March 26th, 2010
05:14 PM ET
4 years ago

Health care bill anger a sign of the times?

Health care reform brought out many protesters such as these Monday in Royal Oak, Michigan.
Health care reform brought out many protesters such as these Monday in Royal Oak, Michigan.

Washington (CNN) - Americans have always exercised their Democratic rights under the U.S. Constitution to speak out against the government.

Amid the bitter fight over health care reform, a round of hate-filled messages and sometimes violent actions toward members of Congress has prompted calls to ease up on the rhetoric.

Experts say that although protests against social issues such as health care reform are nothing new for the country, such reaction to a landmark bill's passing is uncommon.

"It's unusual that you get this kind of outrage and response to a piece of legislation," said historian Robert Dallek, author of the upcoming book "The Lost Peace: Leadership in a Time of Horror and Hope."

"Of course, it's being fanned in some ways by Republican leaders who keep saying majorities are against this legislation, when in fact there is a pretty even divide in the country, from what the polling data shows," he added.

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Filed under: Health care
soundoff (85 Responses)
  1. Just saying...

    This vitriolic partisan atmosphere we're in now is actually related back to when the Republicans captured Congress during the Clnton years. They then established an ultra-partisan, take-no-prisoners' attitude toward politics. Governing took a back seat to winning. Now, that the American public, through the past election, refuted this attitude. What we have now, is the last desperate, pathetic gasps of a party, which is totally devoid of any ideas which could actually help this country. And it shows, too.
    However, the Peoples' business needs to go forward, and I am surprised that the Democrats showed enough backbone to follow through on this healthcare bill. Now, we can view the Republicans as histories greatest obstructionists. Hence the base, vile and racist propaganda now coming forth.

    March 26, 2010 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  2. catmomtx

    This fight is not about health care and has never been about health care. With the economy the way it is and the high unemployment which results in the loss of health care, the normal American would be happy that the government is working on ways to help them. Most people would be happy to see their tax dollars being used to help the average American.

    What this is ALL about is President Barack Obama. Republicans/conservatives/right wingers can't stand the fact the the American People overwhelmingly rejected Republicans and Republican policies. They act like they can't stand the thought that a Democrat, a black one at that will be the one to clean up the mess left behind by the Bush administration and the Republican rubber stamp Congress. Now, they act like they hate the idea that President Obama is cleaning up the mess they left while secretly being glad that they aren't the ones who have to do it. Meanwhile they are convincing gullible lazy Americans to vote against their own best interest. You know, so they can take over just as President Obama cleans up the mess they left and while we all watch as they destroy it all over again. Makes you wonder why they won't participate in cleaning up the mess Republicans made.

    March 26, 2010 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  3. Eddie

    What is driving this anger is the following:
    1. Liberals = 20% – 28%
    2. Conservatives = 45% – 48%
    But to hear the Liberal media tell it, the conservatives are a minority!
    3. Obama's radical agenda to take this nation into a UK style of socaialism.
    4. Obama's Chicago Mafia style of leadership w/an absence of humility.
    5. Liberty and Freedom loving Americans feel we are being threatened

    Obama's remarks yesterday of "go for it" stated that "The White House suggests it has the upper hand against Republicans politically, arguing the GOP risks a voter backlash because a repeal would take away from small businesses and individuals the benefits provided to them immediately under the new law.
    I am a small business owner (employing 50 plus people) and this only verifies what I already knew; Obama has never been in, or even ran any type of business (all he has done is live in and around government/entitlement programs and positions) and he knows nothing about business. I do not care about any "short term tax credits" as much as I care about heavy-handed government entities into my pocket and my business! Every successful business person is going to look at the "long term" effects of ObamaCare and they are devastating!
    Anyone who is shallow enough to think that the anger and disgust with this administration, for ignoring the majority of the American public, will be dismissed with some temporary tax credits and a few folks seeing their children remain on their Insurance plan until they are 26 (no child of mine is going to stay on my policy until they are 26....they need to be kicked out and on their own by then) needs to get a taste of reality!
    Oh yes.....we will remember, and I can guarntee you we will "kick the bums out in Nov." And all the swooze and smooth talk Obama can spin will make NO difference!

    March 26, 2010 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  4. notfooledbydistractions

    The teabaggers are confused – they selectively want small government – they want big government to take care of wall street and the banks – you can't have it both ways.

    They sure are an angry and paranoid lot – and not very well informed either.

    I can't join the "movement" – they don't offer solutions, just complaints. In my eyes that just makes them even more obnoxious repulicans.

    March 26, 2010 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  5. Congrats!

    One thing is clear: THEY ARE NOT THE MAJORITY. They are only a very noisy minority.

    CONGRATS MR.PRESIDENT FOR HELPING AMERICANS!

    March 26, 2010 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  6. frank in valparaiso indiana

    Sorry guys the Tea Party is a bunch of ignorant loud mouths. I've seen them in action. Can't spell. Don't understand how this country works. Just clueless.

    I thought it was just Texas that had a crappy school system (look at Bush). Guess thanks to the GOP and Dept of Education its all over the country. Or they just pick and choose the ignorant trailer trash.

