I didn't get to any of Dave Loebsack's health care forums yesterday. There were four; the Register went to Mt. Pleasant but I can't find any coverage of Ft. Madison or Burlington. The weather forecast made me prioritize The Smallest Farm, which was a smart call as I watch it rain. And there's enough stops on this tour that Dave should print T-shirts, looks like a meeting in every county. So I'll put on the beret for next week's stop in Iowa City.
Back when he was just a college professor with a beard and no chance, Loebsack was a single payer guy. H He now says he doesn’t want “something completely government-run,” but favors a public option, writes the Gazette.
Any single payer vote in this congress is no more than symbolic, but I hope to see him on the side of symbolism. I expect that even if we get the best possible bill now, with some sort of public option, we'll be revisiting this yet again in 20 years and will finally get single payer then.
As for the atmosphere, Lynda Waddington reports on one reform supporter being shoved to the floor by an opponent. Todd Versteegh Twitters the GOP tape. Multiple sources note Emma Nemecek's “Obama lies/Grandma dies” sign.
From the in box, Kate COwles terrls the Johnson County DFA list:
When the starting time came, a staffer asked that everyone begin by quietly introducing themselves to the people seated around them. Then she announced that after Dave made some opening remarks, the following procedure would be used: someone from the audience would randomly draw a question from a basket, and the person who had submitted the question would then be invited to ask it at a microphone. The audience would be asked to stay quiet while each question was asked and while Dave responded so that everyone could hear. They had clearly planned a strategy to maintain order and civility. I saw one policeman in the room; there may have been more.
And Wendy Barth bemoans progressive timidity:
I think it was pretty close to even, possibly 3:2 ratio of GOP to left. HOWEVER, the left is simply too damn polite to put these people in their place. We were sitting next to a woman who was assaulted by a man who was screaming in her face for 5 minutes before the event even started. She fell to the floor and I stood up and got Security to come over. They were both led out of the room and both came back a few minutes later.
I felt totally snookered as a progressive. Here is Loebsack standing on stage defending a health bill that I think sucks eggs, but since I was sitting in a room full of belligerent animals screaming insults at him I found myself defending him from them.