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August 10th, 2009
05:00 PM ET

Pelosi & Hoyer: Town hall protests 'un-American'

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Majority Leader Steny Hoyer write in a USA Today op-ed that opponents of the debate "are afraid not just of differing views - but of the facts themselves". They claim that "drowning out the facts" is how this country has failed many times at overhauling health care.

Although they say dialogue is at the heart of democracy. These Democrats describe the protests as an "ugly campaign" that misrepresents reform and disrupts the discussion. They point to tactics that have included: hanging in effigy one Democratic congressman, holding a sign that showed a tombstone with the name of another lawmaker, and shouting "Just say no" over those who wanted to have a real discussion on reform.

Pelosi and Hoyer insist that despite the disruptions, members of Congress will listen to their constituents and explain the reform. They say they're confident that their health care plan will stand up to any critics.

Meanwhile, Republicans insist the protests are legitimate. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell calls complaints from Democrats "absurd". He says attacking people for expressing their opinions "may indicate some weakness in their position." McConnell says the fact is Americans are concerned about health care reform, and the Democrats need to deal with that.

Here’s my question to you: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Rep. Steny Hoyer call the town hall protests against health care reform "Un-American." Are they?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?



Mike says:

Yes, the protests are un-American. We have a lot of people without health care, and every day numerous American citizens die needlessly because of it. The protestors have no concern for anyone but themselves.

Rita from Pensacola, Florida says:
When the Bush administration did anything that was not to our liking, being un-American was the way to drown any criticism. Now that the shoe is on the other foot, they are screaming "freedom of speech".

Ron from Vero Beach, Florida says:
The Democratic Congress should force the health care plan down the throats of the Republicans who refuse to participate in reform, apparently finding it more productive to encourage their constituents to shout down any attempt at civil discussion. President Obama was elected because of his agenda, which is the people's agenda.

Lynn from Oklahoma City says:
Jack, Pelosi is full of it. She just can't handle the truth that "we the people" hate her plan and won't just follow her into "hell". If she loves this plan so much, why is it there isn't a requirement that all federal employees (including the House and Senate) go on it? I'll tell you why: because she knows it's crap!

Bev from New York says:
The behavior is un-American and thuggish, and shows to the rest of the world that ignorance is alive and well here in the U-S-of-A. When I look at some of coverage, most of these clowns are bigots worrying about their own Medicare, or wanting "their America" back. None of them have read the plan, as evidenced by how fast the euthanasia rumor got around. Even the non-reading, Alaska quitter was willing to repeat it.

Jim from Colorado says:
Being loud, rude, crude and obnoxious have always been American traits. The term 'Ugly American' wasn't coined without a reason.


Filed under: Health care • Nancy Pelosi • Steny Hoyer
soundoff (298 Responses)
  1. Curly

    I am amazed at how out of touch with the American people that some of these politicians really are. Since when is it unamerican to protest something. Nancy Pelosi was probably protesting the Civil War in her younger days and didn't think it was unamerican at the time. The only reason that they play down the protests is because it will get in the way of their progressive agenda.

    Curly
    Ashland, Wisconsin

    August 10, 2009 at 4:40 pm |
  2. Denis Duffy

    Nancy Pelosi may be speaker of the house, but she does not speak for everyone in the USA. There is not an utterance that comes from her that I find believable. As far as she is concerned, anyone who does not agree with her is un-american. I find her demeanor and comments contemptable. Jack, just tell her to shut up for me.

    Denis
    Pittsburgh, Pa.

    August 10, 2009 at 4:41 pm |
  3. Marietta

    yes un American....health care should not be a political agenda..talking about human life..a civilized nation is judge how it treats its most vulnerable and disadvantaged...do not talk of Dafur..ever

    And when anyone says anyone or anything is socialist, ask them are they not socialist? Do they not share with all the resources in America? ..natural or other wise? socialism is in the "same category as Capitalism" –it is--not a political system-, but a system for the "distribution of goods and services"....all have received what they have worked for or not . all are sharing in "freely" from all who came before us..

    If you share a box of cereal you are a socialist....Republicans are driving on roads they did not build , hospitals, sitting in a white house they did not build, but there sitting for "free and reaping what they did not work or earn also..... ...Republicans share in all the "resources" in America...the water we drink, the air we breath, the food they eat and did not labor for.

    Republicans live in the land of the "free" many many "did not go to war for or die for al.......,..republicans are socialist.also..republicans share in that they to did not labor for or earn......... all are socialist, a nation shares with all its resources...., we share also in the "resources"f from other nations, and the world..we did not work for either...there is good socialism and evil socialism....corporate greed for profits...while people are dying and suffering ....is evil socialism that does not prosper the nations as a whole...

    August 10, 2009 at 4:42 pm |
  4. Angela, Kentucky

    If they resort to violence or are shutting down debate then they are hindering the democratic process. Doesn't seem very American to me. Since when are we supposed to give into being bullied?

    August 10, 2009 at 4:44 pm |
  5. walt Utah

    These people are AMERICANS and are becoming "MAD AS HELL" with the ineptness, incompetence and arrogance of this Whitehouse and Congress trying to ram legislation through without reading it or knowing the financial consequences.
    Unfortunately, loud talk and shouting is sometimes the only way the people we voted for, the ones who "work for us" will listen to us. These are TRUE AMERICANS exercising their First Amendment Right of "FREEDOM OF SPEECH"....especially political speech.

    It's time for Nancy to jump in one the new $550 million dollar planes she is contemplating buying with OUR MONEY and fly off into the sunset.

    Walt

    August 10, 2009 at 4:45 pm |
  6. Jim

    I'd yell at Pelosi and Hoyer if I could go, I'm too busy to go to the town hall meetings because I'm reading the bill that my senators and representatives refuse to read because its too difficult to understand. I figure I'll run for congress after these chuckleheads get bounced out of office next November.

    Jim
    New York, NY

    August 10, 2009 at 4:45 pm |
  7. Donald in CA

    I agree with Nancy. And remember the Un-American comments started under Sen McCarthy in the fifties and Bush when he became
    President in 2000. Look how they crucified the Dixie Chicks for a simple comment about Bush. Nancy will look you in the eye and tell you whats on her mind, not hide behind anyone like the republicans hide behind Rush Limbaugh.

    August 10, 2009 at 4:47 pm |
  8. Alice NEWYORK

    NO! Thats democracy in action. When you have a mob frenzi mentality then there is room for concern. Remember it is media that is the driving force in this. We all have to take a deep breath and close our mouths and listen with our ears to the whole situation. I'm really scared that someone will get hurt in this environment of hostility.

    August 10, 2009 at 4:48 pm |
  9. Mari, Salt Lake City, Utah

    Hi Jack,

    Its interesting that the very same people, Conservatives, who called us, Liberals, anti-American and unpatriotic are protesting now! And of course, they believe they are justified!

    Fine, I say to the protesters, protest all you want! However, behave yourselves, be CIVIL. Otherwise, America (I think we already did) will turn against you!

    One thing is to protest, make your case....... its quite another to spew hate, lies, fear and division!

    August 10, 2009 at 4:48 pm |
  10. Don (Ottawa)

    Yes they are "Un-American." The lack of respect shown to those that came to explain the program is not what our country was founded on. It shows the failure of parenting and our education system to instill a sense of respect for those of opposing views.

    August 10, 2009 at 4:48 pm |
  11. Steve Canada

    I would stop short of the "Unamerican" label..The ability to speak out is a symbol of democracy ...Almost all the clips shown are of disruptive loud, angry confrontational type events. These events are sometimes uncomfortable, with difficult questions,...but they are being stoked by the likes of your beloved Sarah..."Death Panels!!!!"...Palin. For Goodness sake..If I listened to the firestoking drivel out there, I would be screaming too....

    August 10, 2009 at 4:48 pm |
  12. Ed - California

    Everyone has the right to complain on any issue. Where I differ with them is. If you haven't bother to look over or read the bill, or you just follow the "Rush" of over reactors (cleaned that up) who didn't bother to do any research either. Then most likely the person who you'll hurt most is yourself.
    I downloaded the bill from Rep. Starks web site and looked it over. It offers more protections at a lower cost to us. You can't be turned for insurance coverage at all. It doesn't matter if your sick or healthy, you're covered.
    It increases Medicare coverage, it increases Medicare Advantage coverage. it closes the prescription costs. I don't know if you have to carry the outside supplemental coverage or not. (I need to find out. I'm 50y/o retired w/medical from a union, Medicare coverage is aways for me. it did work good for my parents, and this new stuff is alot better).
    It has real protections for the elderly who are in the 'Rest homes'. It looks like the Ombudsman's will have greater power to shut down the abuse that goes on in these facilities or "People Kennels" . The owner's and workers in these places will be held responsible for any abuse to our elderly. I wish we had this when my parents were alive.
    The third part of the bill covers, the continuing education of our Medical Practitioners and the schools that teach Nursing. If your going to work in the Health Care field then you will be educated and hopefully background check before you are allowed to assist our elderly or our sick in these facilities, hospitals or at home.
    Look, just download the bill, turn off the radio or the TV and read it. Yeah, in parts it reads like stereo instructions, but mostly it's easy to read. And, if you have problems in understanding it, call your rep or senators office for clarification. Nothing will get down by yelling at each other. Read it then yell, or don't.

    August 10, 2009 at 4:49 pm |
  13. Don from Missouri

    Protests are very American and expected and protected by the Constitution provided they are civil in nature. Its what makes us so different in the world. We applaud counter-points and debates. It keeps the wills of Washington from trumping the will of the people, well, most of the time.

    August 10, 2009 at 4:52 pm |
  14. Greg, Ontario

    No freedom of speech is just that. In America though it has been transformed into the right to lie and misinform. Face it Jack until the day that corporate lobbying is made against the law Americans will be lied to by all the politicians in their pocket and the American people will suffer for it. America is to afraid to try something new on this scale.

    August 10, 2009 at 4:54 pm |
  15. mark in Houston

    First...Republicans are demonstrating the mind set that will keep me and millions more away from their party....period.

    Are the protests un- American. Yes, if being allowed to have lawful, civil discourse at public meetings political or otherwise is intentionally interrupted or prevented by any opposition.

    No.....if you accept the Republican mind set consisting of anger, fear mongering, bullying, lies and threats. This is beginning to look like a chapter of activity from the Hitler Youth corps.

    August 10, 2009 at 4:54 pm |
  16. Billy from Ky

    These two should be VOTED out of office next election-They should be ashamed of themselves for telling us Americans that we are UNAMERICANS-vote them out of office for those remarks.Thats alot of whats going on with this country when our voted in officials make those stupid remarks about our hard working Americans paying their salaries-VOTE THEM OUT OF OFFICE.

    August 10, 2009 at 4:56 pm |
  17. Marion/Birmingham

    No Jack it would be Un-American to do nothing,and accept the idea that congressmen have the Best interest of the nation at hand...They don't even know what is in the bill,yet are trying to force it upon us... Why is it Ok for the Democrats to protest when they disagree but not even other Democrats can protest if they feel Obama is mis-leading the country?

    August 10, 2009 at 4:56 pm |
  18. Patty.D. Bristol, Pa.

    Dear Jack, These so-called 'Protests' are a joke. These are people who are being rounded up by Corporate lobbyists who bus them to these events. In my 42 years, I have never seen such amanufactured 'Protests'. It reminds me of the 'Tea Parties' which were pushed by Big Business. This is a big sham.

    August 10, 2009 at 4:57 pm |
  19. Brian Smith PhD

    Here is the deal Jack. They say the protests are un-American. No no…. what Pelosi and Hoyer mean to say is the protests are "un-Washington status quo." Status quo in Washington is to send in a highly financed lobbyist to "grease the palm." The truth is these town hall meetings are only window dressing to make it appear members of Congress are listening to the voters. As always, at the end of the day, members of Congress will only be listening to big money lobbyists.

    August 10, 2009 at 4:57 pm |
  20. Scott Stodden

    Jack why is it "Un-American" to express your opinion or point of view? Dont we still have the freedom of speech in this country anymore or did they just recently do away with that? Iam a liberal Democrat Jack and I support affordable healthcare for all, something has to be done but for Nancy Pelosi and Stenny Hoyer to stand there and say that these town hall protests against Healthcare are un-american is ridiculous and ludacris. Sounds like in the future Jack with Democrats in control that we are going to lose our freedom of speech, sounds like everything including the right to free speech is being goverment run and thats not the American and thats not only my opinion.

    Scott Stodden (Freeport,IL)

    August 10, 2009 at 4:58 pm |
  21. Betty, Kentucky

    They are not Un-American we are all entitled to free speech, however instead of all the shouting down and anger why can't we have a civil discussion at these meetings where citizens can have their questions answered and concerns discussed. All the shouting and disruptions of these meetings gets us nowhere. We need to hear from both sides then make an informed decision as to what we need in healthcare reform. I think a lot of people are scared because they just don't know all the facts and both sides are twisting the facts to suit their own goals.

    August 10, 2009 at 4:58 pm |
  22. Michael Roepke - Dallas, TX

    I have seen swastikas, our President with a Hitler moustache, and the most and the divisive ex-governor of Alaska accusing our President, a black man in America, of planning on setting up “Death Panels.”
    I can’t help thinking of the Night of Broken Glass, when a carefully organized outrage led to two days when over 1,000 synagogues were burned, 7,000 Jewish businesses were trashed and looted, dozens of Jewish people were killed, and Jewish cemeteries, hospitals, schools, and homes were looted while police and fire brigades stood by.
    Organized outrage can lead otherwise good people to do unthinkable things. We have seen lynch mobs in our past, but today I think we could all agree that this sort of thing could possibly lead to actions I consider Un-American.

    August 10, 2009 at 5:01 pm |
  23. Silas, Frederick, MD

    I find any congressman that says that anything is unamerican is just another thing to add to the list of things that make our government shine....

    August 10, 2009 at 5:03 pm |
  24. Mike from Denver

    Protesting the governing body is how this country was founded. To say it is "Un-American" to protest puts Pelosi and Hoyer somewhere between ignorant and childish.

    August 10, 2009 at 5:04 pm |
  25. Janne from NC

    Why is when democrats organize and protest it is patriotic but when independents and republicans do it is un-American? I guess all those democrats that demonstrated against Bush were un-American. As far as Pelosi is concerned anyone not a democrat is a nazi.

    August 10, 2009 at 5:05 pm |
  26. Richard Green

    Jack,
    Protesting against health reform is no more unAmerican than protesting taxes or the continuing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. What is decidedly unAmerican are the tactics of disruption and intimidation that are meant to silence debate and terrorize those in attendance. Arrest those who disrupt the townhalls and let a court decide if their 1st amendment rights have been denied them.

    Rich Green
    San Clemente, Cal.

