Michelle Malkin

A girl from Malden asked President Obama a question at Tuesday’s town hall meeting in New Hampshire about the signs outside “saying mean things” about his health care proposal.

Eleven-year-old Julia Hall asked: “How do kids know what is true, and why do people want a new system that can — that help more of us?”

The question opened the door for the president to respond to what he called an “underlying fear” among the public “that people somehow won’t get the care they need.”

The girl later told the Globe that picking the president’s brain was “incredible.”

“It was like a once in a lifetime experience,” she said.

Julia’s mother was an early Obama supporter in Massachusetts during the presidential election, so she had previously met First Lady Michelle Obama, the Obama daughters Sasha and Malia, and Vice President Joe Biden.

As we always like to point out: There are no coincidences in Obama world.

But, you know, um, like Obama said: “I don’t want people saying I just have a bunch of plants in here.”

Oh, goodness. Of course not. – From MichelleMalkin.com via The Boston Globe:

According to Michelle Malkin, Julia Hall’s mother, Kathleen Manning Hall, even contributed money to the Obama campaign.  Okay.  I get it now.  Michelle Malkin’s inner child, which must be some sort of spiteful, wicked spirit, has compelled her to expose a huge political scandal; a scandal that the Obama administration has tried valiantly to shield from the public.  Use the children to prop up a wilting president and his unpopular policy.  Brilliant.  And it’s all because of Julia Hall.  A child who asked a question.  It was a simple question about derogatory signs, held by health care opponents outside of the facility hosting the event.  She asked why misinformation is being spread about health care reform.  Wow!  It must be a set-up right?  I mean, come on!  Some eleven-year-old child had the temerity to question some unfavorable material on signs?  Was she a plant?  Was she some agent from a nefarious secret cabal of children, leading the charge for change?  You know that cabal, right?  They’re the ones responsible for organizing and running the death panels, marching grandma and grandpa into the pits full of poisonous gas.

Perhaps Malkin was perturbed because the child was able to verbalize her question plainly, concisely, and politely.  That’s a far cry from some participants in other rowdy gatherings who seemed to relish their opportunities to be rude and bullish in their attempts to violate civil discourse.  Now, I know that Ms. Malkin is leading the charge for truth and transparency.  After all, no one should ever be allowed to ask questions that may be construed as favorable to the administration’s position.   President Obama must pay the toll like every other politician facing the heat this summer.  Malkin goes to great lengths to point out the political pedigree of Hall’s family, as if this automatically proves her point. She also states unequivocally that Obama supporters were…bussed in.  Wow!  Here is my question.  So what?  What’s wrong with having supporters in the audience?  I’m sure she’d love to cram as many detractors as she could into that hall in hopes that blood and rage paint the walls.  That would perfectly capture the spirit of angst germinating in our health care conscious  society at the moment, wouldn’t it?

Let’s examine Ms. Malkin’s assumption that the president’s town hall was littered with health care reform sycophants by presenting a parallel event during President George W. Bush’s administration:  His efforts to privatize social security.  At the onset of his second term, Bush began his push to restructure social security by creating private investment accounts for individuals.  The plan was not well received by a majority of Americans at the time.  Even though the president was able to persuade that same majority, that swift action needed to happen to prevent the 70-year-old program from careening into bankruptcy.  Despite this argument, the public did not approve of the plan President Bush proposed.  So what did the president do?  He went on the road.

“The president knows it’s a challenge and is taking it head-on,” White House spokesman Trent Duffy said. “He is just getting started, and he’s going to keep traveling, pushing and explaining to people of all ages why Social Security needs to be fixed permanently and why it’s best that personal accounts be part of the solution.”

Does this sound familiar? As president Bush barnstormed the country promoting his social security plan, his administration set up town hall forums.  Everyday citizens could have their voices heard and make an impact on the discussion that affected them so directly.  Now let’s use Michelle Malkin’s logic and apply it toward President Bush’s town hall gatherings.  With an issue this divisive and explosive, there’s bound to be some form of outrage and backlash from those in opposition.  After all, extreme change of any kind meets vigorous resistance 10 out of 10 times.  The president should have felt this pain.  He should have borne the brunt of the angst and protests, and he should have answered the tough, pointed questions about his proposed reforms.  There should have been no political chicanery allowed.  There should have been no stacking the deck with supporters, organizers and others sympathetic to his political aims.  Was this the case?  Not so much.  Here’s an example of one of the town hall gatherings President Bush held in 2005:

The few dissenting voices in the Cannon Center for the Performing Arts were quickly silenced or escorted out by security.  One woman with a soft voice but firm opposition to Bush was asked to leave, even though her protests were barely audible beyond her section in the back corner of the auditorium.  The carefully screened panelists spoke admiringly about Bush, his ideas, his “bold” leadership on Social Security.  If the presentations sound well rehearsed, it’s because they often are.  The guests at these “Oprah”-style conversations trumpet the very points Bush wants to make…

Amazing, isn’t it?  Politicians actually organize and orchestrate public events to put themselves and their agenda in the best possible light.  What a shocking discovery!  Michelle Malkin is not a naive woman.  In fact, I would gather that she has every bit the intelligence she claims to have.  In propagating the misguided notion that 11-year-old Julia Hall was some sort of plant that had no right to be there, and even less right to ask a question considered favorable toward the president, Ms. Malkin shows an abundance of naiveté.  She exudes plain, old-fashioned ignorance in understanding the ways of political spin-meisters.  A shocking claim really, since she is one of those spin-meisters.  To me, it’s simple politics 101 here folks.  Make yourself look as good as possible to as many people as possible.  Barack Obama does it.  George W. Bush did it.  Perhaps Ms. Malkin should study this a little more.  Maybe then, she wouldn’t fall on her face so often by making silly partisan presumptions.  Many she shouldn’t listen to her inner child.

Matthew Wright

Matthew Wright

Matthew Wright, originally from Connecticut, is a blogger and budding freelance writer. He is heavily interested in politics and public policy. His aim is to encourage real debate between real people. Real change begins on the grassroots level, not in the media. He attended the University of Hartford in West Hartford,Connecticut, and now makes his home in Atlanta, Georgia. He also makes a mean lasagna.