Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Health Care Wednesday: RW Performance Art Edition

Interesting times. I have three basic themes for individual posts: major policy issues (lately that's been health care), wingnut behavior, and media malfeasance. In the last several days, these three spheres have seamlessly merged. Which makes my posts even longer. Sigh.

Here we go - they have no "off" switch.

Josh Marshall

Tea Bag protestors at Chris Dodd's health care event in Hartford call on the senator to deal with his recently diagnosed cancer by committing suicide with an overdose of pills and booze.
sgw says Oh My Damn
The DNC just put up an ad after my own heart. Its got everything....birthers, Palin mobs, effigies, the townhall memo and batshit crazy wingnuts galore!

I need a damn cigarette!
Josh Marshall: Teabagger/LaRouche Alliance?

The Worcester Telegram & Gazette reports another Teabagger/Townhall incident up in the Worcester, Mass. This time it was Reps. McGovern (D) and Neal (D) heckled and shouted down several times by unruly Bay State Teabaggers at a townhall event U Mass Medical School.

Indeed, at one point, one heckler started likening Rep. McGovern to Nazi war criminal Josef Mengele, notorious for performing macabre experiments on concentration camp inmates.

But was it just Teabaggers?

It turns out a long-time TPM Reader (I'll call him RZ to extra-super-double protect his anonymity) was there and he just after leaving the event he wrote in to tell us that at this event the Teabaggers were joined by a squad of LaRouchies.

About the Mengele incident, he writes ...

In response to a question about medical effectiveness research, the gentleman wearing a shirt with President Obama sporting a Hitler mustache called our dean "Dr. Mengele" for suggesting we compare treatments to find those that are effective, safe and better than other medical treatments treatments. The conversation reached a low at that point.

Apparently the Mengele outburst came in response to a question about medical effectiveness research came from a non-Teabag, non-LaRouche sane woman in her 60s.

So I asked RZ, was the Mengele outburst from one of the Teabaggers or one of the LaRouchies?

Definitely Larouche... They are calling the Obama Plan a "Nazi health plan." I couldn't bring myself to take their literature. They made the Teabag crowd look civil.

Sounds like it was quite a special time.

Think Progress: Local Fox Reporter Attends Town Hall And Finds ‘Some Attendees Admit They Don’t Live In The District’

Last night, Rep. Gene Green (D-TX) hosted a rowdy town hall meeting to discuss health care reform. Fox’s local Houston affiliate reporter, Duarte Geraldino, reported that he talked to the participants and found that “some attendees admit they don’t live in the district.” How did they get there? Geraldino noted “an internet campaign” by far right activists urging their allies to attend and heckle Democratic Representatives. Geraldino then aired a clip showing one participant acting disrespectfully towards Rep. Green. “Pay close attention to the man behind the congressman,” Geraldino says in this clip, “he seems to have forgotten the part about respect.” Watch it:

The crowd was so disrespectful that one frustrated attendee said he had come to the town hall with the intention of giving Rep. Green “a really hard time,” but changed his mind because he was fed up with another man who was “screaming behind my head for the last hour.” The attendee continued, “This is a free country, but I think there’s a certain degree of respect” required. “I won’t be quiet! I won’t sit down! And I won’t let this happen on my watch,” responded the angry conservative activist. Watch it:

During the town hall, one conservative activist turns to his fellow attendees and asks them to raise their hands if they “oppose any form of socialized or government-run health care.” Almost all the hands shot up. Rep Green quickly turned the question on the audience and asked, “How many of you have Medicare?” Nearly half the attendees raised their hands, failing to note the irony.

At another point, a small business owner who supported health reform asks the audience how many people in this room “do not have health insurance of some kind.” Only one hand seemed to be raised. “I think the people who are objecting,” she noted, “are the people who have insurance.”

Jon Stewart nails it:
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Josh Marshall: Best Moments So Far?

I wrote earlier this week that in the unfolding drama of the health care townhall teabaggery, conservatives have developed their series of shout-downs and freak-outs into something resembling a right-wing performance art. Still, though, with all the antics and ferocity, let's be honest, it's hard to deny there's a certain Waiting for Guffman, Best in Show quality to the whole scene.

