Video: C-SPAN caller blasts media; Update: New Astroturfing signs for Obamabots

posted at 11:30 am on August 9, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

I’d say this explains the eruption of anger at town-hall meetings fairly clearly. “Leah” from New Hampshire says she “just wants to clarify a few things about these manufactured angered crowds,” but instead delivers a manifesto that explains the rise of the Tea Party movement in general. Politico reporter Manu Raju and C-SPAN’s Washington Journal host Rob Harrell get an earful and an education:

The anger comes from the blatant disregard of even the pretense of legitimate governance. Elected representatives from Congress openly admit they’re not reading the bills, while leadership in both chambers try to ram through complicated bills without giving anyone a real chance to learn what they say and what they do. It doesn’t help that the bills in question — health care reform and cap-and-trade — are both elitist policies that essentially puts Washington in charge of decisions that people should make on their own. Put all that together, and the only surprise should be that the anger took this long to develop.

Besides, the GOP isn’t the outfit sending out these missives:

I wanted to send you an urgent invitation to an important town hall with Rep. Hank Johnson on Monday evening (August 10th). He’ll be talking to constituents and gathering feedback — this is an ideal opportunity to make sure your support for health insurance reform is seen and heard at exactly the right time.

Our congressional representatives are back home this month, and they’re facing more and more pressure from special interests on health insurance reform. It’s critical that we get out there and show them where we stand.

I hope you can join us.

What: Health Care Town Hall with
Rep. Hank Johnson

Where: Georgia Perimeter College
555 North Indian Creek Drive
Clarkston, GA 30021

When: Monday, August 10th
7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.

RSVP

Our representatives are under attack by Washington insiders, insurance companies, and well-financed special interests who don’t go a day without spreading lies and stirring up fear. We need to show that we’re sick and tired of it, and that we’re ready for real change, this year.

Please try to arrive early to the town hall, and make sure that the most powerful voices in this debate are those calling for real reform, not angrily clamoring for the status quo.

RSVP here:

http://ga.barackobama.com/ClarkstonTH

Thanks,

Lee

Lee Goodall
Georgia State Director
Organizing for America

P.S. — Before the event, please print off a flyer to display and make sure that your support is visible.

This is the flyer, which is the same as the one OfA — a DNC-run organization — sent out earlier this week (h/t Geoff A):

Update: Geoff RSVP’d for the meeting, and got a new Astroturf sign to bring:

This is the new message, of course — that ObamaCare is nothing more than “health insurance reform,” a rebranding made necessary by the eruption of opposition to ObamaCare.  Now the Democrats want to demonize the health insurers, and this is just the latest transparent attempt.  This is blatant Astroturfing.


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LMFAO! Now the ‘beaters’ are mad because Health Insurance Reform advocates have ::gasp:: SIGNS!!!!

OMG!!! They can print their own sign from the internet! Well if that’s not PROOF of a conspiracy of purple shirted commies forcing you to choose free health care or staying with your current plan then I don’t know what is!

Mr Purple on August 9, 2009 at 5:24 PM

I just think it’s ironic that the little notices at the bottom of the healthcare.barackobama.com signs look like the warnings they put on cigarette packages telling you how hazardous it is to your health.

jon1979 on August 9, 2009 at 5:32 PM

Mr Purple on August 9, 2009 at 5:24 PM

Yeah … that’s pretty crazy. Think much?

darwin on August 9, 2009 at 5:39 PM

Providing signs and other materials to people on your email list or encouraging them to attend events is NOT astroturfing. Theoretically, these people already agree with Obama and have voluntarily given their addresses (plus, there’s probably a link to unsubscribe at the bottom of each email). Astroturfing is the practice of paying people who don’t really care about a given issue to pretend like they do, either by attending and/or disrupting events, writing comments on blogs, writing phony blogs themselves, or any number of other practices. The two are quite different. The examples that you give in this post really aren’t astroturfing. They’re just examples of encouraging supporters to attend an event and to print out similar signs so that they seem to have a unified message.

Yoosaion on August 9, 2009 at 5:49 PM

Thanks for answering the President’s call to support health insurance reform.

All throughout August, our members of Congress are back in town. Insurance companies and partisan attack groups are stirring up fear with false rumors about the President’s plan, and it’s extremely important that folks like you speak up now.

So we’ve cooked up an easy, powerful way for you to make a big impression: Office Visits for Health Reform.

All this week, OFA members like you will be stopping by local congressional offices to show our support for insurance reform. You can have a quick conversation with the local staff, tell your personal story, or even just drop off a customized flyer and say that reform matters to you.

We’ll provide everything you need: the address, phone number, and open hours for the office, information about how the health care crisis affects your state for you to drop off (with the option of adding your personal story), and a step-by-step guide for your visit.

According to our records, you live near Sen. John Kerry’s office in Boston, MA.

Sign up now to visit Sen. John Kerry’s office in Boston this week.

