Right Wing Nut House



Filed under: Politics, health care reform — Rick Moran @ 9:33 am

Is it ever the right thing to do to shout down the political opposition at an open meeting?

I realize people are angry. I know that conservatives feel a sense of powerlessness as Republicans in congress fumble and stumble around and the Democrats seem to have it all going their way. I accept the fact that this health care bill is a fearful monstrosity and that extraordinary measures should be taken to defeat it.

But is screaming in impotent rage at your congressmen the way to go about doing it?

The left has been doing it for 40 years. Poor Hubert Humphrey was hardly ever able to make himself heard during his 1968 election appearances because anti-war protestors dogged his steps, shouting him down at every opportunity. Back in those days, they didn’t remove troublemakers as they do today - at least I don’t recall that they did. Sometimes there were several hundred people chanting and screaming so removing them all would have been a problem.

Nixon was also often shouted down during that contest. It was a typical display of bad manners by the left that only served to help elect Richard Nixon and set back their cause of ending the war immeasurably.

Here are some examples of what’s been going on:

Angry protestors in Philadelphia shouted down both Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and Sen. Arlen Specter.

On Saturday in Texas, demonstrators against what they called government-run health care surrounded Democratic Rep. Lloyd Doggett and followed him out to his car, shouting “just say no.”

The crowds are partly the result of conservative Web sites asking for turn out at town hall meetings - including three tonight in Virginia, Mississippi and South Carolina. Hundreds of events by both Democrats and Republicans are being targeted in every state.

But the turnouts also reflect the real fear over the increased taxes and government controls that are part of the health bills being considered in Congress.

“They know that that means somebody’s taxes are eventually be used to pay for this - and they are worried that that’s their taxes,” said Max Pappas of the conservative Web site Freedom Works.

As an aside, it is obvious that CBS reporters read liberal websites:

Is this just some less-than-polite heckling or political maneuvering? CBS News correspondent Wyatt Andrews reports.

Funny…Brian Beutler doesn’t wonder - he knows:

On Friday, July 24, a representative of Conservatives for Patients Rights–the anti-health care reform group run by Swift Boat message man Rick Scott–sent an email to a list serve (called the Tea Party Patriots Health Care Reform Committee) containing a spreadsheet that lists over one hundred congressional town halls from late July into September.

The email from CPR to tea baggers suggests that, though conservatives portray the tea bagger disruptions as symptoms of a populist rebellion roiling unprompted through key districts around the country, they have to a great extent been orchestrated by anti-health care reform groups financed by industry. (CPR did not immediately respond to a request for comment.)

That email predates by about a week a recent flurry of events at which Democratic members of Congress have been accosted and harassed by anti-health care reform tea party protesters. But beyond putting those spectacles, now receiving wide play on cable news, into a fresh light, it also provides a window into the tea party protesters’ organizing infrastructure, which, like so much political organizing today, occurs in private email list serves.

Omigod - don’t tell me. The horror of it! Citizens actually organizing to protest! Oh, the humanity. (If Beutler or anyone else has a link to a tea party website that makes the claim these demonstrations are “spontaneous” I would appreciate it. In fact, if there is a link to any site on the web that makes this claim, I would like to see it. This is a strawman argument, nothing more.)

Of course, tea partiers have made absolutely no secret that they are organizing to protest at these town halls. The fact that an organization sent out a list of scheduled town hall meetings in key districts does not mean anything except liberals are worried that the right - usually moribund when it comes to protesting anything - is aping their long cherished tactics. I guess when Moveon sent out a million emails to people telling them to protest the war, that was…what? “Real” grass roots action? Puhleez.

Regardless, it’s how opponents of health care reform act at these meetings that concern me. Boorish behavior like this is inappropriate and serves no purpose other than to make the screamers feel good. That’s pretty selfish if you ask me.

Every single poll shows that the more people know about this bill, the more they detest it. Logic and reason would go a helluva lot farther in showing people how bad this bill is than giving into emotionalism for the sake of a little theatrics and releasing pent up anger. You are not doing the cause one iota of good by demonstrating poor manners and stifling free speech.

Those citizens who are on the fence on this issue (the ones who will probably decide the fate of health care reform in the end), and who are trying to learn more about it, only see a bunch of angry, irrational people, incoherently ranting when they want to hear both sides of the argument. The question is, do we give them a chance to find out how bad this bill is or do we drive them into the arms of those supporting the measure by coming across as a bunch of bozos?