As our team has reported on at some length already, there appears to be a reasonably well-orchestrated national effort to mobilize teabaggers to go and shutdown these townhall events with raucous demonstrations and generally making it impossible for the members of Congress to talk. But that's not the most interesting part of watching this drama unfold.

The truth is that there's actually quite a lot of authenticity packed into these events, often a bit more, sometimes quite a bit more than the partisans helping put this stuff together end up being comfortable with. Maybe the best example was back last year when the dying McCain-Palin campaign was toying with that proto-birther 'Obama's a scary Arab terrorist' craziness and then had those awkward moments like the time McCain had to snatch the mic away from that woman who started commiserating with him about how Obama was an Arab.

That's the thing about where the GOP is right now. I don't question that they've gotten some traction on a range of issues over the last month or so. But they're still relying on some pretty far-out, alienated and often just generally whacked out folks to puts the gusts of wind into their sails.

So, even though we're only a few days into the run, I thought it made sense to review some of the greatest moments so far.

High on the list has to be the group of Tea Baggers who hanged an effigy of Rep. Frank Kratovil (D-MD) from a noose in front of his district office a few weeks ago. Then there was the case yesterday where a few folks at a tea bag protest outside a townhall meeting in Hartford called on Sen. Chris Dodd (D-CT) to commit suicide as a way to cure his recently diagnosed prostate cancer. And even though it lacked any clear appeal to the murder of public officials or even a good suicide joke, I'm still pretty fond of this case on Tuesday where the head of the local Tea Party group up in Rome, New York just started yelling 'liar' over and over at a clearly befuddled and caught off guard Steny Hoyer.

It's hard not to get the sense that the longer this goes on the more cases you're going to have where some of these good folks let slip what they really think of Barack Obama.

Could be an uncomfortable August for a lot of people.

Reviewing the history of fake conservative protests August 4: Rachel Maddow is joined by Chris Hayes, Washington editor of The Nation to look back on past orchestrated, fake-grassroots protests by the right like the "Brooks Brothers riot" during the 2000 election recount.

Ezra Klein on The Problem With Seniors

Thumbnail image for wvm8vmc5okmuvx_picz6ig.gif

Sadly, it's not only conservative economists who fear that government will get its hands on Medicare. It's seniors. Seniors are by far the least supportive group for health-care reform. Barack Obama jokes about the little old ladies warning the government to "keep its hands off my Medicare," but they were around in 1994, too. The elderly have long been skeptical of health-care reform.

But this is a funny type of skepticism. Seniors don't oppose government-run health insurance. They like it too much. Americans over 65 live in a welfare state that most Europeans could only dream about. They have single-payer health care and government-run pensions. Most of their political activity is either an effort to expand those programs or a defense against anything that could in any way harm them. That includes not only direct changes, like cuts to Medicare, but indirect changes, like health-care reform that would focus new resources on the uninsured.

This is a reversal of the normal politics of opposition. Generally speaking, people who oppose health-care reform are worried we're going to end up with something like what Canada has. Not seniors. They have something like what Canada has (Canada, in fact, also calls their health insurance program "Medicare"). And they like it. They report higher rates of satisfaction with their health care than do people in employer-sponsored insurance. They're worried, rather, that they might end up with something like what the rest of America has. And having spent time in both Medicare and private health insurance, they don't want that. They don't want that at all.

This means, of course, that they oppose health-care reform in uncommonly high numbers because they're concerned about changes to their situation. But for the rest of us, it should serve as a pretty good argument for heath-care reform, and particularly for something like Medicare-for-All.

Sudbay: Memo to pundits and the public: Medicare is a government program. Really, it is.

