By Andrew Breitbart - Tuesday, August 30, 2011 12:00 am
When the history of Barack Obama's one-term presidency is written, August 2009 will be remembered as the turning point.
It was then that thousands of ordinary citizens began to rise up against a health care bill being forced through Congress. And it was then that the Obama administration declared war, through its union proxies, against the American people.
Obama had been elected to fix the economy. But Democrats had planned for years to use the first year of the next "progressive" presidency to push universal health care, according to the plan written in federal prison by convicted fraudster and Democrat strategist Robert Creamer. That plan declared: "To win we must not just generate understanding, but emotion — fear, revulsion, anger, disgust."
The Democrats followed that plan to the letter and vowed to pass ObamaCare — then known as H.R. 3200 — before that summer's end. But when they dispatched members of Congress to town hall meetings to sell Obama's policy, they met unprecedented outrage — not just protests, but the simple, searing questions of their constituents: "Why should we pay for abortions?" "Does the legislation cover illegal immigrants?" "Have you even read the bill?"
Some of the opposition was organized by Tea Party groups that had sprung up in the wake of President Obama's massive stimulus in February 2009. But much of it was spontaneous. Then-House Speaker (now Minority Leader) Nancy Pelosi called the protests "un-American" and falsely accused Tea Party members of carrying swastikas. That made the public even more indignant.
By early August, President Obama realized he was losing public support. So he turned to the "community organizing" techniques of his Chicago days. On Aug. 6, 2009, Jim Messina, then-White House Deputy Chief of Staff (now managing Obama's re-election campaign), told Democrats to "punch back twice as hard." The same day, John Sweeney, then-president of the AFL-CIO, issued a memo telling union members to show up at the town hall "battleground."
That very evening, union thugs at a town hall meeting in Tampa assaulted a man who opposed ObamaCare, ripping the shirt off his back. And that same night in St. Louis, Ken Gladney allegedly was beaten up outside a town hall meeting as he tried to distribute Gadsden ("Don't Tread On Me") flags by union thugs yelling, "What kind of nigger are you?" The next day, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius thanked SEIU members for their efforts at town halls.
It didn't stop there. On Aug. 31, left-wing organizers outside a town hall meeting in suburban Chicago instructed activists to block residents' questions. The Gladney attack was a small part of a much larger campaign of intimidation, directed from the White House. The acquittals in the Gladney case cannot erase what happened, even though the high-flying lawyers brought in by the SEIU outmatched the rookie prosecutor. But the verdict has been seized upon by the left-wing propagandists at Media Matters, which received a hefty donation from the SEIU after the Gladney attack and which set about trying to destroy Gladney's credibility.
Local graduate student Adam Shriver has been a willing accomplice in Media Matters' revisionism. In an Aug. 25 oped column in the Post-Dispatch, he accuses me of 'smearing" unions — yet in this case and others, Shriver focuses obsessively on shreds that favor his ideological patrons, knowing and caring little about the facts as a whole.
Recently, when professors at the University of Missouri were caught indoctrinating their students in violent tactics in labor disputes, Shriver tried to dismiss the evidence by focusing on edits in a highlight reel created by an independent blogger. He refuses to join calls for the university to release video or transcripts of the course as a whole, thereby assisting the administration's cover-up. Both private and public unions continue to use those thuggish tactics — most recently in the Verizon strike, where union members staged a mock funeral outside an executive's home, and even put a little girl in front of a truck to scare replacement workers.
Ken Gladney was an innocent victim, singled out by thugs specifically because they thought he was a black conservative, for whom the Janeane Garolafos of the left reserve special contempt. Those who accuse the Tea Party of being "terrorists," and who blamed Sarah Palin for the Tucson massacre, have yet to be held accountable for the violence they unleashed in August 2009. They "won" the Gladney case, but they are losing the nation, thanks to the extraordinary courage of ordinary people who will not be silenced.