Is There Now a Culture of Intimidation in America?


SEIU Union Members on Lawn of Bank of America Lawyer

I’m not sorry to see the month of May pass into history.  It was a month in which “The “Chicago Way” of doing business rose to new heights, indeed.  Here are a few of the “new ways of doing business” with those who do not agree with the President, his Chief of Staff, and his army of union supporters.

Just Bend Over, Rover.  Representative Eric Massa says he can’t even take a shower in the Congressional locker room without someone from the Administration confronting him to change his vote.   Massa said Rahm Emanuel came up to him last year to give him grief shortly after he entered Congress, while he was trying to clean up.  Massa said, “Do you know how awkward it is to have a political argument with a naked man? … It’s ridiculous.” He reportedly continued, “By the way, what the heck is he doing in the congressional gym?  He goes there to intimidate members of Congress.”  Emanuel reportedly poked his finger in Massa’s chest, yelling at him because he wasn’t going to vote for the President’s budget.   Massa later claimed he was forced to resign his seat because they knew he was a “no” vote on health care legislation.

If this incident occurred as reported by Massa, what does that say about the ends these people will go to get their way? Read on.

Just the Facts, Ma’am.  Wellpoint CEO Angela Braly can’t do her job at the insurance giant without having to spend time correcting misinformation put out by this Administration.  She felt the personal attacks were “grossly misrepresenting” reality and finally couldn’t put up with it anymore, blasting President Barack Obama for repeating a charge in his May 8 radio message that her company singled out and dumped women with breast cancer from its rolls.  In a sharply worded letter to the president a few days later, Braly criticized Obama for raising the point in his weekly address the previous Saturday.  She wrote that she was “disappointed to hear you repeat false information.”  She also urged Obama to stop his attacks on health insurers. “Mr. President, this country has a long history of coming together after tough debates. The implementation of the new healthcare reform law should be no different,” Braly wrote. “If we are going to make this law work on behalf of all Americans, the attacks on the health insurance industry” must stop. 

Does anyone in the Administration actually know how health insurance works?  Insurance companies must raise their rates when the charges they pay to providers like doctors, hospitals, and medical device manufacturers, go up.  If the rates become uncompetitive over time, then people will go to lower-cost plans.  It is that simple (when government stays out of the way, at least).

Pass Me the Pepto, Please.  If the personal lies weren’t enough to turn your stomach, the “Chicago style” politics moved at the end of last month from the board room to the front porch.  In this situation, an employee of the Bank of America (BoA) and his young sons were suddenly dragged into an intimidating confrontation with union thugs in their own front yard.  The news report said about 500 members of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) and a Chicago outfit called National Political Action showed up in 14 buses to scream and waive placards on the lawn of Greg Baer, deputy general counsel for BofA while his young son was all alone inside.  Police would not disperse these people, apparently afraid to make it worse.  Baer, returning home from a Little League game with his other young son had to get through the crowd to get into the house and remove his other son to safety.  Apparently, SEIU is having trouble organizing bank tellers into union members and owes the bank nearly $4 million in interest and fees.  But this is not the way to get things done.  Details of this intimidation can be read at: http://money.cnn.com/2010/05/19/news/companies/SEIU_Bank_of_America_protest.fortune/index.htm

So is this the kind of America you want to live in?  Letting a “culture of intimidation” develop unchallenged will have a chilling effect on politics and the ability to speak out on issues and concerns.

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2 Responses to Is There Now a Culture of Intimidation in America?

  1. caro9997 says:

    Great post. We could also add Joe the Plumber during O’s campaign, the
    attack on Fox news, the Tea Party slurs, the Cambridge policeman and Sarah Palin to
    the mix. I am afraid this is going to get worse before it gets better. I know I am intimidated.

  2. Suzy Q says:

    I believe Angela Braly is right–we do cirlce the wagons when an attack goes on. The harder you push something, the stiffer we get in resistance. Intimidation is the coward’s way to get something done. That is not the American Way!

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