"Bolshevik plot": Right-wing media declare Obama a radical who threatens America

››› ››› JOCELYN FONG

Urging that "we've got to close the gap a little bit between the rhetoric and the reality," President Obama stated during his January 29 question and answer session with House Republicans that "if you were to listen to the debate" over health care reform "you'd think that this thing was some Bolshevik plot." Throughout Obama's administration thus far, conservative media have embraced such rhetoric, routinely attacking Obama's agenda as socialist, communist or fascist and telling audiences that Obama and health care reform are a threat to America itself.

Obama calls out GOP for outrageous rhetoric in health care debate

During the January 29 Q&A session with House Republicans, Obama stated, "You've given yourselves very little room to work in a bipartisan fashion because what you've been telling your constituents is, this guy is doing all kinds of crazy stuff that's going to destroy America":

OBAMA: And so we were in the process of scrubbing this and making sure that it's tight. But at its core, if you look at the basic proposal that we've put forward: it has an exchange so that businesses and the self-employed can buy into a pool and can get bargaining power the same way big companies do; the insurance reforms that I've already discussed, making sure that there's choice and competition for those who don't have health insurance. The component parts of this thing are pretty similar to what Howard Baker, Bob Dole, and Tom Daschle proposed at the beginning of this debate last year.

Now, you may not agree with Bob Dole and Howard Baker, and, certainly you don't agree with Tom Daschle on much, but that's not a radical bunch. But if you were to listen to the debate and, frankly, how some of you went after this bill, you'd think that this thing was some Bolshevik plot. No, I mean, that's how you guys -- (applause) -- that's how you guys presented it.

And so I'm thinking to myself, well, how is it that a plan that is pretty centrist -- no, look, I mean, I'm just saying, I know you guys disagree, but if you look at the facts of this bill, most independent observers would say this is actually what many Republicans -- is similar to what many Republicans proposed to Bill Clinton when he was doing his debate on health care.

So all I'm saying is, we've got to close the gap a little bit between the rhetoric and the reality. I'm not suggesting that we're going to agree on everything, whether it's on health care or energy or what have you, but if the way these issues are being presented by the Republicans is that this is some wild-eyed plot to impose huge government in every aspect of our lives, what happens is you guys then don't have a lot of room to negotiate with me.

I mean, the fact of the matter is, is that many of you, if you voted with the administration on something, are politically vulnerable in your own base, in your own party. You've given yourselves very little room to work in a bipartisan fashion because what you've been telling your constituents is, this guy is doing all kinds of crazy stuff that's going to destroy America.

Conservative media frequently invoke socialism, communism, fascism to attack Obama's agenda

Media Matters for America has documented numerous instances in which conservative media invoked socialism, communism and fascism to vilify health care reform, president Obama and congressional Democrats. For example:

Conservative media assert that Obama, health care reform threaten America

Media Matters has also complied examples of conservative media asserting that Democrats and health care reform could destroy the United States"

We've changed our commenting system to Disqus.
Instructions for signing up and claiming your comment history are located here.
Updated rules for commenting are here.