by Jon DeVore, 08/28/2009, 1:59 PM

Correction: Think Progress has issued an update:

The Minneapolis Star Tribune quoted more of Schaffer’s words and it turns out he was defending Social Security. “I’m on Social Security and I’ve got Medicare,” said Schaffer, 70, before entering the auditorium. “I have socialized medicine. I wouldn’t give it up for anything in the world.”

UPDATE–Here is the fuller passage from the Star-Tribune:

Among more than 100 people who waited in line for over an hour to get into the event was St. Francis City Council Member LeRoy Schaffer, who was decked out in a tuxedo with a black top hat. Schaffer, who has become controversial for comments that led his fellow council members to censure him, dismissed the claim of some Republicans that the Democratic plans amount to socialized medicine.

“I’m on Social Security and I’ve got Medicare,” said Schaffer, 70, before entering the auditorium. “I have socialized medicine. I wouldn’t give it up for anything in the world.”

UPDATE 2–The original Roll Call article that Think Progress linked to does not appear to have been updated as of about 3:15 PM PDT. It’s a very different quote (see my original post below.)

Here is the original post I wrote:

Roll Call reports on a town hall meeting held in the district of Michelle Bachmann, R-MN-06.

LeRoy Schaffer, a St. Francis city council member, dressed in a tuxedo and top hat for the occasion. Shaffer got visibly emotional asking Bachmann about the future of health care and the role of special interests in Washington.

“I’ll be danged if I am going to give up my Social Security because of socialism,” Schaffer said, before being booed by the crowd.

As the saying goes, it burns, it really burns.

This isWe all know what the insurance industry wanted: a debate so off the rails that you can’t even begin to reason with ignorant fools, so widespread and hysterical are the lies streaming down the right wing puke funnel. I suppose we can forgive the ignorant, who are luckily just a vocal minority, but we can’t forgive nor back down from the cynical corporate royalists who pay for the noise machine.

Now that August is nearly over, and what an August it has been, it would be entirely appropriate for the left to stage a series of peaceful political actions this fall and winter aimed directly at certain for-profit insurance companies and their astro-turfing operations that are known to be bad actors in all this. I’m not arguing for any specific tactic, and I’m not sure that the old “hey hey, ho ho” thing works any more, so some thought and creativity would have to go into it.

One lesson from this month, though, is that obnoxious, uncouth behavior combined with unprincipled distortions seems to work, at least in the short term. It’s actually an old lesson the right has demonstrated time and again in the last decade, from the Brooks Brothers riots in Florida through the lie-up to war and now the Guns of August health care “debate.”

Lesson duly noted, although we can make our case without the unprincipled distortions. But I’m all for uncouth, and I say we go into insurance executive’s offices and eat with our mouths open and blow our noses into our sleeves, it’s an appropriate and fitting response to this month. It would also be at the same intellectual level as the health baggers, so it seems appropriate. (And you know they would then start complaining that we’re not addressing the issues!)

The left has more than a few assets in Hollywood and elsewhere who could be quite effective at shaming the health care robber barons. Crackers the Corporate Crime Fighting Chicken should go on a nationwide tour. Hell, there should be an army of Crackers the Corporate Crime Fighting Chickens.

And maybe I’m dreaming here, but that big personality whose name also start with “O” might want to think about helping out again. That would pretty much pass the public option right there, because nobody can stop her, Rosie is awesome.

Yeah, I’m just one little blogger at a state blog, so we’ll see, it’s just an idea. I don’t exactly have a direct line to well, much of anyone.

As always the right wants a bare-knuckle fight, so if people actually want health care reform they’re going to need to be willing to wrestle with pigs. Who have human knuckles. You know what I mean.

Get the chicken suits dry-cleaned.

(Props to Think Progress on the Bachmann article above.)

28 Responses to ““Socialism” a threat to Social Security (Correction)”

1. Roger Rabbit spews:

I’m beginning to understand how an idiot like Bachmann got elected to Congress: All the elected officials and voters in her district are just as idiotic as she is.

Next time I’m in Minnesota, I’ll make a point of driving around her district. I’d hate to get a flat tire and have to spend a night in a motel in a place like that.

2. Roger Rabbit spews:

How about throwing bags of pig blood into their lobbies? Sure, it’s offensive, but not nearly so much as splattering real human blood in federal buildings or Holocaust museums, like the conservative terrorists do.

3. Sam Adams spews:

Bottom Line: Those already on some type of gov’t program are skeptical that the Obamacare will be an improvement of what they have.
Spins up up differently when I hear it from you guyz.