What the left never understood - and still doesn’t get, judging by the way they tried to shout down Bush every opportunity they got - is that presenting your case in a reasonable manner always goes a lot farther with those who are undecided than simply trying to stifle your political opponent’s right of free speech. That tactic breeds resentment from those who are more thoughtful about politics or who are trying to learn about an issue. You lose far, far more than you gain when acting boorishly.

Again, I know people are angry. But giving in to the emotionalism of the moment hurts the cause. I realize the left has used these tactics for generations - and that may be the silliest reason of all for conservatives to mimic them. Do you really want to imitate the absolute worst tactic of your opponent? Where’s the logic in that?

This is not a zero sum game. There is much more to be gained by demonstrating reasonably and respectfully than going off half cocked and disrupting what is, after all, part of the democratic process. There is a real chance that the entire idea of health care reform can be defeated for this congressional term.

But it won’t happen if conservatives continue to make it impossible for the majority of voters to see their side of the argument because they are preventing everyone from hearing both sides.


  1. You need help. You are making way too much sense, yet again.

    Comment by Random Electron — 8/4/2009 @ 9:49 am

  2. I think that people are really angry and that’s why they are yelling. They are tired of the lies. Period. The people KNOW what’s in the healthcare bill…and yet, they must listen to the lies of their elected representatives over and over again. And, to add insult to injury, the reps haven’t even read it!

    Yes, the people are yelling. I agree you have a point regarding the main stream lying media representing the people as nuts.

    However, when the representatives are OPENLY lying it really does make one want to yell and scream. Especially when the representatives are so obviously looking down their noses at the “unwashed masses” and just know what’s good for them because they are so stupid and ignorant.

    They must go. Conservatives WILL overcome.

    Thank you for your blog. I don’t always agree, but it’s always a worthwhile expenditure of my time.

    Comment by Charlotte — 8/4/2009 @ 10:27 am

  3. The point of these demonstrations is so the likes of Michelle Malkin can go on This Week and claims its a “grassroots” “counter-insurgency”. You still don’t know how this game is played.

    It’s as “grass roots” as anything the left has ever done. And yes, what has the right riled for the first time in my lifetime (besides abortion) is this health care bill and the radical leftist policies of this administration. Call it a “counter insurgency” if you want but don;t call it faked. Almost all of the organizing for these things is going on at the local level - and if you knew anything at all about these people, you’d know that they resist quite fiercely any direction from the top of anywhere - including a group that has set itself up as a kind of national tea party council.

    What this is an attempt to do is delegitimze the protests. Evidently only the left has “legitimate” protests and feels it can dismiss the demonstrations by simply pointing out that a lobbyist sent an email.

    Do me a favor and keep underestimating these people. It will make the Democrat’s stinging defeat in 2010 that much sweeter.


    Comment by Mike — 8/4/2009 @ 10:53 am

  4. Remember Nancy Pelosi’s assurances that the Tea Parties were “astroturfing?” It has been so long since the Left had actual spontaneous demonstrations that they no longer realize that, yes, they happen.

    I’m not so certain anyone can do anything to prevent angry people from shouting at their MoC, particularly when he or she is ignorant, blatantly lying, or both. Maybe it is bad PR. Maybe it isn’t. One thing is for certain–there’s not a damned thing that can be done to stop it.

    Most of the country now opposes this legislation. This has gone far beyond the conservative movement and it is quite real.

    Comment by jackson1234 — 8/4/2009 @ 11:18 am

  5. I think uncivil action is a NATURAL reaction to what’s perceived as an uncivil government, whatever side of an issue you’re on. If you think they’re lieing to you, intentionally misleading you, forcing something down your throat, rushing too large a program too quickly, taking freedoms away from you, mortgaging your future, acting like arrogant fools by stating it’s inevitable so just sit still and accept it, and you’re angry about any of it, I say, let them know how you feel in no uncertain terms (within the bounds of the law of course). No, it’s not the “civil” thing to do, but it has certainly been effective many times throughout history and this, this is certainly a big enough issue and has been handled in such a way that people SHOULD be hoppin’ mad.

    Comment by DoorHold — 8/4/2009 @ 12:17 pm

  6. So….I should leave the tar and feathers at home? But I’m a traditionalist when it comes to politicians that lie, cheat, steal, and basically ignore their constituency.

    Now I going to have to cancel that order for the pitchforks…

    All kidding aside, if the citizenry just continues as it has, and stays polite, nothing will get done.

    With the exception of the left paid protestors, the citizenry have been REMARKABLY tolerant of Congress. Its about time that Congress saw our displeasure.

    When someone is ignoring you, sometimes shouting is the only way. Well, not the only way,….but the pitchforks haven’t arrived yet….

