Gov. Tim Pawlenty struck the right message during his appearance on Hannity Tuesday night. He said that the raucus townhall meeting Rep. Jim Moran held showed America “the sights and sounds of American democracy in action. I think that that should be applauded and we should say thank you to the people who are standing up to a bad idea.”

By contrast, Rep. Moran behaved like a child. When protesters got upset with Howard Dean’s comments, Rep. Moran said that he would ask them to leave. This isn’t surprising to anyone who knows Rep. Moran. He’s one of the most anti-semitic bigots in DC. But I digress.

Gov. Pawlenty also said that it’s troubling that elected officials don’t want to hear from their bosses on this deeply personal issue. Frankly, I’d add that it isn’t just troubling but cowardly to not listen to dissenters.

What I found impressive with Gov. Pawlenty was that he stayed focused on what’s at stake with this debate. He didn’t stray into whether the public option was the pre-cursor to single-payer. He didn’t stray into whether co-ops were the same stepping stone to single-payer that the public option is.

He’s clearly throwing alot of red meat to conservatives, saying that having Democrats watch over health care “is like trusting Michael Vick to take care of your dog for the weekend.” He also said that reform should “be fixed with consumers in charge, not the government.”

With each impressive interview, Gov. Pawlenty is raising his visibility should he run for president. With each impressive interview, he wins over people for his ability to connect with people in a way that only he and Sarah Palin can. (President Obama once had the ability to connect with people but that’s disappeared.)

For the liberals who will yap about Gov. Pawlenty’s interest in national politics, I’d just suggest that putting pro-growth economic policies in place, something that President Obama hasn’t done, would help Minnesota. I’d further suggest that gov. Pawlenty’s guiding principles for health care are much closer to the American people’s principles.

Sarah Palin and Gov. Pawlenty have been the most effective opponents of the Democrats’ health care reform legislation. They’ve focused their criticisms on policies, not personalities. They’ve both done a good job not getting involved in a tit-for-tat fight. Those fights don’t serve a useful purpose. In fact, they’re a distraction at a time when we need to keep focused on our principles and priorities.

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3 Responses to “Gov. Pawlenty to Hannity: Applaud Dissent”

  • J. Ewing says:

    I think they make a great team: Sarah Palin setting up a great tagline against the specifics, with her “death panel” reference (like Dan Rather’s “false but accurate” account of the Bush AWOL story), and Pawlenty’s broader-brush comments that, essentially, anything the current Congress does in this area is wrong, and dangerous.

  • cellardoor10 says:

    I just wanted to note that the protesters he kicked out were Randall Terry and his friends, from NY, and not residents of VA’s 8th Congressional District, and therefore not his constituents. In addition, he offered to let them stay and ask the first question if they would allow the rest of the people there (Moran’s actual constituents) to hear what was going on.

  • Ken R says:

    This is an example of the major contrast between how liberals and conservatives handle their differences. At the rallies that I have been to, good decent regular folks are just really concerned about the issues and how this administration’s policies are going to bankrupt America.

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