Conservatives are desperate. They understand that health care reform is going to pass, perhaps even this week. To that end, their corporate sponsors are ramping up the pressure and trying to whip enthusiasm to oppose it.
Tonight, Americans for Prosperity sponsored a tele-town hall meeting with concerned conservatives looking to defeat the House vote on health care reform tonight. Their special guest was Indiana Representative Mike Pence, who called on listeners to "pray for the battle", to call their Congressman and remind them that "no one wants this monstrosity to pass."
Americans for Prosperity, you might remember, is the
astroturf non-profit lobbying arm of the Scaife empire and Koch Industries. Director Art Pope is a champion of oil and tobacco interests. They partner with organizations like the 912 Project to defeat anything that might resemble the will of the people. Rachel Maddow did a terrific takedown of their operation and the bankruptcy of their campaign against health care last summer.
Tearful caller Pam is frustrated because her representative, Brad Ellsworth (D-Indiana), sent her a response indicating that he had decided how he would vote. Frustrated that her representative doesn't listen to her, she appeals to Rep. Pence for ideas. His response: "Write a letter to the editor."
Beverly in Nevada wanted to know "what it is this President does not understand? The American people do NOT want this health care bill." Hmm. Beverly might want to read this AP-GfK poll, where only 4% oppose any health care reform, and the largest number of respondents believe the system needs drastic changes.
The best moment might have been toward the end, when Pence rallied the troops for what he knows is a lost cause, and used this talking point:
"Once the American public becomes dependent on the federal government during that most vulnerable moment of illness of a loved one, a spouse, a parent, a child, a grandchild, those on the elite leadership of the left know...they’ll never let it [public healthcare] go."
As a final note, he calls for women to pray for the battle, those in the battle, wisdom for the Democrats. If the bill passes, will they see it as a sign from God?
I somehow doubt it.
An audio clip of the call's end is below. The full audio is here.