Yep. They’re getting desperate-especially if this is what’s in Dems mailboxes in MA. Who would have though a D Senator from MA would need protection from angry Repubican operative mobs? They’ve “cooked up” something, alright.

gopmom on August 9, 2009 at 5:49 PM

Mr Purple on August 9, 2009 at 5:24 PM

You don’t understand what irony is. You are an idiot. But you are a libDem, so nobody is surprised.

angryed on August 9, 2009 at 5:52 PM

Yoosaion on August 9, 2009 at 5:49 PM

Semantics.

If the thug didn’t actually get a paycheck, was he at the protest?

I suppose we could argue over what “astro-turfing” is but the point is Nancy and her cronies have accused the right of doing what the left has always done. It’s ridiculous and finally, people are seeing through their kool-aid haze. It’s a good thing.

gopmom on August 9, 2009 at 5:52 PM

It’s ridiculous and finally, people are seeing through their kool-aid haze. It’s a good thing.

gopmom on August 9, 2009 at 5:52 PM

Yeah … what’s even better is you can’t stop it. Once the word starts to spread about who and what Obama really is, and what the democrats/communists are really trying to do … it spreads like wildfire.

darwin on August 9, 2009 at 5:56 PM

darwin on August 9, 2009 at 5:56 PM

Yes. But….

Cose to 50% of Americans pay $0 income tax. And so they will always vote for the guy who promises them free stuff. That is why I think Obama will be re-elected by a landslide and 2010 will be a dud as far as the GOP is concerned.

angryed on August 9, 2009 at 6:03 PM

angryed on August 9, 2009 at 6:03 PM

I disagree. It’s mostly the not-paying-income-tax crowd that is hurting the most in this recession, as they can’t find jobs because so many overqualifieds and underqualifieds (illegals) are out there taking them. And they’re still paying income tax, some property taxes, excise taxes , sin taxes, etc. And these are going up all over the place. What they’re not seeing is any return on their investment (their vote).

I really think you’ve underestimated the number of people who want to work hard to get ahead. The lower you are on the totem pole right now, the less likely you are of ever climbing higher. It will only take most people 18 months or so to figure this out. I think conservatives will route liberals in 2010, which leads the way to a successful 2012. Key word – conservative.

gopmom on August 9, 2009 at 6:10 PM

Purple you is unhinged

CWforFreedom on August 9, 2009 at 6:14 PM

Actually from what I’ve read… that “updated” sign is just the front of the first sign you posted. It’s the same sign. One thing printed on the front, the other on the back.

And yes, blatant Astroturfing.

UnderstandingisPower on August 9, 2009 at 6:17 PM

Cose to 50% of Americans pay $0 income tax. And so they will always vote for the guy who promises them free stuff. That is why I think Obama will be re-elected by a landslide and 2010 will be a dud as far as the GOP is concerned.

angryed on August 9, 2009 at 6:03 PM

Many people don’t understand the tax system. Many people work and have taxes deducted from their paychecks. In their minds … just because they get a refund after taxes doesn’t mean to them they aren’t paying taxes.

Also, as gopmom said, just because someone may be in a low paying job doesn’t automatically make them an Obama supporter.

As far as 2010 goes, in my wildest dreams I never would have thought that we could protest in the numbers, and as aggressively and passionately as we are against the DeathCare Plan.

It’s everyone … Repubs, dems and independents.

darwin on August 9, 2009 at 6:30 PM

SEIU! I love it. Big brainless thugs wearing purple. It makes me laugh. Purples turns burly men into girly men.

I wonder how they arrived at purple. My bet is that they were watching their DVDs of Barry Obama’s speeches. The general discussion centered on what color shirts to have the local screen printer press for them.

One of them said to the other, while staring sort of sideways at the video on the t.v., “I don’t know why, but we should go with purple.”

Ampleforth on August 9, 2009 at 6:51 PM

LMFAO!!!!
Got another little invite from ol’ Mitch, urging me to pay a little visit to my Representative, Walter B. Jones (R), North Carolina.

Jim –

All throughout August, our members of Congress are back in town. Insurance companies and partisan attack groups are stirring up fear with false rumors about the President’s plan, and it’s extremely important that folks like you speak up now.

So we’ve cooked up an easy, powerful way for you to make a big impression: Office Visits for Health Reform.

All this week, OFA members like you will be stopping by local congressional offices to show our support for insurance reform. You can have a quick conversation with the local staff, tell your personal story, or even just drop off a customized flyer and say that reform matters to you.

We’ll provide everything you need: the address, phone number, and open hours for the office, information about how the health care crisis affects your state for you to drop off (with the option of adding your personal story), and a step-by-step guide for your visit.

According to our records, you live near Rep. Walter Jones’s office in Greenville, NC.

Sign up now to visit Rep. Walter Jones’s office in Greenville this week.

(Not your representative, or think there might be another office that’s easier for you to get to? Click here to find a different office.)

As you’ve probably seen in the news, special interest attack groups are stirring up partisan mobs with lies about health reform, and it’s getting ugly. Across the country, members of Congress who support reform are being shouted down, physically assaulted, hung in effigy, and receiving death threats. We can’t let extremists hijack this debate, or confuse Congress about where the people stand.

Office Visits for Health Reform are our chance to show that the vast majority of American voters know that the cost of inaction is too high to bear, and strongly support passing health reform in 2009.

