Just how badly has Obama’s political capital shrunk? Bad enough for one of the most liberal pols on the planet — Sen. Russ Feingold (D-Wisc.) to bail on the prez.
As reported yesterdat in the Lakeland Times, in a townhall meeting this week the hyperliberal Feingold not only touted his opposition to the “cap and trade” national energy tax but made a point to tell the crowd, “There’s a survey that shows that I am the Democrat who has least voted with President Obama.”
Feingold has a 100% voter rating from the ACLU. The uber-liberal Americans for Democratic Action rates him at 100%. The American Conservative Union gives Feingold an 8% rating and the Club for Growth rates him at 1%. Feingold was the first to call for an immediate withdrawal from Iraq. This is not a conservative Democrat. He’s left of the left.
And he’s jockeying for a “voted least with President Obama” scout badge? Dismal days in Obamaland.
Feingold also predicted at his town hall meeting that there would be no health care bill passed this year, if ever.
Raucous and Staged Moran Town Hall in Reston, VA
Over 3,000 people made it into the town hall meeting for Rep. Jim Moran (D-Va.) last night, with two lines still stretching around the building that didn’t make the fire marshal’s cutoff. Moran’s guest shield was former Vermont governor and doctor Howard Dean, Chairman Emeritus of the Democrat Party. Perhaps for Dean’s benefit, as folks made their way into the building, they were given a handout of George Washington’s rules of civility.
The event was heavily staged with Obama’s “Organizing for America” handing out signs in support of the government takeover of health care — not only pre-printed signs but organizers handed out hand-lettered signs to make it appear that their effort was not all Astroturf. Virginia Living TV caught leftist organizers on tape with the stacks of hand-lettered signs.
One group I spoke with in the stands was comprised of 30-40 young people. They had on differing Obama t-shirts, were chanting together, none could give me a local zip code when asked, and they claimed not to know each other. Ahem.
The crowd was split about evenly between leftist Astroturf and locals. Even given those odds, complete chaos broke out in the local school gymnasium where the town hall was held when Dean started his speech.
At one point Moran was forced to retake the microphone and threaten to throw some people out, one being Randall Terry, the vocal pro-life activist.
At the very beginning of the question and answer portion of the over two-hour town hall meeting, Dean claimed that conservative icon Winston Churchill started the British National Health Service.
Of course, it’s not true (the NHS was formed in 1948 under Prime Minister Clement Attlee who served from 1945 to 1951), but complete fabrications are what we’ve come to expect from Democrats in the health care debate.
They tell us not to believe our lyin’ eyes when we read the bills. Moran actually went through a Power Point presentation of “myths” where he tried to tell folks that what they were reading in the bills was not what they were reading in the bills. The government takeover of health care is not in there. One half of the audience didn’t buy it. I don’t have to tell you which half.
Then Dean tells us one of the great conservative historical figures is to blame for Britain’s government-run health care rationing fiasco. The scary part is I think they actually believe their own… um… stories.
Moran controlled the questioning by requiring attendees to first write down their questions when allowed to enter the building. The slips of paper were separated by his staff into three categories: “for,” “against” and “undecided.” The questions in the “undecided” box were heavily weighted toward “for.” Moran appeared to pick one question from each box in order, announce the person’s name and ask them to come forward to ask their question. At one point, Moran said he did not like a man’s demeanor, so he checked his ID to make sure the man was the one whose name was called.
The man’s question was on tort reform, and Howard Dean answered the question. Dean said tort reform wasn’t included in the health care reform bills because the bills already had enough special interest enemies and anymore enemies and the bill would not have been able to pass. I am not making this up.
Moran did eventually apologize to the man for checking his ID.
All and all it was a very raucous event with such an unnaturally staged level of participation that literally no new information was communicated. The event at times simply devolved into a chanting contest.
Given the massive Astroturf effort to try to create a façade of support for the bill, and Moran’s inviting Dean to act as a shield in answering questions, the only thing actually accomplished by the artificial event was providing Moran cover to tell constituents that he’d actually held a town hall meeting.