Report: Violence breaks out at Tampa town hall on health care

posted at 9:19 pm on August 6, 2009 by Allahpundit

The toll: “At least one fistfight” plus “shoving and scuffles.” No word on who started it, how many people were involved, etc, but if the left can turn a memo sent to 10 people by a guy who’s not even a Republican into a nationwide GOP astroturfing conspiracy, surely it can turn some chanting and a fistfight into Kristallnacht. I look forward to MSNBC’s coverage tomorrow.

From what I can tell, it was a protester who got the worst of it. The Teamsters’ handiwork, perchance?

Several of the protestor’s signs bore an image of Obama with his face painted as the Joker, an image that drew protests of racism locally when it appeared on a Web site thought to be associated with the Pinellas Republican party…

One of those involved in a scuffle, Randy Arthur, of Oldsmar said he was injured by those manning the doors and said he would file a police report.

He and his wife, Kathy, were outside the meeting room when organizers tried to close the doors. Randy Arthur and others tried to stop them “and he didn’t give up,” Kathy Arthur said.

Randy Arthur, who owns an air conditioning service company, later talked to police officers, his knit shirt ripped and a few scratches visible on his chest. “They slammed him into the wall,” Kathy Arthur said…

“They’re hiding from their constituents. She works for us and needs to listen,” said Karen Jaroch, a Tampa homemaker and organizer for the 9-12 Project, set up by rightist TV commentator Glenn Beck.

If all they’re going to do is scream, they belong outside. Disrupting the event itself when people are trying to listen is a jackass thing to do, and totally counterproductive in terms of handing the left material with which to tar the GOP. Which reminds me: Since this is bound to be used against Republicans, what exactly is the logic behind the theory that Republicans are organizing it as part of an astroturf campaign? Said the Florida Democratic Party chair after tonight’s fiasco, “Recently, their thoughtful discussions are being interrupted by angry mobs – well funded and organized by Washington special interests – attempting to drown out the voices of the hard-working Floridians who are desperate for health insurance reform.” Well-funded Washington special interests are trying to win the media war … by telling people to get into fistfights? Nuance.


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I always knew the angry white Republican hate mobs would resort to violence instead of trying to peacefully discuss their position. Inevitable, but I hope they keep it up. They are destroying any ground they have made.

dcwvu on August 7, 2009 at 12:36 AM

Hey, how’s la la land working out for you? Never mind. I care little about your delusions.

FloatingRock on August 7, 2009 at 12:54 AM

The people who were shut out of this meeting need to organize a round-the-clock protest vigil at Rep. Castor’s district office, and deliver thousands of letters there every single day, until she agrees to give THEM a private meeting.

rockmom on August 7, 2009 at 12:58 AM

- The auditorium has a capacity of about 250 and that the front rows were packed with 175 ACORN/union people who had been brought in through the back door so few bill opponents were allowed into the building.

Kirin on August 7, 2009 at 12:37 AM

We’ve got to get cameras, at least, on those back doors.

FloatingRock on August 7, 2009 at 12:58 AM

Correct me if I am wrong, but isn’t Obama actually INCITING violence, with his call to arms to his hoodlums and henchmen?
Why didn’t he come out publically to ask democrats to go to their districts and LISTEN to their constituents, and come back to DC with a plan which the citizens want?
Why didn’t Obama instruct democrats publically that they be respectful of the citizens’ concerns?
Instead of pushing a deadline, why did he not push Americans to tell their reps what they want in the reform. Instead he tells his goons to get-in their faces.
For once, instead of acting like a Chicago thug, why didn’t he act like a President??

macncheez on August 7, 2009 at 1:17 AM

I think it would be good to set up “alternative” Town hall meetings with whatever citizens cared to show up. Grass roots stuff. Invite healthcare professionals, the press, discuss healthcare, maybe we could invite prospective Republican challengers to speak…

elduende on August 7, 2009 at 1:18 AM

think it would be good to set up “alternative” Town hall meetings with whatever citizens cared to show up. Grass roots stuff. Invite healthcare professionals, the press, discuss healthcare, maybe we could invite prospective Republican challengers to speak…

elduende on August 7, 2009 at 1:18 AM

Here is another idea.
Publish on-line and distribute flyers in your communities about all the local and other businesses/businessmen
who have financially or otherwise supported your local weasels/weaselettes, and boycott them.

