White House Encourages “Vigorous” & “Spirited” Health Care Debate

August 14, 2009

Michelle Malkin, commenting on White House spokesman Robert Gibbs going public in criticizing those who have been going to recent town hall meetings to let their elected officials know of their opposition to the government’s proposed health care reform, today informed the public of a statement made by Gibbs’ subordinate, Bill Barton:

“Bill Barton, chastised voters not to “disrupt” and “scream.” Instead, he advised America to engage in a “spirited debate about health care, a real vigorous conversation about it.”

Michelle Malkin, in her article asks the question: “What constitutes “spirited?” How do they define “vigorous?”” and then goes on to offer some examples on acceptable expressions of “spirited” and “vigorous” debate and conversation using examples that have been accepted by the administration and its supporters in the past.

But does Michelle Malkin go far enough in her analysis of what constitutes the kind of “vigorous” & “spirited” debate that the Obama administration would find admirable? Let’s go to the administration’s prior official endorsements on the type of debate that it has found to be “robust,” “vigorous,” and “spirited.”

White House spokesman Robert Gibbs commenting on the exuberance of the protesters of the Iranian election, on June 13, 2009:

[T]he Obama administration was “impressed by the vigorous debate and enthusiasm that this election generated, particularly among young Iranians.”

The day before Gibbs made that statement, President Obama spoke of the same Iranian enthusiasm, referring to it as “robust political debate”

It is a fascinating choice of verbiage that the Obama administration uses in its endorsement of acceptable & positive political discourse. Here is what it looks like in action:

“Robust Political Debate”

Apparently, Democrats support this kind of vigorous & spirited political debate initiated by the SEIU too:

And here is a montage of some of the angry mobs who have been chastised by the White House and assorted Democrats for their disruptive behavior and screaming at town halls:

Perhaps it is time for the Obama administration and Democrats to clarify just what a vigorous, spirited, and robust debate on health care looks like to them. Based on the previous endorsements the Obama administration has given for what they referred to as vigorous, spirited, and robust debate, I am personally more comfortable with the angry mobs I have seen taking a stand against the proposed government health care plan.


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