by Max Brantley
A little booing and heckling is -- if not conducive to useful debate -- well within the bounds of participation at forums on health insurance legislation.
But sending out the word to pack heat to the meetings and use it if sufficiently aroused by opponents? Why am I not surprised to find an angry gun nut among the angry 'baggers on parade?
Charles Blow, whose Saturday poll-based column is nearly always interesting, notes that those most in favor of reform are the most apathetic about it. (And those who are most engaged claim to know most about it, a belief disproved convincingly by utterances by protesters, such as the woman who said she'd read the legislation and it mandated a process leading to euthanasia.) Here's a calm explanation of the "euthanasia" issue.
Good observation from Blow:
According to the CNN poll, nearly half of those opposing current plans on health care reform said that they were very likely to attend a town hall meeting. Only 37 percent of those who support the plans were very likely to attend.
Not only are anti-reformists showing up, they’re terrorizing legislators with their tomfoolery when they do. Blinded by fear and passion, armed with misinformation and misplaced anger, they descend on these meetings and hoot and holler in an attempt to shut down the debate rather than add to it.
I must say that this says more about them than it does about any forthcoming legislation. Belligerence is the currency of the intellectually bankrupt.