    Comment by Cargosquid — 8/4/2009 @ 12:19 pm

  7. Ah, yes, don’t we all long for the days when W reigned. To get into a town hall meeting, you had to go to the local Republican organization to get ticket. Why, hell, if you were able to score a ticket and then showed up with a liberal bumper sticker on your car, you got kicked out. Those were some awfully peaceful town hall meetings. No shouting. No one was angry.
    And seriously, what was to be angry about. Now, today, we have something to be really angry about: what rules do the hippies get to make concerning how the middleman between patients and doctors operates. Those stupid hippies 40 years ago making a spectacle about getting drafted to go shoot yellow men and getting all upset about body bags and brave injured Real American kids really made a mountain out of a molehill.

    Comment by Richard Bruce Cheney — 8/4/2009 @ 12:50 pm

  8. “The fact that an organization sent out a list of scheduled town hall meetings in key districts does not mean anything except liberals are worried that the right - usually moribund when it comes to protesting anything - is aping their long cherished tactics.”

    The fact that the “scream like howler monkeys” idea is part of the organization is the issue that most liberals seem to be focusing on.

    Comment by busboy33 — 8/4/2009 @ 1:20 pm

  9. Its all about the optics. How these protests get reported over the next month will likely determine whether we see a return of the “Silent Majority” by Obama’s people. The American people traditionally do not appreciate disorder, do not rabble-rousing and especially do not like citizens obstructing the lawful and agreeable interests of other citizens. These pressure tactics are fundamentally un-American, denying the right of other Americans to inquire of their elected representatives. Most Americans, whether they agree with Obama’s plan or not, will probably not take kindly to this tea party protester behavior. Its unruly and disrespectful to the other Americans there in the audience who want to listen or even speak up in the town hall.

    Comment by Eddie — 8/4/2009 @ 1:43 pm

  10. Yelling is rude? Accepting bribes from big pharma Billy Tauzin, unions, and and the AMA lobbyists is downright criminal. Cutting off the private funding for the health care of the chronically ill with private insurance is beyond rude. Get used to the “rudeness” my guess is that it’s going to get physically violent before this is all over. The thugs accepting corporate bribes certainly aren’t in this for the philosophcial discourse the might have with their constituents.

    Civil disobedience and angry crowds is an effective technique; it’s brought down entire governments.

    Comment by Karen — 8/4/2009 @ 2:41 pm

  11. I would be more convinced of their sincerity, if their every scream and shout was not scripted by a health care lobbyist.
    Just as extreme lefties (SDS and others) used violence, the right has used violence like bombing abortion clinics and killing abortion doctors.
    The brown shirts in Germany used to disrupt meetings, then after the meetings broke up, they would attack and beat the meeting attendees out in the streets.
    It’s practically American tradition that politicians get shouted down. That’s been going on since before we were a United States.
    It was sad to see that some of the people who want a change in health care, but don’t like, or trust what Congress is doing, were also shouted down when they asked questions.
    Leaders on the right need to tamp this behavior down, if the left reacts to their behavior with the same kind of behavior, then real widespread violence could escalate.

    “I would be more convinced of their sincerity, if their every scream and shout was not scripted by a health care lobbyist.”

    Well, that’s a great big steaming pile of bullshit now, isn’t it?

    Oh - and I have a simple rule here. Anyone who equates a fellow American with a Nazi gets banned - goodbye.


    Comment by Tom — 8/4/2009 @ 2:44 pm

  12. Tim wrote:

    Leaders on the right need to tamp this behavior down, if the left reacts to their behavior with the same kind of behavior, then real widespread violence could escalate.

    Yes, I realize that you banned Tim, but I wonder if he slept through the Bush administration when the right showed remarkable restraint.

    Somehow I doubt it.

    Comment by David R. Block — 8/4/2009 @ 3:24 pm

  13. I too am concerned that these ‘protesters’ are going to negatively impact the bottom line of insurance corporations.

    The only thing we need to be worried about here is that the primary beneficiary of the U.S. health care system (the insurance corporations) continue to make lots of money at great expense to my family.

    Comment by Chuck Tucson — 8/4/2009 @ 4:16 pm

  14. The only thing we need to be worried about here is that the primary beneficiary of the U.S. health care system (the insurance corporations) continue to make lots of money at great expense to my family.

    This is a load of B/S a mile high. Insurance companies don’t make huge profits. In fact, other than Aetna, United Health Care, and a few others, most are non-profit, and chartered by their own states. The ones that are for-profit may make a 1-2% margin at the most.

    But let’s be candid here. The profit motive is what bothers you, isn’t it Chuck? Let’s throw the baby out with the bathwater if someone can make a dime on that baby. Just destroy the best health care system in the world (yes, it is the best), because some evil capitalist is making an extra 15 cents on their shares of stock.

