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Right-Wing Harassment Strategy Against Dems Detailed In Memo: ‘Yell,’ ‘Stand Up And Shout Out,’ ‘Rattle Him’

Original post made by Drew, Downtown, on Jul 31, 2009

This morning, Politico reported that Democratic members of Congress are increasingly being harassed by “angry, sign-carrying mobs and disruptive behavior” at local town halls. For example, in one incident, right-wing protesters surrounded Rep. Tim Bishop (D-NY) and forced police officers to have to escort him to his car for safety.

This growing phenomenon is often marked by violence and absurdity. Recently, right-wing demonstrators hung Rep. Frank Kratovil (D-MD) in effigy outside of his office. Missing from the reporting of these stories is the fact that much of these protests are coordinated by public relations firms and lobbyists who have a stake in opposing President Obama’s reforms.

The lobbyist-run groups Americans for Prosperity and FreedomWorks, which orchestrated the anti-Obama tea parties earlier this year, are now pursuing an aggressive strategy to create an image of mass public opposition to health care and clean energy reform. A leaked memo from Bob MacGuffie, a volunteer with the FreedomWorks website Tea Party Patriots, details how members should be infiltrating town halls and harassing Democratic members of Congress:

– Artificially Inflate Your Numbers: “Spread out in the hall and try to be in the front half. The objective is to put the Rep on the defensive with your questions and follow-up. The Rep should be made to feel that a majority, and if not, a significant portion of at least the audience, opposes the socialist agenda of Washington.”

– Be Disruptive Early And Often: “You need to rock-the-boat early in the Rep’s presentation, Watch for an opportunity to yell out and challenge the Rep’s statements early.”

– Try To “Rattle Him,” Not Have An Intelligent Debate: “The goal is to rattle him, get him off his prepared script and agenda. If he says something outrageous, stand up and shout out and sit right back down. Look for these opportunities before he even takes questions.”

The memo above also resembles the talking points being distributed by FreedomWorks for pushing an anti-health reform assault all summer. Patients United, a front group maintained by Americans for Prosperity, is currently busing people all over the country for more protests against Democratic members. Rep. Pete Sessions (R-TX), chairman of the NRCC, has endorsed the strategy, telling the Politico the days of civil town halls are now “over.”

Meanwhile, AHIP, the trade group and lobbying juggernaut representing the health insurance industry is sending staffers to monitor town halls and other right-wing front groups are stepping up their ad campaign to smear reform efforts. The strategy for defeating reform — recently outlined by an influential lobbyist to the Hill newspaper as “delay” then “kill” — is becoming apparent. By delaying a vote until after the August recess, lobbyists are now seizing upon recess town halls as opportunities to ambush lawmakers and fool them into believing there is wide opposition to reform.

Comments (8)

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Posted by SteveP
a resident of Parkside
on Jul 31, 2009 at 2:52 pm

SteveP is a registered user.

Kind of sounds like when Code Pink and even more radical, fringe leftist groups attack businesses, our governmnet (Marine recruiting centers) etc.
Of course, your take on this 'news' is blown way out of proportion.
Tea parties labeled as anti-Obama? There were both Dems and Repubs at the tea parties and their main issues are over-taxation and too much govt control over areas the govt knows nothing about running.

Nice attempt to enrage the paranoid leftists in town, though. Maybe if things get bad enough you and your friends can defend yourselves by 'packing heat', unless you don't support gun rights......if that's the case, good luck to you........

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Posted by Johnny
a resident of Country Fair
on Jul 31, 2009 at 2:55 pm


Drew why did you have to lie? Here is the link and says nothing about right wing or any of that stuff. Basically points out that the citizens of this country are outraged by what is going on in Washington not only with Obama and the Democrats but also with the Republicans. People are getting fed up regardless of their political leanings so no need to make up stuff. Here is the link.

Web Link

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Posted by Annette
a resident of Downtown
on Jul 31, 2009 at 3:10 pm

Nice try, Drew. I think you should now apologize to the PW readers for your inaccuracies.

Can't take the heat similar to the ranting the liberals gave out during the Bush years? Sounds like it. Try taking your meds...but remember you need to get them approved by Dr. Obama first. That'll take a few months remember before he'll grant you a decision of whether you are "worthy" of meds. (My guess is that you'll be approved since you're a bonafide not to worry.)

We'll be waiting breathlessly for your apology.

Like this comment
Posted by Suggestion
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 31, 2009 at 6:05 pm

"To move forward at a time when Republican numbers are shrinking in many states, the party should show "respect of those who don't agree with us"
By MICHAEL R. BLOOD (AP) – 26 minutes ago
SAN DIEGO — Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty on Thursday urged fellow Republicans to welcome outsiders into the party ranks, not scorn them, as the GOP rebuilds from defeats that left the White House and Congress in Democratic hands.
The potential 2012 presidential candidate, addressing a meeting of the Republican National Committee, appealed to members to build bridges to independents and conservative-leaning Democrats that would win converts and, in turn, elections.
To move forward at a time when Republican numbers are shrinking in many states, the party should show "respect of those who don't agree with us," Pawlenty said. "Let's make sure that we welcome others who are not yet Republicans."
By MICHAEL R. BLOOD (AP) – 26 minutes ago

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Posted by Cholo
a resident of Livermore
on Jul 31, 2009 at 6:05 pm

annie...did you say BUSH? Web Link

hahahahahahahahahahahhahahahahha...tee hee hee, tee hee hee...


missy annie-bobo

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Posted by Me
a resident of Foothill Knolls
on Jul 31, 2009 at 6:09 pm


BEST post award goes to:

Drum roll please.....


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Posted by Bright Corners of Town
a resident of Country Fair
on Aug 1, 2009 at 7:39 am

Drew's "angry, sign carrying mobs" at congressional town hall meetings are pussycats compared to the ANSWR, ACORN, Code Pink,, and global economic summit anarchists.

Like this comment
Posted by Conservative
a resident of Bordeaux Estates
on Aug 1, 2009 at 5:09 pm

I WILL FIGHT for my rights!

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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