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The Chilling Effect

August 12, 2009
Peter Orvetti

There was an ugly turn in the national debate over health care policy last week. Reasoned arguments were cast aside, and threats, name-calling, and coercion took center stage. Oh, and some of the critics of President Obama’s plan got out of hand too.

Aggression, intimidation, and physical violence of the sort seen at some of the so-called “town hall” meetings on health care have no place in public discourse. Such tactics are despicable, not to mention counterproductive. But those in the halls of power are employing subtler, though still insidious, tactics to suppress dissent.

“If you get an email or see something on the web about health insurance reform that seems fishy, send it to” That’s the message posted last Tuesday, not by the Democratic National Committee, nor by Obama’s re-election campaign-in-utero Organizing for America, but on the official White House website by a government employee. Can you imagine if the last administration had posted something like that about the Iraq war?

The story continues …..

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