    August 10, 2009 at 5:07 pm |
  27. Dave in Saint Louis!

    No! This is a joke! When the Dems protest the war and Bush I did not hear people call them extreme violent domestic organize terrorist! Dissent is not a crime it is a right!

    August 10, 2009 at 5:07 pm |
  28. bill in Texas

    Jack,
    Lets look at facts: the overhead in medicare is 4% so 96 cents of every dollar pays for medical care. Medicare is not canceled if you are sick. The private health insurance overhead is about 24% so only 76 cents goes to pay for medical care. If you get sick you may get canceled and have no care at all. You can then join all those who go bankrupt every year paying medical bills. The profits in insurance and drugs reach in the billions of dollars. They will tell any lie they think might get some press to stop reform. A single payer option is necessary to help control costs or we all go broke. The lies and lairs do NOT deserve any media attention at all. Lets just report facts that are true and leave the propaganda to the advertising.

    August 10, 2009 at 5:08 pm |
  29. susan - corona, ca

    Jack,

    I don't want to call them anything but I do sense how desperate the GOP has been...this is exactly same drama like how long it took Bush to admit our economic is in recession, as for now how long it will take for GOP to understand their lousy game is over..

    I would say Getting Dirty is un-American...so is GOP

    Susan
    Corona, CA

    August 10, 2009 at 5:08 pm |
  30. Rod

    It is Un-American Jack, you bet it is. When has it ever been American to act uncivilized in public? When George Bush was in office practically destroying the Country, we heard little to nothing from the so-called concerned citizens. If there were ever a time to be concerned, I think it would have been then. I find it a little leery; now that an African American has been elected you begin to hear many cry that they want their Country back at these Town-Hall meeting, under the cover of Health Care. I just wonder if they ever gave a thought to how Native Americans must be feeling, hearing someone other than themselves make this kind of claim?

    August 10, 2009 at 5:09 pm |
  31. Neo

    Nancy Pelosi and Steny Hoyer should resign

    August 10, 2009 at 5:10 pm |
  32. Ken in NC

    Protest against health care reform is not Un-American. It is a part of our democratic process The effort to stop and or disrupt the meeting whose purpose is to answer questions and explain a point of view for those that want more input is Un-American.

    August 10, 2009 at 5:10 pm |
  33. Nancy, Tennessee

    These ridiculous tactics to keep anyone from having an intelligent conversation about health care reform remind me of someone sitting in the balcony throwing tomatoes at the main attraction at a vaudeville act. The Republicans are stooping pretty low and acting very petty and worse yet calling these actions legitimate. I think, the Democrats should bring the conversation back to the floor of the Congress for debate where unruly hecklers will be expelled. It is not the American way to act like an unruly brat.

    August 10, 2009 at 5:10 pm |
  34. al in delaware

    UnAmerican? No, Ignorant and stupid, yes. This is the tea party crowd and the" birthers" put together. They remind me of Brown shirts that used to disrupt democratic meetings in pre world war II Germany. Soon they will be cracking heads. Sad that the Republican party has sunk this low.

    August 10, 2009 at 5:10 pm |
  35. Marcia from Michigan

    Respect for everyone has gone out the window.
    It is time that we all take a long breath and listen closely to each other.
    Un-American is a term that does nothing but feed into the frenzy that is going on.
    If there is no thoughtful health care reform... in the end we will all suffer and that will be truly Un-American.

    August 10, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  36. Kerry Diehl

    Jack, they are anything BUT un-American!

    These are the same people who have encouraged us to raise our voices against their political advisories back during the Bush era.

    Now that the shoe is on the other foot, the public has suddenly become “well organized” unruly mobsters with the intent of being terrorists against America’s principles???? All these accusations from the left pointed at those who do not agree with and bow down to Obama’s policies and agenda – My Goodness!

    The mobsters in reality are ACORN and the SEIU who are attempting to come to the rescue of Obama at his request. Keep watching the news and see who REALLY causes the problems and disruptive physical damage to individuals and property!

    Obama’s TRUE spirit is emerging!!

    August 10, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  37. Linda in Arizona

    Nah. Republican obstructionists are a part of America. Thugs paid by lobbyists to disrupt meetings are the American Way. These people are the true patriots of the day. (/ sarcasm)

    August 10, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  38. Kyle in Chicago

    If people want to behave themselves and have a civil conversation, there's nothing wrong with disagreeing with ideas or debating them. They're just exercising their First Amendment rights.

    On the other hand, if they just want to disrupt the meeting and prevent anyone else from speaking or listening, then they're just behaving like Brownshirts in 1930s Germany.

    August 10, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  39. Lee in MN

    ABSOLUTELY, when they prevent constructive discussion. Grow up children and be responsible.
    Enough said................

    August 10, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  40. Christine from Ocean City, MD

    It's both rabble rousing and corruptly insincere. How can you get more American than that?

    August 10, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  41. Kathryn

    Please distinguish between people who want to discuss differing points of view from the red-faced shouters who want to destroy any chance of discussion taking place. The town hall is one of the oldest and best of our democratic traditions, so attempting to destroy the spirit of the town hall seems pretty unpatriotic to me, not to mention insufferably rude and obnoxious.

    August 10, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  42. Ken, MI

    YES! Absolutely! Pelosi and Hoyer ARE UN-American denying Americans the rights given in the First Amendment.

    August 10, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  43. Sam Meller

    What is un-American is the attempt to create disorder and chaos at informative town hall events. Shouting and disrupting town hall events is the worst sort of mob mentality. Without a real debate, the right gets no say in the new course of the country.

    Norcross, GA

    August 10, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  44. Scott Green Bay

    Un-American!?! Hundreds of thousands of soldiers have died over the years for our freedom..as in freedom of speech and the freedom to assemble. Maybe Pelosi should stand in the mirror when she points her finger and instead of saying "Un-American", say Socialism.

    August 10, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  45. Karl from SF, CA

    Yes they are lying traitors in my opinion. Most are professionals at it and work for either the healthcare insurance companies or the GOP which gets a big chunk of its funding from the healthcare insurance industry. If they are truly “grassroots” then let’s “card” these people and find out who they really are and where they are from. Remember the housewife from down the street in Kewanee, WI? Real Republicans, as in Annenberg’s FactCheck.org, say that what they are spewing are bold face lies, period. I tend to believe the Annenberg’s, who are wealthy and not funded by the lobbyists, over Boehner and McConnell who are politicians that are. It is really sad that so many don’t really want to know the true facts

    August 10, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  46. Jane (Minnesota)

    Sadly, it seems to have become American; and America should not be proud of it at all. Some of the "free speech" I've been hearing sounds treasonous to me & maybe should be prosecuted as such. It's this kind of stuff that can set off another wingnut like Timothy McVeigh to committ some horrible act of domestic terrorism.

    What on earth ever happened to listening to each other & try to find common ground. Oh that's right Karl Rove destroyed that idea.

    August 10, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  47. Sue Taylor

    Oh, my yes, these Republican obstructionist efforts to thwart the town hall meetings is indeed, "unAmerican." They are also a display of the worst domestic terrorism I have seen for a long, long time. Whenever a group panders to bad manners, preventing discourse, or silencing the voice of any constitutency in the country – and makes excuses for the outbreak of violence – they are terrorists, plain and simple. Looks and sounds like old KKK rallies. God forbid.

    August 10, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  48. Jann Wilson

    Its uncivilized!

    August 10, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  49. Michael

    Well, Jack I would not call them un-Americian. But if there only purpose is to disrupt open dialog for reform well that just makes them part of the idiots not un-Americian.

    August 10, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  50. Mary from OK

    Nancy Pelosi is one who is very unpatriotic. Town hall protests are the most patriotic thing I've seen in a year. We need to maintain freedom and the things that made Ameica GREAT!!! Taking away people's freedom and the stupidity of Nancy is sooooooooooooooo disgusting.

    August 10, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  51. donovong

    Jack: The two Democrats called the TACTICS being used as un-American, and it is just as true now as it would be were these people protesting in favor of health reform. There is no excuse for the behavior of folks who prevent any civil discussion of health reform at all. Attempting to drown out the voices of your opposition by shouting down any discussion at all is anarchy, plain and simple.

    August 10, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  52. Dee McDonald

    Pelosie, Hoyer and the Obama Administration should understand they were elected to serve the American People, they were not crowned royalty to issued commands.

    August 10, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  53. Marcia Stuart

    When the goal is to shout out or shut down then I say what it isn't is democratic process. These tactics are concerning for the escalating violence we see from the Republicans.
    We NEED an exchange of good ideas, and I've heard many – from both sides of the house but also from people around me. We have to move from noise to actual communication – remember talking without listening isn't adding value to anyone.

    August 10, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  54. Stan

    No more "unamerican" than being against troops in Iraq.

    August 10, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  55. jody

    Let me assure you, anything Mitch McConnel is against–is absolutely good for average Americans. I can say this because, sadly he is my senator and I know his voting record. He is a puppet for the Republican party. To my shame and dismay the weak minded people of my beloved state keep electing him.

    August 10, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  56. Jason

    Yes they are un-American because these loudmouths are suppressing others' right to free speech. Not to mention suppressing others' right to the pursuit of Life. I guess if you can't afford health care then they seek to rescind your right to live.

    Schenectady, NY

    August 10, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  57. Fred Tondalo

    Of course the political terrorism is un-American, because its not about health care its about a BLACK President. These spineless bigots can't just come out and call the President the "N" word so they couch their bigotry in the guise of "OMG the president is gonna kill us!!!" PLEASE lets call a spade a spade and a bigot a bigot, these people border on traitors to the Constitution.

    August 10, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  58. Don from Temecula

    Jack I have read most of the healthcare bill. It seems what most politicians are saying is don't confuse me with the facts. They are not interested in clarity and when challenged want to hide behind talking points.

    August 10, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  59. Gabby

    Sadly they are not un-american, but they are unproductive and unfair to those who go to these meeting with geniune concerns that they would like to have addressed. The protesters shout answer our questions but want shut-up long enough for anyone to speak.

    August 10, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  60. Ollie Rivers

    Heated but civil discourse is fine - but scaring old people with threats of euthanasia, disrupting meetings so civil discourse cannot happen, calling people Nazis, and so forth is shameful. The insurance lobby and others who promote these activities are dispicable. And so are members of Congress that fail to disavow these activities.
    Ollie Rivers

    August 10, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  61. Dan from Horseheads

    No, they are not un-american! This is the land of free where we can do and say as we please. Love it or get out!

    August 10, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  62. Mary A. Chambers

    I find it incredible the condescension being shown by Speaker of the House Pelosi and other members of the Democratic party towards average Americans. Americans have a good sense of what the medical reform bill means and see it for what it is – an aggressive power grab by the federal government.

    August 10, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  63. Larry Mial

    While it is not un-American to voice your opinion, it is un-American to drown out the opinions of others. These protesters are nothing more than thugs who remind me of the Nazi brown shirts who brought Hitler to power in Germany. They bullied and threatened the opposition into submission. We all know what the outcome was from that.

    August 10, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  64. Eliott Rousseau

    Yes. These healthcare reform riots are quite unsettling. They are so counter intuitive to the progression of this country. If one is opposed to a healthcare reform bill, that's alright. It's a political opinion, and we all have plenty of those. However, rioting is going to get this country nowhere. Those opposed to the healthcare bill should be the most willing to discuss the bill and haggle a deal. Senseless protests will get the entire country nowhere, because, in politics there is no "my way or the highway option". We must civilly formulate some sort of plan to appease to the general populace. However, this cannot be done in town hall meetings where screeching matches between representatives and disgruntled citizens erupt.

    Now, I totally agree with the American right to protest. This "right to protest" can be brought about in several ways. One is taking the the street with hateful messages, referring to Barack Obama as a Nazi. Another (the preferable option), is opponents and proponents to the bill CIVILLY coming together to discuss our options as American citizens, because frankly, we have the right to civilly discuss things. If you don't like something, do something about it instead of getting angry and shoving people around. That is how progress is made, and how ignorance is dealt with. Both sides of the bill must know what the other stands for. If one thinks proponents of the healthcare bill are Nazi sympathizers, then hopefully, ignorance is bliss. I for one would like a civil discussion to take place between both sides so that I can weigh each option out carefully before making any sort of predisposed of opinion.

    Eliott Rousseau,
    Dartmouth, MA

    August 10, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  65. Heidi

    I don't think they are unAmerican but I do think they are not at all helpful. The debate should be open and honest with everyone being heard – when someone is just shouting to drown out an opinion with which they are not in agreement, then no one benefits and no one learns. I believe these are orchestrated disruptions and I think those that are coordinating these efforts should be ashamed. unAmerican, maybe not – totally stupid – maybe so.

    August 10, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  66. Francis

    Washington is SO out of touch with america. Un-American to express one's opinion? Absolutely not!!

    August 10, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  67. JLR

    Protesting is not Un-American – we have the rights to assemble, to speak freely, and to petition the government for the redress of grievances.

    But shutting down debates through yelling, shouting, and threatening to kill elected officials IS Un-American, and that's what I believe Pelosi was referring to.

    Yes, if you have problems or questions, you should go to the town halls and speak up. But it can, and should, be done civilly. We have serious problems here, and a reasonable, civil debate can help us come to a plan that works best for the majority of people. No One wins when we can't even talk things out.

    August 10, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  68. Norma Swank

    It is not right! If they have a meeting to inform and then people excercise their right to scream and yell so the answers cannot be heard? I would agree in this case it is UnAmerican. People are really concerned and want to know about this so stop the yelling and listen. You might learn something. NS

    August 10, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  69. john

    I think the congress should have a 2 hour prime time address the 1100 page health reform bill and structure it to go over all the major points and those of concerned americans with questions sent in by emails/youtube.

    August 10, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  70. Lori

    I totally think that the protests are un-American. The right-wingers who are doing the protesting do not know how to debate. All they are capable of is shouting over others and they don't even know the facts. This has become nothing but mean, violent and childish. Dems need to be less tolerant of the nonsense coming from the right-wing extremists and fight back. It's time!

    August 10, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  71. Carolyn in Atlanta

    Considering that American political discussion is increasingly dominated the wingnuts on the far right and far right of the political spectrum, this is "very American." Anti-war protesters a few years ago were also accused of being "un-American."

    August 10, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  72. Robert Cohen

    Nobody is claiming the concept of an open debate is unamerican, that would be absurd. It seems to me that the "protestors" tactics attempt to silence debate by shouting and aggressive actions. How does this help shed light on the issues and facts that we need to make decisions here. You can be passionate without being an idiot, can't you?

    August 10, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  73. Riley

    When someone calls something un-american, that defies american philosophy. There is no such thing as Un-american and the founders intended it that way. We are supposed to present all sides somewhere.

