Politics & Government

Health care debate spills onto North Carolina streets

RALEIGH, N.C. _ The health care debate spilled onto the streets of North Carolina's capital on Friday, with more than 600 people picketing the office of Democratic Congressman Brad Miller, decrying his support for the president's health care proposal.

The crowd, intense but not unruly, turned sedate, tree-lined St. Mary's Street into political theater with signs such as "Hands off My Health Care," and "God Forgive Them, They May not Know They are Helping Traitors," and "Right Wing Organizer." One man held up an empty suit on a pole.

The picketing was part of the increasingly angry and intense national debate over President Barack Obama's health care plan, as congressional Democrats returning home for the August recess have been met by determined opponents. Critics have been demanding public town hall meetings to vent their opposition, but Democrats have largely been avoiding them, viewing them as orchestrated efforts by conservative groups to create public confrontations rather than discussions.

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