Yesterday, I pointed to a piece by Lanny Davis at Politico’s Arena falsely accusing Obamacare protesters of being “organized by the Republican right” — and calling on the media to investigate and photograph grass-roots activists who forcefully express their views.
Mr. Davis sent me an e-mail last night seeking to “clear up any misunderstanding about my position and beliefs.”
I am reprinting his message in full and will leave it to you to compare what he wrote at Politico with what he’s saying now:
From: Davis, Lanny J.
Sent: Wed Aug 05 22:21:11 2009
To readers of Michelle Malkin’s blog who responded to my post on Politico earlier in the morning:
I received a number of thoughtful emails and wanted to express my appreciation to those who communicated their sincere concerns. There was a misimpression that I was in favor of suppression or discouragement of dissent concerning Democratic positions on national health care issues at congressional town hall meetings. This was not my intent. I do not wish in any way investigate, photo, or suppress the opinions of people who show up to these meetings regarding concerns about Democratic health care proposals. Indeed, I welcome that because we need more debate on this important issue.
My post specifically criticized only those who shout down and prevent others from speaking. Indeed, I specifically expressed my respect in that post for those who are genuinely concerned about the health care proposals.
Finally, some sincere people who communicated with me asked whether I had or would condemn those on the left who disrupted meetings or shouted down speakers on the conservative side of the spectrum. The answer is: Yes I would and I have. Publicly.
I believe that thoughtful and civil people on the left and the right share a desire for debate and have respect for other people’s opinions. This is fundamental to a civil society and our great democracy. In my post, I only wished to protest strongly those who believe it is acceptable to attend a meeting for the purpose of disrupting and preventing honest and vigorous debate.
I take the same position if it is people on the left side of the spectrum who use such tactics as those on the right side.
Related must-read: Doctor Zero explains to the smear merchants “Who We Are.”