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The right way to fix these town hall disruptions

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BR_Parkway Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 09:48 AM
Original message
The right way to fix these town hall disruptions
Set up the room in 3 sections - left to right. Ask everyone for ID as they come in - direct anyone in the district getting Medicare to one section (along with their family members who may not be on Medicare yet) - anyone who is from the Congressperson's district to the middle section - and anyone else not in the district to the other section.

Make the announcement at the beginning that this forum is for the Congressperson's district - and while others may have an interest, they have their own representatives to discuss the issues with - they're welcome to stay and observe but anyone in that group disrupting the forum and preventing any of the people in the actual represented district will be removed instantly. Watch and listen, but no speaking.

Turn to the Medicare group and ask them, as the recipients of the biggest government run health care system in the US what they do and don't like about it (reminds everyone in the room just how many people already are covered by a government insurance program). Take a vote by show of hands how many would give up their current system for anything on the free market

Then focus on the people in the middle group - the one's who do and don't need coverage - by this time, some of their reasons to dislike a single payer/gov't run public option may be calmed by the fact that so many others are already covered and don't wish to give it up.

Without the disruptions, a serious, productive and informative conversation can be had.
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rucky Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 09:50 AM
Response to Original message
1. so this is what we have to do to have a peaceful public forum?`
who do we pay to defend our first amendment right to assembly?
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Raspberry Donating Member (377 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 09:55 AM
Response to Reply #1
2. I'm with you
They have a right to their opinions, and a right to express their opinions in whatever manner and in whatever fora they choose.

A lot of people are only in favor of freedom of speech when the speech supports their own opinions.
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rd_kent Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 10:04 AM
Response to Reply #2
7. They have a right to their opinions, yes
but not the right to express it in any manner, no sir. Your freedoms end when it interferes with my freedoms, and vice-versa. Prohibiting others at these meeteing froom expressing their opinion is not a right, sorry.
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H2O Man Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 10:05 AM
Response to Reply #2
8. Sad that
such an uninformed statement is found here. Sounds a lot like a Fox News "talking point."

In fact, the federal courts -- especially the US Supreme Court -- have long held that the right to voice protests in public assemblies is indeed limited. People do not have "a right to express their opinions in whatever manner and in whatever fora they choose."
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BR_Parkway Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 10:08 AM
Response to Reply #2
9. This isn't about restricting anyone's speech - and they don't have the right
to interfere with my ability to talk to my elected representative (even if I voted for her opponent)

I support anyone's right to free speech, up to and including idiots like Fred Phelps.
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izquierdista Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 10:19 AM
Response to Reply #2
13. Really?
How about I express my opinion that you NEED TO SHUT UP AND LISTEN TO ME UNTIL I RUN OUT OF BREATH.
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ohheckyeah Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 01:58 PM
Response to Reply #2
20. their rights end
when they start to infringe on another's right. What about the right's of the other people who want to hear and be heard?
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rhett o rick Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-10-09 08:54 PM
Response to Reply #2
25. You have to be kidding. "right to express their opinions in whatever manner and in whatever fora
they choose." Absolutely not. They do not have the right to disrupt a proceedings. How can you even suggest that. These people are ignorant idiots with nothing to offer. Fuck em and you my dear. may you rot in your ignorance.
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rd_kent Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 10:02 AM
Response to Reply #1
4. Who said anything about paying?
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BR_Parkway Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 10:04 AM
Original message
This isn't about cutting off anyone's free speech - it's about protecting
the ability of the people in a represented district to have dialogue with their elected Representative - and they're certainly welcome to tell said Congressperson that he/she is a horse's ass if they want. But right now, those people aren't even getting a chance to be heard because of the people coming in from outside the district simply to disrupt.

If I go to a town hall, I want to be able to tell Virginia Foxx I think she's an idiot - without the meeting being taken over by PR & GOP operatives that are being bussed in to control the agenda and shut the meetings down so they can get camera coverage to run on the news about how "all" the people are against Obama doing anything with healthcare.

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rucky Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 10:30 AM
Response to Original message
15. Sorry, I wasn't criticizing your tactics at all.
It's just sad that there has to be tactics at all to have a civil discussion.
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Wapsie B Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 09:59 AM
Response to Original message
3. Sounds good to me.
This isn't about limiting anyone's 1st Amendment rights. Funny how conservatives get their panties in a wad when they feel they're not being heard but had no problem with Free Speech Zones by the chimp and Cheney, nor the oath of loyalty people were required to sign in order to get into a gop rally with one of them there. Id them all at the very least.
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90-percent Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 10:03 AM
Response to Original message
5. the corporate mercenary protesters
Edited on Sat Aug-08-09 10:04 AM by 90-percent
Put them all in a FREE SPEECH ZONE in a chain link pen at the nearest dog pound.