    Insurance premiums are high because medical costs are high, not because someone is making a profit. Bring down costs, and you’ll bring down premiums.

    Comment by I Callahan — 8/4/2009 @ 4:48 pm

  15. Speaking only of the Driehaus town hall, the meeting was very civil to begin with. The average age was probably 70! This is a genuine revolt!

    Why is it that ACORN and “community organizers” are legitimized but a bunch of senior citizens who are angry about this disaster somehow illegitimate?

    Comment by Crash Favre — 8/4/2009 @ 4:56 pm

  16. Chuck,

    You really believe that those of us who hate the idea of government run healthcare do it for the insurance companies or that those showing anger at townhall meetings are somehow insurance company plants?

    I imagine you are just being glib but keep it up - it’s a great way to convince people to give up more money to government than they do to insurance companies to get fewer choices and crappier healthcare in return, not to mention a loss of freedom that will come when the government gets around to rationing and ‘controlling costs’. I have yet to hear of any corporation that made a profit larger than what government wastes.

    Comment by Bald Ninja — 8/4/2009 @ 5:07 pm

  17. I applaud anyone who takes time out of their busy day to show up and let their voice be heard, this is America after all. At least I still think it is.

    If these taxpaying voters are angry and unruly it is due to the constant talking point pounding by the democrat politicians and their lap dog media surrogates who believe they know how to control our lives better than we do.

    The putrid arrogance of it all is what makes ordinary people so damn motivated and angry. Nobody seems to have been listening so why not scream and shout? They feel the insurmountable odds that are are stacked against them by the media.

    When ordinary people are fed up and have no alternative to be heard between elections they can at least show up and let off some steam directly at the representatives who have stopped representing the voters and made the conscious decision to represent the Pelosi party line. They deserve some heat.

    What’s most amusing is that the democrat politicians and media lapdogs don’t know what to make of ordinary people protesting because it’s never happened before. Their reaction? Pull an Alinsky by openly attacking and discrediting them.

    Go for it.

    They aren’t burning American flags they are waving them. They aren’t wearing tie-dye or outfits bought at urban counterculture boutiques. I don’t see anyone wearing funny pink outfits and masks. They are attired in the likes of common Dockers and Land’s End polo shirts and aren’t afraid to show their faces. Current and retired military personnel are showing up too.

    I have yet to see organized civil disobedience among the tea party crowd or these new age protesters who probably never attended an organized protest in their lives other than a suburban school board meeting. How anyone can refer to them as an angry mob wasn’t around in the late 60’s when clashes with riot police were encouraged or has been asleep for the past nine years when those same aging anti-war protesters crawled back out from under their rocks.

    ACORN didn’t pay for and bus these people in from the projects. Also absent are the purple and gold SEIU jackets in these crowds so it must be assumed they are being organized by right winger fringe groups or corporations. Make me freaking gag.

    This is a real movement and it’s is growing. It’s a movement that will be ridiculed and discredited only by those who wish to risk credibility and reelection in 2010 no matter which party they belong to.

    Bring it on.

    Comment by CZ — 8/4/2009 @ 5:51 pm

  18. A disgrace.

    These are real SA tactics.

    Proudly ignorant bovines, stampeded by their masters.

    What a disgrace.

    It won’t stand.

    Blue Cross & the rest must be so proud.

    Comment by BellWeather Bill — 8/4/2009 @ 7:45 pm

  19. Idiots with their moms and dads on medicare, idiots whose health insurance will be yanked the minute they get sick, idiots who will be screwed if they ever lose their jobs, idiots who can’t even keep up with their premiums, show up to shout down the people trying to solve those problems.

    This has nothing to do with health care. It’s the rage of the aging, fading, paranoid southern white.

    With apologies to Dylan Thomas: Rage, rage against the dying of the white.

    Comment by michael reynolds — 8/4/2009 @ 9:02 pm

  20. Michael Reynolds,

    You MUST be a parody. If not, just understand that flinging poo doesn’t an argument make.

    Comment by I Callahan — 8/4/2009 @ 9:05 pm

  21. Callahan:

    Find me a health care howler monkey who’s not an over 40 white person.

    Comment by michael reynolds — 8/4/2009 @ 9:11 pm

  22. Bald Ninja said:

    You really believe that those of us who hate the idea of government run healthcare do it for the insurance companies or that those showing anger at townhall meetings are somehow insurance company plants?

    I don’t believe that the shouters are insurance company plants. They would never do something so completely stupid. The shouters are their own special kind of stupid.

