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Friday, August 7, 2009

The Democrats Vs. the Tea Parties Day 4: Anger, Confrontation, and Image

The anger at the town hall debates is turning very confrontational and even dangerous. At this town hall in Tampa there was a near riot.

Meanwhile, in a St. Louis suburb, Russ Carnahan held a town hall meeting and the raucus created forced a call to the police and even some arrests.

Finally, Rep John Dingell got an earful himself at his town hall.

Now, first, no one should encourage violence or physical confrontation. So, let's hope that these scenes are kept to a minimum. Second, watch for the Democrats and their allies to use these scenes to paint the protestors as unhinged, violent, and unwilling to have a debate but rather there only to shout down.

I personally believe that the protestors do themselves no favor by turning these town hall debates into a shouting match in which the politicians are really never even given a chance to speak. It hurts their cause even more when these events turn violent. Opponents can easily characterize the protestors as unhinged, out of control, and thus part of the fringe if these scenes continue.

Over the next couple days, I believe you're going to see Democrats use the characterization that these protestors are plants and astro turfers a lot less. What you will see is Democrats and their allies bemoaning the lack of debate created by the chaos. They will try and marginalize these protestors as fringe folks looking to come and disrupt. They will succeed if these town hall confrontations do not themselves evolve.

Yet, that's what I expect to happen over the next week or two. What no one understands about the Tea Party movement, of which these town hall confrontations is the most recent metamorphosis, is that not only are they totally fluid, free form, but also totally organic. That means they don't ever flow based on some sort of pre planned script. The anger you see in these videos is totally real, but these folks will soon see that out of control anger will do them no good. They also watch television, read the news, and listen to talk radio. They will know how this is going to be portrayed. So, soon enough, you will see town hall meetings turn a lot more civil.

As soon as Democrats and their allies tried to paint these folks as "Astro Turfers", (those organized and funded by powerful groups with an agenda) I knew the Democrats had comitted their final fatal error. The Democrats simply don't understand who is at these meetings expressing their anger. Worse than that, they don't really know who these people are. They are defining a force well beyond their understanding. As such,their definition will be totally off base. Soon enough, you will see these protests transform themselves and the Democrats will race to re define them again. Of course, you get so many chances to define your opponent. Once these town hall meetings turn well attended, anti health care reform, but civil, that will be the final death blow to health care reform.


Anonymous said...

I think the next step for the Democrats is to prove that these people are either angry for no reason, or for reasons that are demonstratively false. I have heard a lot of people express a "Medicare Good, Government Healthcare bad" sentiment as if they genuinely believe that Medicare is not already government run. I mean, heck even Arthur freaking Laffer was on tv the other day making that same statement!

mike volpe said...

Medicare is several trillion dollars in the whole in unfunded liabilities. medicare is broke. It is no shining light of government run health care. I am not a senior so I don't know how good it is but I do know that the numbers on it don't add up.

Wolf said...

"They also watch television, read the news, and listen to talk radio. They will know how this is going to be portrayed. So, soon enough, you will see town hall meetings turn a lot more civil."

Well, you're presuming they know how to read. Buy you are right that they watch television, and they certainly listen to talk radio. The thing is that they are so fanatic that I don't think when they see themselves erupting on T.V. they see the unattractiveness of their crazy behavior that normal people see. They may lack the cognitive capacity to inhibit themselves and modulate their behavior with strategic intent. And Rush and Glenn Beck on radio aren't likely to give them marching orders to tone down. So it is possible that they will persist in their unhinged behavior.

"Once these town hall meetings turn well attended, anti health care reform, but civil, that will be the final death blow to health care reform."

So you admit here your desire to see health care reform destroyed. You don't bother with your usual fake song and dance of wanting to see the "right" kind of health care reform. You dance with glee at the notion that millions of suffering Americans will continue to suffer for the sake of enriching a few.

Anonymous said...

I disagree. If the protesters don't act out of control, then government will plant people to act out of control and accomplish the same thing. Since media and government will paint them as out of control either way, then it is better that government not control the perception and actually fear the people for once.

mike volpe said...

First of all, my desire is to write a blog about things I am interested in. Second, the protestors desire is to have this health care reform get defeated. I don't think it takes a genius to see anger and conclude that people are angry. that is just common sense. Yes, the people at these townhalls don't like the health care reform bill. Stop the presses.

You parrot the President's mantra which is if you are against his health care reform you are against health care reform entirely. I wrote my policy proposal weeks ago.

