Teabaggers Pick New Targets; Libs Plan Counterattacks

Oregonian blogger Jeff Mapes reports (http://blog.oregonlive.com/mapesonpolitics/2009/08/wu_town_hall_in_mcminnville_ma.html#more) that Democratic Rep. David Wu may be the next target of the Teabagger Brigade when he holds a town

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Oregonian blogger Jeff Mapes reports (http://blog.oregonlive.com/mapesonpolitics/2009/08/wu_town_hall_in_mcminnville_ma.html#more) that Democratic Rep. David Wu may be the next target of the Teabagger Brigade when he holds a town hall in McMinnville on Monday.

Neal Lockhart, who heads a group called Conservative Friends of Yamhill County that's part of the Teabag Party movement, says he expects to turn out more than 300 people for the event.

"The point is not to shout him [Wu] down," Lockhart told Mapes. "If we want to be treated respectfully, we have to act with respect. ... We would like to pin him down, we would like detailed answers."

But respectfulness and politeness have not been much in evidence at other Democratic town halls that the teabaggers have invaded this summer, including one held by Oregon Sen. Jeff Merkley in Madras last week.

Mapes links to a video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZNjLpWDWCaE&feature=related) of a meeting in Delaware at which a birther (somebody who's convinced President Obama isn't a native-born US citizen) waves a copy of her own birth certificate and shouts at Rep. Mike Castle. The crowd then boos and shouts at Castle when he says "the president is a citizen of the United States."

Meanwhile liberals are trying to organize to combat the right-wing loonies.

"Trent Lutz, executive director of the Democratic Party, told me that party officials are putting out the word to their members that they should attend the town halls of Wu and other Democratic representatives," Mapes writes.

The liberal group Democracy for America is sending out e-mails asking supporters to show up at town hall meetings and counter "The Right-Wing Scream Machine." The group asks supporters to sign a pledge (http://www.democracyforamerica.com/activities/179) stating that "we will not stay home and let the Republican fringe dominate the airspace."

Organized labor, though, is sounding like it's getting ready to play a more hardball version.

As reported by Sam Stein on the Huffington Post, (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/08/06/unions-to-take-on-conserv_n_252720.html) "The nation's largest federation of labor organizations has promised to directly engage with boisterous conservative protesters at Democratic town halls during the August recess.

"In a memo sent out on Thursday, AFL-CIO President John Sweeney outlined the blueprint for how the union conglomerate would step up recess activities on health care reform and other topics pertinent to the labor community. The document makes clear that Obama allies view the town hall forums as ground zero of the health care debate."

Ratcheting up the rhetoric, Stein says Sweeney compared the teabaggers' activities to the notorious "Brooks Brothers riot" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brooks_Brothers_riot) in which Republican Washington staffers tried to disrupt vote counting in Florida in 2000, and described the teabaggers as "hooligans."

The rest of August could get VERY interesting.


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