Every so often the leftish bent of the news media causes its fellow members of the Democratic Party to believe their own bullroar. Their own talking points are echoing from all their trusted news sources. This can put Democrats, especially Democratic Party office holders, into a kind of frenzy not unlike that of a dog chasing its own tail. They come to believe that they are on a sacred mission doing the people's work, and that they are proceeding to great acclaim. Faster and faster they must run.
Once this phenomenon starts, the Democrats almost never escape before they do something profoundly stupid. And sometimes, profoundly harmful as well.
This is going to be one of those times. Stupid, and harmful, in great measure.
Many Democrats, including many editors and reporters, have come to believe that hundreds of middle-aged and older people — people with incomes and lives, and plenty else to do — have taken part-time jobs as rent-a-mobs to shill for insurance companies, or the RNC, or somebody. They think this because that is how Democrats create similar events: they pay college students or homeless people to show up at a certain place at a certain time to wave signs and put on a display for their fellow Democrats in the media, who dutifully report that the citizenry is outraged at whatever the Democrats paid them to be outraged about.
Causing the same sort of outcome among conservatives is more like herding cats. Few conservatives need your money, at least not the sort of pittance that would motivate a student or a street person. Most of them would be insulted if you offered. Having tried to organize many of these things myself, I can tell you that if conservatives care about a cause, they will show up in their own car with their own sign ready to give 'em Hell. If they don't care about the cause, nothing is going to get them away from their quite rewarding lives.
For Democrats to imagine that the people showing up at Town Hall meetings to oppose the Democratic agenda on health care are paid shills is a shockingly stupid blunder. And for the media to echo it back to them, giving Democrats in power the idea that they can send union thugs to beat up paid shills, is going to get someone hurt. I know the sort of conservatives who go to things like this. These are the old ladies who chase armed burglars from their homes with broomsticks. They are WWII and Vietnam veterans who do not take lip from anyone. They cannot be intimidated, and they will defend themselves. In 38 states they can "carry," and some of them do. A 70-year-old woman threatened or manhandled by some 250-pound 'muscle' can reasonably believe that her life is in danger. I shudder every time I think where these videos of union thugs "breaking knees for Obama" are going to take us.
We are at a fine pass in this country when one of our political parties believes that the next correct move for them is to send goons to rough up citizens who disagree with them. To all Democrats, I plead: this is a very bad idea. I mean a really bad idea. If you can't get ordinary voters to show up at your events, go hire some students, or some homeless people to represent you. Leave the thugs at home.