Town Hall Tactics In Action

Joe recently wrote a post linking to a memo for anti-Democratic groups to use during the town halls that are taking place around the country to push health care reform. He said it was a sign of lowering the bar on political debate, but I read it and had no problem with the content. It encouraged people to look at voting records and statistics, and confront their representatives when they felt they were being misleading in a way to get them off their message.

I wrote:

To be fair, the entire guide was focused around looking at their voting record and collecting statistics, then being disruptive when you feel that they are being disinegenuous. It didn’t say “make a commotion if the audience gets on his side,” just get them off the talking points that he can’t back up.

Personally, I don’t see much wrong with that because the information/noise content by politicians is basically zero. If they actually let there be a full response to go into further detail and clarification, then I think it’s much more admirable than listening to the normal BS.

On the other hand I was extremely skeptical the they would respect my caveat and allow a response. Here is a video that shows a bit of these tactics in action.
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From that snippet I have to say that I don’t see anything wrong; on the contrary I thought that it very clearly revealed Sen.(oops, it is Rep.) Hoyer’s inability to make a strong argument. I’m definitely not against government run health care in principle, but from what I’ve read the current bill seems like it’s going to become the Democrat’s version of the Medicare Drug Bill, which I think is the worst spending program in recent times. Even if I disagree with the groups that are using these tactics about most things, at least they are purporting to demand accuracy in statistics and challenging fluff statements. I dislike the use of quasi-patriotic and fallacious pablum that politicians traffic in regardless of what they’re selling, so if this causes them to decrease that stuff even marginally I’m all for it.

Update: Here is a report that suggests that not all of these town hall confrontations are constructive. Of course that means that this will be yet another thing that turns into a false dichotomy instead of opposing the destructive displays while condoning the honest challenges.

Author: MIKKEL FISHMAN, Economics Editor