    August 10, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  74. Katiec Pekin, IL

    Anyone who says these anger, hate, misinformed, fed by fear and lies protests are not unAmerican believe in a different American than I do.
    There used to be a day when differences of opinions were debated,
    respected and allowed. When you have protesters who are
    supported, probed, guided by lobbyists, extremists, and a party who is out to destroy our country than you have radical, irresponsible behavior.
    Jack, have never before witnessed what is happening in our country.

    August 10, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  75. ellen

    what's un-american is not that some people oppose the proposed changes. what's un-american is packing meetings with people who ask questions with intent to prevent them being answered. courtesy is an american value - bullying is not.

    (and while we're on the subject, why isn't someone calling out sarah palin on her lies about how her son would be treated under health care reform?)

    August 10, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  76. Mike in St. Paul

    Sounds like suddenly Republicans aren't quite so pro-life, doesn't it?

    August 10, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  77. Donald Clark

    You just had a Freudian slip of the tongue revealing your unconscious true feelings. You said the "protesters are representing the health care reform."

    August 10, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  78. Melissa

    Yes. Pelosi is right! Disrupting the democratic process and the dialogue that it requires is unamerican. Why is the right to protest more important than my right to listen and discuss issues with my representatives? I believe these folks have the right to their opinion, but let them not forget that their rights end where mine begin! Behaving as though their rights are all that matter is, indeed, un-American!

    August 10, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  79. Bob In Florida

    ABSOLUTELY JACK, LIES, I REPEAT, LIES distortions, scare tactics ARE UNAMERICAN and they put a stranglehold on legitimate "Health Care Reform" that we need!!!!!!!

    Just as one of the bigger Health Care FRAUD Criminals, Rick Scott, of Conservatives for Patients Rights is spending MILLIONS OF DOLLARS lying to the American people, is just trying to keep the Status Quo, so he and other GREDDMONGERS will put MORE MONEY into their own private coffers.

    It is A CRYING SHAME CNN and the other news organizations WILL NOT DEBUNK these thieves. But, then again, the meddia IS NOT INTERESTED IN THE TRUTH. SHAME ON THE MEDIA.

    August 10, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  80. KC

    We only have 2 choices Jack, reform our healthcare system or get rid of medicare. Maybe that's the conversation we need to have with the American public.

    August 10, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  81. Josh

    Not un-American, but certainly unproductive. Shouting and causing disruptions instead asking a smart question of reflects poorly on the protester. This does them a huge disservice. Their goal should be to make the rep. look stupid, not making themselves look angry and hysterical.

    August 10, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  82. mark

    i suggest that people visit nursing homes,health care centers and hospitals.If nothing is done now,a heavy price will be paid not so far in the near future

    August 10, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  83. Mike T.

    Yes, the protests are un American. We have a lot of people without health care, and every day numerous American citizens die needlessly because of it. The protestors have no concern for anyone but themselves.

    August 10, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  84. Doris, Gatesville,TX

    It is unamerican, and it shows how Republicans react when they are desperate. I have lived a long, long time, and the best times have always when we had a Democrat administration that is trying to do for those in need.

    August 10, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  85. Benjamin

    Yes they are Un-American Jack, in a situation of this magnitude diplomacy is imperative! What progress can be made on both sides when one side drowns and threatens the other?

    August 10, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  86. Adam

    I agree, if the conservatives want to explain their logic, they need to be more civilized. In my school, we tell students this, yet these folks from the extreme right act like kids. Why can't they just be more caring about the Common Good? Greed is not a virtue.

    August 10, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  87. Ryan

    Nancy Pelosi is absolutely right. While Americans have the right to express their feelings through freedom of speech, they are infringing on others rights to sit in on and listen to these town hall meetings through their Un-American protesting.

    August 10, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  88. Shea

    Unamerican...Pelosi and Hoyer have it all wrong. The first amendment allows freedom of speech to all who live in America. The protests are not unamerican, Pelosi and Hoyer are for not acknowledging that the protesters have their given right as American citizens.

    August 10, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  89. Jerry

    No its not un american, America doe's not like the mysterious health care plan, being shoved down our throats fo a trillion and a half. We want to know what we are buying. Steny and pelosie are above everybody else. I can see Pelosie riding a bike just like on the Wizard of Oz. Jerry / Iowa

    August 10, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  90. chris

    nope it is american way we have the right to protest this crap of a halth care bill shoved at us without them 1. reading it. 2 and more important to let us every known detail of the bill of what's in there and how it will affect us the american taxpayer

    August 10, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  91. Leon Sconion Jr

    Mr. Cafferty the people mentioned at the town hall protest are un american if they are just looking at themselves or a group of people like themselves. I have 3 kids aged 1,2,3 and i have no insurance but they do state welfare. I have a pre existing condition from birth. The procedure is so unknown doctors give me no help or look dumbfounded. Everyone should have health care period. I have been collecting uc from almost a year now and i cant work. When will people with real needs really be helped and not pushed over for lack of money.

    August 10, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  92. Clarence

    Free speech is an intergral part of our country. However, blatant misrepresentations, and misleading yperbole are not. If the same wacko's leading the far right were to make statements like they have towards healthcare towards an individual they could be held liable for libel and slander. It is one thng to raise legitimate concerns it is another to fabricate reality beyond recognition, the Speaker and Senator are right in their sentiments.This type of language and debate only deteriorate our democracy.

    August 10, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  93. Roberta

    Of course Ms P would resort to the "patriot" card. Is that not the thing to do if someone has an opposing opinion? The race care, the gender card why not the patriot card?
    Roberta
    Washington State

    August 10, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  94. Richard B.C. Canada

    The townhall protests are protected under the 1st Ammendment. Why not publish easy to understand facts in the upcoming elction Voter's Pamphlet and let the PEOPLE vote on it?

    August 10, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  95. Ron from Vero Beach FL

    The Democratic congress should force the health care plan down the throats of the Republicans who refuse to participate in reform, apparently finding it more productive to encourage their constituents to shout down any attempt at civil discussion. President Obama was elected because of his agenda – which is the people's agenda. The other side can either participate and have a hand in the results, or act like spoiled children and take their medicine.

    August 10, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  96. Susan Branch

    Quit telling us both sides, who says what. The Democrats say this, and the Republicans say that. This doesn't help!! Tell us what the Health bill is really about. We are picking sides based on NO INFORMATION, except who says what about who . . . you are supposed to inform.
    Remember Iraq? You never fully informed Americans that Hussein had nothing to do with 911 until after the 2004 elections, and in fact 30% still believe he did . . . that's your job, to make sure people learn the TRUTH.
    Quit doing "he said– she said," it's confusing. People need to know who's LYING.........!!!!!!! Newspeople should find out! It's News! And tell us!!

    August 10, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  97. Matt- Fort Worth, TX

    No these protests are not un-American. These protestors rights to protest against the Democratic health plan are protected under the 1st Amendment. While I do believe that shouting down a congressman or senator crosses the line, the only thing un-American here is calling someone who shares an opposing viewpoint un-American. It is reminiscent of the Bush administration calling protestors against the Iraq War unpatriotic. Why can't we have a civil debate about health reform?

    August 10, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  98. Sue Bakken

    Pelosi has obviously shown her true colors. Unamerican?? Excuse me, but in America we have a constitutional RIGHT to object to anything we want. What the hell is she talking about??? Some of us do not like the plan put forward so far and definately need to keep speaking out, and our elected officials are supposed to LISTEN. If they can't take some heat, then they should get off the stove.

    August 10, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  99. Tom

    No Jack, the town hall protests are not un-American. As a matter of fact, they represent the qualities of the the America we have become- rude, crude, obnoxious, belligerent, intolerant and ignorant. Want a snapshot of America? Attend a town hall meeting or a mixed martial arts contest or a pro-wrestling exhibition. They are one in the same. Where in the world have civility, class, manners and intelligent discourse gone?

    August 10, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  100. Nell, Clemson, South Carolina

    Yes, these people who are trying to intimidate politicians instead of having an honest discussion of the facts are un-American. They are attempting to substitute mob rule for the democratic process.

    Let's get back to civil discourse and respect for others. And, the media need to help by calling these disruptions what they are - mob rule.

    August 10, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  101. Bill in Florida

    Jack,

    Yes, the town hall protests are un-American. The people who chant and shout above those asking fair questions and those trying to answer them are thugs. I'm willing to believe that some of them have legitimate concerns, but the majority are orchestrated. I highly suspect that big business and the GOP have fired them up. This is not a civil debate.

    August 10, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  102. sandi sarber

    Yes Jack it is unAmerican, because if you will notice the people doing all the shouting are white!!!! Since when is America all white? The right have brought these people in to make Pres. Obama look bad, it is that simple, because the insurance hot shots want their money, and are willing to pay for protesters.

    August 10, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  103. g bruguier

    I am beginning to think Pelosi is "unAmerican" What is happening to our government that is "for the people......."

    August 10, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  104. Ray

    Nancy Pelosi can't handle opposition. If someone ever disagrees with her, then she is automatically right and you are wrong. She is a bombastic politician who will stop at nothing to get her way, including accusing people of being Nazis or Un-American. She is possibly the most dangerous person inside the Beltway.

    August 10, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  105. Nick from Iowa

    Jack,
    I'll tell you whats un-American. Its the Democrats trying to silence any opposition. We have a right to speak our minds freely in this country and they must not want to hear what the American people think; It's because we don't agree with them. Nobody accused the Democrats of being un-American when the criticized the war in Iraq did they?

    August 10, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  106. Richard H. Davis

    Some are and some arenn't. A better quesiton would have been: "Do you believe that making it impossible for a discussion to take place is Un-American?"

    August 10, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  107. William Spadaro

    I might say otherwise if the shouters were trying to express opinions, but what they are doing is shouting down the conversation. There is no opinion content in "just say no" to health care reform. It is selfish and ignorant and typical of the brownshirts.

    August 10, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  108. steve

    if voicing your opinion about health reform is UN-American then I suppose freedon of speech really is not recognized in America as it has been for centuries is this what America has become where only the opinion of a few Congressmen count and everyone else should listen and remain silent Nancy needs to read the Constitution.

    August 10, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  109. Michel lausi

    Nancy and company have not lived and been subjected to health care systems in the UK, France and Canada. If they had they would never consider socialized medecine. In fact most of these countries are going to privatized models in combination with government supported because they can no longer finance these programs.

    August 10, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  110. frankdozier

    The health care protests are VERY American, Jack. The health care lobby is spending more money than they ever have spreading lies to the less educated members of the right. The health care companies are doing their American duty pf protecting their profits. Those protesters are Americans, so they know how well the companies are running health care, because the companies have told them so. Oddly, most Americans can recall themselves, or family members, or friends who have been "screwed" by the health care companies. Misinformation and propaganda? Very American.

    August 10, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  111. Mike

    Jack,

    I don't think that the health reform protests are in any way un-American. Freedom of political speech is a protected Conatitutional right.

    However, I really think that our Congresspeople should table the issue until their next session; I mean, heck, there's not even a bill being considered yet! Give Americans an actual proposal, and then we might be able to have a civil discussion.

    Signed,

    Mike, West Richland Wa

    August 10, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  112. steve

    Pelosi say's they want to explain/lecture. In college there were lecturea and classes. Only the latter promoted comment.
    S

    August 10, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  113. Jim (Eagle, ID)

    I am a staunch Obama supporter, but continue to find Nancy Pelosi to be a huge detriment to the American political process. If you ask me if I am opposed to organized disruption of meetings, likely sponsored by lobbyists or the opposition party, I would say YES! If you ask me if any American, regardless of party affiliation, has the right to challenge a Congressman's position, I would also say YES! The problem, of course, is figuring out exactly what IS going on.

    Nancy Pelosi and Hoyer are, quite simply, idiots, and ought to do this country a favor and let some intelligent, patriotic people manage the congressional process. They continue to throw gasoline on every small fire, blowing issues out of proportion.

    August 10, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  114. Larry

    Oh I don't know jack ,is a "Limbaugh crazed" Mob that stops others ideas and questions by drownding out othere vioces by an organized destributed Neo-con playbook un-American...?

    August 10, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  115. Justo

    The right is doing everything possible to shade the debate in terms of fear and dare to call those of us who do support health care reform with a strong public option as "un-American." I don't want to hear the name calling on either side. That being said the right and their Republican supports need to stop the non-sense and distortions. Let's have an honest debate. No fear, no-screaming, no just say, "no" nonsense. I want the people to speak and not just those who scream the loudest!!

    August 10, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  116. CK

    The right to protest is very much American. What is also, unfortunately, American is protesting when one does not have all the facts in full context. Americans can and should be passionate, but let's get ALL the information.
    There is not even a single draft of any healthcare reform bill but rather several different drafts in various states in various committees in Congress. There is still much discussion needed, but in this case, nothing to protest–yet.

    August 10, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  117. Jon

    Un-American? No. A display of ignorance? Yes.

    Clearly these protests are a complete joke. If people were actually concerned about their health care they would want to sit down and discuss the issue.

    I remember the "Tea-Parties" that were going around to protest higher taxes. These parties relied on people who were completely oblivious to the fact that they weren't getting their taxes raised on them.

    The same thing is happening here. Can we scare you about health care reform? Of course we can. Now come and shout about something you don't understand in the middle of a town hall meeting and get nothing accomplished.

    August 10, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  118. Samuel C West Lawn, PA

    Are these protests un-American? No, they're just as american as anything else. Are they uncivilized, disrespectful, and sad? Yes. Republicans, lacking any true criticism have decided to twists the facts and use scare tactics. Die Hard right wingers who can' t think for themselves then spew these lies back to the cheer of other morons. It's quite similar to High School when a jock would tell a joke that made no sense and his friends would all laugh to look "in" while the rest of the school dies a little inside. These idiots are spewing gibberish and lies to the cheers of other idiots, and they think that makes them right.

    August 10, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  119. Jim Sullivan

    There is nothing more AMERICAN than to protest the actions of the government. I guess under Nancy Pelosi's idea of being American, Thomas Paine, Thomase Jefferson, George Washington Ben Franklin and many others should never have questioned or fought against the English government of their time.

    August 10, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  120. Helen-NYC

    No, those outrages aren't 'un-American.' Pelosi and Hoyer seem to be carried away when they use that terminology to label the protests unpatriotic. These protests can be the most democratic method to show a working democracy. That's what this nation was about. It's the way those protesters show their oppositions in these town hall meetings that just make them look like uncontrollable barbaric hordes. Are screaming and rudeness the only ways the GOP followers present democracy? Keep it classy.

    August 10, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  121. Ken

    The protests are not UnAmerican. NOT allowing all views to be discussed in a civil way IS UnAmerican. Get informed BEFORE you yell.