    March 26, 2010 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  7. 8 Years of “trickle down economics” has only left a wet spot on working America's shoes!

    No it is not a sign of the times.

    Just the racist, frenzied, frothing at the mouth, rabid Riech rednecks throwing childish temper tantrums because there is a black man in "their White House, running "their country" better than the last white man did.

    Plus, this is the SECOND time that President Obama and the truth have won and have handed the cons a major loss on HCR and they are just dumping in their Depends they are so angry.

    Take another gulp of the Greedy Old People's prune juice, it will cure what ails, but put on a fresh Depends first!

    March 26, 2010 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  8. Jen B

    I really don't get this paranoia about socialism.

    It is also difficult to explain to friends in Europe the violent and hysterical reaction from some folks here to the passage of the health care bill. They all enjoy universal healthcare and are baffled as to why there is any opposition to the same here. There is no fear there are becoming bankrupt if you are unfortunate enough to become seriously ill.

    March 26, 2010 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  9. Ed, Santa Fe, NM

    Where were all these big mouths when Bush was lying us into war in Iraq?

    So they go nuts over health care? HEALTH CARE?

    March 26, 2010 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  10. Peace

    I do not know where the Repubs learnt how to play with people's mind. They used 9/11 scaring people until "W" was re-elected. They have tried again on Health Reform to scare people, but up this point, only a fool is to buy their lies.

    March 26, 2010 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  11. Michael from Ventura

    "MOB" is the perfect description for these morons. Their members throw rocks thru windows, cut gas lines in residences, and shoot at people who dare disagree with their point of view. They call themselves "patriots"- I call them pathetic.

    March 26, 2010 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  12. j

    I think they can cross out the word "majority" and just say "angry mob". Something like "An unruly angry mob of right wing bigots says nobama".

    March 26, 2010 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  13. Michael from Ventura

    gt: Get an EDUCATION!

    March 26, 2010 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  14. Gary

    Sue, I hope healthcare includes treating your amnesia problem.
    Bush, Cheney, Rove and the Republicans are the problem. These 3 lied, they broke the constitution. They are responsible for the deaths of 4300 brave Americans.
    Check the poles, more and more people are seeing what you and your clan are up too.

    March 26, 2010 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  15. The Unsub

    Question....As Sue states: "..........And we will continue to warn people that Obama, Pelosi, Reid and the rest of the loony left liberal Democrats are going to destroy our economy, health care system, military, capitalistic system, and country."

    If this is so true, then why did he win the election?

    March 26, 2010 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  16. conniesz

    Whenever I read this type of foolishness from the Republicans, I can't help but remember:

    "Come November, it will be McCain by a landslide."

    It puts everything back in perspective.

    March 26, 2010 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  17. The Unsub

    I am willing to bet that only some Dems. will lose seats (common practice) but will still have the majority. Also, Obama wins a 2nd. term....Any takers?

    March 26, 2010 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  18. usualone

    The majority of Americans want/will this bill. It helps too many people to deny this idea. The very ones who don't want this bill will most likely need the items issued in the bill. It is just like the governors who publicly didn't want to take the stimulus monie and then got the monies. It is surprising that Louisian doesn't want it considering they have so many poor people. Says a lot.

    March 26, 2010 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  19. annie s

    Who are these people that a piece of legislation that will save thousands of American lives every year makes them so angry? I hope they are just misinformed and not simply that callous.

    March 26, 2010 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  20. Tony in Maine

    This is getting tiresome.

    New rule: Politicians are allowed only one lie per day. After they've used that lie, they must either be quiet or tell the truth. Pundits are allowed one lie per week.

    If my rule is implemented, I'm betting the silence from the right and left will be deafening. Rush and Glenn would explode by 9 AM.

    March 26, 2010 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  21. CEE

    The Tea party should be called the Whine party.

    March 26, 2010 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  22. Victim of GOP Taliban

    Obama won 52% of the election and Democrats STILL hold huge majorities in both the House and Senate. Now go back to your little villages and get educated.

    March 26, 2010 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  23. T'SAH from Virginia

    The "Majority"? You know what – they are right! They are the MAJORITY!!

    They are the majority of the far-right WING-NUTS that add up to NOTHING!!!

    They are the majority of the LOUD-MOUTHS!!

    They are the majority of the race that refuses to blend in with that OTHER majority!!!

    They are the majority of the gun-slinging, rooting-tooting, hang-em-high, little pockets of American people that one day will wake up and realize that they are NOT the MAJORITY and they DO NOT speak for ALL Americans........Case and POINT!

    March 26, 2010 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  24. forget bipartisanship

    where the hell was this story when bush was in office!!! cnn stop being a second rate news organization and maybe you get some of the cartoon network audience, which has more viewers than you do.

    March 26, 2010 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  25. jane

    Our nation was left in turmoil by the Bush administration, and it will probably take generations to heal. I think much of this anger stems from that, even though it is directed at health care reform and whatever else comes up. We're probably going to have to deal with angry citizens – over any number of things that crop up – for years to come.

    March 26, 2010 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
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