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Why we're talking about race - again
Scripps Howard News Service


September 21, 2009

The Democrats have lost the health care debate.

For months now, polls have been showing that Americans don't want the massive new government controls, regulations, taxes, and spending that Democrats are pushing.

Latest Gallup polling shows 60 percent saying that President Barack Obama's proposal will not expand health coverage without raising taxes on middle class Americans and without affecting the current quality of health care.

Forty three percent approve of how Obama is handling health care and 52 percent disapprove.

You would be hard pressed to find a Democrat or Republican who does not agree that we can improve how we deliver health care.

So the logical conclusion we'd expect now from well intentioned people would be that we go back to square one. We do what Obama promised but never did -- have a truly open, bi-partisan discussion, with all ideas are on the table, to generate the best possible product for the American people.

Why is this not happening? Because it's not about healthcare. It's about ideology.

Despite claims from our Democrat administration that it wants civility, it does not. It wants control.

This nation is already torn apart ideologically. In the last four month,s we've witnessed two cold-blooded ideologically motivated murders. An abortion doctor shot in a church and a pro-life demonstrator murdered in a drive-by shooting in front of a school.

There are fewer and fewer "self evident truths" about which we all agree.

The current charade to paint ideological differences with our president as racially motivated dangerously pours gasoline on the burning embers of our differences.

But this is what Democrats want. They have lost the health-care debate on substance, so they want to make it emotional. They want to intimidate. And nothing intimidates and polarizes like race.

Months ago they started the process of getting socialized medicine -- taking over one sixth of the American economy -- passed in a few short weeks. The deadlines and breathlessness were because they knew that if Americans got a chance to understand what they were trying to do there would be push back. Exactly what has happened.

When the President spoke recently before the joint session of Congress, he finished by asking that we replace "acrimony with civility." But in this same speech he characterized his opposition as fomenting a "partisan spectacle," of "scare tactics" and of "wild claims about a government takeover of health care."

Our smooth talking President reduced those who disagree with him to a bunch of clowns, incorporated not a single major reform idea coming from the opposition, and then accused Republicans of stifling "honest debate."

Is it any wonder that every freedom loving American is at wits end? And that Congressman Joe Wilson lost it when he yelled out "You lie."

To demonstrate the Obama team's interest in civility, immediately after the speech, Rahm Emanuel, Obama's foul-mouthed, take-no-prisoners chief of staff, "charged over to three Republicans," as reported by the Wall St. Journal, "demanding in a profanity-laced tirade that they force Mr. Wilson to apologize."

Cong. Jim Clyburn, third ranking House Democrat, and black caucus member, took the lead in getting a House vote to formally reprimand Wilson. According to Clyburn, "This is about the rules of the House."

But what rules does Clyburn really care about?

When asked in an interview where the Constitution gives the federal government authority to regulate health care delivery, Clyburn replied, "There's nothing in the Constitution that says that the federal government has anything to do with most of the stuff we do."

Finally an honest Democrat. Clyburn pulled no punches that our Constitution, which is the basis of his authority, is irrelevant to him. That it's all about political thuggery.

Which is why we're now talking about race instead of health care.


Star Parker is an author and president of CURE, Coalition on Urban Renewal and Education
She can be reached at parker(at)

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Stories In The News
Ketchikan, Alaska

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