Politics, Please!

August 13, 2009

On Tuesday, President Obama held a town-hall meeting on health-care reform at Portsmouth High School in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, and after some opening remarks, he fielded questions from the audience.
The second person called was a sixth-grader with an intelligent and observant query:

All right. Let’s — this young lady right here. All right, this young lady right here. She’s still enjoying her summer. When do you go back to school?
Q: I go back to school September third.
THE PRESIDENT: September third, okay. What’s your name?
Q: Julia Hall from Malden, Massachusetts.
THE PRESIDENT: Nice to meet you, Julia. (Applause.)
Q: I saw — as I was walking in, I saw a lot of signs outside saying mean things about reforming health care. How do kids know what is true, and why do people want a new system that can — that help more of us?

Obama refuted the so-called “death panels” in which the system would “pull the plug on grandma” — a major falsehood promoted by the GOP wingnuttery — and explained in careful detail how this lie came about and how insurance companies profit from Medicare.
He also added this about the root of the current health care bill in Congress:

The irony is that actually one of the chief sponsors of this bill originally was a Republican — then House member, now senator, named Johnny Isakson from Georgia — who very sensibly thought this is something that would expand people’s options.
And somehow it’s gotten spun into this idea of “death panels.” I am not in favor of that. So just I want to — (applause.) I want to clear the air here.

Despite that question and its answer, young Miss Julia has become the bitch of the far-asshole-right.
Starting with drug-crazed Rush Limbaugh:

I predicted it halfway yesterday.
Right before Obama’s — we now know, by the way, the whole thing yesterday was a stacked deck.
That thing in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, was totally phony. The little girl that asked a question is the daughter of a huge Obama supporter.

And the “plant” aspect reflects on young Miss Julia’s mom, Manning Hall.
As gutter-brain mouth, Michelle Malkin, spurted on her blog:

Manning Hall has donated thousands of dollars to Obama, as has her law firm.
But, you know, um, like Obama said: “I don’t want people saying I just have a bunch of plants in here.”
Oh, goodness. Of course not.

Now, look for Dems to play the kiddie human shield card to the hilt. Anyone who mentions Hall’s political pedigree will be attacked as a vicious meanie stalker.

Malkin also added a disgruntled and moronic reader response:

From reader Ricky: “I think everyone is missing the biggest point. We are in the middle of a most serious debate, why the hell is the President wasting everyone’s time fielding questions from an 11 year old? I am getting tired of this in our modern culture, the all wise and knowing child.”

And this from right-wing Washington Times:

The most insufferable moment of the “town-hall” meeting was when 13-year-old Julia Hall from Malden, Mass., read a question from a card about seeing “a lot of signs outside saying mean things about reform in health care.”
It’s a sad commentary on the health care debate that the president has to resort to this kind of stunt to attempt to insulate his plan from criticism.

No one in wingnut land discussed the crazy with a gun at the same meeting, or the mob attending a similar event in California, or the other “raucous” crowds at health care public discussions – threats and more threats from nutcases the media nutcases won’t talk about.

Young Miss Julia, however, is thrilled.
According to the Boston Globe:

Kathleen Manning Hall, Julia’s mother, was shocked when her daughter said she wanted to ask a question. They wrote it down beforehand, and Julia didn’t miss a beat when Obama called on her.
“It was surreal,” said Manning Hall, a coordinator of Massachusetts Women for Obama during the election.
She said Julia was moved by a woman’s testimonial on Tuesday before the president spoke. The woman described her ordeal battling liver disease without health insurance.
“Julia talked about it the whole way home,” said Manning Hall, adding that they often discuss politics. “We talk a lot about human rights and having compassion for people.”
Julia also enjoys soccer and playing guitar, especially songs by Taylor Swift, her favorite artist.
“She entertained my whole family on Christmas Day,” Manning Hall said. “She’s a wonderful child. She’s a very sensitive, smart girl and I’m hoping she becomes more interested in politics and helping people.”
She may get her wish. Julia said she’d like to run for office someday, maybe even for president.
“It would be awesome if I could work in politics,” she said.

Hey, Malkin, that’d be a real pisser, huh?

(h/t to Raw Story).

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