Saturday, August 08, 2009

Why the Democrats need to fight back against right-wing mob tactics.

Another article about what's taking place at some of the town hall meetings, where those who disagree are automatically being labled "right wing mobs" -- this time from Newsweek. While I completely agree that both political parties purposely place people at events and in the media to present their particular message (anyone remember when CNN claimed it was using "undecided voters" but they were really people who had openly joined presidential campaigns?). The problem isn't the "right wing mobs" the problem is that the people who are protesting don't believe what the Obama administration and others are telling them when it comes to health care.

They believe what the message they are getting, and using language such as "fighting back" or having messages come from the Whitehouse that Democrats need to "punch back twice as hard" don't help diffuse the situation. They only succeed in ramping up the rhetoric and the anger.

Clift writes:

And this time there are no responsible Republican voices calling for a halt to the mob tactics disrupting Democratic town meetings around the country.

There's plenty of evidence that the seemingly spontaneous eruptions are orchestrated by conservative interest groups in Washington, in the same way that the antitax tea parties were made to seem like a grassroots uprising earlier this year. The public relations and lobbying firms that specialize in generating the kind of public outcry we're seeing have a name for it; they call it AstroTurf. And it works, attracting media coverage disproportionate to the minority of a minority it represents and fooling Americans into thinking there's a full-scale revolt underway.

This contradicts what Krugman stated below:

I haven’t seen any evidence that the people disrupting those town halls are Florida-style rent-a-mobs. For the most part, the protesters appear to be genuinely angry. The question is, what are they angry about?

It's this whole blame mentality created by the partisan games that created this environment - it's ludicrous to expect Republicans to be the ones to fix this when they are not the only ones who have done this. If people want the disruptions to end - then it has to come from both parties. Which then makes reality come in, the Democrats have just as little control over those who protest and disrupt Republican events as the Republicans have over what's happening at the health care town halls. I don't recall Democrats telling Code Pink and others to please stop disrupting Republican events, to stop using the giant inflatable rats and other creative protest methods. Violence is wrong, those who are caught doing something illegal at a town hall should be arrested and convicted, but neither side should be advocating language that inspires violence and both sides should look within their own parties first before finger pointing as well as accepting the fact that we do have free speech in this country and rather than advising people to email the White House if they see a blog where "misinformation" is taking place, they should be concentrating on doing a more open and honest discussion of what is really involved with the health care plan. Convincing people of the truth is the only way to end this, and given the lack of trust and faith, that's going to be much harder than squashing dissent...


Paul said...

It’s funny we hear Republicans say that they do not want “faceless bureaucrats” making medical decisions but they have no problem with “private sector” “faceless bureaucrats” daily declining medical coverage and financially ruining good hard working people. And who says that the “private sector” is always right, do we forget failures like Long-Term Capital, WorldCom, Global Crossing, Enron, Tyco, AIG and Lehman Brothers. Of course the federal government will destroy heathcare by getting involved, Oh but wait, Medicare and Medicaid and our military men and women and the Senate and Congress get the best heathcare in the world, and oh, that’s right, its run by our federal government. I can understand why some may think that the federal government will fail, if you look at the past eight years as a current history, with failures like the financial meltdown and Katrina but the facts is they can and if we support them they will succeed.

How does shouting down to stop the conversation of the healthcare debate at town hall meetings, endears them to anyone. Especially when the organizations that are telling them where to go and what to do and say are Republicans political operatives, not real grassroots. How does shouting someone down or chasing them out like a lynch mob advanced the debate, it does not. So I think the American people will see through all of this and know, like the teabagger, the birthers, these lynch mobs types are just the same, people who have to resort to these tactics because they have no leadership to articulate what they real want. It’s easy to pickup a bus load of people who hate, and that’s all I been seeing, they hate and can’t debate. Too bad.

Lisa Renee said...

I don't disagree that shouting down people accomplishes nothing. I personally think it's pointless to try to disrupt an event no matter who the party is. There should be room for dissent and disagreement as a part of the discussion.

It's an overall lack of respect for points of view both for and against where any real opportunity to find a common ground or to at least understand where the other person is coming from is lost.

Cyberseaer said...

Did CNN ever say that there were no responsible Democratic vocies to stop disruptting Republican events? No. And can the news media stop editorializing on every story they "report" about? I wish that we would go back to the days of when checking facts and reporting the truth was more important than news entertainment and airhead telereaders try and make a comment on a story.

I argee that shouting in debate is useless and non productive. Lisa and I have had many a debate where neither one of us has moved from our point and we don't name call or yell at each other. People just suck is what it comes down to it. I just pray that future generations look back on us and see how dumb we were to be so easily manipulated into doing nothing of worth.

Lisa Renee said...

C - that's because you and I and a few others handle our discussions like adults and even when we don't agree with each other we still respect each other. Respect is something that some on both sides have lost sight of. I don't disagree that the media could do a much better job in preventing view points rather than editorials.