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August 06, 2009

Tele-Turfing: Democrats, Fearing Contact with Genuine Americans, Turn to "Tele-Town-Halls," Where It's Invitation-Only and They Control the Attendees and Their Questions

Oh, damn, the Media Bubble isn't protecting us from reality.

Let's make a stronger, more durable bubble for ourselves.

Members of Congress are increasingly turning to virtual townhall meetings--conducted by telephone--in an effort to reach more constituents while avoiding the potential that informational meetings might be disrupted by angry and persistent questioners or protesters.

One advantage to these telephone townhalls, whether any particular member of Congress actually has this intention, is that the Member of Congress can control the audience and the questioning.

As lawmakers head home for the August recess to meet with constituents, the contentious health care issue awaits them, and many are opting to conduct their townhall meetings over a telephone line rather than in an actual hall where their constituents can see them, speak directly to them, ask repeated followup questions--and shout unsolicited commentary from the back of the room.

Rep. Diana DeGette (D-Colo.) is using a tele-town hall meeting in her only scheduled interaction with constituents, and various other lawmakers from both parties have held the live mass teleconferences lately, focusing largely on health care.

Rep. Walt Minnick (D-Idaho), whose district encompasses nearly one-third of the large western state, held a tele-town hall meeting with reporters and constituents July 24, saying it provides him with immediate feedback while in Washington.

“These ‘virtual’ town hall meetings have been a very useful way to get immediate feedback from my constituents when my work as a Congressman keeps me from being home in Idaho,” Minnick said in a statement announcing the event.

That's fine if you don't mind being a "virtual" Congressman come January 2011.

Remember, all of this hostility to ObamaCare is fake and astroturfed, but for some reason Congressmen need to hide themselves from constituents.

Thanks to momma.

Really an Update to the Last Post But No One Reads Updates to Older Posts: A reader at Instapundit asks,

Glenn, isn’t the attached Politico story, discussing how President Obama is asking all of his supporters via email to support his healthcare bill and respond to attacks upon it, an example of the dreaded phenomenon of “Astroturfing?” Doesn’t this mean that all support for Obamacare is now the product of a top-down mandate for activism? And doesn’t that delegitimize any support for health care “reform?”

Or, instead, is it legitimate, nay inspiring, when Democratic bigwigs organize support for liberal policy objectives, but illegitimate, even sickening, when Republican bigwigs organize opposition to such objectives?

Also found at Instapundit, but appearing on Hot Air.

Earlier, a video of Barbara Boxer dismissed protesters at town-hall meetings as obvious fakes because, as Boxer explained, they’re too well-dressed to be sincerely angry about health care. The College Politico has an answer in this clip from Steny Hoyer’s attempt to pontificate to a hostile and casually-attired crowd. The older voters in this row wear shorts, t-shirts, and apparently Democratic Party registration cards...

Although that's true, and a good point, I am a little concerned about buying into their assumptions.

We are quick -- all of us, not just Ed or anything -- to respond to claims that "oh these are Republicans protesting" by saying "No, there are a lot of Democrats against this."

That's true... but the assumption contained herein is that Republican opposition is somehow illegitimate and "doesn't count," and it only matters when Democrats oppose.

The facts should be offered, always -- there are a lot of Democrats against this, including Democratic Congressmen, who have the votes to push it through on party lines but refuse to do so -- but we should always also point out the fundamental anti-american assumption in the liberals' constant refrain that "only members of the state-sanctioned party count."

The Check Is In the Mail: Andrew's Dad attempted to get on the list of one of these, after his "representative" announced the town hall and the sign up on the same day.

So far he hasn't scheduled another one.

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posted by Ace at 11:30 AM

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