By Paul Bedard, Washington Whispers
The aggressive town hall strategy that opponents of the administration's healthcare plan are employing in key Senate and congressional districts during the August recess is drawing angry and frustrated Democratic reactions. And that is only encouraging President Obama's opponents to do more. "The left is going crazy on the town hall strategy. This is just great," says one organizer.
This week, the Democratic National Committee and the AFL-CIO blasted the loud town hall protests of the president's healthcare reform, saying they are a reaction from fringe righty lunatics. Big Labor compared it to when Bushies in 2000 set up camp in Florida to guard the vote count that eventually gave former President George W. Bush a victory over former Vice President Al Gore.
The AFL-CIO blog says that "the extremist fringe of the anti-health care reform movement—with a wink and a nod from more mainstream health care opponents—is using mob rule to disrupt town hall meetings and community forums set for the congressional recess. Mob rule tactics stopped the Florida vote count during the contested 2000 presidential elections, ultimately turning the presidency over to George W. Bush—a strategy now emulated by the anti-health care reform lobby."
The DNC, meanwhile, released a news video and a statement. Spokesman Brad Woodhouse said, "It's become clear that Republican leaders, having lost every major legislative battle on Capitol Hill, the confidence of the American people, and two consecutive national elections, would rather incite angry, special-interest-funded mobs and disrupt and drown out legitimate discussion of the issues instead of working for real solutions for the American people." Liberal media figures, such as MSNBC's Rachel Maddow, have also blasted the protesters.
All of that angry reaction has prompted opponents to step up their plans to shout down healthcare reform from Democrats and the White House, they say. Says one organizer, "The left can say what they want to try and spin this. But I don't think we need to visit The Villages in Florida to get the folks there stirred up about healthcare reform. They're getting this on their own—and that's what has the left nervous."
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