    August 10, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  122. shane

    Not according to the 1st amendment. Are the Dem's afraid of the truth being uncovered by scrutiny??

    August 10, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  123. Colleen

    I do not think it's un-American to protest at town hall meetings but what the Right Wingers are doing is wrong...screaming at a speaker and not allowing questions or answers is fear mongering, something the Right does quite well.

    Maybe President Obama should do what W did.....only allow Right Wing nuts & hand picked media(Faux News) into his "town hall talks" leaving the Liberals outside to protest. When we complained about that WE were considered unPatriotic.

    It just goes to show that republicans are still the nations hypocrits.

    August 10, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  124. Steve Levine

    They're not un-American...they're uninformed. When some of these protesters yell "keep your government hands off my Medicare..." you know we're dealing with ignorant yahoos who are merely repeating Republican talking points and who are not bright enough to understand the details of the reform bill. I'm outraged that such morons could torpedo any chance to improve our broken health care system.

    August 10, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  125. Phil, Georgia

    Pelosi and Hoyer are Correct and need to be applauded for standing up to these thugs. There is no civility in the way these critics are bum rushing these Hall meetings. Then come to find out that major republican strategist made disruption as the blueprint. Its nothing wrong with strongly, passionately voicing your opinion. But when you go past this, you are Bullying and trying to kill any other truth or possibilities.

    August 10, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  126. Arthur

    I don't know if they are "un-American," Jack, but these mindless rants are truly unhelpful. I can't say they are "unbelievable," however. We know that the far right will do anything to try to torpedo the progressive work of President Obama and this Congress. These ninnies are even willing to sacrifice their own well being for their unholy cause. The word unthinking also comes to mind.

    August 10, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  127. Brice-Omak, WA

    No, they aren't unamerican. But the republicans had their 8 years. Calling democrats "unamerican" when protesting the Iraq War and the Bush administration. This is our chance to fix this broken healthcare system and the rebulicans are just worried that those fat checks that they get from the Insurance Companies might go away if we get reform. It might be unamerican for them to fight this, making up nasty and horrible accusations about the Bill that just aren't true. They are unamerican not the protestors.

    August 10, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  128. Luis Florida

    As someone that is unemployed and without Health Care, I believe that everyone is entitled to protest what they believe is un-just. After all, that is what made this country in the first place. I would love to have healthcare, at the same time I too am very concerned over the cost and quality of service.

    The "Un-American" label is the usual political rhetoric that has plagued this country for nearly 20 years now. During this financial crisis, I have come to the conclusion that Politicians from both sides DO NOT CARE about the issues. They care about their positions of power, salary and their own healthcare. If it means they need to fight their respective opposition with words like "Un-American" then so be it.

    WAKE UP AMERICA! QUIT YOUR PARTISAN POLITICS AND REALIZE THAT YOUR POLITICIANS DO NOT CARE ABOUT YOU!

    August 10, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  129. a.c. of La.

    Uncivilized is a better word. We have the right to orderly assembly, but some of these town halls are more like "lynch mobs" Ive noticed many of these rabid dissenters are of the "social Security" Medicare,VA generation, I wonder how they explain that. Just an observation. Dont you get arrested for "disorderly conduct"

    August 10, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  130. Lynn OKC

    Jack,
    Pelosi is full of it - she just can't handle the truth that "we the people" hate her plan & won't just follow her into "hell" - if she loves this plan so much why is it there isn't a requirement that all Federal employees including the House & Senate required to go on it-I'll tell you why cuz she knows it's crap!!!

    August 10, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  131. Chris, PA

    Their comments about the protesters being disinterested in facts and their arguments based on lies and twinged with hate speech may be valid; but don't call it Un-American. That's what the GOP does, browbeat people that disagree by calling them "Un-American." Such a statement is foolish and counter productive.

    The better solution would be to call the protests what they are: carefully orchestrated, corporate-funded campaign that exploits deep seated, yet completely unfounded fears in a small section of the public.

    I have no doubt that the emotions that the protesters feel are real emotions, however the emotions are based on gross distortions of any reform that the Democrats are proposing.

    It's the Media's job to inform these people that they're being lied to, not just accept the lies as one side of an argument and reporting them as-is.

    August 10, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  132. Mike

    Jack, the legitimate protests aren't, in themselves, un-American. What is un-American is the right wing leaders spewing fear and lies about the proposed health care reform. They have been unwilling or unable to come up with ANY legitimate counter-plan for health care reform, and seek only to stop the dems, regardless of what it takes.

    August 10, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  133. Al

    NO! as a country, our history includes fighting against the issues we feel are against our naturally given rights. However, the loss of any true debate is absolutely un-American. When people push their way through an idea without even listening to the opposing position, the American identity is lost. Pay attention people!! This concerns your future.

    August 10, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  134. T. Henry

    Maybe refusing to consider wellness, tort reform, taxes on existing tax free medical insurance (opposed by unions) and etc. is the truly "un-American" element in passing incredible debt to our kids and grandkids.
    T. Henry
    Daytona Beach, Fl.

    August 10, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  135. Mike L

    When Bush or any of his cohorts had "town hall" meetings to push some part of their agenda, the crowds were carefully screened to exclude any potential disruptions. If any naysayer managed to slip through that screening, and asked a question that made the speaker squirm, big beefy guys would pounce on the questioner immediately. The questioner would be promptly escorted from the hall, roughed up, and sometimes arrested. Even those who simply wore a t-shirt that expressed opposition were told to turn it inside out, cover it up, or be asked to leave.

    Democrats are dumb enough to let all of their constituents in, and look what happens. Maybe they should be using the Republican playbook on town hall meetings.

    August 10, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  136. Emma, San Luis Obispo, CA

    As much as we'd like to think that hanging in effigy one Democratic congressman, holding a sign that showed a tombstone with the name of another lawmaker, is behind us and Americans just don't act in such a sick and pathetic way towards each other, and are days gone by. Well they are not, obviously, and that it what Pelosi and Hoyer were referring to as UN -American...........how naive can they be?
    No real patriotic American would call the President of the United States a Nazi either!
    Yes, Jack they are right..we need to accept that fact that we still have a nation of racists and bigots alive and well in the "Good ol' US A.

    August 10, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  137. Annie, Atlanta

    It's extremism, is what it is. We have the right to say what's on our minds in these settings, but don't have the right to stop anyone else from doing so. What's behind this is the problem: Fake "Patriots" using lies, fear, and hate to rile these people up, knowing full well what they're unleasing. Then we'll here "we didn't mean it" when the blood starts flowing.

    August 10, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  138. Christian, MN

    Jack,

    Hypocrisy knows no bounds. I didn't see Nancy Pelosi criticizing or Barak Obama scolding Democratic protesters portraying George W. Bush in Hitler effigies. They claim that these Republican protests are “organized,” while they themselves publicly send their Union cronies to attack peaceful protestors. They care little for the Democratic process, they care only that their views are forced on the American people.

    August 10, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  139. Bennett

    Jack,

    The protests are about as "un-American" as the Boston tea party. Civil disobedience and protest is a fundamental part of American culture. While I may disagree with the protesters, I find it disgraceful that our elected officials would make such accusations. If the members of congress can not justify the case for health care reform to their constituents, then perhaps they should improve their arguments rather then slinging insults.

    Bennett
    Madison, WI

    August 10, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  140. Debra, NC

    Drowning out opposing views with disorderly conduct, threatening people and totally disrupting town halls so no one can get any questions answered is un-american.

    August 10, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  141. tom lobenstein

    How dare anyone question the delusional version of the truth that Queen Nancy posits. This comparable to Joseph McCarthy and his witchhunt for Communists and the decades-long hearings of the House Unamerican Activities Committee. I am simply amazed that Ms Pelosi seeks to reign as if she were the prime minister in a monarchy with Sen Harry Reid as understudy. The manner in which she is seeking to cram healthcare reform down in our collective throats under veil of secrecy is what is unamerican!

    August 10, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  142. Mike, Philadelphi

    Jack:

    Again, you craft sensationalistic questions. You bait folks between two false choices.

    Is free speech un American? Of course not!

    BUT...If you ask a more accurately framed question, you might get a better answer. You might actually contribute to a smart dialogue on a complex issue, as opposed to crafting soundbite sensationalism.

    The question should be this: Are industry-funded, Republican-backed, swift-boat-esque protests aimed at blocking conversation and information dissemination un American?

    I'd say yes.

    August 10, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  143. Ron H.

    I voted for Obama, but i must say that I do not see any due dilligence. If he would go in and cut the fraud, the billing abuse and change the law relating to medical lawsuits and reduce the cost of heathcare by 10%, Americans would be happy to support him. Where are the meetings with the most successful government run healthcare systems in the world to learn the successes and mistakes hey made? No, it's just "hurry up and give us the money". Do the HARD work first, cut the fat, then maybe the White House would have an easier time of this whole thing.

    August 10, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  144. joyce

    it is absolutely NOT unamerican to express your opinion on such an important issue. how else will washington know what the people want.
    not being able to express your opinion would be unamericana!

    August 10, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  145. Andy D.

    Jack, not "American like"to refuse to let someone express their views, expecially if they sponsored the event. The amount of time and money the insurance industry has put into this "anti reform movement", should worry everyone, old and young. What are they afraid of? Fairly debate and let American make up their own mind. We all should worry about the intensity of their effort.

    August 10, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  146. MaryBell Pete

    Absolutely not! Pelosi et. al are the "un-american" for trying to insult our intelligence by making comments like this and by trying to take away our "freedom of speech".They will not suceed!

    August 10, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  147. Paul L.

    When you use your free-speech right to scream others into silence, that's not free speech: it's brutish demagoguery. Mitch McConnell and his fellow GOP bullies and their talk-radio mouthpieces are condoning and encouraging violence.

    August 10, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  148. Stephanie from Orlando, FL

    It sure makes it easy for them to just push us all into one group. Makes it that much easier to dismiss us. If they aren't allowing true debate and amendments on the floor of the house, where else will our views come out. I think they pushed us to it, and too bad if they don't like it. Maybe they need to start listening and get off their high horses thinking they know what is best for me.

    August 10, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  149. Mark - San Diego

    Un-American??

    I'll tell you what is Un-American, being ripped-off by the Insurance Companies, Doctors, and Pharmacies. I am all about making a profit, but when it is overinflated exponentially, then we deserve the right to protest. I am not very happy with the way our health care industry has become like Wall Street and consumed with GREED...

    It is time to reform the system so that Main Street is back in control rather than Wall Street. Our Government forgets who pays the bill as they spend like a "drunken sailor" and then let the Lobbyist write the bills and resolutions and then expect us the taxpayer to roll-over and accept their GREED, and just be deaf, dumb and blind to this uncontrolled corruption that they have in place to control us...

    August 10, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  150. peg spry

    What else could you call it other than "stupid". Those who yell in opposition to health care reform are not informed, mis informed by those who have an agenda to keep all U.S. with less than adequate affordable health/medical care. I hear, "let them eat cake" rhetoric.

    August 10, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  151. Rob

    As a democrat I sometimes disagree with pelosi and Reid. But I have to say that some conservatives are being disgraceful. It's one thing if protesters call a party nazis but when a member of the main stream conservative media does it, it's inapropriate. Naziism is NOT something you use as a political metaphor and that is truly unamerican no matter which party you are affiliated with.

    August 10, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  152. Bruce Marshall

    Jack here in Maine we have our Town Meeting every year. They are held in School gyms, fire stations and any place that will hold everyone. They get very heated and people say what they think. We go over the budget for our towns. At the end of the day we vote and go home. The meetings I've seen on TV don't hold a candle to our town meetings so I guess everyone in Maine are Un-American.

    August 10, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  153. John

    I think it is "Un-American." IT is one thing to have an opinion but it needs to be backed by facts. The majority of Americans who are at these meetings do not know more about the bill except who is backing it.

    It is one thing to act as a citizen it is another to debate an issue you know nothing about. That is called a mob.

    August 10, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  154. Billie Sue Abbott

    As an American who thinks it is immoral that our country thinks that
    only the healthy and rich should have health care, yes it is "un-American" for others to try to kill health care reform. As for speaking
    out, has everyone forgotten that President Bush would not let
    dissenters anywhere near where he was appearing, and they
    also planted supporters in news conferences and did all kinds of
    tricks to keep protesters from free speech? These people are such
    hypocrits.

    August 10, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  155. Healthy Chicken

    I think we have set a standard in this country to do what is good for the people and consistently rejected corruption and self-interest. In that respect what these people are doing to disrupt the meetings is not representative. They are doing it to protect their own self-interest. We elect members of congress to sort all this out. The bill is not even on the table yet and there will be more changes.

    The real problem is that when Universal Health Care was mentioned as the most effective answer the Insurance companies began to attack rather be part of the answer. It has not passed notice by the common people and no ammount of fake polls advertising and plattitudes are going to blind the American People to the fact they are presently being ripped off and have to beg for care.

    August 10, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  156. Gerry O'Malley

    Yes they're un-American! Sure we have freedom of speech and it's every American's right to protest but to protest in the middle of Town Hall meetings denies the right of all of us to hear the facts about the Health Care Bill from our representatives. The protests should take place in a forum that does not interfere with other people's rights. These protestors are preventing us from knowing the facts about a very important issue.

    August 10, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  157. David E. Willson, Master Sergeant, USAF (Ret.)

    Our protests are NOT un-American. They are a response to the issues and the fact that any dissent is trivialized and/or demonized.

    If anything, the comments of Speaker Pelosi are un-American as well as hypocritical.

    The Democrats attack Americans for dissenting use of Free Speech, and are the same people who outright attack Free Speech when it's used by Republicans and those who disagree with this administration and Congress. On capmpuses, free speech by the right is constantly shouted down without justification.

    The present administration and Congressional powers are acting as if this is a dictatorship or oligarchy rather than a democracy.

    August 10, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  158. David Mathews, Downey CA

    They're as American as any commercial venture, the health insurance
    industry funded "brownshirts" out to impede discussion and
    explanation by any means. The real question should be, can anyone
    deny that every year reform fails things get worse?

    August 10, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  159. Bruce Donovan

    Jack,

    How dare the Speaker of the House call anyone who protest against any issue whether it is health care or bailing out Wall Street Un-American. This country and all the great things it stands for was founded on the very act of civilian peaceful protest against our government. The very essessence of American democracy is impeded with our right to peaceful protest. Throughout our great history, from the Boston Tea Party to the protest in the 1960's against the Vietnam War we have followed this most cherished of rights to protest against government policies.

    While the Speaker has the right to disagree with the protesters her categorization of them as Un-American is further from any truth. In fact their protest and the right to do so make them the most American of all. While I and others may not agree with their views and the methods that they use, I agree with their rights to do so and spent my entire life in fact safe guarding that right as a retired military officer. Our Speaker of the House should be ashamed of her remarks and in my view owes all America an apology.