    Complaining that a inherently socialist concept like insurance - the collection of funds by many to redistribute to the needy - will somehow be more socialist if the government gets involved is laughable.

    Comment by Chuck Tucson — 8/4/2009 @ 9:28 pm

  23. Rick makes a good point — mindless opposition can backfire by pushing fence-sitters over to the opposition.

    On the other hand, loud protesting can embolden the silent majority to speak out.

    I’m with the protesters on this one. I have no sympathy for campaign-as-moderate but govern-as-liberal politicians who don’t bother to read legislation they enact. I’d wager these folks pay far more income tax than average and stand to loose a lot more from nationalized health-care. #21 said, “Find me a health care howler monkey who’s not an over 40 white person.” Why were age and race dragged into this argument, as if white people over 40 don’t count?

    Comment by Doug King — 8/4/2009 @ 10:42 pm

  24. “Complaining that a inherently socialist concept like insurance - the collection of funds by many to redistribute to the needy - will somehow be more socialist if the government gets involved is laughable.”

    By that logic, McDonald’s is also a socialist concept because my grilled chicken subsidizes their Dollar Menu items. I guess at one level, that’s true…and also meaningless.

    Whether or not having the government run health care for the country is “more socialist” isn’t the concern for me. What concerns me is idea that the federal government could take responsibility for running such a behemoth of a system and expect to do it efficiently, fairly, and under budget. Talk about laughable…

    Comment by sota — 8/5/2009 @ 5:31 am

  25. chuck,

    People are stupid for thinking government will screw up healthcare if they take it over? I find it astonishing that you and michael reynolds seem to have unwavering faith in government to be able to solve this ‘problem’. Medicare, Medicaide and the VA are all messes - and you expect this to turn out differently somehow?

    I agree that healthcare could be improved but I disagree that it’s all that dire a problem. Most of those ‘uninsured 47 million’ will have insurance within a year or 2, another large portion are young people who don’t really want insurance, and another portion are people who could get insurance (free and provided by the government) but don’t know they can sign up for it or won’t. There isn’t a crisis. There might be in years to come but given how poorly managed Medicare, Medicade and Social Security are government is the last place I’d look for a solution.

    There are lots of free market solutions to the current problems in the system. Pretending that those of us who are opposed to ObamaCare are really just supporting the ‘eeeeeeeeeeevil’ and ‘villianous’ insurance companies only makes you sound unreasonable and unhinged. It’s the typical response you expect from liberals - whenever a conservative attacks the effectiveness and morality of government taking over something liberals respond with the straw man that corporations are really really evil and we need protection from them. I find it ironic that while liberals are pushing the idea that the government option will create competition they are simultaneously villafying insurance companies and doctors.

    You also usually seem to be on the side of more freedoms instead of less - explain to me how putting government in charge of your healthcare decisions isn’t an infringement on your freedoms.

    Comment by Bald Ninja — 8/5/2009 @ 7:44 am

  26. What pisses me off about these “protests” is that they are Republicans going solely to the townhalls of Democratic politicians and being undemocratic and rude. So screw you Rick. These people didn’t vote Dem and won’t in the future. They might be sore losers but that doesn’t give them the right to be thuggish. And if you think that passing health-care will lead to “stinging” defeats in 2010 i want what you’re smoking.

    Are you really dumb enough to write that a Democratic congressmen only represents Democrats or people who voted for him and that no one else in his district has a right to speak out?

    Jesus, what an idiot.


    Comment by Mike — 8/5/2009 @ 8:31 am

  27. Rick,

    Beg your pardon, but this is a zero sum game. Unlike tax cuts enacted when Republicans are in charge, entitlements like Obamacare are never, EVER, rolled back or reduced. If this travesty becomes law, it will saddle all of us with a burden we can ill afford, especially now.

    Here’s a new slogan for B-Hobie’s so-called reform, one that accurately characterizes what will happen if the federal government assumes control of every aspect of health care in this country:

    Whatever doesn’t kill you, simply makes you stranger.

    Comment by Sirius — 8/5/2009 @ 8:43 am

  28. Mike,

    These politicians represent everyone in their district.

    And I agree 100% with Rick. Conservatives can make a strong and forceful case against ObamaCare but can do so respectfully and calmly. Descending into the anger that defines the left will only hurt our cause. The DNC and Obama’ administration is already pushing out the notion that any opposition to their plan is fear mongering that is ’shutting down debate’ and comes from nutters or is generated by CEO’s etc. These claims are laughable but being overly angry and screaming at townhall meetings only serves to give their hypocritical smear attempts a veneer of truth.

