SEIU Recruits Obamacare Supporters to 'Drown Out Voices' in Conn. (Pelosi Will Be Appalled at the 'Un-Americanness')
2:56 PM, Aug 10, 2009 • By MARY KATHARINE HAM
Nancy Pelosi and Steny Hoyer decided to double down on some pretty distasteful messaging today, calling some of the opposition to health care reform, "un-American" in a USA Today op-ed. Specifically, this is what the Speaker finds so unpatriotic:
These disruptions are occurring because opponents are afraid not just of differing views - but of the facts themselves. Drowning out opposing views is simply un-American. Drowning out the facts is how we failed at this task for decades.
Town halls have indeed been rowdy (although instances of documented aggression have all gone one way: Obamacare supporter to protester), and sometimes not ideal for discussion of the ins and outs of health care reform. But Democrats and liberals have largely used one memo from a libertarian activist in Connecticut to claim a national, nefarious campaign of conservative disruption by mischaracterizing the memo and fibbing about its provenance and distribution.
On the other hand, I have a memo from SEIU Local 2001 (the same Conn. district where the original MacGuffie memo originated), which cannot be misunderstood. It was issued this week in preparation for Rep. Jim Himes' town hall in Stamford, Conn.
It's still up, but I did a screen shot, in case it disappears. Here's the announcement:
Action: Opponents of reform are organizing counter-demonstrators to speak at this and several congressional town halls on the issue to defend the status quo. It is critical that our members with real, personal stories about the need for access to quality, affordable care come out in strong numbers to drown out their voices.
Perhaps Pelosi should check with her allies about their tactics before labeling them "un-American" in the future.
The SEIU has taken center-stage in the Left's push-back on health care reform. They co-sponsored a rally in Tampa that featured fisticuffs. SEIU also had a large presence at a St. Louis rally where at last three of the group's volunteers were arrested in connection with an assault on Kenneth Gladney, who was selling flags and buttons outside the venue. HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius held a conference call with SEIU members last week, in which she called them "brothers and sisters," and SEIU representatives compared Obama critics at town halls to "terrorists."
Update: SEIU has now edited its website to ask supporters to "counter" other voices. Doesn't do much good now that the town hall for which the directive was issued has already happened. Please see the screen shot above for the original version.