    August 10, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  160. Lincoln Wilson

    The more extreme elements of the Healthcare protests may be ridiculous, but they are far from un-American. Pelosi cites an incident of burning a Congressmen in effigy to support her claim, but that activity is no worse than the protests against the Bush administration for the Iraq War, and no-one called those un-American. Pelosi's comment will only cost her more public support for the health care bill.

    August 10, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  161. Remo, Beautiful downtown Pflugerville Texas

    While the discussion may be somewhat uncivilized, I think the populas is more frustrated over who they elected and the attitude from the Hill. Let's face it, either side has come up with stinker plans. Just look at how corupt TARP has been and the record PROFITS that came from our money, given without guidlelines. So now our elected folks are upset when the FRUSTRATED POPULAS is leary of the next scheme to save all? I don't trust anyone in D.C. and I certainly don't trust the Whitehouse. I know presidential doubletalk when I see it, and he's supposed to be guiding us throw healthcare reform. It's more like a crime boss telling everyone how it's going to be. There is now "Lost HOPE" and I think the Whitehose blew it!
    Just my humble opinion.

    August 10, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  162. Neo

    Since when do Democrats call protestors "un-American" ?
    Oh yeah. It was all those Republicans protesting the VietNam Conflict

    August 10, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  163. Thomas Hurd

    Nancy Pelosi is the ringmaster of the greatest ongoing and unstoppable circus on the face of the earth The beltway folks know that there's a sucker born every minute (or nanosecond) and we prove it every election. No, it is not Un-American to protest, Washington just doesn't have any tolerance for dissent.

    August 10, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  164. Matt in Minneapolis

    While they aren't being civil, but then again when have protestors ever been civil. I seem to remember similar protests occuring in the run up to the Iraq war, yet somehow they're held to a different standard? Congressmen like to be heard and not told to shut up and listen. Perhaps they should just shut up this time and see that they should hold these meetings when they get a...a real bill and then try to explain it. I've got a feeling a lot of these congressmen will be voted out next time around bill or no bill.

    August 10, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  165. Rory, Jacksonville, FL

    Insofar as the protests are undemocratic, yes, they are un-American. Whatever happened to a civil debate? Despite my distaste for Nancy Pelosi's politics, I have to say she's absolutely right. All of this vitriol and attempting to scare people away from the topic is ridiculous. It's infantile and I think that there must be some prodding for this to happen, most likely by the Republican party.

    It would be great if issues in this country could be resolved with civil discussion between both sides. Until the Republicans decide to grow up and have civil discussions, it's not gonna happen. We'll be so busy arguing around the elephant in the room, we won't notice when this country falls off a cliff. Then on the way down each side will be pointing fingers about who knocked the country over the edge.

    August 10, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  166. Rob

    Jack it is amazing, when you have insurance you can careless about the next man who may loose his job tomorrow. But when joblessness hit home and you are the one without insurance and discover you have an illness is when reality sinks in. The people who are blocking reform families are covered. Tell every member of congress to give up their Cadillac plans and go buy insurance of their own the $5,000 policies they are suggesting others to get

    August 10, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  167. mark

    can someone tell the Republicans they forgot to hire some Black people to fake out a riot at a Health Reform town meeting, that will really make things look good!!!!!!!

    August 10, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  168. christine Hornsleth

    Freedom to speak does not mean freedom to scream. These are town hall meetings, known for DISCUSSION. When your behavior prevents me from enjoying what I came to see, then it is called disturbing the peace. They should be removed. Normal adults do not behave this way. They only turn people off to their message. I believe the reason the Prez' poll numbers are dropping have more to do with him not pushing back. People want to see him show us he absolutely will do it at least with a public option. "Medicare for all" loosely describes this reform; why don't they re-name it? After all, the Republicans re-name things constantly.

    August 10, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  169. Gregory Miami Beach, FL.

    I'm not a fan of labeling anyone as unAmerican, but these people's behavior is something that you might expect from a mob in a third world country. It's also an assault on democracy and our constitution. Haven't they crossed the line from free speech to distubing the peace? These selfserving jerks need to be locked up and I'm sure they'll shut up when they see thier new cellmate!

    August 10, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  170. Steven DiLauro

    I have to agree with many previous comments; freedom of speech is a privilege as an American citizen. However, freedom of speech is abused, as with many other privileges, as something to hide behind. You can't excuse the kind of behavior seen at the debates with 'freedom of speech'; the protesters' misuse of this right is infringing on others' freedom of speech, as well as any sort of progress. If you can tell the class clown to leave because they're disturbing the class, then I don't see how it suddenly becomes an infringement of right—as some are making it out to be—to kick out the village idiot for not letting the town meeting progress. America used to stand for progress, and if these 'protests' are taking steps backward instead of forward, then they are indeed un-American.

    August 10, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  171. Maggie

    Yes, the response of these people disrupting the health care debates borders on sedition (insurrection) against our country that they claim they love so much. They would be well advised to not just react to fear, but take the time to learn the actual truth.

    August 10, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  172. Ruth

    Of course, protests are not unAmerican. They explain our very existence. Scare tactics are something else. They have no place in a civil discussion. Part of the problem now is that there is no one program under discussion, so it is difficult to make intelligent comments. What we can do is to voice our concerns and ask how they are going to be met but do so in a civil manner.

    August 10, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  173. Beth

    Yelling at your Congressman and generally disrupting a public meeting may not be unamerican, but it is certainly not respectful. There is no way that anyone can get any meaningful information from these meeting, not can they get any questions answered while some people are screaming at each other. The whole thing is embarassing and unproductive.

    August 10, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  174. john

    please tell me , why is this woman still in office ,doesn;t she realize that every time she opens her mouth she make sherself look stupid, these are concerned americans watching out for themselves , we all know you can;t depend on her to thats for sure,

    August 10, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  175. Elizabeth

    I wouldn't call these protests "un-american" because under the 1st amendment, Americans have the right to free speech. If they don't like health care reform, they have every right to speak out about there worries. What's un-american is that they represent President Obama as Hitler or Congress as Nazis just waiting to issue out our death orders.

    Elizabeth
    Chicago, IL

    August 10, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  176. Need4trth

    Jack,

    Yes it's Un-American

    It's the brown shirts from the right wing. Remember hitler's SA?

    "In 1921 Adolf Hitlerformed his own private army called Sturm Abteilung (Storm Section). The SA (also known as stormtroopers or brownshirts) were instructed to disrupt the meetings of political opponents

    The SA wore grey jackets, brown shirts (khaki shirts originally intended for soldiers in Africa but purchased in bulk from the German Armyby the Nazi Party), swastika armbands, ski-caps, knee-breeches, thick woolen socks and combat boots. Accompanied by bands of musicians and carrying swastika flags, they would parade through the streets of Munich. At the end of the march Hitler would make one of his passionate speeches that encouraged his supporters to carry out acts of violence against Jews and his left-wing political opponents."

    These Republican operatives are doing the same thing at these town-halls. They are the Brown Shirts all over again

    August 10, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  177. Warren Corless

    Nancy is right.
    Too many folks listen to Rush, Dick and Sarah. In fact they are so disgusting with their chatter it makes me sick. I guess they think this is the Christian way.

    August 10, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  178. al apotheker

    Unamerican? America came about due to protest. I'll recommend that Pelosi and Hoyer read McCollough's 1776.

    August 10, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  179. Shelly Stevens

    The screaming protests of the wacked out right are not Un Americen. They are just embarrassing. The ignorance of the great unwashed has been laid bare for all the world to see. I pity these people that hate the democrates and the president so badly that they will allow themselves to be enslaved to Big Health and Big Insurance.

    August 10, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  180. Tim From St Louis

    These town hall meetings are for voicing our opinions. If we think it is Un-American to protest the government then we would have never become a country in the first place and passed an amendment for freedom of speech. Does there need to be health care reform. Yes there does. Do we all agree on how to do that? No we don't. We need to discuss our differences and come up with a good solid plan. Having a republican or democratic plan is not what we need. We need an American solution!!!!

    August 10, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  181. randy in indiana

    I am hardcore democrat and Obama supporter...these protests ARE NOT unamerican, in fact, they are the VERY American! It's a little thing called."freedom of speech", maybe you've heard of it? Tho I may disagree with their tactics and opinions regarding healthcare, I support their AMERICAN right to express them! It is important that our government listens to the views of all of us!

    August 10, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  182. W.C. Field

    Nancy Pelosi is so quick to call concerned Americans un-American and illegal aliens patriots. Sounds like she works for a different country maybe Mexico ? What an arrogant attitude to express to the citizens of this country when they WE THE PEOPLE are trying to practice democracy.
    W.C. Field Chula Vista, Ca

    August 10, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  183. Jack Smith

    Un-American? Are they kidding? It's totally American!! One basic right of being an Amercian is the freedom to express your opinion. Something called the First Amendment last time I checked. They're asking for our opinions and that's just what we Americans are giving them. Too bad they can't take the heat since it's not going their way.
    Question: If it were supporters of the health care plan shouting out, giving resounding, overwhelming support and drowning out the naysayers, would Pelosi and Hoyer still be belly-aching and calling the unruly supporters as "misfits" or Un-American? Think not!! Likely, not a peep out of them!

    August 10, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  184. JK Palmer

    If the "shouters" had a good health care reform idea they wouldn't have to resort to shouting everyone else down. They've never had anything to add to the dialogue and have stood in the way of real progress. And they call the Democrats Facists and Nazi's?

    August 10, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  185. Bill

    Pelosi has lost touch with reality suggesting that her almighty power and statements are above challenge when ever she responds to anything. The vote was for Change and change they got. Politicians rely on the general publics 5 minute memory at vote time and say and do what they want based on contributions. All of this is over providing healthcare to 16% of the population on the back of all Americans.

    PS, what happened to the flack over the cost of Pelosi's trip to Italy, another 5 minute memory. People forget, they get re-elected

    August 10, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  186. Charles Smith

    Instead of talking about how we're going to pay for health reform, we're listening to angry people drown out the debate. Rather than focusing on the real issues involved, the news media is allowing talk of non-existent "death panels" to monopolize the coverage. My fellow citizens, don't take counsel of your fears. Go to your representative's town hall meetings and get your important questions answered, as I intend to do.

    August 10, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  187. Rita

    It's American, but in this case it is also a sign of desparation and stupidity. The idea seems to be scream loud enough, don't have a civilized debate and magically this situation will solve itself. All of those screamers are just begging for even higher health costs and tyranny by insurance companies. If they succeed in stopping reform they deserve what's coming.
    Rita in Pittsburgh

    August 10, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  188. Judy Fabri

    Jack, do remember the attitude, "if you're not with the President, you're with the terrorists" I do, and in my opinion, it still stands. Working on the problems in America needs work, not diversion. One out of every six people in America doesn' have access to health care. How do people in the Party of "Family Values" justify to themselves to deny these one in six other people when their coverage is going to remain the same.

    August 10, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  189. Eileen Peabody MA

    This nation has encouraged town hall discussions since its inception. But I want to EMPHASIZE DISCUSSIONS.

    If these protestors really have a point....the only way it will be heard is to speak their mind....not shout it. They have every right in the world to pose their questions, but they are also obligated to allow others to voice their opinions, or to at least listen to the response.

    So...to answer your question....House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Rep. Steny Hoyer should review their American History. It is NEVER "UN-AMERICAN" to voice your opinion….as long as you VOICE it.

    August 10, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  190. Jim, West Chester, PA

    I don't like the "un-American" label, remembering full well who used this in the past and how it was used. Protest is to be encouraged.

    At the same time, mob behavior inside a public space is to be discouraged, especially when such behavior interferes with the free speech rights of others.

    Whenever something even close to this happened at Republican events during the last 8 years, the troublemakers were rightly taken into custody so that the meetings could go on. The same should happen with these disruptive mobs today.

    August 10, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  191. Bill

    If standing up for what you believe was "Un-American" we would still be British subjects. Why is it that everytime the politicians can't sell their bad policies to the public, they go on the attack like this. That just shows how immature they are.

    August 10, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  192. frank gallagher

    then i am un-american.tell I.R.S. NOT TO SEND ME A 1040 FORM THIS YEAR.

    August 10, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  193. Fernando McGregor

    Definitely UnAmerican because those "protests" are orchestrated by Right Wing organizations funded by Private Health Insurance and Big Pharma companies.
    We need total a total reform in the way we obtained healthcare.
    We should have the alternative of a single payer national plan, in addition of the private choices,
    This will create real competition amongst the private insurance companies, and perhaps they will start covering everybody without restrictions. And perhaps they will stop the "real death panels" the private insurance companies run, when they (the private insurance company bureaucrats) decide what test, treatment, surgery, or medicine you get.
    The Private Health insurance "for profit" business as usual is Unacceptable.

    August 10, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  194. Shawnacy

    Dialog is always good, what's not helpful is theses idiots that are highjacking the townhalls and keeping those who have real concern about what this reform will mean for them. I'm in the Air Force currently stationed in Guam I can't go to these meetings so I rely on real answers from them but all I get are the IDIOTS shouting and screaming at the Senators and Congressman. That is not American not at all!!!

    August 10, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  195. Countess Faye

    Jack,it is not only unamerican........but a deep seated racial issue until the haters get out of denial........they lost not only that ,but to some one of africian decent.....then and only then can we proceed with some intelligence...........TELL THE TRUTH AND SHAME THE DEVIL!!!!!!!!!!!

    August 10, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  196. Dan Dykstra

    It seems big business owns the health care system and if half the country is uninsured is not their problem and is not about to help anyone without the means to pay even if it means fighting the government that want to help everyone.

    August 10, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  197. Terry in Iowa

    The first amendment of the United States Constitution expressly prohibits the United States Congress from making laws that, infringe the freedom of speech.

    “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

    Unfortunately, when they shout down my voice they are stepping on my Constitutional Right to free speech and if they can’t assemble peaceably they are indeed breaking the law of the land.

    I respectfully give them the opportunity to voice the grievances and expect them to respect mine and others. Disrupting these town meetings is not respectful and demonstrates a disregard for the laws of this great land.

    August 10, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  198. Colin in Canada

    If lynch mobs of past were considered American then out of control crowds who seek only to destroy reform without contributing to the solution can be considered American in the old fashioned sense. The special interest groups intent on creating havoc in a co-ordinated effort hardly seems Democratic especially when both sides are not listening to opposing views in a respectful manner.

    August 10, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  199. Ross

    I believe the Speaker of the House is correct. It is un-American. The idea of freedom of speech does not give anyone the right to shout down other ideas and disrupt a peaceable assembly. IF your ideas are that great sit down and discuss them. Don;t shout out like children, be respectful and have a civil exchange of knowledge.