    Comment by Bald Ninja — 8/5/2009 @ 8:43 am

  29. Bald Ninja and Rick,
    I guess I do believe that this some sort of Republican or insurance industry operation, which naturally makes me angry. You guys and others here don’t. I don’t know how to prove it one or the other, but isn’t there a smoking-gun memo out there spelling out the tatics to use in disrupting the town-halls?

    Comment by Mike — 8/5/2009 @ 8:50 am

  30. You also usually seem to be on the side of more freedoms instead of less - explain to me how putting government in charge of your healthcare decisions isn’t an infringement on your freedoms.

    Employer sponsored private health insurance is one of the worst possible ideas ever devised. It goes far beyond my personal battles with these insurance corporations. Corporations that I pay very large amounts of money to serve me, not to try to figure out ways of dropping me and my family.

    It stifles personal freedom and entrepreneurship as well, decreasing the potential of the so called American Dream. People are locked in to this employer sponsored insurance, and they simply can’t move to better themselves or their situation, because the risk of losing that coverage is so profound. Especially if they are unlucky enough to have a preexisting condition.

    People will pay health insurance premiums before they will pay their mortgage, because if they don’t their lives could be ruined by health care costs. The shattered lives of these people aren’t isolated incidents. They are coast to coast. The system is awful and broken, or we wouldn’t be talking about it right now.

    At some point in everyone’s life they WILL have a preexisting condition. What then? There is no possible way I can be convinced that the government can do a worse job than Aetna, Blue Cross, or Cigna which are basically the same horrible corporation, with Cigna being the most evil of the bunch. These are the ones I’ve had personal experience with.

    The best part about my experience is that I have the best health coverage you can buy in this country, and I STILL have to deal with mountains of bullshit.

    So yeah, keep telling me how good I have it. While you’re busy doing that, I’ll sit on hold while my customer service representative tries to figure out how tell me they won’t cover that test on a family member that my doctor says is needed.

    Comment by Chuck Tucson — 8/5/2009 @ 9:28 am

  31. I don’t know if lefties are being disingenuous or not but I find it insulting that everytime conservatives protest, question or get upset about something liberals and the media (but I repeat myself) wonder if these people are racist, ‘extreme’, plants, duped, corporate shills, dangerous, etc. These people are portrayed as wanting to end debate and stop the ‘ongoing dialogue’. Their genuineness is questioned or they are considered extreme and dangerous/racist/etc.

    Do liberals do this as a tactic or are they genuinely fearful of opposition and the conservative argument?

    Comment by Bald Ninja — 8/5/2009 @ 10:11 am

  32. Bald Ninja:

    As Mike said above, what about the memo? A group funded by Health care insurance lobbyists sends out a memo detailing these exact tactics . . . and spontaneously the exact tactics are used across the country? When this had never happened before? Sure, people had disrupted meetings before, here and there, but all of these patriots suddenly all decided to do this at the same time all on their own? That’s extremely coincidental. Unbelievably so.

    Here’s a link to the memo:

    Comment by busboy33 — 8/5/2009 @ 12:29 pm

  33. People are upset. They are attending the town hall meetings.

    Gee, what is so strange about it? MEDICAL CARE AFFECTS EVERYONE. Especially since pretty much everything we are hearing from the government is a big, fat lie.

    The unborn and the elderly are the most at risk. At least the dems don’t have to worry about the unborn and their votes. They only worry about the fact that all women must have acces to government funded abortions. [and if you don't think this is the very slippery slope to eugenics, then you are not paying attention]

    The elderly will be counseled with a blue pill or a red pill and then, the big kicker, the injection (’coz you are just too darn old)

    When did it happen that when Americans protest it is some sort of conspiracy?

    Oh…I forgot….that’s the dems modus operandi. Send all of 12 people, send in the stenographers (oh, I mean, the media) and there’s the lead story for about the next 2 weeks, especially if it’s against the evil repubs or evil insurance companies or evil corporations.

    They sure do NOT expect it from the conservatives. There are a lot of us out here and we will not be silenced anymore.

    Comment by Charlotte — 8/5/2009 @ 1:28 pm

  34. So if one went to their congress-critters town hall and didn’t hear of the memo (which I didn’t know existed until coming across the link above), are they still part of the conspiracy?

    Or are they just PO’ed voters?

    Comment by David R. Block — 8/5/2009 @ 2:22 pm

  35. I guess we can include the Dems’ new “Townhall Conspiracy Theory” to the Truthers, Birthers, and other whackjob paranoid theories. 2010 can’t come soon enough.

