Disrupting the Disruptors
Rotwang says that whining about right-wing mobilization over healthcare reform just makes liberals look weak. We're bigger and have a better case and we should just make it:
The numbing details of health care reform are important and worth discussing, but the argument against the [teabaggers] is pretty simple. If you hate socialized medicine, do you want to abolish Medicare? Why not? If not, why not have more Medicare, rather than less? Why not have wider access to health insurance that resembles what Members of Congress have? Medicare is their soft underbelly. It's socialized medicine that people already have, are used to, and support. More, not less. Once that is established, you can have a civil discussion about all the details.
That's exactly what my mother was saying to me on the phone last night. And it's very logical. I don't think it will work with these folks, but it's very logical. I'm not sure Rotwang thinks it will work either, considering his ultimate advice:
Anybody who is unwilling to throw people out of their meetings should not be organizing them.
Yeah, but that has to be done very, very carefully indeed. One small slip and you'll end up on a 24/7 loop on Glenn Beck's show. Videotape of your goons dragging some 70-year-old grandma out of the room by her hair will not play well at all in the fabled heartland.
I guess I'd propose the following for members of congress speaking at town hall events: (1) Announce beforehand that there have been organized efforts to disrupt constituent meetings and it might happen here too, (2) ask everyone to please stay calm even in the face of provocation, (3) have your own cameras there to record the lunatics, and (4) rely on the fact that organized screaming doesn't wear well with the American public. And then turn up the volume on your sound system.
Either that or you can get on the stage and announce that some there are some shaggy punks outside burning an American flag and you want some volunteers to go teach them a lesson. That should get the riff raff out of the room.