Dems championed astro turfing…you’re the party of “Community Organizers” remember?
But when others do it it’s somehow a bad thing??

Without a doubt there are MANY with an agenda here: Dems&Repubs, Unions, Insurance and Big Pharm and yes…..the lawyers. Let’s not forget them.

That’s not a reason to screw up a system that isn’t broken. Could it be improved? Yes Will Obamacare do that? NO!

4. Now you see it spews:

“I’ll be danged if I am going to give up my Social Security because of socialism,”

ROTFLMAO. PRICELESS! The earth is 6,000 years old, evolution isn’t real, creationism is science and Republican gives us less intrusive government. I LOVE Republican crazy made up beliefs. Health care reform is evil, but the Patriot Act, torture, government telling me who I can marry and what positions I can have sex in with another adult are VALID functions of government in a conservative world? LOL

“a system that isn’t broken.”

I think you might be in need of some health care, mental. Wow.

5. RonK, Seattle spews:

Check the Think Progress update on Schaffer’s comments. Things are not as they seem.

Schaffer:

I’m on Social Security and I’ve got Medicare … I have socialized medicine. I wouldn’t give it up for anything in the world.

6. Cato the Younger Younger spews:

I really am tired of the people demanding that people don’t have a right to the best possible health care: regardless of ability to pay for it. I’m sick of hearing people at these town halls yelling that if you have cancer and can’t pay for treatment you should simply die and be quiet. I grow annoyed with the idea perpetrated by nearly all Republicans and many Democrats that if you get sick and can’t pay for it you should be forced to lose all you have.

To anyone who opposes the right of everyone to live a happy full life I have one wish: I pray to the non-existent cloud being that you develop cancer and you find your insurance carrier drops you the day of your diagnosis. I hope you lose your savings, your home and your car. And as you lie in the street starving and cold I want you to remember as clear as day: YOU made this happen; and when you have no social service to go to for help and the mega-Church doesn’t think they should feed the poor turns you away with disgust I want your last breath to spew “Why John Galt why?”

7. Emily Littela spews:

Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhh! Well that’s very different…. Nevermind.

8. Sam Adams spews:

@4

Calling me mental?

So much for the caring and tolerance the left champions….eh?

I’ll say it for you S L O W L Y

Our healthcare system DOES need improvement…specifically: costs and means of payment.

However, it is NOT broken.

9. Geov spews:

Note that it was the inside-the-Beltway publication that got the quote exactly backward. And didn’t fix it, at least not promptly.

@8: So you’re satisfied with public health indices that are among the worst of any industrialized country on Earth – despite paying, as a percentage of GDP, twice as much or more for it? Short of reverting to third world status (and we’re working on that, no thanks to either major party) it’s hard to imagine a better working definition of “broken.”

I have some serious qualms about the proposals now before Congress — but doing nothing, or even continuing to tinker around the edges, really isn’t an option any longer. And it shouldn’t have been at any point in the last 20 years, under the leadership of either party.

10. Roger Rabbit spews:

Making me pay taxes for their wars is socialism. Paying for wars should be voluntary.

11. lostinaseaofblue spews:

Re 8:

You’re wasting your time Sam.

Obama and the rest don’t actually care about the medical system as such. No, if they did they’d work on insurance and tort reform. They would try to find some way to fix the system, rather than scrapping it. But that simply isn’t what they want.

This fight is about creating an environment where single payer health care is inevitable. It’s about driving all private medical insurance out of the market. Then they can cry crocodile tears, say it’s only the market at work, and push single payer socialized medicine as the only remaining option. It’s like the magician who gets you to watch his right hand while his left pulls the trick.

The person at 6 who fancies himself a classicist is stating the real agenda. Penalize any competent person who takes care of their own responsibilities. Make them pay for the housing, food and health care of their less able fellow citizens. When they complain of the basic injustice and indeed immorality of this position, wish illness poverty and death on them.

Liberal tolerance at its’ best!

12. lostinaseaofblue spews:

By the way, the left is the ideology in opposition to a happy and full life, Cato.

I have a right to pursue happiness. It’s up to me to decide how. It’s mine to accept the consequences of those decisions. Real happiness isn’t ever the result of the well intentioned but misbegotten principles of most progressives. Real happiness is the result of work, growth and the richness of a life encompassing both the negative and positive effects of the the things I do or decide. It has nothing in common with the immature childlike delight in taking from someone else to make you feel better.

Progressive policies would take that happiness from people. They would try to make everyone the same in position and ability. They would in so doing take much of the interest and savor of life away. With good motives these policies would encourage poor life choices by taking the sting from them. They would practice social engineering with the end result being an amorphous gray mass of mediocrities.

