Sunday, August 2, 2009

Right-Wing Thuggery At Democratic Events

Tea party conservatives are organizing into a campaign of disruption and intimidation to disrupt health-care forums and other Democratic events. Politico reports that disruptions are becoming quite common and Think Progress reports that the disruptions are being carefully planned:
This growing phenomenon is often marked by violence and absurdity. Missing from [corporate media] reporting of these stories is the fact that many of these protests are coordinated by public relations firms and lobbyists who have a stake in opposing President Obama’s reforms.

The lobbyist-run groups 'Americans for Prosperity and FreedomWorks,' which orchestrated the anti-Obama tea parties earlier this year, are now pursuing an aggressive strategy to create an image of mass public opposition to Democratic iniyitives. A leaked memo from Bob MacGuffie, a volunteer with the FreedomWorks website Tea Party Patriots, details how members should be infiltrating town halls and harassing Democrats.
Some of the advice being dispensed to disrupt Democratic events includes:
  • Be Disruptive Early And Often
  • Try To Rattle To Not Have An Intelligent Debate
Chris Good at The Atlantic reports that we can expect a long August with these kinds of events:
Over August recess, conservative activist groups will mount a renewed effort to kill the dreaded ObamaCare. August will be a melee of grassroots (or Astroturfed) activity on both sides: members of Congress will be home in their districts, holding town-halls, taking feedback from constituents--in other words, they'll be more open to pressure from activist campaigns than at any other time during the year.
Think Progress: Angry right harasses Rep. Lloyd Doggett with anti-health care chants. (Updated) - Today, House members are back home to begin their month-long recess. The far right has indicated that they plan to welcome many of their representatives with large, angry throngs (“town halls gone wild”). The corporate lobbyists engineering these “grassroots” efforts have indicated their harassment strategy is to “yell,” “stand up and shout,” and “rattle” the members. Politico reported that Democratic members of Congress are increasingly being confronted by “angry, sign-carrying mobs and disruptive behavior” at local town halls.
This past weekend, Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D-TX) was the latest victim of the right’s strategy, where protesters followed him and chanted “just say no” to health care. Watch the video:

Congressman Doggett had this to say after being cornered by Teabaggers and Birthers 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."
Texas has the highest uninsured rate in the nation and stands to be among the most to gain from Obama’s health care plan. “Nearly 6 million Texans, including the one in six U.S. uninsured children who live there, could get health insurance for the first time if the plan is enacted.”
MSNBC's Countdown talks about these disruptions in the following video:

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