Thursday, August 6, 2009

Contrary to Steele’s Claim, TX State GOP Is Actively Promoting Town Hall Mobs

RNC Chairman Michael Steele: We’re not encouraging people to be angry I mean to the point of being nasty and brutish and ugly. That’s not what this is about. There’s no upside for the Republican Party or the people involved to do that. . . .that’s not something deliberately coordinated by me or any one state party.

Steele’s statement isn’t true. This past weekend, Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D-TX) was harassed by right-wing protesters who refused to have a civil dialogue with the Congressman. The front page of the official website of the Texas Republican Party prominently features and endorses the incident. The website headline reads, “Doggett Fields Softballs“:
If you click on the YouTube picture, it links to a video that portrays the Texas GOP's version of the Doggett town hall. This video is hosted at the Texas Republican Party’s official YouTube account, txgoptv. At the conclusion of the video, the words “Produced by the Republican Party of Texas” pop up alongside a legal disclaimer that proclaims the video was paid for the by the Republican Party of Texas.

Now, contrary to how the Texas GOP portrays the events of Congressman Doggett's town hall meeting this past weekend, the video left shows what really happened. Congressman Doggett was the victim of the right’s strategy, where protesters followed him and chanted “just say no” to health care. Congressman Doggett had this to say after being cornered by a mob this past Saturday:
"This mob, sent by the local Republican and Libertarian parties, did not come just to be heard, but to deny others the right to be heard. And this appears to be part of a coordinated, nationwide effort. What could be more appropriate for the "party of no" than having its stalwarts drowning out the voices of their neighbors by screaming "just say no!" Their fanatical insistence on repealing Social Security and Medicare is not just about halting health care reform but rolling back 75 years of progress. I am more committed than ever to win approval of legislation to offer more individual choice to access affordable health care. An effective public plan is essential to achieve that goal."

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