    Comment by jackson1234 — 8/5/2009 @ 2:44 pm

  36. Our goal should be to cover all individuals through private health insurance. We need to be advocates for greater transparency in both quality and price information - place both the decision making ability and healthcare dollars in the hands of the consumer. http://www.friendsoftheuschamber.com/takeaction/index.cfm?ID=40 .

    Comment by Mora — 8/5/2009 @ 3:13 pm

  37. Bald Ninja Said:
    10:11 am

    Do liberals do this as a tactic or are they genuinely fearful of opposition and the conservative argument?

    Alinsky Rule 6: A good tactic is one your people enjoy.

    Comment by CZ — 8/5/2009 @ 3:17 pm

  38. Oh, you don’t have to send me a link to the memo - I already got it in my right-wing nutcase action alert email *wink wink*! I can’t wait to cash my protesting check! Seriously, you think that the amount of anger and protest being seen around the country is being generated by corporations like this? Really!?! One of the protest videos I’ve seen is a self-proclaimed registered Democrat chewing out Hoyer. One of the big reasons the Democrats took back control of Congress is because they promised to be fiscally responsible (which the Republicans were not) - so is it any surprise that because the national debt has gone up almost 2 trillion in 2 years (all under a Democrat controlled Congress) and talk of spending trillions more in healthcare that the voters who put the Democrats back in control are also upset?

    For the past 8 years the lefty groups like ACORN, Move-On, Code Pink etc have been amassing protests and demonstrations and ‘infiltrating’ townhall meetings and so forth and this has been called ‘grass roots’ and the organizational skills of these ‘concerned citizens’ has been hailed as democracy in action…but as soon as hard core liberals are asked some tough questions at townhall meetings something nefarious has to be behind it. The double standard is not astounding but that you don’t see it is.

    Comment by Bald Ninja — 8/5/2009 @ 3:23 pm

  39. You are an Obama apologist. Just as bad as O’reilly, and that’s bad.

    Comment by Mick — 8/5/2009 @ 3:38 pm

  40. @David:

    Did you go and scream down everybody that didn’t chant?

    @Bald Ninja:
    “Seriously, you think that the amount of anger and protest being seen around the country is being generated by corporations like this? Really!?!”

    Are some people angry? Absolutely. Do I think that some/alot/all of these “spontaneous” protests are being ginned up? Absolutely.

    As you point out, Teh Evil ACORN and others have made it a point to attend TownHalls . . . do you really think Repubs (or in this case, corporate lobbyists) are “above” that? What about the Republican Aids “protesting” at the Florida recount?

    I’ll ask it again — do you think that people disrupting town hall meetings across the country spontaneously and independently all got the idea at the same time, all by themselves, while at the same time a group was pushing this exact tactic? That seems pretty . . . uncredible.

    btw, I wasn’t aware ACORN was in the habit of shouting down people asking questions at town halls. Any video or proof of that?

    Comment by busboy33 — 8/5/2009 @ 3:45 pm

  41. There is a clear distinction between citizen organizing to make sure they have a voice in policy, and a known astroturfer using funds and resources provided by large corporation to organize paid, professional “unresters” into a political pressure army perverting one of our last truly democratic process, town halls.

    Astroturfing and mud-slinging are not the unique appanage of the Right, but of late they have been using such tactics - as well as argumentum ad hominem and straw man attacks - with a deliberate glee that should disgust anyone that really believes in freedom and justice – as opposed, say, to well-crafted sophisms, lies and half-truth design to manipulate the public opinion.

    Comment by Pat — 8/5/2009 @ 4:23 pm

  42. I have to agree with a number of posters here. If Congress refuses to listen, if they refuse to represent the will of the people, then they deserve scorn and contempt. How can say with a straight face that Reps and Senators are not spoiled elitists? We say NO and they vote YES! Remember Porkulous?

    Comment by Gunny G — 8/5/2009 @ 7:26 pm

  43. busboy33,

    I think the spontaneity of the angry people showing up to chew out their representatives is due more to the co-occurance of
    (1) Government spending massive amounts of money we don’t have
    (2) Government planning on spending massive amounts of money we don’t have - which will inevitably lead to higher taxes for the rich and the middle class, inflation and prolonged high unemployment rates and prolong the recession.
    (3) Congresscritters are returning for their August break.

    Look at #3 and read it again. You admit that there are people who are legitimately angry at their representatives - so when else are they going to express their displeasure? Are they supposed to fly out to DC to tell their representatives what they think? The first opportunity for people with legitimate gripes with their representatives to speak to them in person has been this week…this explains the spontaneity. Representatives were not holding town hall meetings until recently.