I would call this a pre-eminent example of “anyone who opposes the right of everyone to live a happy full life.”

13. Steve spews:

@12 “Real happiness is”

“Progressive policies would take that happiness from people”

You want to define happiness for yourself? Fine. But who the fuck are you to define it for myself or anybody else? Perhaps happiness for me is seeing the likes of you marched into a FEMA camp. I’m a free man and happiness for me will be whatever the fuck I choose it to be. Period. You can just fucking butt out.

Oh, and I’m glad to see that, at least for now, you’ve dropped that phony concern troll act of yours.

14. Puddybud is shocked SHOCKED spews:

The moron@6 who oozes progressivism farted

To anyone who opposes the right of everyone to live a happy full life I have one wish: I pray to the non-existent cloud being that you develop cancer and you find your insurance carrier drops you the day of your diagnosis. I hope you lose your savings, your home and your car. And as you lie in the street starving and cold I want you to remember as clear as day

Well for one, since you are praying to the “non-existent cloud being” how will your wishes cum true fool?

Well for two, Puddy lives in America and my chances of surviving cancer is the best out of all 191 nations surveyed.

Well for three, Puddy is doing the best he can to ensure cancer doesn’t come. But if it does my doctor knows my health history and the fact Puddy don’t smoke or drink but Puddy does munch the carpet every so often as needed.

Well for now see ya moron!

The Prosecution Rests!

15. lostinaseaofblue spews:

As usual Steve an insightful eloquent and well written rebuttal. Did you study logic at Harvard or Columbia? Must be one or the other as you draw on all the richness of Western civilization in your so erudite prose.

Phony concern? If you mean do I remain bothered by the level of vitriol on both sides of the health care debate I do. Americans should be able to express political or philosophical differences. They should be able to do this without resort to vulgarity or demonisation of the other side.

You might notice, but are probably not mentally equipped to do so, that I nowhere respond to your silly sophomoric nonsense in kind. If in fact you do remember a war in SE Asia, you should be ashamed though. To have reached your age without wisdom, dignity or decorum is truly sad.

16. Darryl spews:

lostinaseaofblue @ 15,

“They should be able to do this without resort to vulgarity or demonisation of the other side.”

Wait…without demonization??? What the hell do you call this?

lostinaseaofblue spews:

So that explains liberal thought. You’re all drunk or high. I wondered how a rational person could espouse such patently absurd and immoral political ideology. I wondered how you don’t see through that Obama character to the opportunistic and ambitious empty suit that he is. Do you folks ever sober up? If so, how’s the morning after the kind of lunacies you regularly spout in public?

Fucking hypocrite.

17. lostinaseaofblue spews:

I call that frustration at my country taking a wrong direction. I call it an ongoing and spirited disagreement with the prevalent politics in Seattle.

I also call it uncharacteristic, as any consistent reading of my posts not in the immediate aftermath of our last disastrous presidential election would show.

Can you say the same? In a general way the much vaunted tolerance of lefties has been in poor supply on this blog, particularly in your writings.

Have a pleasant evening, and thanks for being so influenced by my postings that you can remember them for nearly a year!

18. SeattleJew's Sockpuppet spews:

Puddy

You are harping on the right theme, though your strident voice is not helping.

There ARE ways in which our care is the best. Moreover the high cost of healthcare here is .. in part .. a subsidy to other nations that pay less.

BUT, what you do not see is this:

1. we can not afford to take care of your cancer for much longer.

At the current rate of cost increase, the uS (not mention our coprporations) will go broke in the not so far off future unless we find some way to restrain cost.

2. The myth that wer give “free” care in the USA now is a part of the problem. Every free patie3nt or patient whose provider pays less than the full boat is subsidized by the rest of us. Cost shifting is a huge source of inefficiency in our system.

A true conervative COULD argue for making reforms that would optimize the power of the market …

a. sever health care from employment.
b. require that any legislation that provides health care fully fund its obligations.
c. federalize the healthcare market so that there is competition in every locality.

Unfortunately, if we did this, we would inevitably get a mutli tier care system with the great US care you so value not available to folks like you and I. This has a lot of consequences that you may not want to support as a conservative …

a. Healthcare, like education, determines opportunty. A system based on can-you-pay will mean that poorer people, esp. kids, will have less chance to prosper.

b. In countries with iered healthcatre systems, the hospitals for the wealthy need armed guards … kinda sorta like some golf courses you and I can nto play at. Is that OK by you too?

