Friday, August 9, 2013

Town Hall Meetings’ Voices of Dissent
We must learn to welcome and not fear the voices of dissent.
James William Fulbright (1905-1995), Democratic Senator from Arkansas
The basis of our government being the opinion of the people, the very first object should be to keep that right.
Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826)
The next two months will feature town hall meetings.   These meetings will highlight Senators and House members fielding questions from their constituents and exchanging views.  The meetings are a forum for people to voice their dissent - or approval.
What the Obama administration fears most is a repeat of the last mid-term elections.  Those elections produced a Republican landslide with capture of the House of Representatives and legislatures and governorships in two-thirds in statehouses. This led to 34 states opting out of Medicaid expansion.  The House has voted 40 times to repeal, defund, or otherwise hamper Obamacare.
Congress is now on its 5 week break.  What we can expect leading to the October 1 Obamacare signup is a series of lively, sometimes angry,  town hall meetings. Tea party and other conservative groups will express their discontent over Obamacare.  These groups are incensed over the IRS targeting of conservatives.  

This IRS “scandal” suppressed turnout of conservative voters. But the targeting and suppression  revitalized their cause. Americans for Prosperity, backed  by the Koch Brothers,  the Heritage Foundation,  and other conservative organizations will spend up to $1 million to dissuade people from supporting or signing up for health exchanges.  
At the same time,  Obama-led such as his organization, Organized for Action, will spend $700 million or more in an elaborate marketing campaign backing Obamacare.   Progressive groups will infiltrate Town Hall meetings to make their own voices heard.  They will preach the virtues of Obamacare, principally benefits covering those with pre-existing illness and students under their parents’ plans,  and, of course,  protection the poor and uninsured.  T

he campaign will concentrate on community meetings, held at churches and other grass-roots meeting places, and door-to-door visits designed to  get out the Obamacare supporters.  These  techniques were honed and  perfected during the 2008 and 2012 Presidential campaigns.
Shouting matches and colorful dialogue  will occur at Town Meetings.   The media will no doubt report on these meetings.  It will be fodder for late breaking news.   The next 8 weeks promises to be filled with  lively,and sometimes unseemly, encounters between conservative and liberal groups.
According to latest Fox News polls, Obama has a lot going for it among core constituents –  87 % of Democrats, blacks 85%, liberals 77%, and non-veterans 51%.
However,  74% of Americans think we are too dependent on government and not on ourselves, and 53% blame the Administration for making it too easy for 47.5 million Americans to get food-stamps.
The Fox News Poll  also reveals these opinions on Obamacare.
·         31%,  “It’s going fine.” Democrats 63%, Republicans, 7%

·         57%,  “ It’s a joke.” Republicans 87%, Democrats. 7%

·         63%, “Needs to be changed."

·         6%  “Wonderful.”14% “A step backward., 39% “A disaster.”

·         71%, “Will increase taxes.”

·         62%, “Will increase premiums.”

·         65%, “Will add to the deficit.”

·         41%  “Will decrease quality.” 23% “Will increase quality.”  30% “Quality will remain        "same."

These numbers forbode lively Town Hall debates leading up to the October 1  implementation of Obamacare .
Tweet:   Town Hall meetings, in August and September will be lively forums for citizens can voice their opinions about Obamacare.

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