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Former House Majority Leader Dick Armey is organizing a march on Washington against the Obama administration’s healthcare plan that he hopes will finally finish off the Democratic push for socialized medicine.
The march, organized by Armey’s political group FreedomWorks, is scheduled for Sept. 12 and is already generating hundreds of thousands of responses, the Texas Republican tells Newsmax.TV. The group isn’t providing transportation, but that doesn’t seem to be a problem.
“We had a guy the other day from Indiana that said, ‘I want to get there.’ When we explained that we don’t bus people into these things, he said, ‘No, a bunch of us are getting together and renting our own bus. We’re all coming,’” Armey told Newsmax.TV’s Ashley Martella.
“The fact is they want their voices to be heard and they are looking at a venue in which they can express it.”
Armey also told Newsmax that:
“The public at large is dealing with the same mass of hostile takeover of the ‘heartfelt sector’ of the economy –– my personal healthcare, Armey said. “They [the government] want to take it over and they want to run it, and that is scary to the public at large.”
Armey, one of the architects of the “Republican Revolution” and “The Contract with America,” which put the GOP in control of Congress for the first time in 40 years, tells Newsmax that FreedomWorks has been an active player in the resistance to the Democrats healthcare overhaul.
“We are very active,” Armey says. “We put up our own Web site that encourages people by way of letting them know where the town halls will be. Sometimes members of Congress aren’t very effective at communicating to the public at large that they are having a town hall meeting. They communicate to all their best personal friends, advisers and supporters that they are going to get together, and then they bill it as a town hall meeting when it is too late for others to get in.”
Armey, a former U.S. Representative from Texas's 26th congressional district (1985–2003), points to an incident in Florida where “by the time the public at large got there, the room was already filled up full of mostly labor people.”
Armey says FreedomWorks lets constituents know where town halls will take place and encourages them how to approach a member of Congress, how to conduct themselves, and to turn out.
Armey says that HillaryCare, in which voters revolted against Hillary Clinton’s attempt at healthcare reform in 1993-94, was in large part responsible for the Republican Revolution that swept the GOP into control of Congress.
“I think it’s pretty much the same thing,” Armey explains. I remember George Miller, who is now one of the leaders in Nancy Pelosi’s cabinet, growling at me in 1994 that the public is going to get [healthcare reform] whether they want it or not! That’s an underestimation of the will of the public that [the Democrats] continue to make, so, again, what they have is a new plan to take over the healthcare sector of the economy, and the public is reacting just as they did in 1994.”
Armey says Miller’s arrogance in that statement is absolutely one of the most stunning moments he ever had.
“The fact that a member of Congress would say the American people are going to get it whether they want it or not because we’ve been waiting 40 years to do this, I just sat there and looked at him and said, ‘Now wait a minute. Is this about us or is it about the nation and the nation’s people? Are we here to take care of what we’ve wanted for the last 40 years, or are we hear to take care of our constituents?’”
Armey calls the push for healthcare reform a harsh reflection of the arrogance of Congress –– what you might call “the audacity of conceit” among members of Congress. He predicts a grassroots backlash against Obama’s hostile government takeover of one-sixth of the U.S. economy.
“It’s already there,” Armey tells Newsmax. “These people are showing up at the town hall meetings. If you go to the FreedomWorks Web site you’ll see we are organizing a march on Washington on Sept. 12, and we are amazed at the number of people that want to sign up.”
The people have no choice but to raise their voice, Armey said, because Congress in recent years has been “stampeded” into making bad policy.
“Congress in recent years has shown itself to be perfectly capable of being stampeded like a bunch of lemmings off a cliff into making the wrong policy decisions because of their fear of being seen as the guy that did nothing,” Armey says. “That’s how we got things like TARP, the auto bailout and these massive takeovers and spending programs.”
Armey says that in September or October, in their frustration, the Obama administration ––along with its “auxiliary organizations in the press” –– will “create the illusion that we’ve got a flying flu outbreak that is greater and more dangerous than the bubonic plague, and they’ll stampede these guys into the votes.”
Armey finds Rahm Emmanuel’s “never let a good crisis go to waste” remark a joke.
“That cracked me up. One of the things about liberals that amuses me is those kind of moments where they slip and tell the truth. Every now and then when they do that, they give you a moment to remember, and Rahm Emmanuel gave us one there. I’m sure he was severely scolded by all his associates and colleagues, and reminded, ‘Rahm, in our philosophical framework, we don’t tell truths. That’s against the law.’”
Armey believes that given the agenda of Obama and the liberal leadership of Congress, Republicans stand a good chance at taking back control of the House and at diminishing their disadvantage in the Senate in 2010.
“I think there’s a very big chance,” he says. “All the electoral cards are stacked against [the Democrats] in 2010. It’s a crucial year for liberty in my estimation because, as you know, in the year 2010 when they conduct the census, you’re going to have the most crooked census in the history of the nation.
“I’m laughing at these guys. They are going to say, ‘We’re going to use a method called sampling, and they way that works is we put all the congressional district maps on a table and we take a look at the different maps and how we’d like them to be and who we’d like to be in the different districts. Then we’ll decide what the populations will be. And they send ACORN out to do the canvassing.
“I don’t know what this ACORN outfit is, but I’ve got to tell you, they [have their hands] in everything that comes through Congress these days, and there’s money for ACORN in it. There’s money for ACORN in this healthcare bill. I don’t get it. Saul Alinsky must be a genius –– he made doctors out of all these social activists.”