Friday, April 29, 2011

Town Hall protesters marching to a different Drum

In a surprisingly absurd post, Kevin Drum dismisses the anti-Ryan Roadmap uprisings at GOP town halls as just more astro-turf. Says he can't take them seriously because lefties are organizing on the internets to attend the town halls. He further suggests the media doesn't have to take them as serious grass roots efforts either because Move-on issued an action alert, or something.

Steve M summarizes my reaction:
At the beginning of the long, hot August of 2009 it became blatantly obvious that groups such as Freedomworks were disseminating town hall harassment strategies ("Rocking the Town Halls -- Best Practices") -- and yet this, and large amounts of additional evidence of substantial fat cat support, didn't cause the press to "yawn," or shrug off the protests as manufactured; the media covered the disruptions eagerly, and has continued to insist to this day that the tea party movement is "grassroots." ...

Of course, the entire argument is a crock. In less fevered times, we still wouldn't be talking about Norman Rockwell-esque, New England-style town meetings in which the entire populace gathers -- congressional town halls, by definition, would be gatherings of people with a greater-than-average interest in what government is up to. And, golly, they might even decide to attend the town hall and give the congressperson a piece of their mind after reading about the gathering in the local weekly paper -- weeks in advance! That's almost like a tweet!

This is a ridiculous argument. The difference isn't whether these things are planned or not (as far as I can tell, the only unplanned political act with a comparable effect is a riot). The difference is whether the protesters were summoned by massive, deep-pocketed organizations or sincere, underfunded individuals and groups. And this year the latter is the case.
Adding, as far as I know, none of the organizers of this grass root response are doing so in order to protect corporate power and profits. It's an important difference and deserves to be taken seriously.

[More posts daily at the Detroit News.]

Labels: , ,

Bookmark and Share


Post a Comment

<< Home