Tuesday, August 4, 2009

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

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

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.”

Read the rest here.

And to be sure, these astroturfers, along with a few legit wingers, are following the playbook. [Teabaggers Try To Shout Down Health Care Reform At Town Halls | TPMDC] Congress folks have been shouted down, had chanting mobs follow them to their cars, and been forced to cancel town hall meetings or call security in locations all across the US. And our fellow citizens on the right are gloating about "shouting down" and "heckling" their representatives, besides, when they should be ashamed of such disrespectful behavior. They're largely a self-interested, corporate controlled mob, and they're getting ugly.

Updates as I find 'em:
More examples and folks proud of the hooliganism:
American Power: Dogging Lloyd Doggett: 'Just Say No"; to Obamacare!
Gateway Pundit: Lib "Blue Dog' Rep. Steve Driehaus (D-OH) Booed, Mocked & Laughed At During Town Hall (Video)
Delegitimizing Obama by any means at hand - docweaselblog

More folks saying astroturfing & acting like an unruly mob is no way for American citizens to treat each other:
Rachel Maddow on GOP Thugishness at Town Halls: This is Called Hooliganism | Video Cafe
The danger in the right's anger - Ben Smith - POLITICO.com
Is Obama’s Vaunted Political Operation Getting Outworked By Tea-Baggers? | The Plum Line


TRUTH 101 said...

I'm a self admitted political hack Repsac. I also agree with the late Mayor Daley who said "If they don't like it, they can kiss my ass."

What the fools schilling for the anti health care lobby don't get is there is nothing in it for them. They can get a bunch of idiots together and have them convinced no health insurance is better for them. This hows their stupidity. Then to firther prove how ignorant they are, for a lunch of hot dogs, chips and kool-aid at a local park, these fools go to a serious health care symposium and shout down the very people who are working to make their lives better.

The rich and powerful don't do the dirty work. They get deluded fools that think they will get something for being deluded followers. In the end, the little guy once again gets the shaft. And in the case of the chumps that are raisnig hell at town hall meetings, it is they themselves that are pushing the shaft deeper and deeper into their own asses.

repsac3 said...

I don't know... Sometimes acting like an asshole works, I guess, and sometimes it backfires. Given the thuggishness of these folks, I'm betting on the latter.

TRUTH 101 said...

My premise is that these jokers think they're going to be rewarded by those that sent them. They're not. In the end, the joke will be on the chump carrying the sign that says socialist or some bull sh!t like that. This guy/gal is probably some working stiff that got an earful of propaganda from the boss and decided to show him what a good, America loving employee he is. This same idiot voted against union representation. When his employer shuts off the health insurance, and we have a good blogger friend who's husband went through this so I'm not making this shit up, he will wonder why the boss is being such an asshole after all he did.

Patrick M said...

Ah, Bob MacGuffie. Heard about him. Even checked out his sites on Facebook (108 members) and Twitter (45 followers). And that was after being mentioned on talk radio today (prior quoted numbers were 23 members, 5 followers). It's entertaining, but if this is the best the Left can come up with as an "enemy" of government health care, they're desperate.

But stick to the talking points no matter how ginned up it may be.

Also, as I'm one of these people attacking health care "reform", could you let the White House know? flag@whitehouse.gov

repsac3 said...

I'm not so dumb as to think ol' Bob MacGuffie is working all by himself in this... ...and neither are you, Patrick.

When the same behaviors "spontaneously" break out in town halls across the country--behaviors that don't generally break out at town hall meetings--there's a reason. When so many con bloggers are posting these videos and gloating, there's a reason.

No, perhaps Bob there isn't the ringleader, or even a major player, but his memo--and more importantly, the behavior we're seeing at these town halls--is still more than a little troubling.

And before anyone responds about my stifling dissent; shit no, I love dissent. But one can dissent without turning the meetings into shoutfests, and making it impossible to continue. One can dissent with respect for the elected reps on stage (as people, anyway) and for one's fellow citizens. Everyone has the right to hear and be heard, even the folks who disagree with you.

No one has the right to stop the speaker from speaking until the clock runs out, or otherwise make it impossible for others to ask their questions/make their statements--for or against--and hear the response, too. No one should be hounded by a mob all the way to their car.

Bob's memo isn't the smoking gun; the carbon copy behavior tells the real tale.

As far as reporting you, it depends... Are you attacking it with truth, or are you just makin' shit up, like the forced termination of old folks that is voluntary living will counseling? (There's certainly legitimate gripes one can have about the bills, but forced sex-changes are not among them, y'know...)

If the story's fantastical enough, I'll be glad to "rat you out." (so that the stupidest falsehoods--& the media folks & other "experts" pushing 'em, I hope-can be exposed for the dumb shit they are...)