Conservatives turned out on Capitol Hill today for a “Code Red Rally” to “kill” health care reform legislation, organized by groups such as the right-wing Americans for Prosperity (AFP). The Tax Day Tea Party website promoted the event by appealing to Americans to make a “sacrifice” right before Christmas and promised plans for a controversial “die-in“:
We call this plan “Government Waiting Rooms”. The intention is to go inside the Senate offices and hallways, and play out the role of patients waiting for treatment in government controlled medical facilities. As the day goes on some of us will pretend to die from our untreated illnesses and collapse on the floor. [...]
We know it’s a sacrifice to do this right before Christmas. But throughout history American Patriots have made far greater sacrifices than this to protect our liberty. Now the burden (and the honor) falls on us.
ThinkProgress attended the rally and the subsequent dispersal to Senate offices, and we observed no die-ins. One activist we spoke with confirmed that the original die-in strategy wasn’t going on, but didn’t seem to know what had happened. However, the events of the day did take up the mantle of co-opting Christmas as the season to “kill the bill.”
At a small gathering this morning in Upper Senate Park, Tea Party activists sang The 12 Days of Christmas, refashioned with lyrics about the problems under President Obama. Later on at a larger gathering organized by AFP, both Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) and conservative radio host Laura Ingraham invoked Christmas as a reason to defeat reform. Watch it:
In the morning, there was also a vehicle driving around Capitol Hill with a large “Kill the Bill” sign and a “Merry Christmas” banner (as well as a crossed-out photograph of two men kissing). At the rally, there were several Christmas-themed signs, including one saying that “Obama Claus” was going to “redistribute your presents,” placed next to pictures of Obama as socialist and fascist figures:
AFP staffers were also handing out a list called “The 12 Days of Christmas: Health Care Edition” about what Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) gave the country, including “a doctor shortage” and “what women don’t want” (view a larger image here):