Most of the viewer responses that CNN’s Jack Cafferty read during one of his “Cafferty File” segments on Monday’s Situation Room agreed with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Congressman Steny Hoyer’s “un-American” label against anti-ObamaCare protesters. Though he surprisingly remained neutral when he presented the issue, all but one of the responses sided with the two Democratic leaders.
Cafferty devoted his 5 pm Eastern “Question of the Hour” to Pelosi and Hoyer’s USA Today editorial which ran in Monday’s edition. He summarized their talking points, and then read an excerpt from Republican Senator Mitch McConnell’s response. His question to the CNN viewers: “House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Congressman Steny Hoyer call the town hall protests against health care reform ‘un-American.’ Are they?”
Ten minutes before the top of the 6 pm Eastern hour, Cafferty returned with his selected viewer responses. Only one response disagreed with the Democrats’ “un-American” label, but this particular example raised a chuckle out of the CNN commentator (who earlier this year compared Pelosi to Mao Zedong).
A cursory examination of Cafferty’s blog, where all of the viewer responses are posted, finds that there are more than a few examples of those who disagree with Pelosi and Hoyer’s charge against the town hall protesters.
The full transcript of the Cafferty File segment, which began nine minutes into the 5 pm Eastern hour, and the viewer responses near the end of the hour:
JACK CAFFERTY: Top Democrats call the protest against health care reform ‘un-American.’ House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Majority Leader Steny Hoyer write in a USA Today op-ed piece that opponents of this debate ‘are afraid not just of differing views — but of the facts themselves.’ They claim that ‘drowning out the facts’ is how this country has failed so many times at overhauling health care. Although they say dialogue is at the heart of democracy, these Democrats- Pelosi and Hoyer- describe the protests as an ‘ugly campaign’ that represents reform and disrupts the discussion- misrepresents reform I should say. They point to tactics that have included hanging in effigy one Democratic congressman, holding a sign that showed a tombstone with the name of another lawmaker, and shouting ‘just say no’ over those who wanted to have a real discussion on reform.
Pelosi and Hoyer insist that despite the disruptions, members of Congress will listen to their constituents and explain the reform. They say they’re confident that their health care plan will stand up to any critics. Meanwhile, Republicans insist these protests are legitimate. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell calls complaints from the Democrats ‘absurd.’ He says attacking people for expressing their opinions ‘may indicate some weakness in their position.’ McConnell says the fact is Americans are concerned about health care reform, and the Democrats need to deal with that.
So here’s the question: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Congressman Steny Hoyer call the town hall protests against health care reform ‘un-American.’ Are they? Go to CNN.com/CaffertyFile, post a comment on my blog.
-05:50 pm EDT
CAFFERTY: The question this hour: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Congressman Steny Hoyer say the town hall protests against health care reform are ‘un-American.’ Are they?
Mike writes, ‘Yes, the protests are un-American. We have a lot of people without health care, and every day numerous American citizens die because of it. The protestors have no concern for anyone but themselves.’
Rita writes from Florida, ‘When the Bush administration did anything that was not to our liking, being un-American was the way to drown the criticism. Now that the shoe is on the other foot, they’re screaming freedom of speech.’
Ron in Florida writes, ‘The Democratic Congress should force the health care reform plan down the throats of the Republicans who refuse to participate in reform, apparently finding it more productive to encourage their constituents to shout down any attempt at civil discussion. President Obama was elected because of his agenda, which is the people’s agenda.’
Lynn in Oklahoma City: ‘Jack, Pelosi’s full of it. She just can’t handle the truth that we the people hate her plan and won’t just follow her into hell. If she loves this plan so much, why isn’t there a requirement that all federal employees (including the House and Senate) go on it? I’ll tell you why: because she knows it’s crap!’ (laughs)
Bev- Bev in New York: ‘The behavior’s un-American and thuggish, and shows to the rest of the world ignorance is alive and well here in the U-S-of-A. When I look at some of coverage, most of these clowns are bigots worrying about their own Medicare, or wanting their America back. None of them has read the plan, as evidenced by how fast the euthanasia rumor got around. Even the non-reading, Alaska quitter was willing to repeat that.’
Jim in Colorado says, ‘Being loud, rude, crude and obnoxious has always been an American trait. The term Ugly American wasn’t coined without a reason.’