Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Tantrum Politics

(Photo: Sean Justice, The Image Bank/Getty Images)

I've been really impressed with the new Republican strategy to destroy health care reform. The technique is simple and, unfortunately, effective: simply go to legislators' "town hall" meetings and scream and yell and generally disrupt things so that no discussion can happen at all. And not only does this kill all good-faith debate, but it also attracts all the press attention, since the only real "bias" in the media is the bias in favor of conflict above all else. The real topic? Health care? Borrrrring.

How far will the tea-baggers go with this tactic? I'm assuming they're going to eventually start bringing air horns to blast and pots and pans to bang on. It's embarrassingly easy to imagine them simply covering their ears and shouting the Star Spangled Banner at the top of their lungs.

The insurance industry must be so totally proud of their little soldiers.


Diane Griffin said...

I think it's going to backfire. The coverage I've seen shows it quite clearly to be just as you describe, and that'snot going to win any hearts, much less any minds.

I give it about a 50% chance that we will get some kind of meaningful reform.

My dream, of course, is that when HR 676 comes to the floor, it squeaks by & goes to the Senate.

Karen Zipdrive said...

I blogged about this and offered a few simple solutions to counteract these a-holes.
The Republicans behind all this will live to regret it, but I guess the publicity they're getting from thess antics is preferable to yet another Republican legislator caught with his dick in the cookie jar.

desertwind said...

I think MadDuane is right, Princess.

So long as (a) the rep stays cool and (b) health-care and/or Obama supporters also stay cool (not so easy. Pray that Code Pink harpies don't show!) the crazies just look crazy. (d) good guys start organizing and (e) The crazies are gonna crazy off the charts now that LaRouchies are involved!!!

A commenter at Wonkette said he/she went to a meeting on Monday that was disrupted and a little old lady walked up to one of the crazies and said, "Take it outside." The majority non-crazies applauded.

Toriko said...

That face! Maybe you could use it to make a Ken-doll version of your avatar.

Anonymous said...

WASHINGTON (AP) - A North Carolina congressman who supports an overhaul of the health care system had his life threatened by a caller upset that he was not holding a public forum on the proposal, his office said Friday.

Democratic Rep. Brad Miller received the call Monday, one of hundreds the congressman's office has received demanding a town-hall meeting on the health care proposal, said his spokeswoman, LuAnn Canipe. She said the callers were "trying to instigate town halls so they can show up and disrupt."

"We had one of those kind of calls that escalated to what we considered a threat" on the congressman's life, said Canipe. "These are some strong-arm tactics, and we are trying to deal with and trying to talk to people in good faith about health care reform."

Miller never had plans to hold a town-hall meeting during the August recess, Canipe said. Instead, he was sitting down with smaller groups of people to discuss the plan. During one of those smaller gatherings on Friday, hundreds of people from a group called Triangle Conservatives peacefully protested at Miller's Raleigh office.

The threatening caller, when told by a staffer that Miller was not planning a meeting, claimed the congressman didn't want to meet with people face to face because he knew it would cost him his life, according to Canipe. The staffer then asked if the caller was making a threat. The caller, said Canipe, replied that there are a lot of angry people out there.

The U.S. Capitol Police confirmed Friday they were looking into a threat against a congressman, but wouldn't provide further details.