August appears to be the cruelest month. With representatives returning home to meet with constituents to talk about the pressing issues of the day, the Right Wing has unleashed a mob to overwhelm every town hall meeting and ambush every member of Congress who dares to support President Obama's healthcare reform.
In the New York Times, Ian Urbina ("Beyond Beltway, Health Debate Turns Hostile") describes how protesters have swept into town hall meetings shouting down representatives attempting to talk about health care reform. Encouraged by pundits like Glen Beck, Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh, the bullying crowds stalk members of Congress, ambushing them wherever they can, encircling and confronting them and creating videoes that can be put up on Right Wing blogs.
Who can forget the success of the screaming, shouting mobs of Republican activists who swarmed over Florida during the 2000 Presidential race? Surrounding buildings, filling hallways and offices where the ballots were being recounted, they attempted to overwhelm what should have been an orderly process.
The Right Wing loves to wave the flag--check out the banner on Sean Hannity's web site--and pontificate about liberties under attack, but they are the first to take to streets and shut down the democratic process.
Damn the facts, full speed ahead. If you can't prevail in Congress, turn to storm-trooper tactics. Brute force, mob rule, intimidation, and slander.
Rush Limbaugh uses trademark inverse logic to attack Obama when he accuses him of using a Nazi swastika as a model for the new healthcare logo.
Do Rush or any of his fellow-travelers offer a plan to reform healthcare? If you're Rush, you're a healthcare-crisis denier.
CALLER: My question is -- and I'm throwing this out to you -- what exactly is the crisis in health care? I've been hearing about "crisis" in health care ever since the Hillary days. And quite honestly, I don't see it. Now, I'm not among the intellectual elite in this country --
CALLER: -- but I still can't see it.
RUSH: That means you're a real guy.
CALLER: Thank you.
RUSH: You bet. It's a great question. The "crisis" in health care is like the "crisis" in everything else: manufactured.
Sean Hannity doesn't have a healthcare reform plan either, but he does have a plan of attack. Look at his web site and you'll see a big movie-style ghoulish banner--"Fight Obama Care. Add your voice to the masses! Find an Obama Healthcare Town Hall near you!"--and the click through will bring you to a state by state list of every representative who has scheduled a town hall meeting, complete with date, time, and address.
The strategy is clear: get to the town hall meetings and pack them with antagonists who will shout down the representative and prevent constituents from asking legitimate questions.
At one widely reported exchange at a town hall meeting--and this with a Republican--Republican Bob Inglis was shouted down by a man who opposed Obama's healthcare reform saying, "keep your government hands off my Medicare." Inglis' attempts to explain that Medicare is a government program went unheard because the man and his supporters shouted him down.
What a crock!
Faiz Shakir notes that back in the 1960s when Medicare was created, there was the same hand-wringing and misrepresentations we're hearing today, albeit without the fascistic mob behavior.
Ronald Reagan: "[I]f you don't [stop Medicare] and I don't do it, one of these days you and I are going to spend our sunset years telling our children and our children's children what it once was like in America when men were free." 
George H.W. Bush: Described Medicare in 1964 as "socialized medicine." 
Barry Goldwater: "Having given our pensioners their medical care in kind, why not food baskets, why not public housing accommodations, why not vacation resorts, why not a ration of cigarettes for those who smoke and of beer for those who drink." 
Bob Dole: In 1996, while running for the Presidency, Dole openly bragged that he was one of 12 House members who voted against creating Medicare in 1965. "I was there, fighting the fight, voting against Medicare . . . because we knew it wouldn't work in 1965." 
To prevent the Right Wing from hijacking democracy, do supporters of Obama's healthcare plan have to show up at all the town meetings to counter the Right Wing mob?