They only had a few days to mobilize, but bus loads of Tea Party protesters from across the country have descended on Washington today to make their voices heard on the Demcare cramdown.
Time: March 16, 2010 from 9am to 6pm
Location: Cannon House Office Building
Street: Independence Avenue SE and New Jersey SE
City/Town: Washington, DC
As of this morning, the Democrats and the House Rules Committee still have not posted the actual reconciliation bill text.
How’s the No-mentum going?
Rep. Jason Altmire, a Pennsyvlania Democrat who has positioned himself as a key swing vote, said he thinks leadership is seriously struggling to marshal the votes. “They’re calling the hardnosed people…who have put out firm statements saying no,” he said. “They wouldn’t be doing that if they were anywhere close.”
The whip counts keep fluctuating and it’s anyone’s guess, but Democrat pro-life leader Bart Stupak thinks House Dem leaders are at least 16 short.
The libs sure have changed their tune on how to treat Tea Party protesters. Here’s a memo excerpt from House #2 Democrat Rep. Chris Van Hollen:
In a memo sent to freshman and sophomore lawmakers, Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), a member of the House leadership, urges lawmakers to make special accomodations to prepare for the protesters, ranging from refreshments to extra staff members.
“Activists are expected to begin arriving around 9am and they have been given instructions to wait in your office until they can have a meeting,” the memo says. “Please have an orderly process and enough staff and interns to welcome what could be a very large number of visitors throughout the day.”
Among the suggestions:
Consider having some light snacks, H2O, and coffee available;
Have multiple guest books/comment sheets available for all visitors to sign-in and leave comments
Have a Capitol Directory and map available to direct visitors to their Member of Congress and written instructions on how to get over to the Senate side of the Hill
Listen and communicate in small groups:
But lawmakers and their staff should also understand that the tea partiers are reacting merely to a “caricature of the reform bill presented by right-wing media outlets” and aren’t intimately familiar with the legislation, the memo says.
“[D]on’t assume common myths about this bill have been debunked,” lawmakers are told. “Be prepared to explain that there are no death panels, that Medicare is in fact strengthened, and that reform is not a government take-over, but it is an attempt to crack down on the abusive practices of health insurance companies by providing oversight and increasing competition.”
Tea Party activists sure have come a long way — from being greeted by Purple Shirted-Hounds and race-card players and conspiracy theorists and vulgarians…to “light snacks, H20, and coffee” with Talky McTalkingPoints aides on the Hill.
But they’re still not listening.
Get louder. Remember: There are no inevitabilities in Washington. Demcare is not a fait accompli. Stop it now, don’t rely on politicians to repeal it later.
And note well: The government health care Trojan Horse is riding in a bigger Trojan Horse for Nancy Pelosi’s Big Guv agenda:
Pelosi said passing the bill would allow Dems to undertake a “debate” with Republicans over “what is the balanced role that government should have.”
“We have to take it to the American people, to say, this is the choice that you have,” she said. “This is the vision that they have for your health and well being, and this is the vision that we have.”…
Pelosi also sought to reassure those unhappy with the Senate bill by stressing that future legislation would follow, suggesting that after they passed this legislation Dems might try to do away with the insurance industry’s antitrust exemption, among other unnamed initiatives.
“Kick open that door, and there will be other legislation to follow,” she said. “We’ll take the country in a new direction.”
Yeah: Hurtling down the progressive cliff.
Let them laugh. They’ve been trying to minimize the Tea Party movement all year.