Earlier today, in my post about Rachel Maddow's excellent report exposing the GOP thuggery at Congressional Town Hall meetings, I wrote:

You'll notice there are a lot of angry older people seen in the video from these events. I hope they've all stopped accepting Medicare. Ha. That's the thing about so many of the angry folk. Many are beneficiaries of the very programs they're complaining about. At the Town Hall meetings, might be worth having members of Congress ask who is getting Medicare (or Medicaid or Social Security.) You'll see a lot of hypocrites in the audience.
Surprisingly, we keep seeing reports that many Americans don't know that Medicare and Medicaid are government programs. Nor do some right-wing pundits (supposed "experts") who appear on CNN. Atrios has the quote from Arthur Laffer, an economist who is founder and Chairman of the Laffer Group:
If you like the Post Office and the Department of Motor Vehicles and you think they’re run well, just wait till you see Medicare, Medicaid and health care done by the government.
Um. Okay. Medicare and Medicaid are government programs. We just celebrated the 44th anniversary of President Johnson signing the bill into law. Medicare has its own website: (That .gov url should be a clue.)

Media Matters got the video of Laffer being quite smug as he makes that really stupid statement. it's after the break.

This ignorance is another hurdle in the quest for health insurance reform.
In May, Rick Scott and his Conservatives for Patients' Rights launched its first hopelessly dishonest ad on health care reform. Its new one is worse. Here's the script:

"Some of Congress' health care plans could squeeze you four ways. It could raise taxes by $600 billion -- even taxing soda. It could add a trillion to the federal deficit. New rules could hike your health insurance premiums 95 percent. You still might end up on their government-run health plan. Tell Congress you've been squeezed enough. Say no to a government-run health plan."

The Kaiser Health News Service looked for even the slightest bit of honesty in the right-wing ad, but couldn't find any.

Although CPR lists individual sources for each statement in the ad, the facts are largely taken out of context, come from biased industry groups or have been discredited. "There's absolutely nothing here that's right. It's unbelievable," says John Holahan, director of the Health Policy Research Center at the Urban Institute, a nonpartisan think tank. [emphasis added]

Alas, it's all too believable. We're dealing with right-wing activists and corporate interests committed to defeating reform at all costs. That means lying, bullying, intimidating, and terrifying as many people as possible.

What would be encouraging, though, is if news outlets declined to air advertising when "there's absolutely nothing here that's right." Con artists, perpetrating a fraud on the public, may be able to write a network a check, but there's no reason a station should want their business.


Some conservative sites started touting a "new" video yesterday, with then-Sen. Obama telling an SEIU forum that he doesn't think policymakers will be able to "eliminate employer coverage immediately," but he thinks it's possible over the next 15 to 20 years.

Naturally, Fox News and other conservatives pounced, and Drudge told major news outlets to take the video seriously. In reality, as Rachel Weiner explained, "[T]he video is cropped disingenuously. Immediately beforehand, Obama said, 'I would hope that we could set up a system that allows those who can go through their employer to access a federal system or a state pool of some sort.' He was talking about turning employer insurance into something more portable, not eliminating all private insurance."

The right is not fond of context or nuance when there are still people out there who need to be misled.

Perhaps more important, though, is the way in which the White House is starting to respond to bogus media reports. White House Office of Health Reform Communications Director Linda Douglass appeared in a three-minute video, released overnight, that specifically points to the bogus allegation published by Drudge, and proceeds to set the record straight.

"You know the people who always try to scare people whenever you try to bring them health insurance reform are at it again, and they're taking sentences and phrases out of context and they're cobbling them together to leave a very false impression," Douglass said, explaining that one of her responsibilities is keeping track of "all the disinformation that's out there about health insurance reform."

The headline at the White House blog reads, "Facts Are Stubborn Things."

Apparently, we'll be seeing more of this. White House Deputy Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer told CNN, "We intend to use a lot of the grassroots viral Internet techniques from the campaign to beat back the campaign of misstatements and outright falsehoods about the President's efforts to reform health insurance."

Like it or not, the fight over reform isn't a legislative debate, it's a political campaign. I'm glad the White House realizes it's time to treat it accordingly.