macncheez on August 7, 2009 at 1:40 AM

macncheez on August 7, 2009 at 1:40 AM

That’s a great idea.

elduende on August 7, 2009 at 1:59 AM

I always knew the angry white Republican hate mobs would resort to violence instead of trying to peacefully discuss their position. Inevitable, but I hope they keep it up. They are destroying any ground they have made.

dcwvu on August 7, 2009 at 12:36 AM

There’s no discussion forthcoming-only Dumocrat talking points in response to valid questions…nothing is being answered, nothing is being discussed.

These are everyday people who work, raise families, budget their incomes…they don’t sit around expecting hand outs, they don’t wallow in self-pity or blame others for their problems. They have real jobs and real responsibilities. They don’t do “community organizing” or networking with politicos to get ahead.

They aren’t going to sit back and be screwed over with a stupid ideology-based crock of $hit concocted by detached Leftists.

You guys are awakening a sleeping giant.

Dr. ZhivBlago on August 7, 2009 at 2:58 AM

You guys are awakening a sleeping giant.

Dr. ZhivBlago on August 7, 2009 at 2:58 AM

Yes, we evil lefties wanting everyone to have affordable healthcare. How evil. Unfortunately for you, healthcare reform is going to pass. Your giant is impotent.

dcwvu on August 7, 2009 at 3:11 AM

Yes, we evil lefties wanting everyone to have affordable healthcare. How evil. Unfortunately for you, healthcare reform is going to pass. Your giant is impotent.

dcwvu on August 7, 2009 at 3:11 AM

“The road to hell is paved with good intentions.”

“The ends does not justify the means.”

That last one is, I think, the biggest difference between leftists and conservatives. Most leftists that I have known think that, as long as they achieve their “lofty” goals, that the ends does justify whatever means is necessary. However, their goals are never achieved because they are impossible to attain. Ask Mao, ask Stalin, ask Che, ask Kim, ask Hitler. They literally destroyed the lives of millions in their pursuit of “lofty” goals and they all failed. Socialism doesn’t work. It has failed everywhere it has been tried. Why in the world would you want it to be tried here (where it will fail yet again, but it will destroy many, many lives and our economy with it)? Why?

Theophile on August 7, 2009 at 4:16 AM

Funny how there was no violence until Obama sicked his union thugs on the town halls. The same union thugs who invaded Republican headquaters, tore up little girls signs and caused all sorts of violence in the 2004 election.

American Elephant on August 7, 2009 at 6:09 AM

Yes, we evil lefties wanting everyone to have affordable healthcare.

No, you evil lefty lazy ass good for nothing welfare recipient mooches wanting to steal your healthcare from your neighbor so you dont have to work to pay for it.

American Elephant on August 7, 2009 at 6:10 AM

Quote: “Yes, we evil lefties wanting everyone to have affordable healthcare. How evil. Unfortunately for you, healthcare reform is going to pass. Your giant is impotent.”

Impotent? Pass this and you have Civil War 2. Count on it. Who’s the military gonna back? The constitution? Or moonbat scum like you?

To help you with that – Impotent is how you will feel when king Barry Hussain get’s a one-way plane ticket to Costa Rica courtesy of the department of defense.

Keep pushing moonbat. I am nearly to the point where I welcome what your side is pushing this nation towards.

