After a pattern of attacking Republican Congresswoman Michele Bachmann of Minnesota, on a nightly basis, one of the strategies is becoming apparent - MSNBC is in need of a boogeyman to give a face to the opposition of these radical steps being undertaken to fundamentally change health care in the United States.
So rather than attack where the opposition is wrong on a policy level, MSNBC "Countdown" fill-in host Lawrence O'Donnell is going to apply one of the tactics from Saul Alinsky's "Rules for Radicals" to promote a dramatic shift in the U.S. health care system - "Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it."
"In our number five story on the countdown tonight, the Congressional Budget Office finds that it would leave 18 million people uninsured and the government-run health insurance plan will probably charge consumers premiums that are quote, ‘Somewhat higher, higher than average premiums for the private plans,' end quote," O'Donnell said on the Oct. 30 broadcast of "Countdown." "This is a devastating conclusion for a plan being sold not just as a low-cost option for consumers, especially poor consumers, but as somehow driving private insurance premiums lower."
The target: The usual MSNBC obsession, Bachmann - and they went out of their way with this one, proving they'll go to any length to villainize her.
"First the politics - Republican Congresswoman Michele Bachmann responded to the House bill today," O'Donnell said. "The full-screen graphic you will see with the question about Joe Lieberman and the word surprise, "surprised" misspelled is courtesy of the interviewers, not the ‘Countdown' staff," O'Donnell said. "The Michael Jackson reference is all Bachmann."
Bachmann explained that this is the path to "socialization" and encouraged people to call their member of Congress to slow down the Democratic leadership's efforts to force this so-called health care reform into law.
"This is socialization of America if this bill goes through," Bachmann said. "And after next Friday, it'll be too late to talk to your member of Congress, so now is the time."
The interviewer asked Bachmann about two Democratic senators that have hinted at siding with the Republican opposition to some of the radical things this health care reform would do to the system. Bachmannd said this was the time to slow its momentum, by making a pop culture reference, which for whatever reason O'Donnell thought he should draw attention to.
"You know I'm not because Joe Lieberman and Ben Nelson are hearing from people back home - real people," Bachmann said. "And that's what we're going to show the rest of these members of Congress next week when people, normal American people who love this country, get in their cars and actually come here next week because the American people realize this is it, just like that brand-new Michael Jackson movie that came out, ‘This is It.' This is it for freedom."
O'Donnell showed he disapproved of the term "socialization" to describe this, with an attempt to be "snarky."
"Regarding Bachmann's objection to quote, ‘The socialization of America,'" O'Donnell said. "Note to Bachmann's staff - Dictionary.com."
Acting on behalf of Bachmann's staff, a look at the Dictionary.com reveals one of the definitions of "socialization" Bachmann wasn't that far off:
Dictionary.com shows "the act or process of making socialistic: the socialization of industry." And by definition, the action the Democratic leadership in Congress is wanting the government to take - to increase its presence and interrupt the market forces - is "the act of process of making socialistic."
And if O'Donnell and his ilk at MSNBC want to continue to dismiss the notion that this isn't part of a long term strategy put in place to develop a single-payer health care system in the United States, just take a look at President Barack Obama in his own words from 2003.
"I happen to be a proponent of a single-payer universal health care program," Obama said. "I see no reason why the United States of America, the wealthiest country in the history of the world, spending 14 percent of its gross National Product on health care cannot provide basic health insurance to everybody. And that's what Jim is talking about when he says everybody in, nobody out. A single-payer health care plan, a universal health care plan - and that's what I'd like to see. But as all of you know, we may not get there immediately. Because first we have to take back the White House, we have to take back the Senate, and we have to take back the House."