C&L: Tweety promotes the astroturfed town hall protests as "Firestorms in Iran"

It didn't take long for the Villagers to fall in line, did it? Reality has no meaning. I'm not sure why Rush Limbaugh is getting nervous about the astroturfers. He's saying the teabagger protests are not bought and paid for: "It's not ginned up, it's genuine. It's real." Can't he see that they are falling right in line? Matthews certainly has.

Digby: The Village Idiots Fall In Line

And here's the way the overarching media narrative that supports it gets set:

Matthews: What do you make of this firestorm that's going on across the country. We've got pictures from Texas and Long Island and Philly. Every time a congressman calls a town meeting now, the people show up and it's like -- I don't know --- it's like Iran! It's like the streets of Tehran!

Michael Smerconish: People are hot. I sense it in the phone calls that I get every day. I think they're very nervous about what's going to come out of this debate about national health care, and Chris if I've heard once in the last couple of days, I've heard it 50 times: "if they can't get cash for clunkers straight, what in the world are they going to do with my national health insurance?"

Matthews: You mean they won't get the numbers right?

Smericonish: Yeah they won't get the numbers right and it smacks of bureaucratic ineptitude, that the federal government has blown through this money so quickly on a plan that seems so straighforward.

I also think that what going on is that many people don't understand the elements of this debate, so what do they know? They know that they have health insurance and they know that this enormous price tag is being assigned for the 45 million or so who don't have it. And frankly what they saying is, why can't we just write them a check and pay for it. It sounds like it could be less expensive.

Ok, neither Smericonish, a conservative, or Matthews, a Village dullard, mention that the "riots" are not exactly spontaneous uprisings, but are rather the result of well-financed astroturfing enterprises, much like the ones that were done to disrupt the Clinton rallies back in 1994. (In fact, the threat of violence was so great that they ended up cancelling them, which is something we may yet see this month.) Matthews who prides himself on being an historian of arcane political strategy throughout the ages seems to know nothing of what's happenening now or then.

Meanwhile, he lets Smerconish disseminate this summers "drill, baby, drill" --- that insipid "cash for clunkers" line that Jim Demint cloddishly threw out there on the Sabbath Gasbag shows --- with no explanation as to why it makes no sense at all. (After all, the program proved to be so popular that they need to extend it -- that's usually thought of as a success, not a failure. Everywhere but in the village, that is.) on

It goes on. Surely Jonathan Martin of the Politico will straighten all this out, right?

And as A.B. Stoddard tells us, it doesn't matter if these events are shams because the media will just transmit them along to the public, unfiltered.

Here's Lawrence O'Donnell sitting in for Ed Schultz:

O'Donnell: AB, does it matter if these protests are organized or spontaneous? I mean, isn't it true that it's just the video that ends up on the local news that does the damage here?

AB Stoddard: It doesn't matter at all, and the fact is that the only goal for the Republicans right now is to scare people off this, to depress voter support for this so that when they come back in September it's even harder for the Democratic Party than the chaoes we just just witnessed on capitol Hill this month. All they have to do is just say, "this is going to be terrifying, this is a risky experiment." They don't have to be constructive right now. Remember who turns out in mid-term elections: the angry, ok? African Americans are not going to turn out at the rate they did last year and neither are young people. The people who carried marginal Democrats in in formerly Republican districts .. . It's going to be a very tough year for Democrats.

There you have it. The future is foretold. Journamalism isn't there to give the facts or tell the truth. It doesn't matter anyway, because "it's out there."

The only responsibility journos have is to to get it out there, dog.

(Please send me your videos of any town halls you go to at

  • Media Matters - Matthews spreads lies about health care reform

    Chris Matthews, talking about opposition to health care reform (while, by the way, ignoring the fact that the demonstrations he's talking about are phony):

    How much does this thing is about people coming to you talking about end of life decisions spook people, Michael? This thing, this provision, that talks about you get to talk about a living will. But it sounds to some people like, you're getting a little ill, all of a sudden somebody shows up at your door like they're a missionary and says "lets talk about how you're going to save the government money and your family the burden of continuing to live." that's the way it hits some people.

