Sorry I’m late.
Let’s start with the back and forth on Astroturfing that, for me, culminates with this comment from mw:
If we agree that there is no difference in political tactics between Bush/Rove and Obama/Axelrod, that both bring an identical “end justifies the means” ethos to their political shenanigans, that both are willing to push every boundary of propriety in the service of their ideological agenda… that point is good enough. – mw
This is, actually, the entire point. We can argue about which party pushes propriety further but that wont promote the public dialogue.
I happen to agree with Health Care reform, but what happens when I don’t agree? Am I going to complain about the tactics? Not if I’m an honest man.
(There’s something in here, Nancy, about Independent’s role in changing the game)
Moving on to lazy agit-prop:
Given my druthers, I would prefer a rational, careful examination of the healthcare and ways to fix the problem, but since the opposition has taken the stance that nothing is wrong it’s kind of pointless. – gerryf
One side says I want to make sure Americans have health care and the other side is stuck trying to explain why people having health care is a bad thing. It is not that there are not good arguments against the proposals of the Obama admin. it is just that those arguments don’t look good in short clips on TV news. – Trescml
So, Steny and Nancy are saying that Democrats were being un-american in 2005. –mw
Again, thanks go to mw for pointing out the partisan hypocrisy – but the fundamental issue is the lack of public dialogue on health care. We, as Americans, are excluding ourselves from the conversation, forfeiting our Democracy even, when we condone/participate in this type of behavior.
These town halls are political theater, not a vehicle for shaping policy. No town hall discussion was going to change Santorum’s vote on SS. – mw
Frankly, such “civil discussion” [in a town hall meeting] would be ignored — by the press, Congress and the White House. – John Burke
With all this new technology – this “information age” – is it naive to think we can fundamentally alter politics/society/culture/media in a way that ensures an informed electorate gets the same input as lobbyists and elected officials?
I hope not.
As it happens the good folks at Donklephant managed to do something this week that looks remarkably like productive health care dialogue.
Maybe we should email our Congresspeople and ask them to weigh in at the Donk. I promise not to yell.
Finally, a comment the likes of which I hope to hear from the mouths of future (non-zombie, boat dwelling?) television pundits.
You make some good points, John Burke. You may change my mind yet. – WHQ