    Comment by Bald Ninja — 8/6/2009 @ 7:59 am

  44. busboy33,

    If you wish to think that the majority of all the protests of the Democratic congress and Obama is ginned up by the GOP, corporations, etc then go right ahead. Ignore all the polls that show Obama’s popularity is dropping. Ignore all the polls that show that ObamaCare is unpopular. Call all the moderates and independents who are fiscally conservative and turning on Obama a bunch of shills and plants and fakes - don’t worry no one has noticed Obama has already broken most of his campaign promises.

    It’s all just fake and made up - you’ve got nothing to worry about - your Unicorn is on the way.

    Comment by Bald Ninja — 8/6/2009 @ 9:00 am


    Pingback by Right Wing Nut House » VIOLENCE AT TOWN HALLS PREDICTABLE AND DISTURBING — 8/7/2009 @ 10:45 am

  46. Chuck said:”The best part about my experience is that I have the best health coverage you can buy in this country, and I STILL have to deal with mountains of bullshit.

    So yeah, keep telling me how good I have it. While you’re busy doing that, I’ll sit on hold while my customer service representative tries to figure out how tell me they won’t cover that test on a family member that my doctor says is needed.”

    And people like you think that the GOVERNMENT is going to be cheaper and better? Have you even looked at healthcare outside the US? Do you think that taxes won’t be paying for this inferior service or do you think we should just add to unpaid liabilities of Medicare/Medicaid? I’m using the VA for medical care. Trust me.Gov’t run health care is….adequate… at best. If I need a test, it may be months before I can get one. Heck, even on active duty, on medical hold after deployment, it was a month before I was even evaluated. Good thing injured disc isn’t that important…..Their attitude was, “Here, take a pain pill.” Hmmm, I’ve heard that somewhere else lately….

    Comment by Cargosquid — 8/7/2009 @ 11:59 am

  47. i think everyone is missing the point and have become largely enflamed by their neighbors, friends, rumor, or gossip. firstly, i am bi-partisan and i don’t believe in parties because all government should have the singular purpose of making the country better.

    instead, what i clearly see here (the debate, not this site) is not a genuine concern for health care, but the same old republican vs. democrat poltics. the democrats have made one of the most politically dynamic moves in the country. this should be agreeable enough. they done so after an inversely embarrassing campaign and presidency for the republican administration. now they are determined to stop ANY legislation that comes out of the democratic party from going through because it wouldn’t be good for them. if democrats came up with a bill saying every family gets ten thosand dollars a year tax free, they would slam it.

    also, this is not an argument about whether organized rallies are un-democratic or not. of course they are democratic. what is not democratic is the way they go about it. these “rallies” are mobs. there is no justification in such action. we look like a third world country out there because of this. i agree with the more sedate. there are other ways to express extreme disapproval. restrained protests in the street instead of at political forums meant for intelligent discussion and compromise.

    lastly, there are things that bother me about this bill also, but i am not clouded in the fact that this is not a simple problem. regardless of what ANYONE tells you, there is no simple solution. lower the costs of medicare??? the whole concept is that these are privately owned insurance BUSINESSES. i never understood how it was allowed in the first place that people who are motivated by the need to accumulate and maintain a profit margin are placed in charge of the countries basic health care needs. to a business, you are not the PRIMARY concern. profit is the initial factor. economics 101.

    i think people also mis-interpret a governemnt-run health care as some over-powering dark tower dominating all the land. much propaganda has been put out to promote this bill, and i found it a bit shaming that respected House members are actually on TV doing so. a governemnt-run health care does not mean the dissolving of all private health care. what it means is that it gives people a basic CHOICE. the current situation is that under the current program of PRIVATIZED health care, people already find themselves ousted out of their plans, their plans changed, they are unable to afford health care, or they find themselves bankrupted by it. how many of you have this exact problem?

    what a government-run health care does is introduce a low-priced option for many of us who don’t have the gas to ride to work. you still have the option of going to the more expensive health care providers if you want, or can, but they make the option for you to buy a cheaper, affordable plan. health insurance companies don’t like this because if someone is providing health care at a lower price than you, you must lower your prices in order to compete. this cuts into the profits they are making. they may not be huge profits, but that doesn’t mean they like watching them fall.

    this is how that system works. there are no vampires waiting to cast judgement on your elder loved ones. no one is placing “death boards” in charge of your health care. i mean seriously. we are not dumb people. i don’t say that there aren’t things wrong with the bill, but i urge a more rational, more thought out argument than the one’spresented when i turn on the tv. seriously. i’ve gotten beatings for similar behavior when i was a kid

    Comment by navydog — 8/11/2009 @ 12:09 pm

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