Supporters of President Obama formerly signed up as members of "Obama for America" received an email today from Mitch Stewart, the director of the group's current incarnation, Organizing for America, to show up at town halls and congressional offices as a counter to the protestors against the president's health care reform push.
Painting the protestors as "Insurance companies and partisan attack groups…stirring up fear with false rumors about the President's plan," Stewart's email tells supporters whom their member of Congress is and even provides information about town hall meetings they may be holding.
Writes Stewart: "As you've probably seen in the news, special interest attack groups are stirring up partisan mobs with lies about health reform, and it's getting ugly. Across the country, members of Congress who support reform are being shouted down, physically assaulted, hung in effigy, and receiving death threats. We can't let extremists hijack this debate, or confuse Congress about where the people stand."
Supporters are told to stop by local congressional offices to show support for health care reform with the option of a "quick conversation with the local staff, tell(ing) your personal story, or even just drop(ping) off a customized flyer and say that reform matters to you."
After participants sign up, they're sent to a webpage (an example of one for Nevadans is HERE.) where they're told to "Stay calm and positive. While some are attempting to disrupt and shut down debate, our goal is to engage in meaningful, respectful discussion. Remaining calm, positive and polite while speaking to any staff member is the best way to be heard."
Members of Congress "who are still putting insurance companies and partisan point-scoring ahead of their constituents must know that voters are watching — and that we expect better," Stewart writes.
Democratic National Committee spokesman Brad Woodhouse said "we want OFA supporters – and all Americans – to be part of an informed, intelligent discussion about health insurance reform and the urgency of reigning in unfair insurance industry practices."
But Brian Walsh of the National Republican Senatorial Committee said, "It's interesting to see the President's political machine calling on his supporters to use their Constitutional right to free speech when the White House spent the last week criticizing others for doing the exact same thing. Republicans agree that every American should have the right to voice their opinion in a calm, respectful manner but after the 'astroturfing' rhetoric from the Democrats this week, it's hard to ignore the hypocrisy in this mass email."