Video: The Chicago Way

posted at 9:30 am on August 31, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

Via Gateway Pundit, we see the Chicago Way in action at a rally in Tucson, AZ. An Obama supporter decided to loudly interrupt a Tucson Tea Party meeting, waving a sign and shouting over the speaker at a high-school auditorium. He elbows a man who walks up to him, which gets the attention of the police:

Local TV station KGUN covers it, and has another angle with better lighting:

I’m not surprised that this man, someone named Chavez, started throwing punches, although his contention that it was “one white, angry mob in there” has to be the hypocritical quote of the day. What I did find surprising is the reaction of his victim. He had the immediate presence of mind to grab the man who charged Chavez and pull him away rather than let the event get marred with violence from the Tea Party side. Instead, the police took Chavez out of the hall. KGUN should have put him on camera instead of the thug who threw the elbow.

And perhaps Mr. Chavez inadvertently helped his opponents by getting the rally on the evening news. Politico reports that Republicans see a big opportunity in counter-town halls:

Republican challengers across the country have found a new way of capitalizing on the roiling emotions surrounding congressional health care town hall meetings.

Driven by intense voter interest in the topic, the almost-certain promise of media coverage and the opportunity to upstage incumbent Democrats, GOP candidates in state after state are holding their own health care town halls — and reveling in the subsequent publicity bonanza. …

The challenger town halls serve another important purpose by offering candidates the chance to fill the void left by incumbent Democrats who have opted against holding large-scale, in-person town halls out of fear of raucous crowds or out of a desire to talk to constituents in smaller or more controlled settings.

Adam Kinzinger, a Republican who’s running against freshman Democratic Rep. Deborah Halvorson in Illinois, held five town halls to highlight his criticism of the congresswoman’s avoidance of public health care meetings during the August recess.

Keep watching the reaction to that elbow. It appears Republicans are playing for the long game, and OFA’s thugs are playing right into their hands.

Update: The KGUN clip first identifies the elbow-thrower as Don Alvarez, then as Chavez. Don Alvarez appears to be the man interviewed inside the hall. I’ve changed the post to reflect the correction; thanks to Abby Adams in the comments for pointing it out.

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