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.