    August 10, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  200. Jackie in Dallas

    No, they aren’t un-Amercan, they are a symptom of the GOP-inspired, medical insurance-funded campaign of misinformation. We are guaranteed our right to assemble and to express our opinions. It helps, however, to have done your own research and not depended on biased pundits like Rush. True, there are a number of well-meaning citizens, including myself, who object to some provisions of the various bills being pushed through both houses of Congress, but until the final bill is put on the White House Resolute desk, I’m not ready to protest.

    Protests carried out using a polite, intelligent degree of discourse is very American; protest carried out that drowns everyone else out, that refuses to listen or be polite is fascist!

    August 10, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  201. Ralph Spyer chicago Il

    If you pay taxes ,you have a right and obligation to speak out, but we have to stop taking from the needy and giving to the greedy. Is medicare socialism? Is social security socialism? Jack I do not trust the government but I trust insurance industry less.

    August 10, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  202. Phil, Bremen, Indiana

    Unfortunately, Jack, it is the far right's idea of being American. Shout as loud as you can to drown out any different views. Heaven forbid these clowns had to actually think and carry on a dialogue. It's just more Republican frustration at not having any answers. When you have no solutions, you can only act like thugs and hope to disrupt what you can't understand.

    August 10, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  203. Rob

    This is proof that our elected officials have no clue how we feel about subjects that affect our lives. Instead of focusing all this energy into "reforming" health care, why not look at the root causes that have caused health care to falter and fail. What about changing the laws for mal-practice suits? We live in a litigation-nation, and that is one major point of rising costs. You cannot nationalize health care unless you raise taxes. American's are un-willing to pay more taxes when the funds we provide the government are not applied correctly. Fiscal accountability needs to be enforced. I pay my taxes but I have no say on where they go or how they are used. The people that pay taxes are the government's financial foundation. Fix the current problems before creating more problems. How can you fix a broken system by further damaging it and paying more in the end??

    August 10, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  204. John Patrick Flynn

    Vote No, on HCR, Unless we get the same health care insurance
    they all have.

    Thanks JPF

    August 10, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  205. Andy in New Jersey

    Shouting down your fellow citizens at a town hall meeting is most definitely un-American. If the Republicans really want to have a debate on Health Care Reform they would let people hear all sides of the argument. When the facts are not on your side, I guess the only thing left is to make a lot of noise, create a distraction and demonize your opponent. Let's hope these thugish tactics don't succeed and deny us all the reform which is so badly needed.

    August 10, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  206. Dan from Tracy Ca.

    No they are not un-America. We have a right, no a duty to speak out in the country. The problem is our elected officials are not listen to us (the people) any more. They only care about their own egos and wallet.

    August 10, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  207. Judy

    Yes, the interruptions at health care meetings are "unAmerican". I observed one of the meetings and every time someone tried to ask a question, the so-called protesters began yelling and wouldn't let people have a real discussion and sharing of ideas. It reminded me of students in classrooms who wanted to disrupt the class so no one could discuss or learn. We gave those students "time outs" so others could participate. Perhaps it's time for "time outs" for the disrupters so people can have a real discussion with their representatives.

    August 10, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  208. Keith McKay, Loveland, Colorado

    No, Jack, it is not un-American to speak out against anything in America. But, one gains credence to their cause when they can speak the truth, not just a pack of lies like these so-called protestors do. Spurred on by the republicans, in an effort to hand Obama a political defeat, they do this nation an injustice And they miss the most important political issue at hand right now, and that is: The Republican party is sounding its own death knell, can you hear it.

    August 10, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  209. Guy Hall

    Richard Nixon considered the protests against the war in Vietnam un-American. The British undoubtedly considered the Boston Tea Party tax protest "un-British". Ms. Pelosi is now adopting the policy of applying the "un" word to Americans who disagree with her point of view. I thought freedom to protest (even loudly) was what makes America different from other countries such as Iran. African-Americans, Hispanic-Americans, Anglo-Americans, and now Un-Americans. Hmmm.

    August 10, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  210. JoAnne

    Jack, The protesters showing up at the town hall meetings remind me of a bunch of schoolyard bullies. They really need to walk a mile in someone elses shoes. I'm a single mother of three children. I had the best health insurance going until my job went overseas. Now I'm paying triple in premiums, have a high deductible and co-pay and put off getting the routine care we were used to. I would welcome a competitive government run plan.

    August 10, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  211. Mame

    Don't be absurd. I am a lifelong, middle/left Democrat and a small business owner. I am trying to get my Congressman's schedule of town hall meetings. (So far, no luck.) I am concerned by what I have read about the "play or pay" requirement for businesses to cover their employees. This could literally put us out of business.
    People are scared. The changes are too sweeping, too complex and too expensive. Naturally, they respond with anger. The democrats do themselves no favor by brushing these protesters aside with smug remarks. The concern is real.
    If I could find a town hall meeting, I might just scribble out a sign myself.

    August 10, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  212. Jim Casebier

    Dear Jack,
    I'm a retired US Navy Chief Petty Officer. I don't appreciate Nancy Pelosi calling me un-American because I disagree with the democrats public health care plan, which none of them have even read let alone know what's in it or how it will be paid for. But then she's from California and that should be enough to tell you how it's going to be paid for.
    I'm an Independent voter and I can tell you I'm not alone in feeling this way.
    Ms Pelosi should take a long look in the mirror someone whose un-American.

    August 10, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  213. Dianne Lee

    It is absolutely the right of every American citizen to express their opinion at any public forum. But, these people are simply lying, and their objective is " to say something often enough and loudly enough that people will begin to believe it" To call allowing money to consult with your doctor about your end of life choices " facing Obama's Death Squad" is dishonest. This may be successful in gaining the support of those who are willing to believe that if Obama backs it it must be evil, but there aren't enough of those people to get this bill passed.
    These mobs are doing everything they possibly can to alienate the people who are going to get to vote on this bill, and are consequently doing themselves more harm than good. I believe them when they say that this is a genuine grassroots movement, because it anyone with a brain was in charge, they wouldn't be doing this.

    August 10, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  214. kishen c.rao

    these protests are done by GOP guys...hiring bunch of hooligans...ok...yes, nation needs health care reform...if any one has brain, says so...ok

    August 10, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  215. TERRY DELOUGHARY

    Jack
    Near the entrance to the Town Hall Meeting parking lot they should have Razor-Wire pens like the ones they had for those of us who wanted to ask Bush a question for 8 years. The sign by the pen should read
    "COMMEMERATIVE GEORGE W. BUSH FREE SPEECH ZONE
    BEHAVE INSIDE OR SIT IN HERE"
    They are as Un-American as they can be.
    Terry DeLoughary
    Bark River, Michigan

    August 10, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  216. Dave J.

    Apparently the mouths of few, out weigh the needs of the many. Shouting down intellegent discussion, is ruling with a mob mentality. Are they going to silence radio, tv stations and newspapers that don't agree with them next. I know little of this new plan and as long as they can silence are representives I guess I never will. These conservatives would have attacked protesters like these during the Vietnam war, calling them traitors or Un-American. Jane Fonda comes to mind. DAVE in Ohio

    August 10, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  217. Bill Chessell

    Give someone a copy of "Parlimentary Proceedure at a Glance", designate a Parlimentarian and a Sargent at Arms, and throw everyone who doesn't follow the rules out of the meeting. If they don't leave peacefully they should be taken out by the police. This isn't Un-American it is disorganized. Un-American would be if the police refused to enforce the rules, which I suspect, is what would happen. We expect to have equal protection under the law. This wouldn't happen at a Republican meeting, for many reasons. We are losing the rule of law and parliamentary procedure, this degrades all of us equally, just what our corporate overseers want.

    August 10, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  218. Dan Leahy

    Jack,
    What's un-American is that the health insurance industry, the right-wing hate machine, and the Republican industry shills are bombarding the public with fear tactics and lies, and one of the leading lights of our mainstream media is asking loaded questions about Pelosi, everyone's favorite punching bag instead of exposing the lies. I guess it's no surprise considering the corporate interests who sign your paycheck.

    August 10, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  219. Bill

    Jack I think these two boneheads have it backwards. They are supposed to be our representatives. When we the people can't get
    a straight answer to what they are proposing, are losing our jobs by the thousands a day, struggling to pay higher prices when we can't get a job,
    and watch as they buy new jets while chastising industry for doing it, waste our money fighting to get immigration reform for 20 million more individuals when they can create jobs for the citizens they are supposed to be taking care of now. Lets get real, these people ain't seen nothing yet. Wait till they screw this up and then citizens find out after immigration reform that we are adding 20 million more people to the roles and guess who will all pay that bill!

    August 10, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  220. Sam Bronx, New York

    The term Nancy Pelosi and Steny Hoyer are looking for is "counter-revolutionary", not "un-American".
    The only people acting in an un-American manner are those two, along with the outside mobs being organized by groups like the SEIU and MoveOnOrg, working to silence people who have the temerity to exercise their rights as Americans to disagree with the destructive policies and politics of this extremist wing of these would be unquestioned tyrants.

    August 10, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  221. Bruce St Paul MN

    You would have to a complete fool to believe that these disprutpive tactics have anything to do with concerned citizens expressing their opinions.or to believe that the Republicans actually believe what is coming out of their own mouths. Un-American? There are only two sides in this fight. The insurance industry and the American citizens. The "concerned citizens" shouting and screaming are obviously on the side of the insurance industry, the same industry that will not insure my grown son because he is diabetic, who won't allow physical therapy for my brother after he lost part of a leg to cancer. That insurance industry.

    August 10, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  222. Ada Maree

    I am 74 years old and never in all my years voting or listening to political news have I ever seen such un-america noise and mean spiritedness. Those so call christens should know better and realize they have to answer to a higher calling at being so two faced.

    August 10, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  223. Andrew

    Since when is expressing your opinion un-American? Pelosi and Hoyer are un-American because they want everything their own way without any dissent. Why add on health-care? we aren't even going to get our social security when we retire as it is now. These people are running our country into a ditch. People can see this. That is why they are upset. Freedom is the American way, not government control. I am scared of the government running my health care. Very scared.

    August 10, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  224. Gene Anolick

    The current town meeting approach may display a loss of the democratic principals. Everyone used to have a chance to comment on issues of all kinds in this country. Now those people who scream and shout against speakers and try to drown them out make me fear for the future of the United States. As much as the screamers, the speakers have a right to comment. What ever happened to fairness.

    August 10, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  225. Becky

    Yes! These screaming fits by our seniors are definitely un-American. I would be terrified to go to a town hall mtg in fear that these crazies would attack me or in the very least, deafen me. Due to this my rights are being infringed upon and also by inciting fear in me and other law-abiding Americans who WANT to hear what is being debated. Not simply hear "actors" triggered by the pharmaceutical companies shout, scream, and yell at attendees! It's all a charade by BIG $$$ business. Why should they want to change the status quo when they are making billions off of us with the system that is in place now???

    August 10, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  226. Rich D'Amato

    Nothing is more American than questioning and even protesting. Especially that protest is aimed at something the "government" has done or wants to do. But supporters of these protests really couldn't care less about reforming health care. It's about denying their political opponents any victory on any issue (they'll deploy the same tactics, words and claims when it comes time to act on immigration, the economy, the environment, etc). What's unAmerican is the way protest supporters and organizersare using this precious right of their fellow Americans to advance their crass political agendas regardless of the issue.

    August 10, 2009 at 5:25 pm |
  227. Ron H.

    Jack, you don't put new tires on a car with a blown engine, why would you spend more money on a system that is going broke?

    August 10, 2009 at 5:25 pm |
  228. themis

    Protests are not un-American. Protesting, and free speech are patently, uniquely American! Pelosi is, therefore, un-American!!!
    As for health care reform, I notice we no longer hear the insurance industry begging for a bail out, so the health care reform I hear of now wreaks of an insurance industry bail out, but labeled "Health Care Reform".
    While we have flawed health care policy in America, the system could be repaired and made more effective by patching the gaping holes - not creating another hand-out to the insurance industry. And, still, Republican Senators yell about more tort reform, as medical error-related illnesses and deaths rise.
    Therein lies the waste and cause of inflated premiums, which are NOT the result of frivolous medical malpractice lawsuits. Where are the statistics on all of the "frivolous medical malpractice lawsuits" these politicians keep screaming about? They don't exist. Where are the statistics on those hospital-related infections, additional surgeries and treatments, and/or deaths, for which insurance carriers are paying, covering doctor and hospital medical errors and ommissions. They're certainly not being covered by and through medical malpractice lawsuits.
    Lawyers won't touch those cases. They are far too expensive to try, considering doctor error so eggregious as to cause death, under 2003's round of tort reform, allows an injured party to recover a maximum of $250K. Pathetic what Americans have bought into - the rights they've given away thanks to manufactured nonsense...

    August 10, 2009 at 5:25 pm |
  229. Linda Henderson

    Yes. These are not rallies or outdoor protests...they are Town Hall meetings. They should be conducted in a civil manner and any who do not abide by reasonable requests not to shout down others, whether they be legislators or other citizens should be escorted out by security. If you want to get a permit and hold a protest do that...Town Hall meetings are not the proper venue and anyone trying to shut down the process is not behaving in a way conducive to American democratic values.

    August 10, 2009 at 5:25 pm |
  230. Carolyn Griffin

    Yes. Our stable democracy works by majority rule and peaceful transfer of power based on free elections. The booing during presidential campaign rallies and now the disrutions at town hall meetings seems more than adults being childish and rude. This is aggressive bullying. How far is it going to go? Remember, bullies almost always escalate their violence.

    August 10, 2009 at 5:25 pm |
  231. Simon Abela

    How dare this Pelosi speak to American citizens this way!!! She was voted in by the people The People will vote her out. Have everyone forget all the protest under Bush? What happen to free speech how dare a person tells the American people to shut up? Is this a new tactic? How hypocrite this is. Why should the Elite spend more money in new planes? Is anyone trying to make a quick buck here or what?
    Our Senators should travel with cars and trains not first Class, and they need to work for their constituents. We need to start taking care of the American people not certain groups.
    I don’t want the government to manage any more programs. Regarding our politicians, I say this; Instead of travelling all over the US, they better make time to read the bills they pass. If the Senators don’t have time to read the bills, because of travel or unrelated work, it means they are not serving their voters in their state they are neglecting their responsibilities. In real life an individual that does not perform his/her job correctly gets reprimanded and after two write ups gets terminated. I suggest this should apply for our Politicians; Democrat or Republican.
    You work for the people, not the people works for you.

