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At the Monday evening town hall, Claire’s staffer Michelle Sherod listened politely as the wingers sent their message about why they hate health care reform. They lined up at the mike and spoke cogently, sometimes wittily, one after another. As it turned out, they were there to complain about health care, not the energy bill. And did they ever complain. It was fascinating.

To give them as much benefit of the doubt as I can muster, I’d say they were … passionate. Unfortunately, for many of them passion is indistinguishable from rudeness. Basically, every time Sherod opened her mouth, regardless of what she had to say or how tactfully she expressed it, several people in the crowd of–I don’t know, 400?–shouted at her. (The organizers planned for 150 attendees, by the way, and had to move us to a larger area when the crowd overflowed the meeting room.)

In the clip below, with Carl Bearden of Americans for Prosperity (aka tea baggers) standing behind her, Sherod opens the meeting. That hissing you might be able to hear at the end of the clip was a noise we heard often–the more civil ones in the group trying to shush the rowdies.

The crowd was passionate to the point of high dudgeon. Though they deny it, it’s no stretch to think they’d have pounded on the doors and windows of Claire’s office, yelling so loud that the owner of the business on the second floor flipped them the bird.

They’re frustrated, because McCaskill and Michelle Sherod may “listen”, but Claire’s not their gal. And what good does it do to whine to Bond about it? He has little power on this issue. They need for her to oppose the bill, and they know she won’t. So they’re pissed.

And paranoid. Hoowee, were they paranoid. More on that in a later posting.