The anticipated big showdown Friday over Congressman Greg Walden’s vote on health care reform turned out to be a bit of a fizzle: Instead of encountering each other at Walden’s office, the Walden supporters stood on one corner of Greenwood and Wall and the opponents stood on the opposite corner, holding signs, shouting slogans and getting honks and waves from passing cars.
Walden was the only member of Oregon’s five-member congressional delegation to cast a vote against the health care reform package last week, and also to vote for the Stupka-Pitts anti-abortion amendment that was tacked onto the bill. The amendment and the reform bill both passed.
In Bend Friday, the pro-health care reform faction appeared to be better organized – anyway, they had more professional-looking signs – maybe because they started preparing earlier. The anti-reform counter-protest was kind of a last-minute response.
The rival crowds (if you can call them that; they were hardly big enough to merit the name) looked about equal in size. And although KOHD (see their video here) described them as “hostile,” they both seemed to be pretty polite and non-confrontational. (This is Bend, after all.)
A couple of the signs on the anti-reform side – “Obama Is a Killer,” for example – were a bit of over the top. But the only thing I really object to is the appearance of my picture on one of the anti-reformers’ placards. (If you watch closely you can see it about 40 seconds into the video.)
I would like to make it perfectly clear that I do not associate myself in any way with the anti-reform faction, and I deplore and denounce the unauthorized use of my picture in any rally, protest, demonstration or tea party by said faction.