According to Robert Gibbs, these are just “generated.”  The DNC says people aren’t genuinely upset, the GOP is inciting these people.  Well there was another “staged” rally up in Green Bay, WI… you know, another Republican stronghold.  Here’s the video of a “listening session” with Representative Steve Kagen (D-WI).

I guess Gibbs and the DNC can continue on with wishful thinking.  Oh hey, be sure to report these activities to the White House!

Update: Kate reminded me of somebody else who “manufactured” this type of dissent.  I wonder who that might be?

Update II: President Obama sent an email out urging opposition to the health care opposition at these townhall meetings.  What a great example of grassroots activism.

Update III: It’s also best to also arm yourself with good information before going to one of these townhall meetings or “listening sessions” with your congressman or senator.

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  1. What’s not cool is that the people who supported Kagen were shouted down when they tried to speak out in favor of reform.

    You want to shout down a politician, fine. You want to shout down your neighbor who disagrees with you, unacceptable.

  2. Actually, shouting down a politician in a forum is unacceptable as well. There are many others that want to hear and hold a discussion, not a shouting match.

    1. @Argon, Perhaps if they listened to the emails and phone calls they received prior they wouldn’t find themselves in this situation. These guys have been pretty insulated and tone deaf inside the Beltway.

  3. There is no excuse. I’ve attended presentations and discussions by many politically controversial speakers and government officials. While many held positions with which I very much disagreed, I still respected the rights of others to engage in a discussion.

    Just because they don’t respond to every email or phone call in the way someone wants doesn’t mean they haven’t listened. Perhaps they actually disagree with the positions put forward in the calls.

    I appreciate that some people are particularly angry and I’ve got nothing against protest — picket the reps’ offices or hold a demonstration — but don’t ‘disrespect’ the rights of others to hear and engage in discussion with their elected officials.

    1. @Argon, I agree with you that they shouldn’t shout down others who disagree. What I find laughable is how the Democrats are responding to this.

      When Democrats and liberals protest its grassroots. When this happens it’s orchestrated.

      You are really missing the point of this post.
      .-= Shane Vander Hart´s last blog ..Reforma =-.

      1. @Shane Vander Hart, I understood the point of the post but was responding to comments in the discussion.

        I certainly agree that the Democrats are working to spin the coverage. Every group involved is spinning the coverage and deploying ‘citizen workers’ to help guide the confrontation. ‘Pegging the irony meter’ is an apt metaphor for many of strategies deployed by all sides.

        I don’t know if the linkage with astroturf and the ‘far-right fringe’ will pan out but it has got a shot. Disrupting discussions doesn’t help nor is any link to the ‘birthers’. Recall in the past that the Republicans repeatedly employed similar arguments about the ‘protesting, shrill, left’.

        Still, the fact that millions of $$ per day are being spent to swing this debate in either direction is quite unprecedented. The signal-to-noise ratio is about the lowest I remember seeing.

      2. To add: Here’s a comment from Conor Freidersdorf’s blog (related to the Cash for Clunkers program but also applicable for the health care legislation debate):

        As regular readers know, I think it is important to rebut absurd rhetoric and expose intellectually dishonest blowhards for what they are, but I also think that any assessment of a policy’s merits should be formed in response to the best arguments for and against it, not the noisiest or even the most prevalent critique on offer. Just because the right includes a lot of people making very bad arguments right now doesn’t make the people they’re arguing against right. It’s a lesson I learned when I saw the behavior of bombastic, juvenile folks on the left translate into support for President Bush’s bid to invade Iraq.

        Let us recall Jane’s law: “The devotees of the party in power are smug and arrogant. The devotees of the party out of power are insane.” A corollary is that those insane people end up inadvertently helping the smug and arrogant to advance their agenda, however foolish. We should resist that outcome as best we can — and one way to do so is to grapple with the right’s more sane writers rather than its most hackish cable news talking heads.”

        URL –

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