Wow. Our experiment is off to a great start—let's see if we can finish it off sooner than expected.
Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) has encouraged opponents of the Democrats' health care reform to show up at Capitol Hill today at "high noon" to "look at the whites of their eyes and tell them, 'don't you dare take away my health care.'" Nothing "scares members of Congress more than freedom-loving Americans," Bachmann says. But the Capitol Police don't seem too scared—they're already rounding up protesters by the handful. A Senate source emails:
We had five people arrested in Hart [Senate Office Building] this morning. Two were literally carried out by Capitol Police, their arms and legs restrained, all the while screaming at the top of their lungs, drawing crowds of staffers and senators to the balconies and office windows of the east wing of the building.
The source couldn't say whether or not the protesters were associated with Bachmann's event—and since ABC News is reporting that eight pro-health care reform protesters were arrested near Sen. Joe Lieberman's office this morning, it's quite possible that the freedom-loving Americans weren't involved. Our own Stephanie Mencimer is on the hill today to cover the protest, so we'll keep you posted.