And this isn’t “Astroturfing”?
posted at 5:35 pm on August 9, 2009 by Ed Morrissey
Jake Tapper reports today at ABC News about the White House using its campaign apparatus to drive ObamaCare advocates to townhall meetings this month. He reprints part of a mass e-mail effort, which we have also reported, by Organizing for America, using the e-mail lists from Barack Obama’s presidential campaign. Tapper draws the line explicitly to Obama and the White House, but inadvertently misses the DNC:
Supporters of President Obama formerly signed up as members of “Obama for America” received an email today from Mitch Stewart, the director of the group’s current incarnation, Organizing for America, to show up at town halls and congressional offices as a counter to the protestors against the president’s health care reform push.
Painting the protestors as “Insurance companies and partisan attack groups…stirring up fear with false rumors about the President’s plan,” Stewart’s email tells supporters whom their member of Congress is and even provides information about town hall meetings they may be holding. …
Democratic National Committee spokesman Brad Woodhouse said “we want OFA supporters – and all Americans – to be part of an informed, intelligent discussion about health insurance reform and the urgency of reigning in unfair insurance industry practices.
Organizing for America is a subsidiary of the Democratic National Committee, and its creation was announced by Barack Obama himself almost seven months ago. It exists to pressure Congress to enact Obama’s agenda. In fact, it has no other purpose at all, except to act as ground support for Barack Obama.
As the GOP spokesperson points out, there’s a heapin’ helping of hypocrisy coming out of the Oval Office these days:
But Brian Walsh of the National Republican Senatorial Committee said, “It’s interesting to see the President’s political machine calling on his supporters to use their Constitutional right to free speech when the White House spent the last week criticizing others for doing the exact same thing. Republicans agree that every American should have the right to voice their opinion in a calm, respectful manner but after the ‘astroturfing’ rhetoric from the Democrats this week, it’s hard to ignore the hypocrisy in this mass email.”
I have no problem with constituents holding their elected representatives responsible for their actions on Capitol Hill. Let the ObamaCare advocates come out and peacefully argue their case, unlike the SEIU’s union thugs in St. Louis last week. However, considering the turnouts OfA got for earlier health-care reform rallies, I somehow doubt they’ll match the intensity of the opposition to this radical legislation.