    No, it doesn't hit some people that way. It doesn't sound that way to anybody. I'm quite confident that nobody, upon reading any health care proposal, has sincerely concluded that it would result in someone showing up at your door and telling you to save the government some money and just die already.

    No, the idea that there is any such provision is a flat-out lie, made up by opponents of reform in an attempt to kill it. And Chris Matthews just helped spread that lie to the entire nation. Heckuva job, Chris.

McJoan (DK): "Right-Wing Performance Art"

That's how Josh Marshall characterized the hijacking of the healthcare debate by the corporate-led teabaggers. And he points out the real disconnect:

As an example of screamer Don Jeror's populism, he was screaming about corporate taxes, which he claimed had been raised even though they haven't.

It's kind of sad, isn't it? They think they're part of a real populist movement, but the freedom they're fighting for is the freedom of corporations to make even more money off of them. It's that cynicism of this astroturf campaign that's particularly disturbing, because it's not about the rights of citizens to freely express their dissent. It's not a free exchange of views, it's one side attempting to shut the other side down. It's what the Republican party has been about since the Reagan "revolution."

Lloyd Doggett, one of the targets of the far right "artists," released this statement today.

This mob, sent by the local Republican and Libertarian parties, did not come just to be heard, but to deny others the right to be heard. And this appears to be part of a coordinated, nationwide effort. What could be more appropriate for the "party of no" than having its stalwarts drowning out the voices of their neighbors by screaming "just say no!" Their fanatical insistence on repealing Social Security and Medicare is not just about halting health care reform but rolling back 75 years of progress. I am more committed than ever to win approval of legislation to offer more individual choice to access affordable health care. An effective public plan is essential to achieve that goal.

He talked about the issue at length today with CNN's Rick Sanchez.

[at approx 3:45] DOGGETT: Rick, there is a little pattern here that you just pointed out to your viewers. This is not grassroots, pitchfork waving folks. This is a coordinated campaign by the Republican Party and the insurance industry, and just to modify one thing you said, I visited with these people for an hour, listening to their questions, trying to explain the plan, having their taunts, boos and so forth, like my colleagues, and only after they began making so much noise that no one could be heard did I decide first to try to visit with people individually and then as the party of "No, never" they appropriately began chanting at the top of their lungs their no slogan....

I began this discussion saying that I was willing to show as much respect as I received, but I think you get a flavor not just from the yells, but when they show up with a sign "Lloyd Doggett, Traitor to Texas, Devil to all People," and a beautiful photograph of a marble tombstone with my name on it, that they didn't come to learn and talk. They came to demonize.

It's worth watching the whole thing, to see it slowly dawn on Sanchez that, yes, this is a coordinated effort, and yes, there is a script behind it that you see played out again and again at each of the town meetings featured. It's also worth watching to see Doggett take him through this and dissect the process. If Rick Sanchez could get the idea that this this is just performance art sponsored by the healthcare industry and Republican party, maybe the rest of the traditional media will pick up on the idea. Particularly since the anti-reform lobbying groups are taking credit for it.

Sudbay: CNN's Crowley dismisses fact that right wing groups are sending protesters to Town Hall meetings

CNN's Candy Crowley has been covering DC and Capitol Hill for years. But, she's off-base and way out-of-touch on what's going on at the Town Hall meetings this summer. In a report today on the protests, she said, "Republicans are also encountering angry voters but Democrats seem to be getting the worst of it and they accuse Republican operatives of sending protesters to their Town Hall meetings, but even if there is any truth to that charge.....the reality is that poll after poll shows that americans are divided about obama style health care reform." Watch her and note the tone:

See, to Candy, this is the usual back and forth of politics. Republicans count on that kind of lazy reporting. That way, the GOP-supported thuggery looks like part of the give and take of politics instead of the extreme behavior that it is. And, Crowley is enabling it.

