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Monday, August 31, 2009

Ryan Vilifies Constituents For Organizing Opposition

Media reports on Rep. Paul Ryan's listening sessions haven't slowed down at all yet.

The Janesville Messenger (Gazette affiliate) on Sunday carried a blurp about Rep. Paul Ryan's recent InsuroCorp listening sessions on the front page. It contained this piece of trumped up misinformation...
Janesville Messenger Excerpt:
Despite an effort by the Democratic Party of Wisconsin, Organizing for America and Community for Change to "overwhelm" the sessions with reform supporters, Ryan said the vast majority of those attending the meetings were opposed to the so-called public option for health care coverage...
Liberals "sabotaged" his sessions with love. That was about the extent of it.

Two things about these accusations thrown about by the media. One, the original email at the center of the controversy contained language that appears to be standard if not downright tame citizen grassroots rally talking points. I'm not making excuses for anyone but no shout downs were recommended, no violence was encouraged. That's a good thing. So they zeroed in on one word: overwhelm. No question it was a bad choice of words but what exactly does it mean? Well, we're not talking about "shock and awe" here.

And two, all is fair in love and war. I hate to admit this but I would do the same if I received a leaked email from the AFP or an official GOP source with the same information. I'd post it on my blog and send it to my buddy's radio station. Politics is a tough game. Except there's one glaring difference. I'm not anybody's elected representative.

Congressman Paul Ryan himself, or operatives from his office at some point made the decision to actively participate in undermining legal citizen activism when they became a willing link in the chain of misinformation. Everything seems to be pointing to his office. Bloggers battling the media or grassroot's citizen groups opposing legislators are one thing, but an elected official using his office to sideswipe constituents civil opposition? And exaggerating the claims and ginning up the already inflamed passions at a time when calm is required?
Community for Change Excerpt:
"The Office of Paul Ryan put a target on our backs during a time of incredible public hostility. They fabricated a story designed to incite hate and gave them a road map to our homes."
I'm not making any excuses for the community organizer, stuff happens.

However, because they became the target through deliberate misinformation and trumped up propaganda from a hybrid congressman/activist, the community organizer at the center of most of this attention should consider the heavy handed tactics employed against them as a badge of honor. Ryan is a hardball partisan game player and he's in it for keeps - be prepared.

Read more here >>>

Newspaper editorial here >>>

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It is actually worse than that. Paul Ryan admitted during the Racine session that his office received two versions of the e-mail. This mysterious second e-mail was conveniently not sent along with the other that he forwarded to Red State and Mark Belling. The second e-mail talked about civility and respect at the listening session. Paul Ryan chose to proceed with the trumped up accusation even knowing this information. Here is an excerpt of that e-mail:

Subject: Health insurance reform

Date: Sat, 22 Aug 2009 14:23:31 -0500

As a supporter of Barack Obama during his bid for the presidency, I am hoping that you also support the three principles he has identified as being essential to meaningful reform for our broken health insurance system. President Obama says any new plan must:

· Reduce costs for families, businesses and government;

· Protect people’s choice of doctors, hospitals and health plans;

· Assure affordable, quality health care for all Americans.

There is a lot of information out there and much of it is neither true nor accurate. If you are unclear on precisely what is FACT and what is FICTION, I urge you to check either of these excellent non-partisan websites to get the FACTS about this important issue: and

If you support meaningful health insurance reform I encourage you to show your support – in a dignified, courteous, respectful manner – at a Paul Ryan Listening Session near you.

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