-90% Jimmy

Remember what GWB did to all the non-Republicans when he held "public" forums.
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panader0 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 10:04 AM
Response to Original message
6. I'm starting to wonder if these "town halls" should be online.
That would remove the disruption, let the congressperson actually have the opportunity to speak, remove the need to drive, etc.
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B Calm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 10:12 AM
Response to Reply #6
11. Bingo
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Stevenmarc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 10:10 AM
Response to Original message
10. If you're not from the district you're not invited...period
If you have an issue then go to your own representative and tell it to them.
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frogcycle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 10:13 AM
Response to Original message
12. to any who think this is an infringement of "freedom of speech"
go read the Constitution

I am sick and tired of people on both sides claiming that

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.


Means that any flaming asshole can jump up anywhere, any time, and shout whatever the hell he/she/it wants.

Establishing rules of decorum for any organized event is totally appropriate. And the organizers are the ones who get to do that.

If a congressperson wants to have a town hall meeting for constituents only, they have that right. If they want it to be for one-legged midgets only, they have that right. If you don't think they have a right to restrict who says what, try disrupting Congress. Ask Code Pink what happens then. Or try going into the Congressperson's office and shouting while he/she is meeting with constituents.

If the teabaggers, birthers, or lifers want to "peaceably ... assemble" and "petition the government for a redress of grievances" they have that right. But they don't have a right to pick someone else's peaceful assembly.
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BR_Parkway Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 01:32 PM
Response to Reply #12
16. Exactly - every one is entitiled to write or email any member of Congress
but how many don't respond at all or send some sort of a note that they only respond to people in their district?

Freedom of speech doesn't require that anyone has to listen. This is all about keeping the town hall meetings for the people in that district only and keeping the outside troublemakers out (they can go be mouthy in their own district town hall meetings). It's not like when BushCo would have protesters corralled a half mile away from where ever he was speaking.

Congessman - restricted to their district only
Senators - restricted to people residing in the state they represent only
Obama - well, he wanted the job, he's gotta listen to everyone
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Wizard777 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 10:28 AM
Response to Original message
14. Obama Should Call A Televised Congressional Town Hall Meeting.
Edited on Sat Aug-08-09 10:33 AM by Wizard777
He should use his knowledge of the facts to educate and over come the fear of the unknown being exploited. He should open the orderly process by going to the Capital and having Congress express the health care fears and concerns of their constituency to him. This provides America with an opportunity to see how well their Representatives are in touch with their positions. It also gives Obama an opportunity to redress the grievances and dispel the fears. It's one thing for voters to misrepresent bills their Representatives have helped author. It's another thing altogether for the Representatives to misrepresent those bills they have authored. So if Obama is to restore Order to this run away national debate and get this crazy train back on the rails. A Congressional Town Hall is the best way to do that. The People will not discus this rationally until they see their Representatives discussing this rationally. Once Obama sets the Tone, the cues will be followed, and harmony will rise above the din of the dis-chord. Obama should draw the attention away from the dysfunction manifesting in society to a functional government. Your constituency has problems with Health Care Reform and I want to hear them from YOU their Representatives. If Obama sets the example and leads they will follow. It's really that simple.
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tj2001 Donating Member (685 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 01:34 PM
Response to Original message
17. Why haven't these rioters been arrested for being tumultuous?
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WillieW Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 01:38 PM
Response to Reply #17
18. Good Question. We were arrested at the McCain meetings
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lib_wit_it Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 01:55 PM
Response to Reply #18
19. Right wingers are simply exercising their rights, silly. You, on the other hand were obviously a
blame America first, socialist, peacenik, war hero hatin' lefty. When will you and your type ever learn--you are not a Real Murkin! Only Real Murkins are entitled to free speech.
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chaska Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 02:28 PM
Response to Original message
21. Chant. "YES, WE WILL! YES, WE WILL! YES, WE WILL!"
In response to their idiotic, "Just say no."
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Igel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 06:57 PM
Response to Original message
22. You assume that everybody that's disrupting
is from outside the district of the congressperson they're disrupting.

I'm not sure that's a valid assumption.

You'd also have a hell of a time separating out the Medicare from the Medicaid folks.
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WillieW Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 11:31 PM
Response to Reply #22
23. I am not assuming that at all. I know that these thugs are being bused in in an coordinated effort
Edited on Sun Aug-09-09 12:04 AM by WillieW
to distupt the meetings. Folks with legitimate questions can't get a word in edgewise.
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WillieW Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-09-09 12:06 AM
Response to Reply #22
24. The same faces appear in several meetings, how come?
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