    Simon Abela

    August 10, 2009 at 5:25 pm |
  232. Bruce

    I don't know if you would call the protests un-American, as much as you might call them incongruent with the intentions of a town hall meeting. A meeting may be defined as "an assembly for a common purpose"; while a protest may be defined as "a usually organized public demonstration of disapproval". I would suspect that attendees at a town-hall meeting might want to go there to determine facts and have questions answered. Without those facts and those answers what is the point of protest if it is not merely to disrupt? I don't think the average American can really define "socialist medicine" They however do know what is like to be without health insurance. That's just one Canadian's opinion.

    August 10, 2009 at 5:25 pm |
  233. Chuck - Tucson, AZ.

    Protesting is an American tradition, but just disrupting meetings where people are actually trying to address the issues is not. While many of the people engaging in these "disruptions" may be ordinary citizens, I believe they are being mislead and whipped up by the money interests of the medical profession and the insurance companies who both have much to loose if the status quo is changed.

    The medical industry priced themselves out of reach of their patients and the insurance industry simply allowed them to continue until no one could afford either proper medical care or the insurance designed to pay the outrageous fees being charged. The medical community needs to reassess their role in our society and the insurance industry needs to be removed from the equation entirely.

    August 10, 2009 at 5:25 pm |
  234. Nate in Manassas, VA

    Since when is speaking out "un-American"? Were the Boston Tea-Parties "un-American"? Were the Vietnam protests "un-American"? The Ability to freely speak our minds without fear of reprisal is likely the most American thing of all. I find it interesting that Pelosi and Hoyer have the gall to say that protest is un-American when, in all likelihood, they haven't even read the bill that they are voting on as they try to shove it down the throats of the American people; how is THAT patriotic? In my mind, their attempt to try and desparage those who enact the right to peacefully assemble is, itself, un-American.

    August 10, 2009 at 5:25 pm |
  235. john

    concerned americans watching out for a another goverment plan being stuffed down our throats, fredom of speech lady ,

    August 10, 2009 at 5:25 pm |
  236. Paul

    I think any leader claiming that americans excercising their right to free speech as being "un-american" should be watched carefully. These are the kinds of things Dictators say. In THIS country WE the people reserve the right to listen to what people say. If WE think its stupid WE won't listen.

    August 10, 2009 at 5:25 pm |
  237. Alice D, from Iowa

    UnAmerican??? When we protested the War in Iraq, we were called UnAmerican by the Conservatives, Republicans, etc. Well lives are still involved, dying from lack of health care. Seems like anytime the innocent are dying, the Republicans are for it.

    August 10, 2009 at 5:25 pm |
  238. marjoriepriebeyounkin

    it is, yes. remind the republicans of what they called us democrats, when we stated our opinions that we were opposed to bush's war; i believe we were called unpatriotic. those words, both are synonymous. you will probably have to define synonymous for them.

    August 10, 2009 at 5:26 pm |
  239. Richard

    The sad part of the demonstrations is the number of older Americans participating. They have their government paid medicare and don't want anyone else to benefit. The very thing they say the present legislation will do (that is force them out) is being realized by many poorer Americans right now. How blind they are to the plight of others. This from folks who will largely claim to be God-fearing Christians.

    August 10, 2009 at 5:26 pm |
  240. paula rissman des moines, iowa

    Our comment is regarding the Health Care Reform Fiasco

    We attend many group activities and where ever we go, if some one brings up the Health Care issue, fire flies. It is a most unwelcome topic and the folk in the Des Moines area are furious with the congress and the President.
    Your CNN is much to partial to Obamma. He is way off target.
    This is not what he promised and we fear the debt, Cap and Trade and the Health Care proposals – if there are any
    Thank you for hearing me. I have written letters to my Congressmen.

    August 10, 2009 at 5:26 pm |
  241. Dan

    As always, the radical conservative crowd tries to drown the truth on any subject by shouting out their distorted views any time the media is around.
    What that crowd doesn't realize is, we are on to their un-American activities.

    Dan
    Clintwood, VA

    August 10, 2009 at 5:26 pm |
  242. Joe Tucson

    Jack, Just another broken promise to the American people by our President and congress. When President Obama was running and his change in government promise was made and when he got into office he was going to make sure that everything would be discussed in the open. So far everything that he, and congress has tried to change has been confronted by the American people and we have been called the right wing activists to anything they can call us just to push their agenda's. With out so much as any clear discussions on any topic! Health reform is another very bad idea they way they are pushing it on us. And another thing, paying for the Illegal's that invaded this country for there medical is crazy! Why is the media not jumping on this? But if we bring it up, we are racists! This is what I mean! Just ask Janet Napolitano, who is still in office. Just like Immigration reform. The American people have been screwed over enough! No reform to let all the 20 plus million law breakers that have taken our jobs, and the list goes on to find a way to stay here. Arrest them and fine them, and send every last one back! Nice open forum President Obama.

    August 10, 2009 at 5:26 pm |
  243. John J - Chicago born

    The town hall protests against health care reform designed to provide health care “for all Americans” are “Un-American” because the folks doing the protests are only concerned about themselves, not all, or the majority of Americans. That makes their views more contrary to "American values”. That makes to “Un-American” in their view.

    August 10, 2009 at 5:26 pm |
  244. aaron

    is it so hard for "good" Americans to have a civilized conversation with out yelling and being so polarizing. You might not like president Obama but the health care system is broken and has to be fixed. Try bring good ideas, not disruptions.

    August 10, 2009 at 5:26 pm |
  245. Joe Charters

    Not un-American-just the opposite! The British Empire probly took a similar dim view of the American Revolution too! American's are just plain ticked off at the waste in Washington. What IS un-American is buying youself 3 Gulfstreams when your county is $1.3T in debt! Pelosi and Hoyer (and most of the rest of them) are part of the entrenched washington aristocracy that think it's all THEIR money. They should to stop whining and pay attention! It's beginning to seem like they only want listen when we say what they want to hear.

    Joe

    August 10, 2009 at 5:26 pm |
  246. Antonette Dennis

    Jack,
    Nancy Pelosi is missing the point. The American people don't want to spend another dime if the program isn't a 100% improvement over what we have. There is absolutely no evidence to convince anyone that the health care plans presented are truly an improvement.
    Therefore don't spend any more of our money!
    Antonette Dennis
    Revere, Massachusetts

    August 10, 2009 at 5:26 pm |
  247. Andy D.

    As a cancer survivor, I can tell you that we already have someone between us an our doctor. When it was discovered that I had a mature tumor in the colon and surgery was needed, I spent 4 hours on a gurney awaiting approval from my insurance company, before I was taken to the operating room. I almost lost the surgeon until the next day. Pretty scary! Now that I a on a government run health care program, I pick my doctor, I pick my hospital, I pick my timeframe. It is the best I've ever experienced.

    August 10, 2009 at 5:26 pm |
  248. Bud Pratt Punta Gorda, FL

    Yes, Un-American.. We have a tradition of orderly political discussion.

    A bunch of shady characters with bad records are getting rich with phony “issue advocacy”, scaring the daylights out of people and calling for mob behavior. These phony “issue advocates” are financed by self-interested corporations.

    Not the same, but beginning to look a little reminiscent of Mussolini’s corporate financed rabble-rousing “issue advocates” and their campaign to scare Italians.

    Whatever it is, it sure isn’t American.

    August 10, 2009 at 5:26 pm |
  249. Harry Lime

    Of course they are not. We should take NO lessons from Pelosi about anything.
    When I have seen the proponents of health care reform try to answer the reasonable questions, they are not able to. They say that they are for the change but do not know what the change is. Incredible.
    Harry
    Tampa
    Florida

    August 10, 2009 at 5:27 pm |
  250. Jim

    Yelling and sceaming is a type of violence! If they want violence Taser them, this is not freedom of speech, it's like yelling fire in a movie theatre.
    These people are ignorant dupes-

    August 10, 2009 at 5:27 pm |
  251. Paige Bailey, NJ

    Jack,
    It is amazing to me that Pelosi along with all the other cronies in Congress continue to critique our very right to have a democracy that enables us the People to assemble, get all the facts, and have the right to make our own intelligent decision for the right of our healthcare and well being. Not having the government dictate to the American people what options they want to impose on our future care.

    August 10, 2009 at 5:27 pm |
  252. miguel gonzales

    Hi Jack, i don't know if they are un-American or not,but one thing i am absolutely sure of,is, that they are definately uncivilised and unbecoming of citizens of a first world country.

    August 10, 2009 at 5:27 pm |
  253. Bob / Stebbins, AK

    Unfortunately, they are only too American. The country is crawling with "I've got mine, screw you" dittoheads who don't give a damn about what is good for the nation as a whole as long as they don't have to contribute to it. They are like the spoiled kid who covers his ears and screams when being told things he doesn't want to hear.

    August 10, 2009 at 5:27 pm |
  254. Barb from Hazel Crest, IL

    I looked at the video showing the people in the town meeting and what I saw was hate without regard to others. If they are going to a town hall meeting and yelling without giving anyone a chance to speak, yes it is un-American. The right to free speech is everyone right when you disrupt the meeting you are preventing others their right to free speech and this is reverting back to what America use to be like. I thought we had moved beyond those behaviors.

    August 10, 2009 at 5:27 pm |
  255. Nell, Clemson, South Carolina

    The people who are shouting and interrupting the public meeting should be thrown out. That is what would happen at City Council meetings if someone tried to take over the discussion by interrupting. (In fact, they would probably be arrested.) People who have an honest and sincere interest in the debate should be able to take their turn to be recognized and ask questions and give opinions.

    These are ill-mannered bullies who are trying to prevent others from expressing their opinions. Yes, that is un-American and expresses an arrogant disregard of the rights of others to have their opinions heard.

    Unfortunately, the media are legitimizing the bullies. Call these actions what they are - intolerable and unacceptable in any civilized society.

    August 10, 2009 at 5:27 pm |
  256. Judy - Edmond, Ok.

    The only thing "absurd" is the Democrats, namely, Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Rep. Hoyer, are accusing concerned Americans of "speaking their minds." Imagine...exercising one's right to free speech! I would attend one of these town hall meetings if there was one near me, and no one would coerce me to go or supply me with questions. The true irony of all this is that Pres. Obama has been an activist community organizer most of his adult life! Now that others finally have the gumption to speak up and be heard, it's not so popular anymore!!! What's good for the goose is good for the gander!

    August 10, 2009 at 5:27 pm |
  257. Mike, NB Canada

    I don't know the definition of un-American but these protestors certainly have no respect for their fellow citizens and think it's OK to shout half-truths and no-truths. My country's healthcare system, which has been demonized in this debate, is far from perfect but if you're sick you will never be turned away when you show up at an ER. I expect these protestors don't have that worry either and believe that it's acceptable that their neighbours (47 million of them) can't afford proper care. What is wrong with these people?

    August 10, 2009 at 5:27 pm |
  258. Tim Settimi

    Jack,
    Un-american? it seems to me it's the way things go in this country. You don't want to debate healthcare on the issues? Spook the cattle. Throw around a bunch of half truths and outright lies to the airwaves and let panic do the work for you. I'm sure there are a lot of well intentioned folks out there who are totally freaked out by what they hear the right tell them. National health care is the boogie man and will ruin their lives.

    August 10, 2009 at 5:27 pm |
  259. EugeneWiese Midlothian,Va.

    I think the speakers used a wrong choice of words,when they said protesters are un-American. I believe it is wrong to protest and disturb a meeting when people come to hear what is being said. 'W' Bush screened his audience and protesters were removed when they interrupted. This is common sense,which of course most protesters don't have . When people protest a bill like Healthcare,because of the public option,then I think the protesters are immoral Americans. When people get rowdy at a meeting that may affect the profits of insurance companies,then, I think the insurance companies may be doing something illegal. Gene

    August 10, 2009 at 5:27 pm |
  260. laura fries

    What is Un-American is the use of tactics formulated by the health INDUSTRY lobbyists to close down democratic discussion Google the memo the distributed.

    What is Un-american is the Health "industry" using funds we pay which should go to paying our claims being siphoned off to pay these Lobbyists

    What is Un-American is the Insurance Industry siphoning off 1.4 million dollars DAILY to advertise against health care reform.

    What is un-american is lying to the American public – making older citizens fearful that they will be euthanized. The very citizens whose healthcare is already run by the Government without any of these consequences!

    What is Un-american is calling our president a Natzi, and worse.

    What is Un-american is our elected officials and those who use our public air ways not addressing all of the above. Some actually promoting ideas such as "death" counsels etc. etc.

    August 10, 2009 at 5:28 pm |
  261. John J - Chicago born

    The town hall protests against health care reform designed to provide health care “for all Americans” are “Un-American” because the folks doing the protests are only concerned about themselves, not all, or the majority of Americans. That makes their views more contrary to “American values”. That makes them “Un-American” in their view.

    August 10, 2009 at 5:28 pm |
  262. Leslie Talley (use first name only)

    Dear Jack,
    No, they're not un-American, but they weren't allowed during the Bush administration. Where were the Republicans, standing up for free speech, when Bush was president?George W. Bush never gave an address or spoke to a group unless he was preaching to the choir. A heckler or dissident would never have been allowed in the building; protesters were carefully placed away from his motorcade.

    Now it's different, eh, Republicans?

    Leslie from Titusville, former Republican

    August 10, 2009 at 5:28 pm |
  263. IYAWOT

    jack, i'm stunned to see adult and especially senior citizens protecting brawling, and shouting. it seems to me that this would cost them their lives or life saving. one thing i nuisance about this protesters are they seem to make up or instigate postulate that it's not on the bill. so 'un America' no, they're expressing their right. lesson learn adult could act like children, dialogue is the way and it's been proven time and time again

    August 10, 2009 at 5:28 pm |
  264. Dave

    Unlike most congressmen, some Americans have read the bill and wish to voice their opposition. Pelosi and Hoyer resorted to the "un-American" epithet because they want to shut down the voices of all those who oppose this health plan. Since they have no reasoned arguments to set forth, they choose to call us names.
    Dave

    August 10, 2009 at 5:28 pm |
  265. C. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    I personally don't like what I've seen and heard during some of these protest but I don't agree with Pelosi or anyone else calling them un-American and I believe this is the second time she's made this comment. It sounds like Pelosi believes if people don't "play nice" then they are considered un-American. Well Pelosi needs to "play nice" and stop calling people names.

    August 10, 2009 at 5:28 pm |
  266. Diana Pillar

    Yes Jack it it is very much like the Brown Shirt tactics of Nazi Germany than the true democratic civil question & answer Town Hall meetings that have been with us for most of our history. The drug, health, & insurance folks are spending over a million dollars a day to fight reform.Add to that the 3 mil to Sen. McConnell, 1 mil to Sen. Mc Cain, and so many GOP's plus some Blue Dog Dem's and this is what you get. Oh, did I forget Right Wing radio & tv? No wonder people are scared and confused. Keep after the facts please and drown out the lies!!

