Health Care and Town Hall Meetings

by on September 2, 2009 · 4 comments

in Civil Rights, Economy, Health, Organizing, San Diego

Editor: George Mitrovich was the emcee at the Spring Valley Town Hall meeting with Rep Susan Davis on Aug. 29th. He is also the chair of the Democratic Party City Club.

by George Mitrovich / HuffingtonPost / September 1, 2009

At the tribute to Senator Ted Kennedy Friday night at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library, Senator Chris Dodd of Connecticut, Mr. Kennedy’s closest friend in the Senate, told a story of how he recently underwent prostate cancer surgery and when he came out of recovery his first phone call was from Mr. Kennedy, who said, “Given the choice between prostate cancer surgery and going to town hall meetings, you made the right choice.”

I thought of that story Saturday when I was driving to a middle school in the Spring Valley area of San Diego to moderate a “town hall” meeting on health care. Congresswoman Susan Davis, a Democrat from California’s 53rd District, had asked me to do that, and since my regard for Ms. Davis is very high, I readily accepted her invitation.

I knew from reports that more than a 1,000 people were expected, and, given the demographics, it would most likely be an unfriendly crowd. In fact at breakfast that morning some friends told me to either “bag the meeting” or wear a “bulletproof vest.” But, wisely or otherwise, I went, confident of my ability to handle even the most hostile of audiences.

On a boiling hot day the audience in the school’s gym easily topped 1,000, an amazing turnout compared to the 40 or 50 who normally attend such meetings. In addition, the 40 San Diego County Sheriff deputies assigned to the event turned several hundred more away.

Congresswoman Davis welcomed the crowd and invited the veterans present to come forward and lead the Pledge of Allegiance. More than 20 did. So far so good, I thought.

For the remainder of this article, go here.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar annagrace September 3, 2009 at 8:26 am

Mitrovich describes this event as if all 1,000 attendees were right wingers. The pro-health care for all supporters clearly outnumbered the “just say no” contingent. His description is neither factual nor thoughtful- it perpetuates the image that these town hall meetings have been completely co-oped by the right. Not true. The media has focused on this segment almost exclusively. I would have expected him to get it right.

It should come as no surprise to him that our Congresswoman, who read the bill and was prepared to answer questions about it, found herself in a room with so many people who felt not only entitled to their opinion but entitled to their own spurious facts and really didn’t want to hear anything she had to say.

What this points out is that the left needs a new strategy.

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avatar Danny Morales September 3, 2009 at 11:43 am

Annagrace-Any suggestions?

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avatar Monty September 5, 2009 at 1:45 pm

For starters, somebody ought to email George and give him all the links to all the fine (and contrary) reports here at the OB Rag, and CHALLENGE him to retract and revise a lot of his remarks. Plus, a copy of that email should be posted on the comments section following his article at the Huffington Post. If nobody else gets around to doing this before I do, I will. It will be later today or tomorrow, however, before I will have the time to round up all the links.

I know this only a “sliver” of what we all need to be doing, but, in general, the left does need to work on education, and especially not allow people with any sort of progressive credentials to go around publishing falsehoods, without being corrected.

We have enough trouble sorting out how to think about what to do, without adding false reports about events to the mix.

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avatar Monty September 11, 2009 at 7:04 pm

I just posted this on Huffington Post as a comment to George’s article. My account there is new, so it may take some hours to clear and show.
————-

George,

I read you article at
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/george-mitrovich/health-care-town-halls_b_274284.html
and I want to challenge you to read several other progressive reports and commentaries on the same Susan Davis town hall meeting. I propose that you publicly revisit your impressions and revise your article.

All of these reports and commentaries were published in San Diego’s local OB Rag blog.

Billionaires Steal the Show at Susan Davis’ Town Hall Meeting
http://obrag.org/?p=11715

Photo Gallery from Spring Valley Town Hall Meeting
http://obrag.org/?p=11731

Why we went to a health care reform town hall meeting in sizzling Spring Valley with Rep Susan Davis
http://obrag.org/?p=11757

Reflections on August 29th Town Hall Meeting: Right-Wingers Reenact Presidential Election and Lose Again!
http://obrag.org/?p=11795

The Right Wingers Are More Organized on Health Reform? Give It a Rest Already!
http://obrag.org/?p=11940

Darrell Issa conservatives are civil at their “own” town hall meetings
http://obrag.org/?p=11984

Sincerely,
Monty Kroopkin

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