Monday, August 31, 2009

Oconee Protest Recap

Perhaps a couple of hundred folks showed up at Oconee Veterans Park on an absolutely gorgeous Saturday morning to speak their minds about healthcare “reform.”

The crowd appeared to be about evenly split between those who favored the various bills wending their ways through Congress and those who did not (unsurprisingly, I count myself among the latter). Each side, which was essentially preaching to its own choir, got a bit raucous on occasion but, for the most part, civility prevailed. Much to their credit, after the scheduled speakers had completed their remarks the organizers of the event opened up the microphone to anyone, regardless of their positions on the topic at hand.

A minor controversy arose over the invocation offered by former Oconee GOP chairman Larry Davidson; some on the left though that Davidson singled them out for disdain of some sort. My wife and I arrived late and missed Davidson’s comments. However, when we inquired of several attendees about the prayer; none of those to whom we spoke found anything particularly amiss with it.

Be that as it may, though, there was that one woman who took advantage of the open microphone to blatantly call Republican opposition to healthcare “reform” racist. According to her, conservative reticence about a government takeover of healthcare merely stemmed from having a black man in the White House. Of course, labeling opponents as racist has been a standard tactic of the left for years; I vividly remember being likened to the Ku Klux Klan for maintaining the “pro” position at a forum concerning nonpartisan elections for Athens-Clarke County mayor and commissioners back in 2004 – a referendum the overwhelmingly blue voters of Athens-Clarke County approved by a 2-to-1 margin, by the way. Fortunately, that tactic doesn’t work nearly so well anymore.

Also, though we on the right are constantly labeled “Astroturf” protestors, I will note that the only folks who came supplied with preprinted signs which, of course, denoted at least some pre-event organization and planning, were on the left.

See the Banner-Herald’s photos of the event here.

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