Yesterday, there were reports of Democrats looking to create “Astroturf” disruptions at Republican town hall meetings – pretty much the same thing they falsely accused the Tea Party of being, two years ago. Some of the first major deployments of this tactic occurred in Florida last night. It was a disaster for the Democrats.
First, the leftist Astroturfers tried planting hecklers at an Allen West event in Fort Lauderdale. They tried to shout him down, but the Congressman firmly informed them, “You’re not going to intimidate me.” According to the Palm Beach Post, their contributions to the robust and thoughtful debate over the great issue of our time included “How about our Medicare that you’re stealing?”
Several of these thugs were removed from the event by police officers, including a former host from Epic Fail liberal radio network Air America, who was screaming curses as the cops dragged her away. There were about 500 people at the meeting, making it the largest audience any Air America host has ever had. Matthew Boyle at The Daily Caller has a great round-up of the event, while the relentless video predators at The Shark Tank bring us the video below.
Meanwhile, over in Orlando, the same tactic was used against Congressman Daniel Webster, who replaced left-wing lunatic Alan Grayson in 2010. Grayson was a tree that provided much low-hanging fruit for conservative bloggers, but I long ago forgave Webster for taking him away from us. Besides, he’ll be back: Democrats are supposedly pouring a fortune into his war chest for a challenge to Webster in the next election. Maybe Grayson will give us more details about Webster’s membership in the Taliban. That’s just what America needs right now!
Webster’s district was willing to humiliate itself by sending Grayson to the House of Representatives in the first place, so he knows he’s playing to a tough crowd. He told the Orlando Sentinel, “This is the most competitive part of the district, and I expected it to be a competitive crowd. There’s nothing wrong with that… there’s nothing wrong with the clash of debate at all, nothing.” This is a sharp contrast to the screaming, crying, and accusations of fascism that accompanied early Tea Party outbreaks at Democrat town halls. It’s the last response the organizers of these disruptions were looking form.
Speaking of the Tea Party, they’re not entirely happy with Webster. The Sentinel mentions that someone who said he was “with Michele Bachmann” told the Congressman at a town hall last week, “The Tea Party got you elected, all right? She’s head of the Tea Party caucus, so you need to listen to her.” The organizers of Democrat Astroturf operations should learn from this example. A tough question asked politely can make an impact. Screaming hysterics and hecklers look bad. They don’t make the Congressmen look bad – not when they stand their ground, as West and Webster did. (Democrats, by contrast, were infamous for scurrying out of tense town halls through the back door.)
The organized campaign to disrupt Republican town hall meetings opens a new front in the War on Taxpayers, the conflict that erupted when Wisconsin tried to undo the fiscal damage from “collective bargaining” by public union employees. The hecklers want unlimited spending, paid for by ever-increasing taxes. They don’t want the public to hear the words of serious people with serious plans for controlling the wild irresponsibility and unsustainable entitlement commitments that have brought us to the edge of bankruptcy.
If the hecklers succeed, they won’t “save” anyone’s social programs. They’ll just make the situation a fiery crash, instead of a controlled landing. If the Democrat Party had anything better to offer, they wouldn’t be sending operatives to scream from the peanut gallery… and make Republicans look like heroes standing up to an angry mob.