Obama, Democrats and the media have made much of conservatives organizing protests to
the vastly expensive and impossible health care reform pushed by the political left. As if those protesters were nothing more than sheep being led by dishonest and loud-mouthed Rush Limbaugh types.
Little, however, has been made of Obama's own astroturf organizing in support of the health care changes. Don't doubt it; there has been plenty of organizing. An example is the advance call for people to show up to support "reform" at Mark Kirk's public discussion on health care reform on Monday evening in Arlington Heights. Jeremy Bird, Deputy Director for Organizing for America, the organizing structure left in place after it helped rally support for Obama's candidacy, put out the call in e-mails to supporters.
Follow his links to an interactive page that posts "health care organizing events near you."
There you'll find an invitation to attend Kirk's town hall meeting Monday evening "to support Pres. Obama's Health Care Reform Agenda!" By supporting Obama's plan, they'll be opposing Kirk's centrist plan that calls for more moderate, less expensive and more workable reforms.
Should Obama fans be told not to go? Of course not. What Obama is doing is what worked so well in the election: run a well-funded digital campaign that left Republican candidates eating the president's dust. Is that bad? Obviously not. This is a democracy, and that's how things are and should be done. I would assume that my friends blogging on ChicagoNow would agree to a free exchange of ideas, even if the going gets rough some times. (The going got very rough, sometimes violent, in the Vietnam-era anti-war protests.)
So, there's a tinge of hypocrisy in the left's charges that protests against Obamacare are not legitimate if they are organized. If the polls are correct, the outrage that Obama's opponents bring to those town hall meetings is genuine, and if someone organizes that anger, there's nothing wrong with that. That doesn't make them any less grass roots than Obama's organizing.