There's been a lot of press about the brouhaha that was the town hall meeting held in Reston, VA on Tuesday by Virginia Congressman Jim Moran (D) and Howard Dean, former Democratic Party Chairman and presidential candidate.
Things got ugly with chanting, cheering, and jeering from both sides.
Passions are hot, with the apparent maturity level of these things resembling a high school locker room. Accusations of administration plants, astroturfing, lies, fabrications, and thuggery abound from the right and left.
This is what gets my skepticism going though -- all of the pictures I've been able to find of the town hall meeting where signs are displayed have the same thing in common: those in favor of the current health care reform all have pre-printed professional signs that say "Reform Now"/"Thank you", while those against have home-made cardboard signs with varying slogans.
So if accusations are going to be made of astroturfing, paid protesters, and big money organizing, the evidence tends to be pretty one-sided. (There is even evidence of town hall organizers handing out hand-letters signs in favor of the health care reform to make it seem like it wasn't all astroturfed).
Now I do think the actual constituents are probably pretty evenly split on the issue in the 8th district, since Fairfax County is a left-leaning county, but offering them "homemade" signs? Pathetic.
On the other side, there are multiple reports of activist Randall Terry getting thown out of the meeting. I have no use or patience for the man. There is enough real anger over the issue without his histrionics.
Now if this was a "local" town hall meeting for Moran's constituents in the 8th District, why in the world was Howard Dean invited?
Color me skeptical.