Progressives are taking back the momentum in town hall meetings across the country by organizing and coming out to tell the truth about the need for health care reform. While the media focuses on the hysterics of angry mobs that demonize President Obama and health care reform supporters, the real story is that the voice of progressives is getting louder and stronger at the town hall meetings.
Working In These Times blog reports that Democrats and progressives are pushing back on several fronts against the campaign of misinformation being waged by extremist groups, some with corporate donors and right-wing Republicans.
According to the website, the counter-punching by progressives
For example, in Kokomo, Ind., union members and activists helped counter the anti-reform crowd at a town hall meeting held by Rep. Joe Donnelly (D-Ind). Members of the IUE-CWA and others were on hand. In fact, there were so many people at the meeting that it had to be moved outside to accommodate the crowd.
Members of the Alliance for Retired Americans showed up in large numbers at town hall events in Arizona, California, Georgia, Iowa, Maryland, Missouri, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas and Wisconsin this week to fight back against the right-wing mobs.
Says Alliance President Barbara Easterling:
Alliance members are doing a great job of refuting lies and myths about health insurance reform. The truth is that Medicare will benefit from cost containment across the entire health care system.
Dan Buckley, president of AFT Local 6308 in Bergen County, N.J., attended four town hall meetings hosted by Rep. Steven Rothman (D-N.J.). Buckley says pro-reform speakers outnumbered opponents at two of the events and that several speakers, including Rothman, made very strong points in favor of reform.
As more and more town hall meetings are being held during the August congressional recess, it is becoming clear that the anti-reform mobs are not what they seem. While the progressives at the meetings are from the local congressional district, many of the opponents are not, according to several sources.
The Huffington Post reports that with connections to ultraconservative Republicans, insurance companies and other opponents of the health insurance reform effort, including FreedomWorks, headed by former House Majority Leader Dick Armey (R-Tex.), have organized many of the protests.
And a Retired Americans member reported that a person at a town hall meeting this week told her their group had been bused in from a surrounding state, given $100 and a T-shirt, plus a script to follow at the meeting.