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    • Groups and Coalitions: Politics Chapter V
      Previous: Identity (Introduction and Table of Contents) Politically active groups form because of ideology and identity: they have beliefs about how the world should be; those beliefs are emotional and create both identification with other people who have the beliefs and shared desire to change the world or keep the world in line with how the ideologies pres […]
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I have problems with this story

The above video was posted on YouTube by Mike Ditto:

Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-CO), a first-term Congressman I like very much, held a townhall meeting on health care today outside a King Soopers grocery store in Brighton, CO, which is about 1/2 hour northeast of Denver.

Some of the signs these protesters carry are just nuts. Like, “Jesus is My Single Payer” and “Seniors, Get Your Death Pill here” (photos from Complete Colorado, whose coverage of the event is here.)

To his credit, Rep. Perlmutter actually sat down and listened to folks discuss health care.

Mike Ditto (Progress Now, former online communications director for Mark Udall and many others and former TalkLeft webmaster) had his car vandalized .

Here is a picture of the event from Complete Colorado:


perlmutter1

I wasn’t there and I don’t know Mike Ditto – I never even heard of him before today – but I have a problem with this story. First and foremost is the assumption that this vandalism was caused by “teabaggers.”

From the facts available we are told that Ditto attended this outdoor townhall in the parking lot of a supermarket near Denver.  The event was held in the day time and based on the photo was attended by approximately 200-300 people.  There were some people protesting but no indication that the event was rowdy.  At least one photo shows a police officer was present during the event.

The event ended and Ditto says he went inside the store to get a drink and when he came back outside he saw his car was vandalized.  He videotaped the damage which includes broken side mirrors as well as dents on the doors, side panels and hood.  He also points out that there was a flyer for a  health care reform event held four weeks earlier visible in the back seat.

Ditto does not mention any witnesses not does he say he witnessed the vandalism taking place.  There is also no mention of where his vehicle was parked in relation to the event.  There is no mention of whether a police report was made.

We are asked to believe that one or more “teabaggers” either spotted the flyer or recognized Ditto and committed the vandalism because he is a supporter of the current health care reform bill.  I don’t think the evidence supports that allegation by a preponderance of evidence let alone beyond a reasonable doubt.

If you were on a civil jury and were asked to find the tea partiers liable for the damages to Ditto’s car, you would have to agree that the evidence showed that it was more likely than not that the damage was caused by them.  At a criminal trial you would have to say it was caused by them beyond a reasonable doubt.

I can think of several other plausible scenarios:

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The Great Astroturf War of 2009

astroturf

The traditional August recess during non-election years is usually like going cold turkey for political junkies (and bloggers are political junkies.)  These dog days of summer drag by at an excruciatingly slooooow pace, with Congress and the President out of Washington and nothing happening to talk about.

Not this year.

This summer may even turn out to be more fun than last year’s, since Palinpalooza didn’t start until September and that was when the real fun started.  This year it looks like we’re gonna see mob vs. mob action at townhall events across the nation.

If you cruise the Kool-aid blogs you’ll see that all the trouble is being caused by tea-bagging birthers who are being led by Rush Limburger and Glenn Beck.  If you visit the winger blogs you’ll learn that Comrade Obama has deployed union goons to prevent good, patriotic Americans from exercising their constitutional rights.

Grab some popcorn and let’s take a closer look at a few showdowns:

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