Tag Archives: tactics

An Eruption of Disruption

4 Aug

As congressmen and women return to their districts during the break, they will hold town hall meetings in an effort to listen and discuss issues with their constituents, many of whom may be distressed by what’s happening in Washington.

Some of the distress will be sincere, some of it will have its genesis in dumbed-down cable news misinformation and chain e-mails, and some of it will be astroturfed.  (Fake grassroots).

While Buffalo Repat draws parallels between lefty town hall disruptions from the likes of Code Pink and the righty disruptions at health care town hall meetings,  Buffalo Geek rebuts that, pointing out that Code Pink are funded by:

“Big Peace” and “Big Non-Profit” and “Big Wealthy People Advocating For Higher Taxes On Themselves”

Remember when some woman disrupted McCain’s acceptance speech at the Republican Convention last year?  I shook my head in embarrassment when that happened.  I don’t think that these sorts of confrontational tactics work.  What war has Code Pink prevented the US from participating in?  What war has Code Pink successfully stopped?  There’s a right to free speech, and no qualification there about them having to be accompanied by good manners, but if you’re disruptive, you should be ejected.

And I thought the right hated lefty troublemakers like Code Pink.  Why emulate them?  They didn’t succeed in their aims, after all.

But with respect to the upcoming disruptions of health care town halls, the funding, initiative, and organization behind this is strictly astroturfed by Washington lobbyists and special interests who want to maintain the status quo.  Period.

For instance, the tea bagger crowd is planning to disrupt town halls that Eric Massa (D, NY-29) will be holding in the coming weeks.  But their tactics will have been spelled out for them by someone working for a lobbying group run by Dick Armey called “FreedomWorks“. (Website here).

They have a right to attend, a right to question, a right to disagree, a right to dissent.  They even have a right to be disruptive douchebags.  And the goal here is to get media coverage so that there is a perception on local TV news that there is a grassroots outpouring of disgust with “Obamacare”.

Based on what I’ve heard and read, the grassroots disgust has been mostly aimed at the misinformation being spread about the current health reform bill rather than its actual contents.   Obama’s going to kill seniors!  I’m going to lose my healthcare plan! Government takeover and socialism!  None of those things are true, so the manufactured outrage is based on a lie being well-funded by private interests who have a stake in maintaining the status quo.

I would be kind of pissed off to find out I’m just a tool in, say, Pfizer’s campaign to quash healthcare reform.