This kind of “old fart screaming on a bus” activism is exactly the kind of tactic that Fox News, Rush Limbaugh, Anne Coulter, and just about every other Right Wing talking head uses.

    Right Wing proponents have distilled their constituency down to these personality types because, as a party, they do not value intellectual discourse. It’s like garlic to them, and it undresses their biases.

    Now that we have a bit of history behind us, Reagan’s run looks a lot more negative in retrospect, due to the deal that he made with the religious right. Everyone has paid for it. While it may have seemed like an innocent alliance at the time, it has become clear just how much damage it has done to political discourse in America since then.

    Not only does this ghetto strategy give confidence to religious fundamentalists, it creates reactionaries on the opposite aisle.

    American politics needs to evolve, and it begins with everyone denouncing these kinds of reactions, and approaches to open discourse.

    It was like watching a group of Internet trolls derail a healthy conversation.

  73. These people have NOT changed at all.

  74. To: Old People Are Dumb

    You’re quite incorrect about the Right not desiring intellectual discourse. Sadly, it’s the Dems with nothing to offer except already discredited policies, and a desire to remake America as a socialist/fascist state.

    Not going to happen, the 2010 elections will see a big reaction against the current leftist agenda.

  75. And let’s not forget, ol’ Danny Boy got sent to prison for misusing the Congressional Postage system. Ha!! Stealing postage stamps!!!!

  76. “Old white people make easy, reactionary puppets for Right Wing tactics”

    AND left-wing tactics. Dems love to play the “Republicans are gonna push you down the stairs and take your Social Security checks” horseshit every two years. Keeps the masses on the dole scared and ensures perpetual reelection.

    “American politics needs to evolve”

    Actually, it needs to DEvolve. It’s too big, too costly, and too goddamned nosy, the exact opposite of what it was MEANT to be.

    I’m not going to quote any more of your insipid post, whoever you are, because you are obviously drinking one of the Brand X flavors of Kool-Aid. We libertarians drink stuff WE choose, not what is offered by the state.

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  78. A crowd of angry senior citizens waved signs protesting the fact they would have to pay more taxes to fund the covered benefit. People shouted “coward,” “recall,” and “impeach” after Representative Rostenkowski refused to speak with them and got in his car
    http://www.mirei.com

  79. A crowd of angry senior citizens huh? Seems a bit odd and off putting but I am sure they just had to wait out the mob till 4pm when they headed home for bed.

  80. A crowd of angry senior citizens huh? Seems a bit odd and off putting but I am sure they just had to wait out the mob till 4pm when they headed home for bed.

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