March 1, 2010

Megyn Kelly wanted to talk about Fox News' latest Opinion Dynamics poll, which asked people about their attitudes on government spending and the reach and power of the federal government, with a set of questions clearly geared toward Tea Party movement sentiments, as well as a recent CNN poll -- similarly trying to gauge the Tea Partiers' reach -- that found 54 percent believe the federal government poses a threat to their rights.

So she brought on Fox's token liberal, Alan Colmes, to discuss these results, and he pointed out that at least some of those who see the federal government as a threat to their rights are people who object to the Republican-backed Patriot Act. Then he asked an interesting question of the Tea Party folks:

Colmes: I'd like to know exactly what freedom -- what freedoms are being taken away from people?

Kelly: People are worried they're going to lose their health-insurance coverage! They're worried the federal government is going to step in, take over, and they're not going to be able to see their coverage.

Colmes: I didn't see any particulars about exactly what freedoms people think are going to be taken away. I would like to know what they are.

Kelly: There is just as much in this survey about health care as there is the Patriot Act!

Colmes: Yeah, but nothing in this survey says particular health care, particular Patriot Act, it's just a general question, "freedoms". I mean, what particular freedoms. People call my radio show all the time, 'My freedoms are being compromised.'

All right, I ask them. What freedom is being compromised? What freedom have you lost under Barack Obama?

Kelly: You tell me, Alan -- do you think the Democrats on Capitol Hill are going into 2010 election thinking, 'The problem with numbers like this is the Patriot Act! It is the Bush administration policies.'

Colmes: They're also not going, 'The problem is health care. If we get health care, my freedoms are being taken away.' How do your freedoms get compromised?

Kelly tried to argue that the people who fear for their freedoms are monolithically anti-Obama Tea Partiers, and reflected somehow in the high numbers of those opposing the Senate health-care reform bill. But Colmes pointed out, accurately, that a large portion of those opposed to the Senate bill are people who want a public option.

Kelly: If you have a majority of Americans saying that the federal government poses a threat to the right[s] of Americans, those are not people who want the public option!

Colmes: Well, what rights are being -- wait a minute, you're suggesting that the public option is more government. No, it gives you greater options. It gives you greater opportunity.

I'd like to know what freedoms people think are being taken away. What particular freedom -- where in the Bill of Rights are you losing something, based on what? What have Obama or Democrats done to take any right away from you? I'd like to know what that is.

Kelly: OK, and on that note, e-mail me at and you can answer that question.

In other words: No answer from Megyn. Because she didn't have any after Colmes shot down her health-care trial balloon.

Right-wing fearmongering pundits like Beck, Hannity, Limbaugh, and the rest of the long list have made it conventional wisdom among the right-wing Kool-Aid drinkers that Obama somehow mysteriously are "taking away our freeeeeedoms!"

But they never can tell you exactly what freedoms are being taken away without calling out the Oath Keepers and their black helicopters, can they? Which is why the Megyn Kellys out there just say nothing.

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