Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Reports From Doggett and Pony ObamaCare Pep Rally

Reports have come in on the Lloyd Doggett Pro-Healthcare Reform Rally at the Methodist church in Austin. Moveon.org made a great effort to keep this event a rally and give no voice to opponents of healthcare reform in the room. If you want to understand their dissent-suppression techniques look at this video. (This raises questions about the appropriateness of a Methodist church as a venue for a partisan political rally.) We are sharing some of the reports of 'dissenters' below.

This testimony came via email from a participant:

I need to tell you all about Lloyd Doggett's and MoveOn.org's town hall meeting yesterday (Saturday)... held at a church (what happened to separation of church and state they are always screaming about?)... it filled up and the overflow crowd was told to go ... get this! ... to the AFL-CIO Headquarters to view the church meeting on tv screens there and to engage in a fair and balanced debate of our own...that is, the overflow crowd. Debate in a fair manner at the AFL-CIO HEADQUARTERS??? I COULD NOT BELIEVE MY EARS!! Also, one of his workers told me and Chuck that not only was the church too full, but "this crowd doesn't want you in here anyway!" I could not believe it. I asked was Lloyd Doggett my representative or only those that agree with him and MoveOn.org... The worker guy was very rude and told me to go on to the AFL-CIO Headquarters if I wanted to discuss the issues. I got his name.

I am tellin' you what... those were the Meanest, most aggressive people you've ever seen. They were so frightening. One lady told me she went to the AFL-CIO mtg. and they kept grabbing her sign and trying to tear it up! She told me it was dangerous down there and not to go. We had Faith, so we didn't go.

Another older couple, very well-dressed (probably in their late 60's or early 70's) walked by us and because the lady was dressed so nicely and looked so pretty, I told her that she looked very pretty today. She came over to me and told me "It is just horrible what is going on in there." She then told me that she and her husband had been inside the church for Doggett's meeting and that the crowd was unbelievable... out of control and frightening. She said out of 1200 or so people, only approx. 20 seemed to be against govt healthcare. She said it made her sick and that she and her husband had gone to that church (Methodist church across from Capitol) for over 50 years and this event and those people had ruined her church for her and she could never go back in there. As she was relaying all of this, she was tearing up. I was, too... for her. She just kept saying how sad this was and how scary.

Greg, it was unbelievable. Really. This country is in such deep, deep trouble.

Personal account of the Doggett Rally at the Methodist Church on Saturday....

Experiencing your first major political rally especially with a major national controversial issue brought a unique prospective that should be remembered for a long time. As you approached the First United Methodist Church to attend the Lloyd Doggett’s Healthcare Reform Rally held in Austin, Texas on Saturday, August 29th there was a bit of excitement to this whole experience. Although I am not a proponent of the Healthcare Reform, like so many others in America, I do remain respectful to all viewpoints. Hey this is what America is all about where you get out, become active citizens, and have your voices heard by your elected Congressman. You know, I did not realize ACORN was a Constituent of Lloyd Doggett’s District. You learn something new every day. The events that occurred that day also awaken how segregation is still alive and well in America.

The right to vote in America is one of the most important privileges that exist. We elect our national leaders expecting them to fairly represent us in Washington. However this concept is quite broken when only Pro-Healthcare Constituents received official notification of the planned Healthcare Reform Rally in Austin and apparently ACORN received word of this event as well. It was only through the extraordinary efforts of concerned citizens who got the word out for the segregated group to attend. Spreading the word was a success where many arrived in great numbers to meet with Lloyd Doggett. As we all attempted to enter the church where the Rally would be held, you were told entry tickets were required. Even the entry tickets displayed only Pro-Healthcare Reform questions. These questions gave you only one answer, “YES” to the question that you support Healthcare Reform. As a Constituent, I freely scratched-out the word “YES” and wrote down “NO”. You have to ask yourself a question, is Lloyd Doggett really listening to his Constituents? It seems he has chosen to exclude a segregated group of his Constituents by not informing them of the upcoming event and to create a number of other barriers to keep their voices silent. Or is he attempting to satisfy MoveOn.Org who was a major political action group supporting this event. It is apparent that he is not listening to his Constituents by the statement he made during his presentation, “These disruptions that I can tell you, have not altered for one minute my commitment, it has only strengthened my resolve.”

When I first arrived outside of the church I experienced another event that demonstrated the organizers of this event had a focused effort to target only certain Constituents into the Rally. After discovering the verbiage on the entry tickets as described in the above paragraph, I told the volunteer holding the required ticket that I was not for Healthcare Reform. She sized me up a bit and told me, “As long as I was not disruptive”. I assured her that I just wanted to listen and I was able to move along. I was quite puzzled for this type of response considering that I am a Constituent of Lloyd Doggett and I do have a voice. Once inside I was seated two rows behind and three seats over from where Lloyd Doggett would be seated. Later, I had seen the same volunteer speaking with several other organizers and thought nothing of it. During Lloyd Doggett’s presentation, I was taking notes and pictures of the events just as other folks did. Then during Doggett’s presentation, one of his staff members attempted a couple of times to take my picture until she was successful. I really found this evasion quite troubling. We do live in America, right!

