Wednesday, August 5, 2009

After the "birthers" come the tantrum throwers



Much like the child in the condom ad, the Party of No has embarked on a new strategy to obstruct health care reform--having mobs throw temper tantrums at public meetings where reforms are being discussed.

Some choice bits of the strategy:
The objective is to put the Rep on the defensive with your questions and follow-up.

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.

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 down. Look for these opportunities before he even takes questions.
Of course, the tantrum throwers themselves expect to be treated courteously.
When called on, ask a specific prepared question that puts the onus on him to answer. It can be a long question including lots of statistics/facts. You will not be interrupted from reading a solid question.
How does this strategy play in practice? Rep. Lloyd Doggett got a taste of it inside and after a recent town hall meeting.



As did Sen. Arlen Specter and Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius...



The Party of No has a right to express its views; however, it does not have a right to shut down (or more to the point, shout down) all dialog. If the Party of No continues with its tantrums, the public will soon see it in the same light as the child in the condom ad.

13 comments:

jhs said...

Dave: Maybe you should revisit Alinsky's Rules for Radicals.

Conservatives can read you know.

jhs said...

Specifically rule 12 and 6. They must be employed before rule 7 comes into play.

Dave Ribar said...

Jeff:

Thanks for being so upfront and acknowledging that you and others on the right have left "conservatism" behind and instead moved on to being "radicals."

jhs said...

Dave: Any entity that doesn't change with the zeitgeist is doomed.

We tried judicial restraint for most of the 20th Century until we discovered we had been encircled by judicial activism.

After letting neo-cons take over the movement and allowing Bush to make a mockery of the very idea of conservatism, I guess our activists are ready to get a move on.

I don't mind you labeling them as radicals, especially since your preferred party has moved to national socialism.

On a more serious note, here is something I wrote this morning that is related to your post.

http://conservativenc.com/index.php/national/1200

Dave Ribar said...

Wow, Jeff, labeling Democrats as Nazis. That's low even by your rapidly diminishing standards. Like so much of the right, name-calling is all you can offer.

Bubba said...

"Much like the child in the condom ad, the Party of No has embarked on a new strategy to obstruct health care reform--having mobs throw temper tantrums at public meetings where reforms are being discussed.

Oh, those poor oppressed Dems!

Imagine having to deal with a dose of the tactics that their "progressive" affinity group friends have used for years at forums across the country where and when conservatives speak.!

Such as this:

The censors have only grown in power, elevating antidiscrimination rules above 'absolutist' free-speech principles, silencing dissent with antiharassment policies, and looking away when students bar or disrupt conservative speakers or steal conservative newspapers. Operating under the tacit principle that 'error has no rights,' an ancient Catholic theological rule, the new censors aren’t interested in debates or open forums. They want to shut up dissenters.

In October, for instance, a student mob stormed a Columbia University stage, shutting down speeches by two members of the Minutemen, an anti-illegal-immigration group. The students shouted: 'They have no right to speak!' Campus opponents of Congressman Tom Tancredo, an illegal-immigration foe, set off fire alarms at Georgetown to disrupt his planned speech, and their counterparts at Michigan State roughed up his student backers. Conservative activist David Horowitz, black conservative columnist Star Parker, and Daniel Pipes, an outspoken critic of Islamism, frequently find themselves shouted down or disrupted on campus."


I seem to remember incidents like this at your very own UNCG, particularly during certain public Young Repubublican events.

Did you express your righteous indignation then?

Or do you just use it selectively to support a favored particular political, social, or economic agenda item talking point?

Spag said...

Dave, the Democratic pushback is a tactic just like the one you oppose.

The goal is to discredit a whole movement by identifying it with some on the fringe or some other group that can be isolated.

Unfortunately, polls show that roughly half of Americans don't like the Obama plan and I doubt they are "radicals" or paid for by the insurance lobby.

I suppose the next tactic will be labeling those who oppose Obama's health care plan (written by Congress, but why let that little detail get in the way of a perfectly good political tactic) as racists.

jhs said...

Dave: I regret that you see it that way. Of course my view is that your party is drifting toward nationalization of aspects of the economy and expanding social entitlement programs.

Republicans in North Carolina and in Washington have offered ideas, and some even work together with Democrats on good ideas.

Bad ideas like health care reform in its current shape should be resisted and accurately described.

And can somebody explain to me why Democrats are getting so bent out of shape with my word choice? Comparing conservatives to Nazi's has been a right of passage for many young Democrats.

I don't even bring those people up. I just use two words to describe the stated purpose of specific pieces of legislation currently in Congress.

Republicans have laid out alternative policy proposals. You know as well as I do that they don't control committees anymore and so their legislation never gets heard.

Dave Ribar said...

Bob:

You wrote that you "seem to remember incidents like this at your very own UNCG, particularly during certain public Young Repubublican events.

Did you express your righteous indignation then?

Or do you just use it selectively to support a favored particular political, social, or economic agenda item talking point?
"

I don't recall any incidents along these lines during the three years that I have been at UNCG or during the two years that the blog has been running.

I guess that my "selective" indignation includes this post.

Dave Ribar said...

Sam:

As the post indicated, the Republicans have an absolute right to express their views. I didn't think that I needed to write that the Democrats also have that right.

Sending out press releases, making ads, etc., are a different form of expression and a different set of tactics than disrupting meetings.

The movement will be judged by the tactics that it tolerates or tacitly (or explicitly) encourages. Republicans lost credibility with most voters through their encouragement of the "birthers." They will also lose credibility from these tactics.

Dave Ribar said...

Jeff:

This isn't an advice column, but my advice to you is to take responsibility for your own words. You wrote that the Democratic Party "has moved to national socialism." Anyone with a background in European history would understand exactly what those words mean when they are put together, so the parsings of the individual words doesn't cut it as an explanation.

Also, don't pin your use of the term on others. You chose the words.

You call Democrats Nazis and then moan that Democrats won't listen to your party's ideas. Name-calling is seldom successful as a strategy, yet you persist.

Spag said...

Dave, you are doing exactly what I described- aligning mainstream opposition with extremists.

The whole "birther" linkage is proof enough. They represent a clear minority, yet you want to tar the entire GOP by linking them with the fringe. That's a fine political strategy, but let's make sure we are being honest and admit that's what it is- a strategy.

I don't approve of shout outs at town halls, but again to claim that the anger is all manufactured is just another strategy to try and discredit the entire opposition.

Dave Ribar said...

Sam:

The "mainstream" aligned itself. The Republican enablers of the "birther" movement include 11 Representatives who sponsored or co-sponsored H.R. 1503. They include Sen. Inhofe, who said that the birthers "have a point" and that he doesn't discourage them. They also include the de facto spokesperson for the Republican Party, Rush Limbaugh. Moreover, the Republican Party has done very little (until they felt the blow back) to distance itself from this movement. For instance, the head of the party, Michael Steele, didn't speak out until the end of July (and the best that he could come up with was that he "believed" that the President was a citizen and that the questions about the birth certificate were an "unnecessary distraction"--hardly a condemnation).

BTW, I guess you consider this birther to be one of those extremists.