Town Hall meetings all over the country have devolved into shouting matches and mass demonstrations. This is a sad state of affairs in American politics. We are witnessing the intentional stifling of debate. The saddest part is, much of this activity is not a spontaneous expression of individual feelings but is being perpetrated as a strategic campaign coordinated and funded by lobbyists.
Senators and Congressmen are out on summer recess but finding their local district offices likewise besieged by shouting crowds, not always made of constituent voters. At best, this is interfering with the real exchange of ideas and opinions with our elected representatives. At worst, it will allow a very small minority to control an important legislative decision just by virtue of being loud and nasty. [Look at this guy shaking a finger in anger right in the face of Sen. Arlen Specter. His mama would not be proud!]
This is not the way America is supposed to work.
Another sinister effort at distorting the legislative debate came to light last week when it was discovered that a Conservative lobbying firm, Bonner Associates, had sent fake letters to members of Congress in opposition to legislation addressing energy and climate-change issues. Bonner was in the employ of coal industry interests, but forged the letters to make them appear to have originated from members and officials of African-American and Latino-American groups. Fraud!
Related articles by Zemanta
- Commentary: When interest groups go too far (cnn.com)
- Borger: Stop the shouting on health care (cnn.com)
- Angry crowd confronts senator on health care (cnn.com)
- Coal Industry Lobbyist Forges Letters To Congress Against Climate Bill (takepart.com)