These folks don't like the current plan and they're making their feelings clear.

Wolf said...

Yes, I was "Yuck Fou" in the comments there. You never did really address the fact that your "reform" will be an absolute nightmare for millions of Americans with preconditions, rendering them unable to get treated, for either their condition or what they may develop in the future. Your answer was such folks will have to pay "a lot more" but that's the way it should be so that health insurance companies are able to rake in as much profit as possible. I guess this is a question of values and ideology vs. pragmatism: you want free market capitalism to apply to absolutely every kind of economic exchange, and for someone to make as much profit as possible in every sector in our economy. You don't care about how well it works for the general population or not, you think it is imperative or not to apply free market principles *everywhere* regardless of real-word outcomes. Whereas folks like me realize that free market capitalism does not work in the case of health care, it generates far too much waste and needlessly denied care, in order to generate the requisite extreme profits. People like me are more pragmatic: pure free market principles often work in other aspects, but they just don't work for health care.

mike volpe said...

Of course, someone with a pre existing condition should pay more. What do you think should happen? Someone with a much greater risk shouldn't pay more.

By opening up the market to companies from out of state you create more competition and that means companies will target those with pre existing conditions as the niche. I don't remember if I addressed your point then or not because it's been so long, but the problem isn't that folks with pre existing conditions can't get insurance. The problem is that there is no competition in health insurance and this allows health insurance companies to act this way.

Anonymous said...

Here's the thing, Mike. I don't think you've done a good enough job in your proposal of informing your readers just what the implications of allowing people to cross state lines with their health care.

Simply put, the reason you can't take your health care across state lines is because every state regulates health care differently. So the real question is not about how to break down interstate barriers to health insurance, but on whose terms such an event will take place?

I invite you to elaborate on that in some future post, but if your near axiomatic attitude toward tort reform is any indication you'd probably suggest a nationwide framework based on Michigan and Texas, two of the strictest tort reform states in the nation.

Silas DoGoode said...

"The Democrats simply don't understand who is at these meetings expressing their anger. Worse than that, they don't really know who these people are. They are defining a force well beyond their understanding. As such,their definition will be totally off base."

In the end, whether They REALLY understand or not is of no Matter at all....I think the main Issue is that They don't care.

The People are nothing to Them.

--- Silas DoGoode

mike volpe said...

The reason I believe in tort reform is because many doctors have told me about all they do to avoid getting sued. All I suggested was having loser pay for lawsuits. I said that all other tort reforms need to be debated.

As for crossing state lines, that's non sense. States have regulations for everything. Each state regulates mortgages differently but yet Wells Fargo is still in all fifty states? Why does state regulation hinder health insurance but not car insurance? You have created a red herring that is purely non sensical.

Anonymous said...

Here's a gem for you:


Anonymous said...

Oh and this little gem as well:

We learn from the best of them


Anonymous said...

John Conyers (D-MI) has publicly admitted that Democrats are too stupid to read the bills that they vote on.
And he's the CHAIRMAN of the Senate Judiciary Committee!

Ken Weaver said...

Great post Mike! Keep up the good work.

Anonymous said...

The type of person at this demonstration may not be that bright

A Daily Kos/Research 2000 poll released last Friday found that 28 percent of Republicans don’t believe that Barack Obama was born in the United States and another 30 percent are still “not sure.”

This is scary.

Anonymous said...

I think Wolf is right about the hysteria of the right in regard to healthcare.

For a FANTASTIC example - consider Palin's recent quote in her facebook entry.

"The America I know and love is not one in which my parents or my baby with Down Syndrome will have to stand in front of Obama's "death panel" so his bureaucrats can decide, based on a subjective judgment of their "level of productivity in society," whether they are worthy of health care. Such a system is downright evil"

The capacity of this bimbo to combine her smugly invincible ignorance with the vicious cunning a rabble rouser inciting a lynch mob and evade consequences for her actions by hiding behind her Princess Winky Sparkleburst National Review pornstar persona always amazes me. But, damn, even for her, this is so vile it really takes your breath away.

mike volpe said...

Yeah, I'm sure that no Democrat ever used any inflammatory language to describe any Bush policy initiative. That never happpened. Was there a Kos poll cited? Are you serious? Did you know that one in three dems once thought that Bush attacked the WTC in order to start the war? Yet, I don't remember those polls being of any importance.

Anonymous said...

Why do you defend this Mike?

Its disgusting.