I have watched this process from afar and let others take the lead. This has truly been an experience to see firsthand and how good solid Americans are discriminated and segregated from events because you have a difference of opinions. I have come from this experience with a better appreciation of those individuals who have given so much of their time to make a difference that will benefit us all. Thanks to all of you who represent us and for your hard work. Thank You!


SG said...

I was inside and 2 rows behind the MoveOn.org seating for the rally.

They escorted out a conservative with a sign, but the lady in front of my waived her OFA sign for the whole rally.

The most disturbing part for me was when one of the speakers said those opposing the president's reform are filled with hate. Translation:

"If you disagree with me, you are a hateful person."

Very sad.

Anonymous said...

You guys are TRULY MISinformed.
It's such a shame that you could attend such an amazing, positive, uplifting, FORUM (NOT a DEBATE, NOT a RALLY, But YES a FORUM!), and not walk away with a clue.

Jim Rigby who's a pastor at another church pointed out that health care coverage for ALL is a MORAL issue---dont' give me that "I'm sickened by those frightening people...".
You guys are pushing your nonsensical talking points for the INDUSTRY, so stop with your "SCARE" tactics, and lies!

This was a beautiful forum with well over 2,000 supporters. It was not a debate as I mentioned. There was no one inside waving their sign throughout, that is a lie. I was there! The only signs came in with constituents to support Doggett, and they went right back out again, otherwise no signs on either side.

The Obstructionist making the big fuss saw those constituents and made a scene, of course the media picked right up on that. One man did lose his temper when that lady with the sign called him a "baby killer" out of the blue. I don't think ANY of you would react any differently would you?

NO one was "mean". If people have oppossing opinions from you than they're labeled "mean"? Well then the whole world must be a very mean, scary terrifying place to someone who thinks like that!

This event was a complete, amazing success! And by the way, it's because of your behavior that Doggett is "more motivated than ever to pass health care reform when he returns to DC!" so thank you! And more than that, THANKS to the +2,000 supporters who came out to hear an amazing line of speakers, from patients, to doctors, to pastors, attorneys that had once represented the insurance companies, etc....As much as you'd like to frame it as a "political event" it is a MORAL ISSUE!!!

SG said...


First: Let's try to be civil here. You seem very upset and that doesn't contribute to good dialog.

Second: We can debate whether it was a rally or something else. However, it just seems like semantics. Doggett called it a rally several times, so give others a break and let them say rally, even if it is technically incorrect.

Third: I agree it was civil and controlled. If you read my account on www.simplegovernment.blogspot.com, you will see I agree with you on that point.

Forth: I saw what I saw. I was in the 2nd row beyond the moveon.org seating near the center isle. The lady sitting 3rd from the isle waved an OFA sign the whole time. I agree that she was in the minority, but she was certainly there waiving that sign. It was a big crowd, so I honestly believe you probably didn't see her.

Again, let's keep it civil and have healthy discussion as Americans. Accusing us of speaking nonsense and lieing doesn't foster discussion.

Jacque said...

The event on Saturday was not a debate, it was a program of speakers addressing different perspectives of why they think health care reform is a necessity. Originally, it was designed as an invitation-only event, but there was so much interest in attending from those in different parts of the progressive community that in the end there was no way to stay with that format. It never occurred to anyone in the progressive community to invite anyone from the Tea Party Patriots/Anti-health Care Reform groups, because in all of our experiences with these groups they have not been interested in listening -- only in shouting. However, there were some that wanted to come to the event and as far as I am aware, those that wanted to were seated inside the church.

Every event that is held by the progressive community to focus attention on why we think health care reform is a necessity is really not an opportunity for those who believe the opposite to be intrusive and disruptive. Instead of being boorish, why not hold your own events where people can put forth your point of view and your solutions to the problems that we have in this country today with our broken health care system.

Anonymous said...

"it was a program of speakers addressing different perspectives"

It had one perspective --- the leftist perspective.

And what the leftists here don't acknowledge is that Rep Doggett FAILED to have reasonable dialog with *all* his constituents and then

This was a partisan political rally, and holding it in a church like is legally questionable.

Forums are OPEN events. This was close-minded, if not closed to all comers.

Anonymous said...

"It never occurred to anyone in the progressive community to invite anyone from the Tea Party Patriots/Anti-health Care Reform groups, because in all of our experiences with these groups they have not been interested in listening -- only in shouting."

Liar. Oh the irony: The leftists are uninterested in open debates because THEY are not been interested in listening. This forum was put together because the Obamunists were getting their heads handed to them in open townhalls and so they needed to astroturf a 'safe' cheerleading rally. And here we have some 'anonymous' koolaid drinkers to tell us how wonderful it was to be told a bunch of lies about how great govt control of healthcare is and how eeeevil it would be to let the private sector handle things.

If healthcare is a *right*, then it is a fundamental violation of our rights to deny me choice in healthcare. That means regulations, 'medicare for all', 'single payer', 'public option', govt care boards, and of course taxpayer-funded-abortions are all violations of rights.

Yet leftists support all these violations of people rights.