Don’t worry if you’ve never done anything like this before. The congressional staff is there to listen, and your opinion as a constituent matters a lot. And if you bring a friend, you’ll have more fun and make an even greater impact.

Click below to sign up for an Office Visit for Health Reform:

http://my.barackobama.com/OfficeVisit

Wherever you live, these visits matter: Many representatives are pushing hard toward reform, and they are taking a lot of heat from special interests. They deserve our thanks and need our support to continue the fight. But those who are still putting insurance companies and partisan point-scoring ahead of their constituents must know that voters are watching — and that we expect better.

Earlier this week, the President wrote that “this is the moment our movement was built for” and asked us all to commit to join at least one event this month. This is the way to answer that call, and rise to the challenge of this moment together.

Thank you for going the extra mile when it matters the most,

Mitch

Mitch Stewart
Director
Organizing for America

Donate

Oh, Mitch, Mitch, Mitch…don’t you see what you’re doing, buddy? You’re asking me to exert a little “friendly persuasion” on a sitting congressman – pay him a visit, dump a little on his staff, maybe pass out a few “customized” fliers.
And, I may just do that – but not any fliers that would meet with your approval, I’m afraid. Because I DON’T want Rep. Jones to vote for ObamaCare – and, if he does, I will campaign against him just as hard as I possibly can.
You mention bringing a friend, having some fun, and you quote Pres. Obama as saying “this is the moment our movement was built for”. Movement? What “movement”? He’s the President of the United States – time to put down the picket signs and start acting a little bit more presidential.

Love and Kisses,
Jim Shorts

(Now I remember why this guy addresses me as “Jim” – I signed up for their emails as “jim shorts”. It was either that, or Jacques Strapp. )

uncivilized on August 9, 2009 at 8:11 PM

gopmom on August 9, 2009 at 6:10 PM

and

darwin on August 9, 2009 at 6:30 PM

I respectfully disagree. The lower income people have been taught to expect everything from the government. Not all obviously but most. “FREE” health care is a natural fit in all of this. And these low-income people are also mostly low-education too. They can’t think out the ramifications of “FREE” health care. They only know Republican = evil rich white guy, Democrat = tolerant guy looking out for the little guy.

Bill Maher was dead on when he said Americans are stupid. Actually he was too kind. Americans are imbeciles.

angryed on August 9, 2009 at 8:33 PM

The congress democrats don’t like the people currently showing up at town hall meetings so they call up Organizing for America/Team Obama to get them the people who will agree with them. Just like obama’s staged town hall events.

Kabuki Theater.

TN Mom on August 9, 2009 at 10:20 PM

Late to the conversation tonight, so don’t know if anyone has seen this link … thoughts?

jonrademacher on August 9, 2009 at 10:28 PM

LMFAO! Now the ‘beaters’ are mad because Health Insurance Reform advocates have ::gasp:: SIGNS!!!!

OMG!!! They can print their own sign from the internet! Well if that’s not PROOF of a conspiracy of purple shirted commies forcing you to choose free health care or staying with your current plan then I don’t know what is!

Mr Purple on August 9, 2009 at 5:24 PM

There is no such thing as Free Health Care, we all pay for it. And if the government does it, we will pay out the nose for it and the service and the quality will be very poor. Just look at everything else the government does; those things are riddled with waste, bureaucracy and fraud.

Don’t let them sell you a bill of goods thinking that it will all be free and wonderful; it will cost you more than you think and it will start out sub-standard and eventually turn dismal.

As for the ‘beaters’ comment, the only people beating up people are the SEIU members who put a poor man in the hospital. They’re the ones beating up people.

As for the comment about the signs, it simply is showing that the side that is yelling “Astroturfing” is the side that is actually creating the only Astroturfing in the debate. The side against health care “reform” is actually the side that is a grassroots movement.

Theophile on August 10, 2009 at 2:45 AM

That caller clearly doesn’t understand that she’s being manipulated by those evil genius Republicans, and the insurance companies (you know, the guys who Obama said love his health care plan).

hawksruleva on August 10, 2009 at 11:13 AM

OMG!!! They can print their own sign from the internet! Well if that’s not PROOF of a conspiracy of purple shirted commies forcing you to choose free health care or staying with your current plan then I don’t know what is!

Mr Purple on August 9, 2009 at 5:24 PM

I’d say the purple shirts are evidence enough. But nobody’s saying it’s a conspiracy. It’s a plan.

hawksruleva on August 10, 2009 at 11:21 AM

Great call, Leah!

mperek on August 10, 2009 at 2:24 PM

With unfettered control of some $3,000,000,000,000 annually at stake, organizing, “astroturfing,” decrying “astroturfing,” and calling names seem necessarily to be just the beginning. U.S.C. Article 1, Section 8, will be vindicated in the end, but its vindication won’t raise the dead.

Kralizec on August 10, 2009 at 7:33 PM

..you know, somewhere, somehow, someone in this administrtion is attempting to ressurect Leni Riefenstahl and asking if she is interested in a 3-picture deal starting with a re-make of her blockbuster set in Nuremburg.

VoyskaPVO on August 11, 2009 at 12:05 AM

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