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These town hall meetings

I'm seeing that a lot of Democrats are publicly stating that the reactions they're running into in their town hall meetings are not influencing their decisions about supporting health care reform. I'm a bit torn about that, actually. On the one hand, these protesters are extremely misinformed and irrational, and according to polls they don't seem to represent even close to a majority opinion. And it's nice to see Democrats actually standing up for (supposedly) their principles. But on the other hand, i know what it's like to hear your protests dismissed as fringe views and that despite a huge showing at demonstrations across the country, politicians are going to continue with their proposed policies. It feels very anti-democratic.

Also, strategically, you have to wonder what the purpose of these town halls are. It's clearly not to gauge the opinions of their constituents. And it doesn't seem to be a great forum for educating or gaining support. It seems largely a way to generate news coverage for the protesters. Even if the Dems weren't prepared for that initially, by now they should know better. This is a tactical failure; the Democrats were outmaneuvered by the Republicans. They let the debate on the bill extend into recess, and didn't anticipate the attack that was waiting for them at their town halls. It's time to cut that loss and find a new way to go on the messaging offensive.

By fnord12 | August 13, 2009, 10:46 AM | Liberal Outrage