Sun-Times Columnist: ObamaCare Opponents a 'Fifth Column,' Rural America Rife with Birthers

Neil Steinberg file photo from Chicago Sun-TimesThe liberal media meme on conservative protesters at health care town halls is that they are full of vitriol, but lacking in substance. So how does Chicago Sun-Times columnist Neil Steinberg take on critics of ObamaCare?

You guessed it.

"At any given moment, 40 percent of Americans are dead wrong," Steinberg insisted in the lead sentence of his August 10 column, "Scary how a lot of bitter McCain backers oppose Obama at every turn."

But not only are opponents of ObamaCare "dead wrong," argues Steinberg, they're an un-American, if not outright traitorous "fifth column" dedicated to stopping President Obama's agenda at any cost (emphasis mine):

I don't know if it's 40 percent, but a considerable minority -- who voted for John McCain are galvanizing into, not just an opposition party in exile, but a kind of fifth column, an enemy within trying to undermine the operation of our government, opposing the president at every turn for purely ideological, if not pathological, reasons.

If Obama tries to fix the economy, then they're against fixing the economy. If Obama tries to reform health care, then the current medical mess is fine and they descend on congressional town hall meetings to shout down and intimidate. If Obama were mobilizing the nation to fight off invaders from Mars, they'd oppose that, too.

Steinberg then directed his fire at another considerable minority of Americans -- the 25 percent or so who live in rural America. After slapping around those who oppose ObamaCare, Steinberg went on to smugly assert that "Cities make you smarter" by equating rural Americans with the ranks of "birthers" who doubt President Obama's natural-born American citizenship:

God bless Chicago. Having just driven across the country and back, I can tell you that most places are bumps in the road, and it's chilling to see the kind of undiluted reactionary opinion they marinate in. Every roadside diner's TV is tuned to Fox News, every radio station serves some right-wing nut grimly insisting on the reality of utter fantasy. It was out West that I saw a bumper sticker reading, ''Where's the birth certificate?'' referring to the mad claim that Obama was born in Kenya and thus was not eligible to be elected president.

Of course, as an opinion columnist, Steinberg is entitled to spout his point-of-view, but his August 10 column amounts to nothing more than a partisan screed loaded with insults and little else, leaving one to wonder if an Sun-Times editor at least tried to urge Steinberg to do a re-write that contained at least a little bit of cogent argument in lieu of partisan bluster.

Ken Shepherd
Ken Shepherd
Ken Shepherd is the Managing Editor for NewsBusters