Plight of Health-Care-Reform Protester Soaked in Irony

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A man named Kenneth Gladney was recently involved in one of the millions of health-care-induced scuffles around the country. He was outside a town hall in St. Louis last week, handing out "Don't Tread on Me" flags, when, he claims, he was attacked by members of the SEIU. (Accounts differ as to who was responsible for the mêlée.) Since then, Gladney has been become something of a cause célèbre for conservatives for his bravery in facing down what they see as the censorship and thuggery of the left. Over the weekend he was featured at a free-speech rally in St. Louis, wheelchair-bound and, we're told, so heavily medicated for his injuries that he couldn't even talk (even though he pretty much looks fine after the incident in question). And today in an op-ed for the Washington Times, Drudge acolyte Andrew Breitbart implored his readers to show solidarity with Gladney, a "fellow patriot." And yet Gladney's tragedy isn't all good PR for health-care-reform opponents, as he recently lost his job, lacks insurance, and is soliciting donations to help pay his medical bills. So which side of the debate is Gladney really a poster boy for after all?

Right Wing’s Anti-Health Care Icon Is Uninsured, Seeking Donations To Pay For Care [Think Progress]