Jim Geraghty, Glenn Reynolds promote anti-intellectualism (10/7/09 edition; Steve Israel townhall)
Last night, Rep. Steve Israel of New York held a townhall meeting that per this consisted mainly of shouting and other anti-intellectual behavior. One question that was asked of him is provided at the link, and it isn't a good question. The smarter thing for those attending to do would be to find a few among them who are experienced with "cross-examining" people and give them some good questions to ask. As it is, there's no reason for anyone to change their minds about Obama healthcare or related topics. And, isn't that what the protesters want? So, why are they engaging in activities that just waste time instead of pursuing things in a way that would lead them closer to their goals?
And, why aren't their leaders encouraging them to get civil and get effective? Glenn Reynolds quotes the bit about shouting (also below) and says "Just in case you thought people had grown resigned to this whole operation" (pajamasmedia.com/instapundit/86351). And, Jim Geraghty of National Review offers "Those Town Halls Are Still Going On" (peekURL.com/zsm7spr), with a link to the Newsday article in an update, including the shouting part. While he doesn't say anything about the excerpt he provides, presumably he approves of shouting down politicians based on his past suggestions. We all know about Instapundit, but maybe Geraghty should review some past episodes of Firing Line.
Excerpt from the Newsday article follows:
Israel (D-Huntington) at one point pleaded with those in the crowd yelling at him to "stop calling me a liar and listen." Judging by the ever-increasing decibel level, he did not win over many converts.
Shouts of -- "Stop printing money," "We don't care what you think," and "You're a moron" -- permeated the 90-minute session, which drew far more than the 450 people who filled Van Nostrand Theatre. Scores more were not allowed inside after a Suffolk fire marshal closed the doors.
People opposing the proposed health care reform outnumbered those in favor, though both sides strove to outshout each other during the question-and-answer period.
A typical scene came after Anneliese Lanza of Huntington asked, "Why can't we just fix the part of health care that is broken when what is needed is tort reform?" The anti-reform portion of the crowd broke into a raucous standing ovation chanting "tort reform."
"You're saying tort reform now, but if something happens to you, you'll be the first one to want to take the case to a judge and jury," Israel said. "I don't believe a member of the United States Congress should decide when you can go to court."