The Ronin Edge on August 7, 2009 at 4:11 AM

+2 (Mr. Glock wishes to add his +1 as well. He is quite the force multiplier)

bill30097 on August 7, 2009 at 6:31 AM

Town Hall kabuki theater check list
Open Saul Alinski playbook – check
Demonize and isolate opponents – check
Call protestors well-dressed “mob”-check
Stage event at a locations too small to handle crowds-check
Bus in union supporters who happen to be able to get into meeting-check
Talk down to opponents with platitudes rather than proposals-check
Leave meeting in indignant huff-check
Sit back and watch what happens-check
Shock and awe that violence occurs-check
Cry “Can’t we all just get along”-check
Obama’s beer-wagon rolls in for a teachable moment-priceless

sh221b on August 7, 2009 at 6:57 AM

Maybe, just maybe, enough is enough…
Many of these people work, they have other responsibilities, this may be the first time they have ever gotten involved, forced into it by a ridicolous scheme to take rob their life savings.
They don’t have time to be “patient”, they need to act, act now, and get back to their lives.
They can’t spend days upon days, debating.
They want their frustration to be heard, heard now, heard loud and strong…then they want to go back to their lives.
Professional bureaucrats do not understand that…

right2bright on August 7, 2009 at 7:08 AM

This poor sick Republic is quickly coming apart at the seams and the brain dead, left wing mainstream media is covering its eyes and ears hoping for a Obama epiphany.

rplat on August 7, 2009 at 7:26 AM

dcwvu:

Oh yeah. Angry mobs. You bet. Meanwhile your dear leader is sending in union thugs to engage with people. If he had screwed this whole thing up so much none of this would be happening.

Terrye on August 7, 2009 at 7:28 AM

AP-Disrupting the event itself when people are trying to listen is a jackass thing to do, and totally counterproductive in terms of handing the left material with which to tar the GOP.

Since most of these ‘events’ have just been ‘listening events’ where 1) the Rep is either not answering any questions or 2) the Rep is not there or 3) the Rep is spouting the same nonsense that he was spewing while he was in the safe haven of Washington, why should anyone listen to the ‘thoughtful discussion’. Especially now, since the Prez has put out the call to arms for all the union thugs to 1) pack the events 2) get in everyone’s face who disagrees 3) telling those people to bring on the violence.

Obama and the Dems have declared WAR on the American people with their insane policies and rhetoric – it is time to fight back!

Sporty1946 on August 7, 2009 at 7:37 AM

Honestly I didn’t see much violence just shouting. The anger is the result of the Administration and Congress not allowing DEBATE. Those that oppose this bill need to be heard. They have valid questions, but some are so angry they cannot contain themselves. I would admit their approach is wrong, but when you have BO saying to “punch back hard” any opposition…what do you think will happen?

BO = the great divider.

jbh45 on August 7, 2009 at 7:46 AM

Yes, we evil lefties wanting everyone to have affordable healthcare.

No, you evil lefty lazy ass good for nothing welfare recipient mooches wanting to steal your healthcare from your neighbor so you dont have to work to pay for it.

American Elephant on August 7, 2009 at 6:10 AM

<—standing, applauding…A…freaking MEN!

Jeff from WI on August 7, 2009 at 7:52 AM

Here is another idea.
Publish on-line and distribute flyers in your communities about all the local and other businesses/businessmen
who have financially or otherwise supported your local weasels/weaselettes, and boycott them.

macncheez on August 7, 2009 at 1:40 AM

Right on dude! I’m sick of businessmen too. What do they contirbute to this county anyway? F..k ‘em. Greedy bastar..ds, making you do stuff you don’t like just to get paid. If I had a job I’d hate it and my boss. This county would be a lot better off if there were no businessmen. Right?

Things have been a real bitch since mom and dad kicked me out. Probably for you too, right? Having to work to get stuff sucks. Freedom sucks.

Government needs to take care of us. People have a right to free healthcare, and … and … free houses, and food, and a car, and cell phone, and, and, anything I want! Government needs to take care of me us!

Like I said, freedom sucks. Chant with me!

MORE GOVERNMENT, LESS FREEDOM! MORE GOVERNMENT, LESS FREEDOM! MORE GOVERNMENT, LESS FREEDOM!

