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Remember back in 2009 when Claire McCaskill and Russ Carnahan refused to hold town halls because the Teahadists were screaming at them? Me neither. The Democratic electeds soldiered on, listening to purple faced right wingers scream about liberty. Now the Tea Party darling, Todd Akin, not only refuses to hold town halls–ok, I get it, it’s the post-Gabby-Gifford era–he is keeping little old ladies at parking-lot’s-length. Damn their First Amendment rights for “redress of grievances.” When the old folks brigade arrived one day last week to complain about Republican attacks on Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security, so did five cop cars and a van. The citizens didn’t so much as make it onto the parking lot. What, did Akin’s staffers think one of the ladies had a grenade launcher stashed in her handbag?

Tuesday night, in front of the St. Louis County Council, Susan Cunningham and Carl Peterson wondered aloud–but politely–if that kind of police presence was really necessary. All Peterson had wanted that day was a chance to point out that Paul Ryan’s budget, which House Republicans passed, proposed to save money in the federal budget by “eliminating taxes on interest, capital gains, and dividends.” That’s how the government could, wait … save … money? No, not exactly, but it does save the rich a lot of money. It reminds me of: “In order to save the city of Hue U.S. government, we had to destroy it.”