You Can Quote Me

I got to make a couple of important points today – on of all places – about our field memo and those rowdy health care town halls (emphases mine):

Jacki Schechner, a spokeswoman for HCAN, told that the group sent the memo after many of its 120 field organizers in 44 states encountered screaming and shouting at the town halls.

“Not that the opposition caught anyone off guard,” she said. “The level of screaming and shouting and lack of intelligent discourse caught people off guard.”

Schechner noted that the memo does not emphasize any one tactic, but rather coordination with lawmakers to facilitate the town hall. She rejected the notion that the memo is designed to undermine democracy.

We would love to have more conversation,” she said. “What undermines democracy is the screaming and yelling and not allowing people to talk.

“There’s a very important detail being lost here. There are details of health care not being explained because no one can get a word in edgewise,” she said, adding that the town halls are intended for lawmakers to explain those details. “That legitimate conversation is not happening because there’s such an angry din of noise.”

Schechner said the memo has already helping lawmakers like Rep. Lloyd Doggett, D-Texas, who was rushed by protesters at earlier town halls where one held a sign showing Doggett with devil’s horns. But now the town halls are more orderly, she said.

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