Rod on August 7, 2009 at 7:59 AM

Yes, we evil lefties wanting everyone to have affordable healthcare.

dcwvu on August 7, 2009 at 3:11 AM

You also want everyone to think your intellectually lazy demagoguery is reason enough to destroy our healthcare system and relinquish our liberty.

RadClown on August 7, 2009 at 8:03 AM

you seem to be mocking civil protest there
blatantblue on August 6, 2009 at 10:58 PM

As a great American once said, there you go again. Twisting and making stuff up as you go. If you can’t defend your position honestly, just walk away. Don’t twist things around like liberals like bradky. Don’t try to put your words in other peoples mouths. It was very clear I was mocking allahs position, his exagerration of the actions of concerned, older Americans and his suggestion we don’t push back. Those 1500 people stand there quietly and obediently and step aside to let the union thugs in and what do you think will be shown on tv? The local stations will show the inside of the building only with the representative conducting a successful townhall meeting filled with lots of people supporting the health care bill.

peacenprosperity on August 7, 2009 at 8:03 AM

MORE GOVERNMENT, LESS FREEDOM!

Rod on August 7, 2009 at 7:59 AM

hahahahaha, I love the sarcasm!

jbh45 on August 7, 2009 at 8:09 AM

As far as Im concerned this is the president’s fault. 175 Acorn snuck in the back door? wtf

freakin Geraldo of course was just on siding with the thugs. I cant stand him.

becki51758 on August 7, 2009 at 8:19 AM

People are angry with the Democrat controlled government. People are angry with Washington’s rush to Socialism. People are angry at the threat to their freedom.

Their anger is not being driven by lobbyists or insurance companies or the mostly useless GOP.

The politicians, left and right, can ignore this at their peril.

Stephen Macklin on August 7, 2009 at 8:22 AM

I was able to get in the meeting as I got there early. By the time they started letting us in – the seats were already half taken spread across the entire room. It was obvious that they had let those favorable to gov’t healthcare in early and they had proceeded to spread themselves throughout the room and then “saved” seats for others. Therefore, about the only seats left for us “opponents” were in the back and standing alongside the wall. I had a small sign but they did not allow any signs in the meeting room. I had my folder of flyers though so when I got in I wrote on the outside of my folder “No Gov’t Healthcare” and held it up the entire time I was there. Opponents still outnumbered those favorable I believe inside the meeting room by perhaps 60-40. The SEIU and HCAN had flyers already in the lobby area and in the meeting room and I proceeded to put my 400 copies of flyers I made on top of all of theirs. Kathy Castor proceeded to “lecture” us how we all must have healthcare insurance and that those with insurance thru their employer, VA or Medicare must pay for those who were “irresponsible” for not having healthcare. She then proceeded to rip the insurance companies ala Nancy Pelosi as the “villains” for most of the problems. Not once did she talk about what was in the House bill, how it was going to be paid for, any specifics of the House bill and of course never fielded questions. Yet this Town Hall was to educate “us” on Healthcare Reform. After Castor spoke, they had several folks they stated were healthcare “experts” . The first “expert” proceeded to start telling a story painting the insurance companies again as the villain and I decided it was time to leave and join those outside protesting Obamacare.

This picture was a click on Drudge this morning – I’m the one with the manila folder.
http://www.tampabay.com/specials/2009/photo_galleries/TownHall/

From our organizer.

Key West Reader on August 7, 2009 at 8:23 AM

People trying to listen inside?
You’re joking, right?

People are SCREAMING outside because NO REPRESENTATIVES ARE LISTENING to the People!!!
It’s only going to get worse. The more arrogant they are, the more angry the people will get.
It’s human nature.
This can’t end well.

bridgetown on August 7, 2009 at 8:25 AM

This can’t end well.

bridgetown on August 7, 2009 at 8:25 AM

Next step: Obama activates his Civilian brigades. You know, the force that needs to be just as big and as well funded as our military?