19. Darryl spews:

lostinaseaofblue @ 17

“I call that frustration at my country taking a wrong direction. I call it an ongoing and spirited disagreement with the prevalent politics in Seattle.”

But it uses far few characters, with out loss of precision, to call it demonization.

“I also call it uncharacteristic, as any consistent reading of my posts not in the immediate aftermath of our last disastrous presidential election would show.”

I do agree with you—what I quoted is uncharacteristic. You are usually more subtle in your demonization, but please don’t pretend it isn’t there!

“Can you say the same? In a general way the much vaunted tolerance of lefties has been in poor supply on this blog, particularly in your writings.”

I definitely have a very low tolerance for lies and distortions of objective truth; you know, things like “death panels,” “socialism,” “communism, “death pamphlet,” “the global warming hoax,” “government run health care,” “Obama’s deep-seated hatred for white people,” “Iraq’s WMD”, “we know where the weapons are,” “Iraq’s collaboration with al Qaeda,” “We don’t torture,” Gregoire’s “stolen election” and on and on and on.

I don’t hide my contempt or intolerance, and I have no sense of shame over it whatsoever. In fact, I think it is a patriotic duty to be intolerant of willful lies as well as willful ignorance about important issues that affect our communities and country.

“Have a pleasant evening, and thanks for being so influenced by my postings that you can remember them for nearly a year!”

You have a pleasant evening, too, and you’re quite welcome!

20. proud leftist spews:

Darryl @ 19
Nice. Such slapdowns of wingie arrogance soothe this old leftist.

21. Don Joe spews:

Lost @ 17:

I also call it uncharacteristic, as any consistent reading of my posts not in the immediate aftermath of our last disastrous presidential election would show.

You cannot be serious. The link that Darryl posted is more typical than atypical. You repeatedly demand a policy debate, but, when it comes down to actual policy discussions, your command of the facts and issues is often shown to be just plain faulty. The end of this thread is a prime example.

In the midst of that, you spent most of your time pissing and moaning because I called you a bigot. Note that in the last comment of that thread, I both pointed out exactly why I regard you as a bigot, and gave you ample opportunity to explain yourself–an opportunity which you have forsaken.

The comment that Darryl linked might well be atypical from the standpoint of your behavior, but it’s not at all atypical in terms of your general attitude. It’s a moment when you let your guard down and allowed your true and honest feelings to shine through.

In a general way the much vaunted tolerance of lefties has been in poor supply on this blog, particularly in your writings.

We have right-wing crazies showing up at Presidential town meetings armed with automatic rifles. We have a Republican candidate for the Governor’s office in Idaho talking about “Obama tags.” We have a Democratic President who currently faces four times the number of death threats than his Republican predecessor faced despite the fact that said Republican predecessor ended his term as one of the most unpopular Presidents in US history.

And you want to lecture us about tolerance?

Do something about the right-wing craziness in this country first. Then get back to us on this “tolerance” thing.

22. Steve spews:

@15 “an insightful eloquent and well written rebuttal”

Here’s some more eloquence for you, asswipe, go fuck yourself. And in case you missed it, here’s a little insight for you – I don’t cotton to you wingnut traitors.

@20 Darryl can run through three hundred comments with these traitors if he wants and I have no problem with that. However, for my part, I prefer to simply tell wingnut asswipes like Lostinspace to go fuck themselves and leave it at that. I believe that’s all the “eloquence” these shits deserve.

23. we didn't elect Oprah president! spews:

“but that big personality whose name also start with “O” might want” to do something.

What about our President, he’s AWOL in responding to these lies and calumnies.

Attacks that are not responded to become truth. Politics 101.

Instead of fighting back, instead of organizing us, instead of telling America that these traitors who lie want to hijack our health reform, to ensure insurer profits, he’s sitting down with the insurers and keeping silent and little bloggers here and there can only muster enough brazenness to call on Oprah Winfrey…..and not Obama.

dude. He’s the man. He’s got the white house. he’s got the press. he’s got the speechifying skills. he’s got the nation behind him.

but he won’t freaking lead!

what would you think if this was the civil rights battle and the racists were out there saying “well blacks like it that they can’t vote” and “blacks are happier in the back of the bus” and Obama’s line was to compromise with the racists and cal for a bipartisan, let’s compromise with racists, reform….blacks can have the option of taking every tenth bus, on which they get to sit in the front, and in the long run the presence of the desegregated busses will force out the segregated busses thru market competition..but in the meantime we’re going to use taxpayer dollars to subsidize blacks taking the segregated busses ….ensuring the segregationists have more profits…thus get on board with this responsible, bipartisan reform.