    August 10, 2009 at 5:28 pm |
  267. John Kelley

    These outbursts at Town Hall meetings are not "un-American," but these rabble rousers need to know what good manners are. No discussion can be achieved with these people who are interrupting speakers. These are tactics used by extreme groups and they should be asked to leave the premises, or be arrested.
    I do believe they are being supported by those who love Health Insurance companies and are probably being paid off by Health Insurance companies.
    As usual Pelosi has such a huge ego, she doesn't realize how much damage she creates by opening her mouth. Everytime she does, she creates another 5000 disrupters at town hall meetings.

    August 10, 2009 at 5:28 pm |
  268. Vicki from NJ

    I love how they come up with these guessing game numbers relating to the costs in the healthcare proposal, when they don't even know how many illegals are in this country and they call us Americans at the town hall meetings "un-American!" We don't trust this thrown together 1,000+ page proposal which is a guessing game. They haven't even touched on who's going to pay for it? What about the fraud in Medicare and Medicaid and they didn't touch on the "no capping of malpractice suit costs." I think that's interesting since that's a large amount of costs in healthcare and doctors who have to pay high protection insurance costs in the event their sued. They need to stop blaming Republicans and start listening to "we the people" out here. We're disgusted with our government and the nerve to call us un-american. They threw this plan together for the President's signature, hoping we wouldn't know what hit us...thank goodness it didn't go through yet and they better start listening to us out here because we are angry and dissatisfied with our leaders, including our President for trying to rush this through when it will affect every legal American in the end.

    August 10, 2009 at 5:28 pm |
  269. Sarah from Mount Holly Springs, PA

    Angry, violent protests: Is this really what our soldiers have fought and died for?

    August 10, 2009 at 5:29 pm |
  270. John Brannan

    This is embarrasing that Nancy Palosi has ignored the American people. She is now telling us American what is best for us. She is not listening to the American people and the conserns raised. Americans are conserned and are speaking out. Rather than calling us UNAMERICAN why not LISTEN to us. Now our politicians are blaming everyone else. Politicians are not Doctors nor do they pratice medicine. If health care is going to pass they need to do it right. Get Doctors and health administraters, sit them down with HMO's and hash this out. Then lets require our Congress to use this plan. If our Congress had to use it I bet it would be done right. But this is my opinion and ,according to Nancy Palosi, I am UNAMERICAN (served 8 years in the Marine Corps and now a Government Employee.) God Bless the AMERICAN PEOPLE!

    August 10, 2009 at 5:29 pm |
  271. chuck

    There's more to democratic citizenship than voting alone. What could be more American than getting involved in the political process? Frankly, i'm pleased to see so many folks paying attention.

    By the by, those of you who would suggest that the GOP is manufacturing and/or directing the discord surrounding health care reform are discounting the concerns of independents and moderate democrats. A growing number of Americans have real concerns about some the proposals out there; it isn't simply the conservatives.

    Chuck
    Athens, GA

    August 10, 2009 at 5:29 pm |
  272. History Student

    Unamerican? Of course not. This sort of hooliganism is a tactic I have seen used many times before, It is a strong-arm, shoot-down strategy which substitutes sheer volume and disruption for actual content, and at the expense of civility. So, while it is certainly not without American precedent, it is also not argument. This generation of Americans deserves a better class of debate.

    August 10, 2009 at 5:29 pm |
  273. Carol - Chattanooga, Tn.

    Jack, I'm a senior citizen and am on Medicare. Just so you will know where I'm coming from. I think that it is un-American for anyone to display the Nazi Swastika when campaigning for anything or paint a Hitler mustache on pictures of our president. The crazies who are showing up at the health reform Town Hall meetings our representatives are trying to hold and who are shouting and yelling are un-American. Our country was founded on the right to free speech. That means free speech for ALL of us, not just those who can yell the loudest or show up in the largest numbers to exercise their right to free speech. From what I've seen on television, the people doing this are the very same people who were shown lining up outside McCain/Palin rallies with their ugly tempers. Remember the lady who told Senator McCain that she was afraid of our President (to be) because he was an Arab? She is probably one of the same people who think that health reform is going to decide who lives and dies.

    August 10, 2009 at 5:29 pm |
  274. Richard, Kankakee, IL.

    Republicans, Healthcare companies, and Big Pharma are all on the same side, they will get there way in the end, their fear tatics have already worked the American people are afaid yet again, the people just can't remeber the past eight years and how the Republcans use that same fear to torturing people, kidnapping them and wrongly attacking other natiuons and starting wars based on full blown lies.

    Americans doomed to repeat the past!

    August 10, 2009 at 5:29 pm |
  275. Roberta Owens-Jones

    Jack,

    The behavior of some at the town hall meetings is deplorable. Certainly, they have a right to dissent, but their rights extend only until they infringe on the rights of others. The disruptions that I have seen on television where some people continuously shout over others, making it impossible for anyone else to be heard, or for any meaningful discussion to occur is unacceptable. Is it un-American? Unfortunately, It's becoming more difficult for me to know what the American way really is.
    Roberta
    Quincy, MA

    August 10, 2009 at 5:29 pm |
  276. Peggy Spokane WA

    Well Jack this is like the old adage that your right to swing your fist ends at the tip of my nose. While we all have a right to express our thoughts in this country, this repeated scenario: that by the way appears highly orchestrated, since it repeats itself almost verbatum in every situation; is a bit tough to swallow.
    The voices of those that are in desperate need of help and have no other way to express that or get their valid questions answered are being drowned out.
    It is certainly unseemly, if not unAmerican.
    Those who are vigorously defending their present situation better be careful They could land in the boat with those that have no insurance or have gone bankrupt or worse passed away because of the failure of that present situation.
    Polls that show how happy people are with the status quo do not indicate if they are polling those that are desperate for some type of relief with the health care costs they incur.
    It would be interesting to find out who these protesters are, wouldn't it? Are they employees with a vested interest in insurance companies and pharmaceutical companies? Makes one wonder!!!

    August 10, 2009 at 5:29 pm |
  277. Rick Russell

    Absolutely not...

    August 10, 2009 at 5:29 pm |
  278. TOM (INDIANA)

    Yes, It sure is un-American when you are shouting over other people who are concern about our health care for the Nation. These people shouting for privite insurance which is denying alot of Americans health care They need to know that we are the government and the insurance are the greed corporation want more money and less proper health care for all Americans.

    August 10, 2009 at 5:29 pm |
  279. Len

    Nancy Pelosi is potentially the single biggest threat to the safety of our nation, economic security and the integrity of the health care system. She has a tin ear for any comment that doesn't align with her personal opinions. Poll after poll suggest overwhelmingly that a majority of Americans are convinced that "right minded" reforms may be needed but a wholesale wrongheaded, fool-hardy rush to break everything that is working is absurd. Shouting down the opposition is one thing she does all too well, but when she turns to character assassinating the people that put her in office it's time for her to go. We have romper room in the Congress and the White House .

    August 10, 2009 at 5:30 pm |
  280. Nell, Clemson, South Carolina

    When Bush was president, what happened to anyone who yelled out a comment to him? Didn't the police remove the protester?

    August 10, 2009 at 5:30 pm |
  281. Gale

    Pelosi calls these protests "un-American" and President Obama tells critics to "stop talking" and "get out of the way". With the way these two run roughshod over the second amendment, why should I trust either of them with planning my health care?

    August 10, 2009 at 5:30 pm |
  282. Bill

    Obama had a good solution for healthcare during his campaign, do you remember?? HE PROMISED all Americans would have "affordable healthcare similar to the plan available to members of Congress"

    SOLUTION:

    Publish the policy benefits package available to the members of Congress and how cheap it can be purchased for?? I am sure he would have the full support of the country if he just followed through with what he promised to get elected. CHANGE, what did he mean when he promised change?? Changing what he promised everyone to get elected??

    August 10, 2009 at 5:30 pm |
  283. Steve in Illinois

    Un-American or not, one thing stands out clearly in all the video I have seen. The vast majority of faces protesting health care reform appear to be white and over 40.

    Interestingly, the same group that is the majority at tea parties, among the "birthers" and those watching Fox News.

    The reality is, every day that goes by they represent a smaller and smaller percentage of the American electorate.

    August 10, 2009 at 5:30 pm |
  284. Tim

    Jack, when are the American people going to wake up and stop fighting with each other by taking political sides and start understanding the common links between these two polical parties...unAmerican when you disagree with healthcare reform? Remember unPatriotic when you disagree with a war? I could provide an infinite number of other examples where these two parties eliminate debate intended to lead to concesus and common good and progress, the very foundation of this once representative government and democracy, only to provide two polarizing positions to divide and conquer...the playbook of all empires. As long as we are fighting with each other the "parties" will do what they want and continue to cater to their controling influences. Tim, NH

    August 10, 2009 at 5:31 pm |
  285. jim neese

    Jack,
    Nancy and Stenie are wrong about these people being un-American
    but they are Willfully Ignorant of the facts and in most cases are the same people who don't believe the President is a citizen of the U.S.A.
    As Joe Walsh said a long time ago "YOU CAN'T ARGUE WITH A SICK MIND" and they certainly qualify!
    Jim Neese
    Phoenix Resident w/o Insurance

    August 10, 2009 at 5:31 pm |
  286. Greg-MI

    So, what's wrong with calling these disruptive acts, yelling, shouting, and not letting others with opposing views (I.E. Supporters), un-American? Being a shouting and yelling mass of people is disrespectful to the democratic way and causes riots. I support anyone's freedom of speech, so if you want to say something is un-American, then I'll defend your right to say it. But I don't support actions that cause riots, or people to insight hate.

    Hate, like effigies, burnings, and threats. These are not democratic in any way. They are ways to insight anger and cause riots, that is un-American.

    August 10, 2009 at 5:31 pm |
  287. Tony Bozzuto

    I wouldn't call it un-American. I would call it childish. Instead of debating the facts, they drown out those who are trying to. They make knowingly outrageous claims trying to put the others on the defensive. Have you ever seen children who don't want to hear what is being said who put their hands over their ears and loudly say "Blah, Blah, Blah, Blah..." It's just about the same thing.

    August 10, 2009 at 5:31 pm |
  288. Walt Breville

    My ex-friend of St. Charles, MO insists that seniors over 65 will completely lose health coverage if the Obama plan is passed! He takes part in "Tea Party" disruptions. I visited the AARP site "Myths versus Facts"and found this claim is false. IT IS UN-AMERICAN for protesters to use scare tactics based on outright lies! My ex-friend has only made me more determined to support the Obama plan.

    August 10, 2009 at 5:31 pm |
  289. Charles Valdosta, GA

    We, the people, are America! Our elected officials trying to prevent Americans from expressing their concerns and opinions is the real "un-American" behavior. How they forget they are representatives of us and and not our rulers!

    When they forget they represent and try to rule by talking down and labeling us as less than we are, then we have a mandate to vote their "un-American butts out!

    August 10, 2009 at 5:31 pm |
  290. Eddie in Davis, CA

    There's nothing un-American about voicing a dissenting opinion, Jack, but there IS something un-American about jamming your opinions down the throats of everyone else and keeping them from having a REAL discussion.

    August 10, 2009 at 5:31 pm |
  291. Steve- hyde park, ny

    "Un-American" Jack? No. The concept and idea of town hall meetings is very American. Not only is it a constitutional right, it is also a duty for constituents to express their concerns to the representatives with whom they voted into office. Is this fiery outburst of "constituents" rude? Yes. Does it cause havoc and shorten the life of the meetings? Possibly. Do these situations make it on national media and make for topics of discussion? Absolutely. What else can be more American, especially in American Politics, then individuals who use the camera to espouse their views, while at the same time contributing to absolutely nothing of importance. Wait are we talking about constituents or politicians?

    August 10, 2009 at 5:31 pm |
  292. Nell, Clemson, South Carolina

    I think the insurance companies and the Republicans are really desperate when they result to this kind of bullying to stop people from discussing the various health care proposals.

    August 10, 2009 at 5:31 pm |
  293. Kevin

    The GOP has created a monster it can't possibly control, because the people hanging the effigies probably aren't even on the payroll. They are the kind of people that need some cause to follow and just run with it, unconscious of the absurdity of their actions. Calling them Un-American might be what they need in order to jolt them from their dementia, then again it would be coming from a democrat, and at this point they might as well be communists.

    August 10, 2009 at 5:32 pm |
  294. David E. Willson, Master Sergeant, USAF (Ret.)

    By the way, I've watched the footage, and either no Democrats are attending these meetings, or there are a lot of them who are in agreement with the dissenters. You see almost no real confrontations between supporters and dissenters.

    And Speaker Pelosi claims we are un-American, while, President Obama and the DNC call for a response to combat the conservative activities? And the President appoints a "disinformation czar" to combat what they call disinformation. Dictatorships routinely call for people to drop dimes on each other. That's what I call UN-American.

    This good for the goose but NOT for the gander attitude of the left is going to rip this nation in two if it continues.

    Dave in California
    Retired Law Enforcement Officer

    August 10, 2009 at 5:33 pm |
  295. Carol in Monterey

    The disruptive town hall hecklers are being "un-American" because their purpose is to stifle dicusssion – to prevent free speech - and horribly they are doing it through threats, intimidation, and violence. The last thing their organizers want is a rational, open exchange of views; their goal is to suppress truth and to manipulate the fearful for their own self-serving ends. Those behind the hecklers are not truly interested in the good of the country as a whole–they are interested in maintaining their outrageous profits.

    August 10, 2009 at 5:33 pm |
  296. Roger West Bend, WI.

    No, they are not un-American, maybe if more people got involved in the past we wouldn't have to deal with some of these congresonal people living in an apparent bubble. This is a very passionate subject so you have people understanably upset, listen to their concerns don't chalange them all the time it's shouldn't be political.

    August 10, 2009 at 5:33 pm |
  297. Mike from Knoxville

    I'm all for healthy spirited debate. There are valid points to be made on both sides of any issue. But the maniacs who are disrupting town hall meetings aren't interested in debate. They remind me of school yard bullies.
    Several years ago there was a book titled "Everything I Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten." I think the meeting disruptors need to read that book.

    August 10, 2009 at 5:33 pm |
  298. ED

    It's all about political power & greed. It's disgusting that these overcompensated civil servants will not come together to discuss and negotiate for the best interest of the American Public. They agreed on giving Trillions to greedy big business in a matter of months. Then Healthcare reform has been bushwhacked since 1993. Its government corruption at it's best. The corrupt politicians have us addicted to Foreign oil & they are addicted to dirty Lobbyist money.

    Ed
    Dandridge, TN

    August 10, 2009 at 5:34 pm |