[Masthead] Overcast ~ 55°F  
High: 63°F ~ Low: 36°F
Sunday, Jan. 22, 2017

Just who deserves an apology?

Posted Friday, August 21, 2009, at 10:32 AM

Here's an example of partisan politics at their worst.

Lt. Governor Ron Ramsey, a Republican who is actively campaigning for governor, is urging supporters to sign a petition demanding an apology from U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, who were critical of disruptions at town hall meetings.

"These disruptions are occurring because opponents are afraid not just of differing views--but of the facts themselves. Drowning out opposing views is simply un-American," Pelosi and Hoyer wrote in USA Today earlier this week.

And Ramsey responds, "I've read it over and over and still can't believe my eyes." He says Pelosi and Hoyer (and, he bets, the Obama Administration" are "calling voters who voice their opinion 'un-American.' "

Look closely. There's a massive difference between the terms "voicing their opinion" and "drowning out." Ramsey says nothing about the tactic (that's what it is, a tactic) of drowning out an opponent -- completely keeping one side from being heard -- and misrepresents Pelosi and Hoyer, who are saying absolutely nothing against voters calmly, even firmly, speaking out.

Here's an example from supposed pro-GOP Fox News, of all places, courtesy of YouTube.

Reminds me of inmature kids throwing a temper tantrum till they get their way..and just like we've seen Democrats do as well.

And it seems like anyone who is truly confident of their position can defend it without resorting to abusive shouting and screaming.

I agree with Ramsey on some issues, including his comments that people should speak out at meetings and elected officials should "listen to the American people." That includes listening to all sides of an issue, Ron.

Showing comments in chronological order
[Show most recent comments first]

i have always despised al sharpton, and considered him as counterproductive to his "cause", due to his tactic of seizing upon any real or imagined slight, blowing it out of proportion, misrepresenting the facts, and wallowing in faux indignation. unfortunately, it seems that what passes for republican leadership these days consists of avid disciples of the sharpton technique. i say unfortunately, because "conservative" and "thought" are not mutually exclusive terms, regardless of the impression we might get from listening to the current leadership. they seem to be gambling that an incensed lunatic fringe will generate enough votes, and the silent moderate majority will be so disgusted that they do not vote, so that pandering, posturing, and fertilizer will win them elections. we saw how well that worked last november. the republican party is in desperate need of real leadership. the question is, if any real leaders step forward, can the fruitcakes drive them away?

-- Posted by lazarus on Fri, Aug 21, 2009, at 11:09 AM

If we are going to represent facts, then let's use the facts, please. Nancy Pelosi, in front of a news micrphone, when asked about these town hall protestors said exactly these words. "They are un-American" She never once used the words "drowning out" until she co-wrote the aforementioned article with Mr. Hoyer. I was watching the newscast and I saw and heard her speak those exact words. Mr. Obama has even suggested that the protestors "shut up and get out of the way" Another direct quote. I never once dreamed I'd ever live in an America where it's leaders spoke of American citizens in this manner. Unfortunately, both parties are guilty of this nonsense.

-- Posted by Tim Lokey on Fri, Aug 21, 2009, at 9:05 PM

At one time,people could have been easily shut out or silenced.

Then,they had the audacity to become literate and make information available to the public through the written word.

This was followed by newsreels,radio,television and the Internet.

Now,there is less chance of keeping information and the exchange of ideas out of the hands of the people.

There is more likelihood of a spread of disinformation,an encouragement of complacency and resignation/disillusionment and a substitution of schtick,spin and sizzle over substance.

Those who would keep the public ignorant and uninvolved have more outlets to suppress than they once did.

Should they try to squelch free speech and independent thought,the equivalent of Radio Free Europe and the oral historians of Farenheit 451 would still exist to counter them.

Destroying a free press,town meetings,schools,the Internet,etc. would challenge the people to use their strengths to attack the very vulnerabilty that prompts tyrants to undermine and paralyze those they wish to control.

A shrewd way of preventing dissent is to make people apathetic.

If people are ignorant and uncaring,much harm can be done right under their noses.

Former despots tried to impede potential foes by denying them the chance to read and write.

This was an imperfect solution because the illiterate could strive to learn and communicate in other ways.

Today's aliterate who *don't* read are more disadvantaged than the persons who can't read.

They don't know what they don't know or what they know that isn't true.

They don't know what's behind the silence or what is obscured or distorted by "discussions" that generate more heat than light.

Soundbites,public brawls and the trivialization of the media strip us of what we need to hone our critical thinking,interact with one another constructively and,in general,have the data and the determination to examine issues and make an appropriate response.

Those who would encourage such shallowness and inaction don't trust their own ability to think and act and,as a result,cannot accept a populace that might be intelligent and involved.

I don't think we can flatter ourselves into assuming that an enemy might tip its hand by trying to muzzle us or suppress facts.

It's all too likely that we will be trained to think we know all we need to know and that anything else is boring or beyond our comprehension.

We will be the betas of the Brave New World who can feel smug about our superiority over the less priviledged and cheery that we are not as nerdy or paranoid as the prophets who beg us to examine everything,take nothing at face value and never abdicate our position of stewadship and self-determination.

The disruptive shills and the people who would deny the everyman his say serve the same agenda.

They fear the voice of the people even as they fear the publics's eyes,ears,feet and hands.

If we know and if we participate,we have better options than stumbling blindly in games of follow-the-leader others have imposed.

We might choose our own leaders and our own paths in the directions that suit our best interests -and give us a chance to win.

-- Posted by quantumcat on Sat, Aug 22, 2009, at 1:17 AM

I agree with Quantumcat

Khrushchev said back in the 1950's, if we feed the people in the United States a little bit of socialism at a time through their elected officals they will wake up one day and be communist.

socialism: A social system or theory in which the producers posses politcal power and the means of producing and distributing goods.

Look at what our govenment has taken control of just this year. They will create government jobs and the jobs in the private sector will become fewer and fewer.

-- Posted by bellbuckletn on Sun, Aug 23, 2009, at 9:55 AM

I've personally decided that at my level of disgust, from here on out I will vote against anyone who is an incumbant. Time to fire people and remind them that they are servants to the public! I'm still angry about how TN blew thru the tabaco windfall and then wanted to start a state income tax. GET YOUR FLIPPIN PAWS OUT OF MY POCKETS! Better yet, get a real job and see how the real world struggles with a budget. I wouldn't hire a single state rep. or member of the U.S. congress to empty trash cans in a timely manner.

-- Posted by big daddy rabbit on Tue, Sep 1, 2009, at 9:26 PM

Respond to this blog

Posting a comment requires free registration:

David Melson is a copy editor and staff writer for the Times-Gazette.