That’s what obama is doing, it’s just the right to health care he’s not leading us to, instead of the right to take a god damned nonsegregated bus.

24. X'ad spews:

Excuse me, but some of us knew Obama was a lost cause from the moment he selected that hypocritical psychopath Rick Warren to give his invocation.

The god invoked thereby was a buddy of republican social rapists such as Cynical and the charitable and evenhanded Puddy, not to mention pissy little Moron Stamn

I am counting the days when I will no longer have to be on the same continent as those scum.

Obama is/was/shall continue to be another Clintonian sellout without the overworked dick. It’s amazing that the Cynical nutcase is so frothy about the guy who’s playing right into the
cesspit of republican greedy liars.

25. we didn't elect Oprah president! spews:

OK — you’re excused.

26. lostinaseaofblue spews:

Re 21

I don’t argue policy? You can disagree with my interpretations if you like, but that disagreement doesn’t constitute a de facto invalidation, just so you know.

If I recollect that thread I wasn’t arguing your ‘facts’ specifically because there weren’t any. You lose yourself in academic theories. You pretend your theories are reality. A person can do this, or they can look at the way pet theories fail to work in the real world and start over from new premises.

Don Joe, you can call me a bigot or rascist all you like. You can hold me personally responsible for the actions of people whom I don’t know and over whom I have no influence. It doesn’t work, make sense or have any impact on me personally, but if it makes you feel better have at it. By doing so you’re the bigot though.

Re 22

“verbal vomit, verbal vomit, verbal vomit.” Did I miss something Stevie boy? I’d feel sorry for a mind so far gone as yours if you didn’t obviously enjoy your own depravity so much. As it is I’m merely mildy nauseated by the wreckage of a human mind.

Proud leftist is a bit better than Steve, as who would’t be, and Darryl makes some interesting points.

I actually have a real life to lead so I’ll boil it down to the question of intolerance. I commend you for an apparent sense of justice, as I do Don Joe, Proud Leftist and a few of the other posters or bloggers here. Rough around the edges in expression or not you clearly have this sense. My disagreement with how this sense of justice is expressed is already stated in post 11 here, so I won’t bother to restate it.

What I will say is that I can vehemently oppose an idea a person has without demonizing the person. I honestly believe that most of the policies put forward by the left in this country are dangerous. I think they tend to the weakening of the country and oppose them accordingly. With exceptions for the corrupt or power mad in both parties I don’t think the people holding the ideas should be demonized though. Glenn Beck and Keith Olberman should both have their mouths taped shut, for instance, so they can’t bother serious people.

Just for laughs, though I saw a bumper sticker on the way to my cabin this morning. It said “Annoy a liberal. Work hard and be happy.”

27. Rujax! spews:

What I will say is that I can vehemently oppose an idea a person has without demonizing the person. I honestly believe that most of the policies put forward by the left in this country are dangerous. I think they tend to the weakening of the country and oppose them accordingly. With exceptions for the corrupt or power mad in both parties I don’t think the people holding the ideas should be demonized though. Glenn Beck and Keith Olberman should both have their mouths taped shut, for instance, so they can’t bother serious people.

Just for laughs, though I saw a bumper sticker on the way to my cabin this morning. It said “Annoy a liberal. Work hard and be happy.”

Annoy a stupid, bigoted fucking republican…elect Democrats and work for equality, justice and peace.

28. Don Joe spews:

Lost @ 26

I don’t argue policy?

I never said you didn’t. I said that when you do, your arguments are found to be woefully wanting.

If I recollect that thread I wasn’t arguing your ‘facts’ specifically because there weren’t any.

Then your recollection is as flawed as your arguments. There are at least 8 statements of fact in this comment, and you’ve given nary a response to any one of them.

You lose yourself in academic theories. You pretend your theories are reality.

It’d be really good if you could provide a single example of this. Indeed, if there is any one who has consistently allowed his pet ideology to trump reality, it’s you. Your claim that President Reagan did something, anything, to “support business” remains completely unjustified.

When you say, “Similarly, if this socialist president decides to run up deficit, monetary policy will have to accomadate him some way,” how is it that you are not relying on economic theories to justify that conclusion?

Don Joe, you can call me a bigot or rascist all you like.

Here’s what I said:

In these comment threads, however, you have inaccurately presumed my policy motives, responded to my arguments by calling me a leftist, Chavez-loving Obama worshiper, and, now, when challenged to explain exactly how Ronald Reagan’s policies were pro-business, have responded to my criticism of your conclusion with a blatantly anti-intellectual screed.

As I said then, if that’s not bigotry, then kindly explain what is.