The activist Left can't stand competition. Last week in Long Island, N.Y., opponents of the Democrats' government health care takeover legislation outnumbered Obama supporters 10 to one. The Tea Party activists toted American flags and signs that read "WE CAN'T AFFORD FREE HEALTH CARE"—prompting one foe to stalk into the peaceful crowd, gesticulate wildly and shout unintelligible threats at the top of his lungs.
The same Democrat Masters of Astroturf who encouraged their followers to use "in-your-face" tactics during the campaign season now balk at vocal opposition from their fiscally conservative neighbors and co-workers. Obama's architects of Kabuki town halls have packed public forums with partisan plants. Now they accuse opponents gathering at impromptu rallies against the massive health care takeover legislation (which no one has read) of orchestrating "manufactured anger."
Unaccustomed to pushback, the wealthy, astroturfed ground troops for Obamacare—underwritten by unions, liberal philanthropists, the AARP, ACORN and your tax dollars—have resorted to projection. As I've reported previously, the single-payer lobby boasts a $40 million budget and a stable of seasoned political operatives based at 1825 K Street in Washington, D.C. Now that cabal is accusing the broad coalition of taxpayer activists, libertarians, independents, talk radio loyalists, bloggers and first-time protesters against socialized medicine of being, yes, wealthy and astroturfed.
In a comical missive issued Tuesday afternoon, Democratic National Committee spokesman Brad Woodhouse complained: "The Republicans and their allied groups—desperate after losing two consecutive elections and every major policy fight on Capitol Hill—are inciting angry mobs of a small number of rabid right-wing extremists funded by K Street Lobbyists to disrupt thoughtful discussions about the future of health care in America taking place in Congressional Districts across the country."
The DNC definition of "thoughtful:" Sitting silent about the lack of transparency, deliberation, truth in numbers and reciprocity on the Obamacare plan. The DNC definition of incitement: Asking out loud, "How can you manage health care when you can't manage Cash for Clunkers?"
White House spokesman Robert Gibbs, apparently oblivious to the dozens of well-dressed and well-heeled former lobbyists and influence peddlers employed by his own boss, derided health care town hall protesters as the "Brooks Brothers brigade." Brooks Brothers was also the president's clothes designer of choice on Inauguration Day. He taunted: "I hope people will take a jaundiced eye to what is clearly the AstroTurf nature of so-called grass-roots lobbying." Meanwhile, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi dispatched a memo obtained by D.C.-based newspaper Human Events assuring Democrats of "close coordination" with faux grass-roots groups "including but not limited to HCAN, Families USA, AFSCME, SEIU, AARP, etc."
But never mind all that.
Some panicked congressional targets of the Tea Party movement have responded by shutting their offices, closing their blinds and shooing pesky constituents off public property. The White House health czar's office is mustering up Internet snitches to report "inaccurate" blog posts and "casual conversations" from health care opponents. And liberal bloggers and cable yakkers are waging their own war on the Tea Party movement by redefining participatory democracy as "thuggery" and "hooliganism."
Talking Points Memo blogger Josh Marshall bemoaned a fiscal conservative activist's memo offering advice on how to "pack the hall … spread out" and challenge a politician early "to rattle him, get him off his prepared script and agenda." Horrors! "This amounts to a sort of civic vigilanteism," Marshall fretted.
No, showing up at a congressional town hall and booing a talking points-programmed political hack isn't "civic vigilantism." Throwing rocks, pouring cement on train tracks, blocking military shipments, smashing windows, hurling paint, slashing tires, vandalizing businesses and throwing shoes are vigilante acts.
That is what the anti-war, anti-free trade, anti-Bush mobsters did over the last eight years—and there wasn't a peep about those brute tactics from Obama's blogging pals.
They sat quietly while Code Pink disrupted hearings on the Hill and harassed Marine recruiters.
They looked the other way when ACORN illegally broke into homes and stormed foreclosure auctions.
They gave their tacit approval to self-declared "bank terrorists" like Boston housing entitlement organizer Bruce Marks, who shows up at the schools of bank executives' children and bullies them because of their parents' employment in the name of social justice.
Now, the taxpayers footing the bill for Obama's redistribution of health and wealth are silent no more—and the unhinged Left is beside itself. The "thoughtful" left-wing response to the Tea Party counterinsurgency can best be summed up by hysterical Hollywood actress Janeane Garafolo, who railed last week: "F**ng redneck d**chebaggery. Unmitigated d**chebaggery."
It's not the town halls that have gone wild. It's the Tea Party-bashers who can't tolerate peaceful, open dissent.
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Michelle Malkin [email her] is the author of Invasion: How America Still Welcomes Terrorists, Criminals, and Other Foreign Menaces to Our Shores. Click here for Peter Brimelow's review. Click here for Michelle Malkin's website. Michelle Malkin is also author of Unhinged: Exposing Liberals Gone Wild and the just-released Culture of Corruption: Obama and his Team of Tax Cheats, Crooks & Cronies.