Yesterday morning the first thing I heard was that Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Congressman Steny Hoyer had written in USA Today that the protesters of health care reform don't want the facts and that the protests are un-American.
I had one thought:
Oh no they didn't!
I figured that maybe the headline writer had gotten ahead of himself, "over-wrote" the story, as we in media relations complain about sometimes. But no -- it was a direct quote. And, with that one adjective, the House Democrats probably have sealed the bill's fate: failure.
The Democrats have been so tone-deaf on this issue that they just can't believe their eyes and ears -- they can't believe that people actually don't want the reform they're pushing.
Beyond seeming to have lost touch with the heart and soul of America, they almost seem offended that anyone would question their proposal, express indignation when asked how much it would cost, and nearly burst with frustration because don't you realize we've been fighting this battle for decades and we already answered these questions and that the moment is here and we can't just let it pass us by?!
Last month when the Democrats first started pushing back at the protesters, they insulted their intelligence and their individualism. Since that wasn't working, they took it one step further and insulted their patriotism. Advice to Democrats: stop digging.
The leaders in the Democratic party have a responsibility to lay out clear proposals and to explain them fully. If they can't do that, that's not the fault of Americans who are worried about the consequences of just putting their trust in Washington, D.C.
And so, where to they go from here? Unless they are willing to apologize for the insult and offer to listen for once, they'll be rubbing salt in the their self-inflicted wound.
Does their health care plan cover that?