Key West Reader on August 7, 2009 at 8:26 AM

Key West Reader on August 7, 2009 at 8:23 AM

THANK YOU For this. Doing the job reporters can’t bring themselves to do!

bridgetown on August 7, 2009 at 8:26 AM

The only way for conservatives to deal with this is to get plum mad dog mean. I get sick of people like Glenn Beck saying we should follow the ideals of Gandhi and Martin Luther King. What happened to Gandhi and King?

Percy_Peabody on August 7, 2009 at 9:05 AM

Democrat scum politicians should be damn glad people are only yelling at them.

Since every corrupt and incompetent Democrat fully deserves to be dragged by their heels out of those meetings and to be horse-whipped, before being tarred, feathered and ridden out of town on a rail.

“Thoughtful discussion?” With people whose every single last word is a lie?

If they push this idiotic “reform” through, it’s the end. We will never, ever, get rid of it.

NoDonkey on August 7, 2009 at 9:36 AM

There was more people outside than inside. This politicians career is over, I don’t care how she packs the house!

Bicyea on August 7, 2009 at 9:45 AM

Question –

I keep hearing over and over again, in print, media and in personal conversations “We don’t even have a bill yet.” Anyone else? This is starting to be repeated so often, it’s beginning to seem like a memorized talking point.

Yes, we don’t have a bill yet, but the House has a resolution that should come with a Surgeon General’s Warning.

Maybe if the President has actually proffered a plan of his own instead of letting the special interests hand it off to Congress, we’d have an actual bill. But so far all we have is HR 3200 – and that is enough to scare the you-know-what out of most of us. Any advice on a comeback to this? Does it have to be a bill to be bad?

gopmom on August 7, 2009 at 9:51 AM

The HuffPo has a thread where they are blaming Beck & FOX for the violence. The are whipping themselves into a liberal frenzy over there, already 15,340 comment with 396 pending, mine is one of them.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/08/06/tampa-town-hall-on-health_n_253478.html

Jason58 on August 7, 2009 at 9:57 AM

I definitely agree. The protesters belong outside, and the disruptions look very bad. But I’m surprised to see the same thing I posted here in an article. Wonders never cease. *haha

AnninCA on August 7, 2009 at 10:02 AM

You people are nuts who think that people have to sit through lies with their mouths shut and their hands crossed. They are not going to be allowed to ask questions and if by some miracle one does, they will just tell more lies.

Blake on August 7, 2009 at 10:20 AM

gopmom on August 7, 2009 at 9:51 AM

Of course, there is a bill. They just haven’t been able to ram it through because of the protests. “We don’t have a bill yet” is the meme meant to get people to back off, kill the momentum, so they can ram this crapola on the American people, the majority, who don’t want it.

Shorter comeback: Go sell your b.s. elsewhere.

Blake on August 7, 2009 at 10:26 AM

dcwvu on August 7, 2009 at 3:11 AM

You’re full of crap. “Affordable health care” is just a trojen horse for taking health care control away from individual citizens and putting the control in the hands of leftist bureaucrats. YOU WILL NOT STEAL MY LIBERTY.

BottomLine5 on August 7, 2009 at 10:39 AM

Kathy Castor proceeded to “lecture” us how we all must have healthcare insurance and that those with insurance thru their employer, VA or Medicare must pay for those who were “irresponsible” for not having healthcare.

So, we have to pay for those who can afford it but chose not to buy it, illegal aliens, and those who you call irresponsible, which I agree with. I’m tired of hearing from people who decided to go into basketweaving and can not afford insurance, etc.

Blake on August 7, 2009 at 10:56 AM

I just saw the video on Drudge of the Tampa meeting. The Union folks were very careful to video the people who were also video recording. It was pretty menacing. I must add that those were some BIG guys. Was it a the Bouncer Union?

Cindy Munford on August 7, 2009 at 10:56 AM

Yes, we evil lefties wanting everyone to have affordable healthcare.

Doubtful. If so, you’d be first in line to advocate more freedom in health care-related businesses. It’s government involvement since WWII that has made insurance, medical care, and all the rest, so relatively expensive.

