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August 11, 2009
Town Hall in Upstate NY: Locals vs the Zombies
I went to a town hall meeting held by my Congressman Scott Murphy (D) yesterday. Here's my report.
I found out about the meeting by searching Congressman Murphy's website.
The notice was put up less than 24 hours before the meeting.
I got to the meeting an hour early. Organizers were already there writing their pro health care reform posters. They brought about 40 people, mostly very nice elderly Democrats who must be on call for such things. TV camera crews were setting up, people were milling around.
I was standing talking to an elderly man when a large MoveOn organizer came up to me and asked me why I was there. I explained that I wanted to see a real town hall meeting to see what really goes on. He asked me my position on Obamacare. I declined to answer saying I'm in support of anything that will make America a better country. He started lecturing me on the talking points of Obamacare but I refused to engage. Then he smiled and said nice to meet you and walked away. I felt that I had been targeted.
There were only a handful of "real" people there. Local people who had somehow heard about this meeting like I had. They sat off to the side until the meeting started.
When the Congressman arrived we all formed a circle around him. The zombies had their signs up and made sure they were always in the line of view of the TV cameras. After a short speech, where Murphy said he supported revised versions of the HR 3200 bill which will have amendments added to make sure we can all keep our existing coverage, he asked people to get in line to ask questions.
The MoveOn organizer of the event rushed over to get near the front of the line. I guess he knew that only 5 or 6 people would end up asking questions.
Two of the six questioners were MoveOn people, who asked setup questions on other topics to kill the time available for real questioners.
It quickly became clear, based on the applause and the cheers, that all of the non-zombies oppose HR 3200, while the zombies applauded whenever the Congressman stated views that supported the bill.
One woman asked if there was any language in HR 3200 discussing tort reform. The answer was no. She replied that there needs to be since lottery sized malpractice judgments are a significant cost factor in health care costs. She received lots of applause from the locals, and frowns from the zombies.
Another local asked how the government which has made such a mess of it's own finances can possibly run health care better than private companies. Another round of applause from the locals. Mish mash doublespeak answer from the Congressman.
After the meeting, a local woman, who by then figured out which side of the debate I was on, came up to me and said that a zombie called her a fascist.
I somehow attracted the attention of the TV crews so they came up and interviewed me. I had three cameras in my face. A new experience for me.
I stated that the government has said that Medicare is going to run out of money in 7 years, we have a $12.1 trillion national debt, we're going to have a $1.8 trillion budget deficit this year, and the government is going to spend another trillion dollars on national health care and this is going to somehow save us money? I also complained to the cameras about all the strangers who had been brought here carrying pro ObamaCare posters.
I watched the evening news reports and our meeting was covered on 3 channels. One news channel was disappointed because "no sparks flew at town meeting". I was not on TV but I did get a sentence in the text report on one channel where I was paraphrased "I have concerns about too much government intervention in the economy". The TV reports showed the Congressman speaking to the polite crowd, with only pro ObamaCare posters visible (none of the locals made signs). They showed one woman's comment "based on what I saw, most of the people there support health care reform". She was a MoveOn zombie.
So, the news coverage did not accurately reflect what really happened:
- announce the meeting within a day of the event
- only announce the meeting on the Congressman's website
- have emails sent out to supporter's and their zombies asking them to come
- make signs and stand in full view of the camera
- intimidate anybody there who you think might present an opposing view before the meeting starts
- get your people to be interviewed with pro-Obamacare views
- watch as positive press coverage happens.
People who oppose ObamaCare better get started soon. The Democrats are playing a very clever game and are now seriously working the system.
Hey, they got Obama elected, they probably can get ObamaCare passed too.