Color me unimpressed with the 'anon' posters' feeble attempts at pro-ObamaCare propaganda.

Anonymous said...

"why not hold your own events where people can put forth your point of view and your solutions to the problems that we have in this country today with our broken health care system."

That's happened, but would Rep Doggett come? Of course not and thats the problem!

The fact is that Doggett's decision to participate in this and *NOT* participate in further townhalls with constituents was the main reason why it created such interest and 'heat'.

When there is a strong desire for constituents to communicate to a Congress-man on an issue, and he chooses to go to an over-controlled rally instead, you end up with people opposed to ObamaCare having no option but to protest the rally.

This scenario was created by Rep Doggett and those who invited him to speak.

Anonymous said...

Apparently, we were at completely different forums. The one I attended was full of positive messages, such as the one that America CAN and SHOULD do better.

The speakers came at the subject from different perspectives- Dr. Rigby spoke of the moral rightness of health care for everyone. One of the best things he said was "if we talk about doing something for poor people, we're called 'Christians,' but if we actually DO something for them, then we're called 'Socialists.'" Truer words have seldom been spoken. Rigby said that he wasn't having to deal with the practical real world, the one where you have to make compromises, he said that is where Lloyd lives, but that he was able to talk about this issue from one of faith and what is the right thing to do. We heard from 2 doctors, one a PCP and the other an OB-Gyn. They both had sad tales to tell about patients denied care by their health insurance companies. One was denied so long that she actually died 3 days before the long sought-after test had been scheduled. Three people talked about the nightmare of their experiences with the health care system, some of them once had health insurance, but were now uninsurable, because of "pre-existing conditions." Any one of us could be there tomorrow, folks!

There was also talk about how the US is the ONLY country in the world where people have to declare bankruptcy for medical expenses. Can you really believe that is OK?

I'm also wondering about these "tickets" you say you saw- we had reservations, not tickets.

This was a forum for those who support health care reform. It was not a rally, it was not a Q&A. Information about it was sent to various groups who support health care reform, as it seems reasonable that those would be the ones who would want to attend. Just as the secessionists that morning at the Capitol didn't invite us to their little hatefest, we saw no reason to invite people to a forum that was about supporting something they were against.

As to the venue- church buildings are often used for non-church events. It is NOT the same as, for example, as a preacher endorsing a candidate. Health care is, however, an issue that many denominations support, as do many individual congregations. It should not be a Democratic or a Republican issue, but the Republicans have made it so, believing that if they can stop health care reform, they can stop any of Pres. Obama's reforms. It is not about health care for them, it is about power and they don't give a damn about who they hurt, as long as they get their power and money back. All I can say is "shame on them" and I hope there is a special hell for those who would sell out so many of us for such tawdry toys as power and money!

By the way, Move-On was simply one of the sponsors- also Gray Panthers, Health Care for All Texans, Organizing for America and Texas Democratic Party. All these names were on the program- I did not, however, see ACORN anywhere, nor did I hear anyone claiming to be ACORN members.

If you want to talk about "scary", let's talk about the crazies who were at the Capitol before the forum left over from their morning secessionist rally. Those people were truly scary- talking about "demanding" that Rick Perry call a special session for "Texas Sovereignity" and that if he didn't, they'd "take their 2nd amendment rights and take down the government- talking treason right there on the Capitol steps! THAT is scary.

Anonymous said...

"The speakers came at the subject from different perspectives"

LOL. How many speakers spoke out against Government-run health care, against ObamaCare, against single-payer/'public option' and in favor of health care freedom of choice and non-Government healthcare system?

Zero? Or some number less than that?

The fact that it was 'positive' is not the problem. I would HOPE a pep rally for something is positive.

The problem AGAIN is that Doggett chose NOT to have a dialog with ALL his constituents but chose to plug his ears and tell the 'true believers' what they wanted to hear while ignoring the full spectrum of voter concerns on this issue.

Anonymous said...

"if we talk about doing something for poor people, we're called 'Christians,' but if we actually DO something for them, then we're called 'Socialists.'" Truer words have seldom been spoken."

Actually, thats baloney.

When I freely give money to the Loaves and Fishes program at my church, that is Christian. The idea that the only way you can act is through the state is a Statist point of view. But history shows that Statism ass a very bad record - harming freedom and prosperity alike. When I am forced at 'gunpoint' (by law) to pay taxes for government bailouts and welfare programs that dont work, there is no 'charity', just force. Socialism is force.

When ObamaCare forces self-employed to get health insurance, that will be regulated to a state of high cost, it will be an economic burden and will deny those people freedom and choice. Maybe they are better served with low-cost high-deductible insurance ... but in obamacare, the 'exchance' will deny them choices like that. in the end, CBO/GAO estimates millions will be forced into the 'public option'. That's fine for those leftists who want everyone in govt-run everything, but most Americans prefer freedom and choice to socialism and govt control on everything.

THAT'S why people are outraged and are demanding a voice, and express opposition to this.

It is shameful to abuse Christ in the name of a bad political agenda like socialized medicine.
This is an attempt by the left to shame people and guilt them into supporting programs that dont work and harm more than help. Shame on them for abusing the Christian faith that way.