I don’t currently have any insurance, and can’t afford to see a physician, which I need to do. Therefore, I advocate more freedom to bring the cost down to a level I can afford. I know that more government involvement will result in higher real costs and/or rationing.

More important than the cost, though, is the value of freedom. Individuals working in insurance and health care service professions are individuals with rights, in particular the right to voluntary trade. I, too, have that same right, the right to trade with those who want to offer services and products, without interference from the Federal government.

No one – and no government – has the right to initiate coercion against another to mandate they do business at a certain price or in a certain way (except to ensure that no individual initiates coercion himself in the process).

JDPerren on August 7, 2009 at 11:09 AM

I love how the woman is protecting her husband with the heart conditions.

Truth: Her husband was getting into the other guy’s face. Her husband is an ambulance chaser. And she is in fact trying to kill her husband because otherwise, she would make him lose a 100 lbs.

Blake on August 7, 2009 at 11:13 AM

allahpundit:Which reminds me: Since this is bound to be used against Republicans, what exactly is the logic behind the theory that Republicans are organizing it as part of an astroturf campaign?

Why don’t we stop worrying about what the left and MSM think about us or “use against us”? They are going to do that anyways. The more restrained our protests are the more room for them to fabricate negative stories and skew facts.

I say we make our anti-socialist campaigns truly organized and disruptive to the point of throwing the Obamanauts into perpetual confusion. Why give them room to “calibrate” and spin? I think the more we make our point in a highly visable way, the more our message will get across even if the MSM and Obama’s department of propaganda spin it in a negative light. It’s actually much better than speaking from a dispassionate position.

I am sick and tired of people who say that if you debate and you disagree with this administration, somehow you’re not patriotic, and we should stand up and say, “WE ARE AMERICANS AND WE HAVE A RIGHT TO DEBATE AND DISAGREE WITH ANY ADMINISTRATION!” ~Hillary Clinton (said in a loud, shrill voice)

Goodeye_Closed on August 7, 2009 at 12:00 PM

always knew the angry white Republican hate mobs would resort to violence
dcwvu on August 7, 2009 at 12:36 AM

I always knew the left were rascist, statist, class dividers,and fascist dictators who would rather destroy a whole nation in order to enslave their favored class too ignorant to know any better than promote REAL change.

Nothing has changed with the far left except that they have succeeded in scaring more people into believing we need to become communists in order to save the nation.

Goodeye_Closed on August 7, 2009 at 12:16 PM

By the Left;s own standards, these Congress People and the President himself are personally responsible for the violence they encouraged.

TheBigOldDog on August 7, 2009 at 12:40 PM

I always knew the angry white Republican hate mobs would resort to violence instead of trying to peacefully discuss their position. Inevitable, but I hope they keep it up. They are destroying any ground they have made.

dcwvu on August 7, 2009 at 12:36 AM

So noose hanging effigies of Bush aren’t violent? Black Panthers standing outside of voting locations with clubs, isn’t violent? Nothing people opposing this legislation have done, constitutes violence. Yelling is not violent. It’s not always productive, but it’s not violence. IF it were, sporting events would be very, very quiet.

Union members attacking a man, who has stage 4 cancer, and was there, to voice his concerns over this…is violence. Now whom do you suppose these particular union members were supporting?

A President calling out his supporters, to put a stop to this honest dissent, is WRONG, no matter how you try to spin it. The mere fact that you support these kinds of tactics from the President, when you would have cried foul in a very large way, had Bush pulled this crap, speaks volumes about your character, and you, as a person.

capejasmine on August 7, 2009 at 1:53 PM

straight out of the union playbook. these people will play dirty, shoot, spray paint your car, prank call and create riots. No wonder people are arming themselves in this country. This is a very scary time in america.

workingforpigs on August 7, 2009 at 2:00 PM

The Unions are going to become the equivalent of Hitler’s Brown Shirts who terrorized political opponents on the streets, which discouraged political competition.

TrickyDick on August 7, 2009 at 2:02 PM

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