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hijacking town hall meetings…

August 4, 2009

TPM.com is running a series on the lowering of the discourse at Congressional Town Hall meetings – where corporate-funded teabaggers are organizing to disrupt many of these get-togethers between the citizenry and its elected officials.

I’m not sure what the teabagging community seeks to do by disrupting meetings — rattle Members of Congress?  These super-aggravating method of disruption- used by various groups, but most embarassingly by the anti-Iraq War group Code Pink —  is now spreading to the the health care debate within Congress as well.  Still, it’s sad when this sort of behavior is allowed to hijack the free flow of ideas between representatives and the people who voted (and didn’t vote) for him/her.

That said, even Code Pink found that its annoying techniques were starting to backfire:

“We’ve arrived at a point where it obviously didn’t work,” Code Pink executive committee member Gael Murphy said of Code Pink’s disruptions in Congress. “We didn’t stop the Iraq war funding; we haven’t gotten the Democrats to change policy. We’re feeling our tiaras have lost their glow, and that our predictable attention-getting and disruption has run its course.”

Again, though, Code Pink seems at least partly to blame for its own lack of political support. Benjamin seems to expect congress members to attend Code Pink proceedings, and bring their limelight with them, because she’s morally right. But her demands begged the question — in terms of security, let alone political image — why would Nancy Pelosi support a movement that has been parked outside of her house, denouncing her publicly for two years? Why should the Democrats, for whom Benjamin reserves such special loathing, come over to her side of the iron tutu and do her the favor of legitimizing Code Pink?

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