Anger – (n)

08/12/2009

Let’s kick things off on something very topical these days – town hall meetings. 

I’ll assume you’ve heard about the increasingly loud and angry town hall meetings being held during Congress’ summer recess.  I’ve seen a fair bit of the video and read some of the coverage, and I’m not terribly impressed.  Normally, I’d be very much in favor of people getting out being involved in their local politics and local political life, but this isn’t being involved, it’s just to shout. 

And looking at the coverage I’ve seen, it doesn’t seem like anyone in the media is saying anything more than that – there’s no breaking news that someone brought up a devastating critique of “Obamacare” (which is a seperate post itself).  They just say there are people out there yelling.  Thanks, mainstream media. Alex Koppelman in Salon’s War Room has a good take on it and points out the obvious media side of this:

The anger has gotten coverage, which has drawn more people with more anger to the town halls, which has added to the coverage — and on and on. That’s left very little room for actual policy discussion, or even for anyone to actually bring some facts to bear on the issue.

Anyone who wants to tell you that these town halls presage the end of America or that this is proof that “real Americans” don’t approve of Obama or of health care reform is…wait, reread that last sentence.  You see how many things I had to mention as possibilities for people to say about the town hall meetings?  That right there shows you how ill-defined the message is at these things.  It’s nice to see people coming out to get involved, but I wish they would actually engage  and offer alternatives instead of just stand in the way of people trying to accomplish something.  (Insert clever comparision to the Republican party as a whole here.)

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