What may end up being the big news story of the week ( and perhaps the whole month of August) is the disruption of House members’ townhall meetings and other public gatherings with their constituents by “teabaggers” and other assorted conservative activists. By their own admission and by order of their organizers, the goal of such activists is to disrupt these events and prevent communication between the Representative and his or her constituents, particularly as it regards health care reform.
I support the right of all citizens to peacefully (and sometimes not so peacefully) petition their government and make their voices heard. However, this behavior is absolutely juvenile. It is the equivalent of sticking your fingers in your own ears (and the ears of those standing around you) and going “Lalalalalala…I can’t hear you!” The activists’ goal is not to move the debate in one direction or another or to influence the legislators with alternative proposals. Their purpose is to stop the process dead in its tracks and frankly, to intimidate the legislators among their own people. It is mobocracy and an attempt at governing through fear. If the “teabaggers” have some positive and constructive suggestions for legislative enactments that actually accomplish some of what needs to be accomplished in health care reform (more universal coverage, lower cost, etc.), by all means, share it. Share it loudly if need be. But let’s put this childish and foolish behavior behind us.