I'd strongly suggest Candy or her producer watch Rachel's piece from last night. Or, if she doesn't want to watch a competitor, Candy could read Greg Sargent's piece, Anti-Reform Group Takes Credit For Helping Gin Up Town Hall Rallies, because Candy would see that the right wing groups are taking credit for the protests:

Conservatives for Patients’ Rights, the operation that’s running a national campaign against a public health care option, is now publicly taking credit for helping gin up the sometimes-rowdy outbursts targeting House Dems at town hall meetings around the country, raising questions about their spontaneity.

CPR is the group headed by controversial former hospitals exec Rick Scott that’s spending millions on ads attacking reform in all sorts of lurid ways, a campaign that’s being handled by the same P.R. mavens behind the Swift Boat Vets.

In response to my questions, a spokesman for the group confirmed that it has undertaken a concerted effort to get people out to the town hall meetings to protest reform. The spokesperson, Brian Burgess, confirmed that CPR is emailing out “town hall alert” flyers, and schedules of town hall meetings, to its mailing list.

These efforts — combined with CPR’s effort to enlist Tea Party-ers, as reported yesterday by TPM — provide a glimpse into the ways anti-reform groups are trying to create a sense of public momentum in their favor.
So, it's not just Democrats making accusations, per Candy Crowley. It's the right wingers taking credit.

A little more actual reporting and a little less typical, lazy DC reporting would serve the viewers of CNN well.
Following up on the earlier item about right-wing fanatics trying to shut down discussions over health care with harassment and disruptions, the Politico's Jonathan Martin raises a compelling point.

Yes, there is now much energy on the right. But much like those angry crowds that populated McCain and Palin rallies last fall (recall "he's an Arab"), there is danger in such raw passion.

See, as one Dem points out, the much-watched Lloyd Doggett video today. Go to about a the 2:00 minute mark and you'll find a guy carrying a kid on his shoulders and hoisting a sign with the Nazi "SS" lettering.

Recall also the hanging in effigy of another Dem congressman last week at an anti-health care rally.

These are the sort of excessive displays that breed a backlash.

It's probably the one angle the corporate interests and their lobbyists haven't considered: the unintended consequences of rallying confused right-wing activists to shout down policymakers who'll improve their health care coverage. Once you wind up the fanatics and point them in the direction of a town-hall meeting, you never really know what they're going to say, do, wear, or hold. In at least one case at the Doggett event, there really was a sign with Nazi "SS" lettering.

This is not to say all opponents of reform are radical extremists. The point, though, is that conservatives run a risk of convincing the American mainstream that the only people worked up in opposition to health care reform are nutjobs.

Indeed, the NYT noted this morning, "Doggett said that he had tried his best to answer questions, but that the demonstrators expressed opposition not only to the health care plan but also to all government programs, including Medicare and Social Security."

Obviously, those concerned about the reform proposals go beyond fringe, unhinged activists. But if and when the anti-reform campaign becomes synonymous with right-wing lunatics, organized by insurance companies, it becomes far easier for the political mainstream to dismiss their legitimacy, while regular Americans think, "Well, I don't want to be on their side."

DougJ: Teabagging broadband

This is pretty interesting. The good people at StopTheCap, who have done a great job fighting Time-Warner’s and other broadband carriers’ efforts to find new ways to gouge consumers, have seen FreedomWorks in action before:

The group behind all of this, Freedom Works, is an astroturfing group I’ve dealt with before on our municipal broadband issue that I write often about on Stop the Cap! It suckers ordinary citizens into advocating against their own best interests by… well, making stuff up and scaring them. They always hide their true funding backers, pretending to be a “consumer group.”

Municipal broadband isn’t a way for local governments to supply broadband service at the speeds and pricing consumers want, it’s an ‘Obama-engineered socialist takeover of the Internet, as part of his secret campaign for stifling dissent.’ They load mostly retired folks who sit around all day listening to talk radio onto several buses and send them into various places to protest and disrupt.

We endured this nonsense in our successful battle in North Carolina, and those asking some of these people questions quickly learned they had no idea what the specific issues were — they were given basic talking points, a bus ride, and told to chant various slogans which usually had little to do with the issues at hand.

