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Who are the Real Brownshirts?

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Congressman Brian Baird, a Democrat from Vancouver, Washington, told the Columbian, a newspaper serving Clark County: “What we’re seeing right now is close to Brown Shirt tactics. . . . I mean that very seriously.” On Rachel Maddow’s MSNBC show, Baird went even further by claiming that town hall rhetoric was “eerily reminiscent of the kind of things that led Timothy McVeigh to bomb the federal building in Oklahoma.” Congressman Baird should take a gander at this exchange between one of his fellow Democrat colleagues and a medical doctor who lives in Rep. David Scott’s district in Georgia and tell us who the brownshirt is. (This report is the way journalism should be done. Bravo to “11 Alive News” in Atlanta.) Nancy Pelosi stepped in it, although the media are ignoring it, when she claimed that attendees were “carrying swastikas and symbols like that to a town meeting on healthcare.”

Who were the brownshirts? They served as a paramilitary organization of the Nazi Party. They got the name “brownshirts” because of the color of their uniforms and the fact that they showed up en masse to intimidate audiences at meetings where Nazi leaders were speaking. As we’re beginning to see, the people turning up at these town hall meetings to confront their elected officials on the rapid passage of a healthcare bill they have not read are not an organized mob, contrary to the claims of Democrats. They are regular citizens who want their questions answered. It’s obvious that those hosting the meetings are ignorant on the facts of the 1017-page bill (H.R. 3200). That’s why people are angry and frustrated. And it’s not just against Democrats.

If there is an apropos designation of brownshirts, it’s union members who have invested heavily in the Obama administration and have a lot to gain by the passage of a comprehensive healthcare bill. They show up at these meetings wearing shirts identifying themselves as union members. There are reports that they have used force to keep people out of meetings. One man claims to have been beaten up by someone wearing a shirt that identified him as a union member. The union itself has sent out a clarion call to its members to make their presence felt at these town hall meetings. Here’s a portion of an article from “The Huffington Post” website that describes what the unions have in store for future meetings. These are the tactics of brownshirts:

The nation’s largest federation of labor organizations has promised to directly engage with boisterous conservative protesters at Democratic town halls during the August recess. In a memo sent out on Thursday, AFL-CIO President John Sweeney outlined the blueprint for how the union conglomerate would step up recess activities on health care reform and other topics pertinent to the labor community. . . . The AFL-CIO is planning to target 50 “high priority districts,” in addition to organizing telephone town hall gatherings.

At a St Louis town hall meeting some in attendance were wearing t-shirts bearing the logo of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), which is a member organization of Health Care for America Now!, a left-wing coalition pushing for the passage of ObamaCare. SEIU was a large supporter of Obama. In an interview with the Las Vegas Sun, SEIU President Andy Stern had this to say about last year’s presidential election: “We spent a fortune to elect Barack Obama — $60.7 million to be exact — and we’re proud of it.”

So if there is any talk of brownshirts, the proper designation belongs with those who are organized by the political Left. In this case, they seem to be “blueshirts,” members of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) who have gotten their marching orders from Deputy Chief of Staff David Axelrod who called on supporters of comprehensive healthcare legislation to “punch back twice as hard” at the growing grass roots movement opposing the bill. Apparently, some took this literally. With a name like Axelrod, is it any wonder?

Article posted August 10, 2009

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