Carrying pig heads on sticks, “Don’t Tread on Me” flags and signs criticizing “ObaMao,” more than a dozen protestors rallied outside the office of U.S. Rep. Susan Davis in Hillcrest Tuesday.
“We’re exercising our freedom of speech expressing our concern in the direction of our country,” said protestor John Conkle.
Business groups are spending $1 million a day to depict the bill as a job killer in television ads in the home districts of 26 wavering House Democrats. A new ad barrage from supporters of the legislation went up Tuesday in 11 districts, some overlapping. And unions are threatening some of those lawmakers to come through for Obama -- or pay the price in the fall elections.
In San Diego, representatives from the group Southern California Tax Revolt Coalition targeted the offices of Davis and fellow Democrat U.S. Rep Bob Filner to let them know they're against health care reform.
Davis does not represent the majority of opinion in San Diego County, according to Conkle. “She’s going to find out in November that she no longer has a job,” he said.
House Democratic leaders are still short of the 216 votes they need. While broad outlines of the $1 trillion, 10-year measure are well known, critical final details are still being ironed out. Lawmakers are awaiting a cost report from the Congressional Budget Office on compromises worked out with Obama to reconcile versions passed earlier by the House and Senate.
Activists on both ends of the political spectrum are energized. Tea party volunteers, who rallied Tuesday in Washington, are planning to flood congressional offices with e-mails opposing the legislation as a step toward socialism.
Socialism leads to communism according to San Diegan Roseann Riddle. She spent part of the day standing on the sidewalk hoping people will notice what’s happening to the United States. “I’m just seeing our country going downhill and it just hurts me,” she said.
Among the signs at the protest: “Pull the plug on HR 3200,” “Davis UR So Fired” and “’Change’ killed 90 million people in China, Germany, Russia.”
C. Mason Weaver identified himself as a candidate for the 53rd Congressional District. He said the group was protesting to tell Davis no one more time.
“I’m like a father coming home from an evening out and my kids have had a party. I’m not angry but I’m determined that we’re going to get back in control of our home,” Mason Weaver said.
The crucial group of some three-dozen House Democrats is split roughly into two camps: those who possibly could switch their earlier "yes" votes to "no," sinking the legislation, and those who might switch from "no" to "yes," salvaging it.
Democratic leaders are considering using a legislative procedure that would allow them to pass fixes to the Senate bill without taking a direct vote on the underlying legislation. The maneuver is a kind of legislative fig leaf to spare House Democrats from directly voting to approve a Senate bill many of them had bitterly criticized. While Republicans also used the tactic when they controlled the House, they are indignant that Democrats would employ it on legislation of such significance.