This kind of garbage has been going on for years in all kinds of guises. And as far as newly minted Villagers are concerned, it’s all good.

Whiskey Fire: Imaginary Liberal "Disruption": Fascism! Actual Conservative Disruption: Democracy!

Cast thy mind into the dark backward and abysm of Time. Because a dark, backward abysm is just we're we're headed.

You may recall that back this spring Greater Wingnuttia was aghast, and shocked, just shocked, at the entirely imaginary news that George Soros-funded ACORN/Code Pink goon squads were going to show up and disrupt their ridiculous "Tea Parties." Michelle Malkin breathlessly broke the news (she does everything breathlessly, and the resultant oxygen deficiency explains an awful lot) thusly:

And on the ground, the tax-subsidized and Soros-subsidized troops are going to try and wreak havoc every way they can. Many readers and fellow bloggers have seen signs that ACORN may send in ringers and saboteurs to usurp the anti-tax, anti-reckless spending, anti-bailout message.

Egad. Alarums and excursions! Wizbang revealed that an even more sinister figure stood behind Soros in this wicked conspiracy to shut down the Tea Parties: Barack Obama, whose White House has "identified scapegoats and then mobilized (via ACORN) trained protesters to harass them." Trained protesters intending to suppress free and open debate at peaceful gatherings! Sounds "Nixonian"! In light of this news, the always entertaining Moe Lane instructed the brethren as to the True Motives of the Activist Left:

So they will try to co-opt. They will try to disrupt. They will certainly try to incite. When they try, politely put a camera in their face and politely ask them what the hell they think that they’re doing. Ask them loudly, from the diaphragm: it carries better that way, and the only thing that these people hate more than sunlight is sunlight and the interested gaze of a lot of people not inclined to humor them.

Always remember: you are what they want to be, and cannot be. Do not indulge their inferiority.

And Andrew Klavan gave us this Very Serious video, where he advanced the thesis that "the Left has run out of effective arguments; the only one they have left is SHUT-UP," as evidenced by the liberal embrace of, among other bugbears like the Fairness Doctrine, "net neutrality" (and if that doesn't make any sense to you, don't worry, Klavan doesn't understand what he's talking about, either).

Which brings us to today, where by the miracle of wingnut headcase engineering, the Moral Wall Switch for coordinated attempts to disrupt other people's public events has been hastily and incompetently flipped from Evil to Good. To wit, here's the Tea Party-associated Freedom Works offering advice to Tea-Baggers about how best to disrupt town-hall meetings held by elected Democratic officials who want to discuss healthcare with their constituents:

– Be Disruptive Early And Often: “You need to rock-the-boat early in the Rep’s presentation, Watch for an opportunity to yell out and challenge the Rep’s statements early.”

– Try To “Rattle Him,” Not Have An Intelligent Debate: The goal is to rattle him, get him off his prepared script and agenda. If he says something outrageous, stand up and shout out and sit right back down. Look for these opportunities before he even takes questions.”

Unsurprisingly, this is precisely what the Tea-Baggers have been doing. (Check out the video especially.)

And what has been the reaction from those who invented imaginary liberal behavior and are watching as their side actually does precisely the stuff they only pretended liberals were doing and which they denounced as Wicked, Deranged, and Perfidious?

Cheering it on, of course. Duh.

Malkin. Wizbang. Moe Lane. Nothing yet from Klavin, but in the meanwhile we give you this manure from his PJ's stablemate.

The hypocrisy here is par for the course, but no less astonishing simply because we've seen it before ad nauseam. The fact that they are quite literally acting out their own hallucinations is more than a little extraordinary, though.

Here, check this out, from last April. It's the quintessence of wingnutism: the projection of projection.

It's fucking insane. Alert the media.

Fuck me.

MAS. One two OMIGOD. Two-faced doesn't cover it. But let's light the BS signal anyhow.

Health industry sabotages American town halls August 4: Health industry lobbyists have been disrupting town hall gatherings around America to prevent the spread of information about health care reform. Rachel Maddow is joined by Rep. Lloyd Doggett, D-TX.

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