The Organizing for America health insurance reform rally Sunday night at the electrical workers’ union hall in St. Louis had to be held on the parking lot because the hall only holds 500. There were maybe three times that many people there. Clark laid out the basics of what happened, and I’ll riff a little bit off of that.
We knew ahead of time that the Tea Partiers were hoping to drum up more supporters than we did for our own rally.
Sunday, August 30 at 6:45 p.m. at the IBEW Hall on Elizabeth and Hampton. The ObamaCare crowd is busing in activists to chant in favor of socialized medicine. Let’s show them we care about healthcare by OUTNUMBERING them on their own turf. The show starts at 7:00, so get their [sic] early.
Match our numbers? Right. As if. Clark’s estimate that there were 75 of them was, I thought, generous. But the teabaggers had one fact straight. We did bus in activists. There must have been, oh, eight or ten of them on that OFA bus.
If I think Clark’s estimate of 75 is a little generous, he and I agree on one important point: what lame excuses for rational human beings the Tea Partiers are. They were only there to disrupt. They sob hysterically at town halls on behalf of insurance company profits and they feign concern about the deficit–now that they’ve let Bush run the economy into the ground. So it was with satisfaction that I watched a few ACORN members start up a “What do we want? Health care! When do we want it? Now!” chant (see Clark’s video) that drowned out the other side. The numbers shouting on each side were about equal, but those ACORN folk, they’ve had experience with standing on street corners pouring their souls and their tonsils into chants for justice. Finally the pro reform people got tired of making the teabaggers look silly and wandered away. Only then could I tell what the other side had to say, and I’m not going to tell you what it was. To get the full effect, you have to listen to their pitiful rendition of a chant.
That OFA bus is hitting at least one city a day, from Phoenix to Fargo to Pittsburgh, trying to rev up the troops and turn the tide against those resisting this reform. What those “bused in activists” want is for us to be talking about the need for reform and about the public option to anyone, including representatives and senators, who will listen. Let’s do it.