Kathy Shaidle

Democratic group tells people how to disrupt town hall meetings (video)

Posted on September 2 2009 1:12 am
Kathy Shaidle blogs at FiveFeetOfFury, now entering its 11th year online. Her latest book is Acoustic Ladylandkathy shaidle, which Mark Steyn calls "a must-read."
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Last night, Sean Hannity of FOX News aired a video showing an organizer for Health Care for America Now (HCAN) advising supporters to shout down Obamacare opponents if they tried to ask questions at Rep. Jan Schakowski‘s recent town hall meeting. The organizer’s instructions were straight out of Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals, the “classic” left wing activist “bible” of numerous current White House luminaries.

“Imagine,” said Hannity. “Democrats have accused town hall protesters of being trained by Republican operatives. But there’s more evidence tonight that liberal groups are the ones creating an Astroturf movement.”

Indeed, HCAN published a “playbook” earlier this summer, advising supporters of socialized medicine to adopt the following specific strategies for minimizing the visibility and influence of the protesters:

* “You must bring enough people to drown them [the protesters] out.”
* “Arrive earlier than the other side does: we need to stack our folks in the front to create a wall around the Member [of Congress].”
* “When the other side gets too loud, we should shut them down with chants that counter their message like ‘Health Care Can’t Wait!’ and ‘Health Care Delayed Is Health Care Denied!’”
* “Another way to limit protesters’ ability to hijack your event is to confiscate signs or leaflets that they may bring into the venue from outside. The best way to do this is to make a blanket rule that no one can bring signs or leaflets …You can distribute your own signs in the event and offer them one as they enter if you choose to allow them to enter.”
* “It’s important that you take away right wingers’ opportunities to talk with reporters by making sure that your staff or leaders are in constant contact with the media who attend.”

Last night, Hannity’s guest Jonah Goldberg looked weary and bemused when asked to comment.

“Why have me on?” he replied sarcastically. “Just played that video over and over.”

The author of the timely bestseller Liberal Fascism added that “anyone who follows politics knows that the Democratic Party is the master of Astroturfing. Creating, you know, like some sort of Castro regime where it can’t make a workable toilet but they can get a thousand protesters in Red Square at a moment’s notice?”

Goldberg added that Obama senior advisor “David Axelrod became a millionaire” running Astroturf campaigns, and that Barack Obama himself “taught Astroturfing” as a community organizer.

Goldberg explained that town halls were being “stacked to death” with pro-Obamacare union members (as reported here yesterday), because the Democratic Party is desperately “ginning up support for their healthcare campaign, which is bombing,” according to all the latest polls.

The blogger who helped raise awareness about this unflattering video, the indefatigable “Gateway Pundit,” also posted the following reminder:

In case you forgot…  Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) is the one who boasted to a group of radical supporters that a government provided insurance plan would put private insurers out of business.

Sure enough, in an older video clip, Schakowsky is seen bluntly boasting that the proposed legislation would destroy the private insurance industry — and that is, in fact, its primary purpose. She tells cheering supporters at the end of the video: “This is not a principled fight. It’s about strategy.”’s Ed Morrissey summed it up nicely:

In a way, this is a microcosm of the debate over health care. The opponents of ObamaCare want to read through the bill and hold elected officials accountable for its contents. Advocates just want to shout mindless slogans in the hope that everyone will give up and go home. Hey, how’s that working out for you so far?

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